Forget relaxing Tai Chi or tranquil Yoga; Tae Bo is a martial arts style created only for those looking for a serious, sweat-inducing workout. Created by Billy Blanks, a long-time Tae Kwon Do and boxing practitioner, Tae Bo blends elements of both disciplines, as well as dance, to create a high-energy workout style. The Tae Bo phenomenon reached its height of popularity in the 1990’s, kick-starting the cardio-kickboxing craze, and is still taught in gyms all over the United States.
The Tae Bo workout was created accidentally. Billy Blanks was an established Tae Kwon Do champion, and won various Golden Glove boxing awards. While working out one day, Blanks started shadow-boxing to the beat of the background music, and realized he was exhausted. A serious athlete who trained daily, Blanks realized that this workout could be an incredibly effective training style.
Tae Bo disciples use dynamic kicks, punches, and squats set to dance beats to achieve a high-energy workout, that burns calories quickly. By combining these different aspects, Tae Bo increases the individuals’ cardiovascular fitness, tones the major muscle groups, and improves overall flexibility. The unique combination also increases balance, awareness, and focus, allowing users to reach new levels they were not aware they were capable of.
While a great style for anyone looking for a tough workout, Tae Bo is not meant to train users in combat or self-defense. Tae Bo makes no use of grappling, ground fighting, or throws, and instead uses choreographed sequences with an invisible opponent to get results.