Kickbox 2000 Basic Workout

John Savidis
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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Perhaps I should be worried that I’m approaching this review thinking about whether this workout is salvageable, but I actually think it’s worth considering. It’s easy enough to add on a stretch separately, and ironically, two wrongs almost make a right here: I think the drills are somewhat too fast (152-168bpm), but because the workout doesn’t match the beat of the music, it’s actually pretty easy to work at one’s own pace without getting too distracted by the video. The left-right problems are a bit harder to work around, unfortunately: John does not mirror cue, and most problematically, the middle segment (“Round 2”) containing the choreographed kickboxing combinations is performed on only one side. Back in the days of the Firm volume 5, which boasted about the possibilities for doubling your workout time by rewinding the tape to repeat the aerobic segment (ah, the miracles of rewindable media and tape counters!), this might have been more acceptable. Now, nearly two decades later, the solution may be to hope that this comes out on a well-chaptered DVD, or to create a home-remixed version that plays round 2 twice. At least then John’s cueing will match what you’re doing for one of the segments.

So is this worth the effort? I might not feel so sanguine about this had I not acquired the tape very cheaply off the swap. But I see it as a welcome challenge to work up to the pace of the drills here, rather than an unrealistic presumption (as in Tae Bo, for example). I also enjoy the choreographed combinations in the middle section; they remind me of my kickboxing classes, in which we would try to keep up with the instructor’s commands for the ten repetitions of each sequence that he demanded.

Had I only borrowed the workout to try it out, I probably would have decided against hunting down my own copy. Until I get tired of the novelty and need to clear out space for more-effective and better-designed workouts, I’ll probably hang on to it for the amusement of having this addition to my eclectic kickboxing collection.

Instructor Comments:
John’s “nice-guy” persona reminds me a little of Larry Lam (from XKO Kickboxing), although without quite as much earnestness. He seems a bit new to being in front of the camera, bursting into occasional motivational pep talks and “Are you ready?” exhortations mid-workout that prompted me to yell back, “Come on, start already!”



I want to start off by saying if this is the Basic, then I am afraid of the Advanced tape in this set! I thought this was a pretty challenging tape. You begin with a decent warmup and stretch. Then you move to Round 1 as it is called on the tape. This is supposed to be the cardio section of the workout. I didn't find it to be particularly cardiovascularly challenging. You don't keep moving to keep your heart rate up. It is just a series of kicks and punches. However, I thought it was tough as it really challenges your muscles. No dance moves or steps are in this tape so that may be boring to some people.

I was also initially frustrated at the great background music that was totally ignored. This part would have been much better had they used the music to do the moves to. Round 2 is very challenging and you don't notice the lack of attention to the music as much. This is the combination section. This is a series of punches and kicks put together and done in rapid succession. This is where he does the counting of reps. He tells you that you are working anaerobically here. My muscles were burning. You sort of break it up and work arms, letting them rest while you work the legs. Then you do combinations that encompass both arms and legs as well as the perennial favorite move, squats with front kicks. Tough!

At the end, you do speed bag work first with punches and then with kicks. A couple of the background exercisers are actually using bags with boxing gloves but there are several exercisers that aren't. He tells you that you don't need one for this to be effective. This really gets your heart rate up.

The only problem is that next you drop to the floor for abs with no cooldown. There is also no ending stretch which is much needed after the hard work done in the second section.

One other complaint that I have about the tape is that you definitely do not work each side evenly. He does the ENTIRE combination section on the same side! You do not move to the other side even once! I guess I could just switch off the next time I do the tape but I really think that this is a major flub.

Overall this is a decent tape. I would give it a B-/C+. It would get an A if they would have paid equal attention to working both sides of the body, provided a cool down and stretch and followed the music in Round 1.

Instructor Comments:
John does a decent job of instructing this video although it is assumed that you have done the Instructional tape. He counts out reps which may bug some people and does 10 count reps rather than 8 count. He occasionally misses the cueing for the next move but overall you can tell that he really knows his stuff. One other thing is that he is very "exuberant". It can be slightly annoying.

Joyce Thurman


This video is AWESOME! It really elevated my heart rate and was tough. Similar set and music to the Basic tape except I think there are more participants. I didn't find the moves or music repetitive in this one, but that could be because I was too busy getting mad at John because it is TOUGH! Again, this tape can be broken into two workouts, aerobic and anaerobic; however, your heart rate should stay up there with the anaerobic workout unless you are the Cardio Queen. The kicks are really fast, I don't know if I will EVER master the speed, but I am more concerned with form anyway.

Debbie described the workout to a T so I won't go into specifics, but it is definitely an advanced tape; although intermediates could do it (I did) with modifications. My opinion is this tape is worth the wait (about six weeks) and the set is definitely worth the $60.

My only complaint is both sides are not worked equally, your right leg kicks more than your left and you do some different punches with each arm; i.e. you may do a right jab, left cross, right hook, and left upper cut and never chane to a left jab, right cross, left hook, and right upper cut. I am really picky when it comes to that, but I will compensate by doing the opposite of how he cues every other workout.

Instructor Comments:
See my comments in my Basic Kickbox2000 review, but again he is not as motivating as Billy Blanks. The only difference was in this tape I was begging for mercy.

Stephanie Bridges


(Basics workout)

First I don't consider this a beginner workout, it is somewhere in between Basic Tae Bo (original series not Live which I haven't done) and Advanced, but it seems tougher than Power Kicks.

The set is ok, exercisers behind John with punching bags and a ring. All background exercisers have good form. The film quality is nicer than CIA but not the Firm's quality. I didn't care for the music it was repetitive and boring.

Debbie described the workout in detail, so I am only going to add my impressions. I found the workout tough, but really boring. I've only done it twice so far and since it is challenging I don't plan on sending it back but John drives me nuts with his counting (not exactly like Billy but more reminded me of PE when the teacher would count jumping jacks). In fact, the video reminds me of PE class for some reason. The drill segment is fun, but hard. I think this video would be perfect in two segments to add on to something or if you do it on a whole day you will definitely have accomplished something. I am kind of worried about trying the Advanced because even though this was tough, the Advanced is suppose to be tougher. You definitely need to stretch on your own and cooldown. The ab work was nothing new.

Instructor Comments:
John is trying to be motivating, but he just doesn't cut it for me; but he is nice to look out (not as nice as Michael George from B Fit IMO though he he. I also thought the background exercisers really paid attention to form, but I was doing the video at the same time and didn't watch every single move.

Stephanie Bridges


This is a review of only the advanced video from the Kickbox2000 4 video set. The other 3 videos are the instructional, nutritional and basics. Please refer to the comments about production, music, format, style etc. from the basics review. It is the same as for the advanced workout. The only differences are some of the movements are done at a faster tempo than the faster tempo on the basics and there are different combinations of kicks/punches. The total workout time is 50 minutes and I rate it as advanced. I could not keep up with the participants during the faster tempo in Round 1 (the aerobic segment) so I went at my own speed and John encourages you to do this and only work up to their tempo as you get stronger. I was able to keep up (for the most part) during the drills, but I did have to stop a time or two to catch my breath. The drills emphasize strength and power more so than aerobic. I have to applaud for the participants as they all seemed to have pretty good form even during the faster speed. At one point during the drills segment they were doing an extremely challenging leg drill and after the first set (10 reps), John says one more set of 10 and one girl in the back yelled out "I don't know if I can do it" and I hear a couple of grunts. At first I didn't know if I heard this correctly, but after listening it for the third time, I'm pretty sure that's what she is saying. The particpants look as if they are in pain at times during the drills so if they are finding this difficult, then it's no wonder I do too :-)

Okay....warmup is 5 minutes long consisting of weaves, punches, uppercuts, hooks, twists, lunges, leg and arm stretches and these unusual one leg pushups (you go down in a regular pushup position and then bend one leg towards your shoulder to where your knee is bent almost touching your elbow).

Round 1 (Aerobics Segment: 19 minutes)

1) R.Front Knee lifts (8 slow, 16 fast); R Front Knee lift, R Front Kick (8 fast); R. Front Knee Lift (8 fast, 4 slow); Left Back lunge up to a knee lift (4 slow, 4 fast); Left back lunge up to a front kick (8 fast); some side to side weaves then you repeat all of above in #1 on opposite sides.

2)R. Side knee lifts (8 slow, 16 fast); R. Knee twists (16 fast); Combine R.side knee and R. knee twist (forgot to note down count); R side Knee Twists (4 slow) Repeat all of above in #2 on opposite sides.

3)L. Front Kick (8 slow, 24 fast, 8 slow) and repeat on other side

4)R. jab, L. Jab (8 slow, 24 Fast, 8 slow)

5)R. Side kick (8 slow, 16 fast, 4 slow). Repeat kicks on other side

6)R. side kick (4 slow); R. side kick, R. Jab, L. Jab (8 slow, 16 fast)R. Side Kick (4 slow) Repeat all of #6 on opposite sides.

7) Alternate traveling side knee lifts (8 ea. side), then change the knee lift to a front rotating kick (I think this is the 'reverse' front kick)16 reps on each side and then finish with 8 alternating traveling side knee lifts

8) L. Jab, R. Jab (8 slow, 32 fast, 8 slow)

9)L. Side Kick, R. Jab (16 Fast); do the same L. Side kick, only change R. Jab to touching the floor (16 Fast); L. Side Kick, R. Jab again (8 fast); 8 squats. Repeat on opposite sides.

10)Does jumprope skips(imitating a jump rope), punching flurries, skips, uppercut flurries. Does 4 total sets of these flurries. (Flurries are very fast paced punches/uppercuts and feet doing the in place football shuffles).

11) Does some more punches, marches, weaves, combo of weaves & punches

12) 8 squats, then alternate side leg kicks with squats in between each kick (8 reps), then 8 more regular squats

Round 2 (Drills) 16 minutes)These drills are taught at a slighter slower pace for about 4-5 reps before the actual drill begins.

1)R. Jab, L. Jab (60 times).

2)R. Jab, L. Jab, R. hook (40 times).

3)Do same as #2 only add a R. Roundhouse Kick, L. Front Kick.(30 times)

4)R. Jab, L. Uppercut, R. hook, Left Jab (30 times)

5)R. Front Kick, L. Front Kick, R. Roundhouse Kick, touch foot to ground, then another R. Roundhouse Kick, L. Front Kick (20 times). This is the TOUGH one!

6)Double R. Jab, Single L. Jab, R. Side kick, L. Jab (20 times)

7)3 sets of uppercut flurries and skips

8)R. Roundhouse kicks as fast as you can go with proper form and repeat on opposite side.

Then there was an 11 minute glute/ab/pushup workout with most of the emphasis on lower abs. He has you lean on the wall and do slow and fast machine gun kicks (40 total reps on each side). He also says you should repeat this for 2-3 more sets on your own for glutes made of steel. Next the abs are mostly done with you leaning back on your elbows and he has you opening and closing your legs; moving legs up and down; legs push forward and back; swinging legs up and down, left to right keeping legs together; bicycle legs; then he has you doing some regular lower body crunches with legs in air. He then does 30 regular pushups, then 20 tricep pushups.

Again...there is no cooldown or stretch at end of this video so you would need to incorporate your own.

I really enjoyed this video as much as the basics...I just have quite aways to go before I can do this video with all the power and endurance that they all display. It is FUN...but not your typical choreographed aerobics workout.

Debbie Rolin


The Kickbox2000 video set comes with an Introduction video, nutritional video, basics and advanced videos. This review is only for the Basics workout.

The production quality of the entire video set is really good! (The nutritional tape was a little on the poorer side...alot of echoing)He has two backgrounds with the first round (as he puts it) on a very lavish stage with spotlights. The look has a MTV haunt to it, but I thought it was nicely done. The music is really good and loud enough to hear. They use pretty much of the same kind of music throughout, so there's not too much variety, but I haven't gotten bored from it yet.

I'd rate this workout as an intermediate to high intermediate. It is certainly NO basic beginning workout...which I liked because I will not outgrow this video too quickly! The total workout time is approx. 45 minutes . The workout moves at a steady there is no resting in between.

Some negative feedback is that there is NO cooldown or stretch at the end of this tape, so you would have to do your own. The warmup is short and sweet, however I would recommend cuing the instructional video for the warmup/stretch as it is very thorough. And lastly when you get to Round 2 (The Drills), there are some combinations that are not repeated on the opposite side. Both sides will get worked doing different punches and kicks, but not equally. You will see more of what I mean when you get into the detailed portion of this review. Other than these few things, the workout is very good! One more comment is that this is NOT a choreographed aerobic workout, so those people who prefer the choreography may not take a liking to this kind of workout. The aerobic section definitely keeps you in your aerobic zone, but you pretty much stay in the 'stance' and do punches, kicks etc.

In Round 2 (the drills) he comments that this is the anerobic segment where you really work on your strength and muscles! He has some people wearing boxing gloves and kicking and punching bags in a boxing ring.

Warmup: 4 minutes consisting of head rolls, shoulder shrugs, side bends, trunk rolls and some leg stretches

Round 1(Aerobic segment) 18 minutes. We start out with single punches, then double punches, then singles again. For the rest of the combos, the majority is done as 8 slower reps, then 16 faster reps (I was able to keep up with the faster reps in the basics...but not the advanced, so I noted they weren't quite as fast), then 8 slower reps again...then he repeats on the other side. Single front knee lifts, single front kicks, single side knee lifts. Combos next: right jab, right front kick, right jab, left cross..then squats to other side and repeat; then you do 8 single roundhouse kicks for both sides, then you do a low, medium, high roundhouse kick with right leg with a punch and then 4 single roundhouse kicks and repeat on other side. Then he does an arm BURNER with tons of jabs and side punches with various combos of repititions on right arm only. Then he alternates front kicks and roundhouse kicks using various combos of reps and then he does the arm burner on left arm. Then he alternates a right front kick with left roundhouse kick 32 times, then he does 16 rapid squats, and repeats last combo on other side with 20 more rapid squats. Then he does some REAL slow side kicks working on balancing and strengthing. Then at the end of this segment he does 3 sets of uppercuts at regular speed, then uppercut flurries with 22 rapid and slow squats, then slower squats with front and roundhouse kicks and ends with more rapid squats.

Round 2 (Anerobic drills) 19 minutes: These drills are not done quickly, but with power and strength.

1:Right Jab (60 times), Left Jab (50 times), Right and Left Jab Combo (50 times)
2:Combo of right front kick, left front kick (30 times)
3:Combo of R.jab, L.jab, R.Front Kick,L.Front Kick (30 times)
4:R.Jab, R.kick, L.jab (20 times)
5:R.Jab, R. Roundhouse kick, L. Jab (30 times)
6:R.Jab, L.Jab, R. Roundhouse, L.Frontkick (20 times)
7:Double R. Jab, Single L. Jab Combo (50 times)
8:Same as above only add R. Rounhouse, & L. Jab (20 times)
9:Flurries of jabs and in place football shuffles,then light skips (or march in place), then 2 more sets of this
10:Alternates Front Kicks as fast with correct form as you can go with light skips in between 3 sets of this.

There is about 5 minutes of traditional abs done at the end of this workout.

Hopefully this will give you a good breakdown of the video so you can determine if this style of workout is for you. I have to say that I throughly enjoyed this workout even though it is not your typical kickboxing aerobic workout. I especially liked the drills. It made me feel very powerful when doing them. The participants (6 of them) are look like they've been doing this for along time and it shows as they have really good form.

Instructor Comments:
John is very motivating and energetic. He gets pretty excited at times and will yell quite loudly as he's encouraging you. It's not irritating at all (kinda reminds me of a drill sargeant), however he says 'Come On' ALOT. It is comparable (maybe John's is more repitious) to Janis Saffel's Kickboxing video where she says 'Awesome' alot. You won't notice the 'Come Ons' as much as when you do the video as when you just preview it. He doesn't count every single rep like alot of kickboxing videos which was really nice! I really liked John as a video instructor!! His form looked very good (although I am not an expert at judging for this)

Debbie Rolin