I am playing Judo for over 20 years now and I have a little bit experience in BJJ. Yesterday I was at my first Kickboxing training and I was surprised that the majority of students were female. I googled throw clubs in my area (Vienna, Austria) and found that many of them are female dominated/only. What is the reason/What are the reasons for this?
This answer is the viewpoint of one woman. I cannot speak for all women who love kickboxing.
I trained Muay Thai kickboxing for around three years. Basically, it's good for losing weight, staying in shape and forgetting about problems for an hour.
The short answer, kickboxing is fun! It reminds me of dancing because there are patterns, combinations, techniques and the need to follow (pay close attention to) your sparring or training partner.
When you follow a training partner, you are working together on drills to perfect your technique. And when you are sparring, you are either fighting free style or focusing on improving an aspect of your offense or defense.
One of the most interesting things I learned is how to control the power in my punch. Using excellent technique to throw a well-aimed punch-kick-punch combination beats throwing haymakers with lazy kicks that your opponent can see coming.
You might be wondering if women only spar with women. That wasn't true at my school. I sparred with men because, often, no other women were in class with me.
Maybe the school you visited attracts women who only want to spar with other women.
As my skill level increased, men increased their speed, power, and feints. They expected me to respond with appropriate defenses.
Eventually, new students (men) would have to spar with me. Guys got weird until they saw me sparring with my classmates. Technique requires time to develop. Respect builds over time too.
Some guys have trouble understanding how to control the power in their punch -- meaning, you throw harder at men larger than you and not as hard at women. Those men had to make an agreement with me before our sparring session.
If they shot heavy punches at me (and missed), I would return fire by aiming too high with an inside leg kick.
After a couple of yelps from the guy and some angry looks from me, we generally got things sorted out and found the right zone to spar with each other. I guess that's why they call it training.
Times have changed. It's no longer unusual to watch women fight in big promotions.