Kickboxing refers to the sport of using martial-arts-style kicks and western-boxing-style punches to defeat an opponent in a similar way to that of standard boxing. Kickboxing is a standing sport and does not allow continuation of the fight once a combatant has reached the ground. All punches and kicks must land above the belt.
Kickboxing is often practised for general fitness, or as a full-contact sport. In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare chested wearing Kickboxing trousers and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10oz boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, kick-boots, and optional protective helmet (usually for those under 18.) The female boxers will wear a tank top in addition to the male clothing/protective gear.
Kickboxing is often confused with Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing. The two sports are similar, however, in Thai Boxing, kicks below the belt are allowed, as are strikes with knees and elbows. Although knees and elbows are usually used in the Kickboxing training, they are rarely allowed in fights, along with flying, spinning and jumping punches and kicks. Also, Thai Boxing matches are fought with no shin guards (only leg wraps), unlike Kickboxing, where leg protectors are used.
Arts labelled Kickboxing include:
Adithada (Indian Kickboxing) — A form of Kickboxing that uses knee, elbow and forehead strikes
Lethwei (Burmese Kickboxing) — Traditional Burmese martial arts of which has now grown into a popular Kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee, elbow strikes and head butt. Any part of the body may be used to strike and be struck. It us also known as Bando Kickboxing.
Pradal Serey (Khmer Kickboxing) — A possible predecessor of Muay Thai
Muay Thai (Thai boxing) — Traditional Thai martial art of which has now grown into a popular Kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee and elbow strikes
Japanese Kickboxing — Similar to Muay Thai, but different point system is taken (e.g. K-1).
American Kickboxing — Similar to Japanese Kickboxing and Full contact karate, but different point system is taken
Full Contact Karate — Most of the time padding and in some cases body armor is used and is the applicable component of karate like many other styles which also include routines training.
Savate (French Kickboxing) — Allows the use of shoes
Sanshou/Sanda (Chinese Kickboxing) — The applicable component of wushu/kung fu of which Takedowns and throws are legal in competition as well as all other sorts of striking (use of arms and legs).
Shoot boxing — A Japanese form of Kickboxing which allows throwing and submission while standing similar to San Shou
Yaw-Yan (Filipino Kickboxing) — Sayaw ng Kamatayan (Dance of Death) is the proper name for Yaw-Yan, a Filipino martial art developed by Napoleon Fernandez. The art resembles Muay Thai in a sense, but differs in the hip torquing motion as well as downward-cutting of its kicks.
There are many additional derivatives of these forms, as well as combined styles which have been used in specific competitions (e.g. K-1). The rules of 'Kickboxing' also vary between these different styles.
The term Kickboxing is disputed and has become more associated with the Japanese and American variants. It must be noted that many of the above styles do not consider themselves to be 'Kickboxing' as such, although the public uses the term generically to refer to all these martial arts. The term itself was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s; this term was later used by the American variant. When used by the practitioners of these two styles, it tends to refer to them specifically rather than the martial arts they were derived from.
On December 20, 1959, a Muay Thai match among Thai fighters was held at Tokyo Asakusa town hall in Japan. Tatsuo Yamada who had established "Nihon Kempo Karate-do" was interested in Muay Thai because he wanted to perform Karate matches in Full-contact rules since practitioners are not allowed to hit each other directly in Karate matches. At this time, it was unimaginable to hit each other in Karate matches in Japan.
He had already announced his planning which was named "The draft principles of project of establishment of a new sport and its industrialization" in November, 1959, and he put forward a new sport "Karate-boxing" which was a tentative name then. It is still unknown that Thai fighters were invited by Yamada, but it is clear that Yamada was the only karateka who was really interested in Muay Thai. Yamada invited a Thai fighter who was the champion of Muay Thai formerly as his son Kan Yamada's sparring partner, and started studying Muay Thai. At this time, the Thai fighter was taken by Osamu Noguchi who was a promoter of boxing and was also interested in Muay Thai. For example, the Thai fighter's photo was on the magazine "The Primer of Nihon Kempo Karate-do, the first number" which was published by Yamada.
There were "Karate vs. Muay Thai fights" February 12, 1963. The 3 karate fighters from Oyama dojo (Kyokushin later) went to the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand, and fought against 3 Muay Thai fighters. The 3 karate fighters' names are Tadashi Nakamura, Kenji Kurosaki and Akio Fujihira (as known as Noboru Osawa). Japan won by 2-1 then. Noguchi and Kenji Kurosaki (Kyokushin karate instructor) studied Muay thai and developed a combined martial art which Noguchi named kick boxing. However, throwing and butting were allowed in the beginning to distinguish from Muay Thai style. This was repealed later.
The Kickboxing Association the first Kickboxing sanctioning body was founded by Osamu Noguchi in 1966 soon after that. Then the first Kickboxing event was held in Osaka, April 11, 1966. Tatsu Yamada died in 1967, but his dojo changed its name to Suginami Gym, and kept sending kickboxers off to support Kickboxing.
Kickboxing boomed and became popular in Japan as it began to be broadcast on TV. Tadashi Sawamura was an especially popular early kickboxer. However, the boom was suddenly finished and became unpopular after Sawamura was retired. Kickboxing had not been on TV until K-1 was founded in 1993.
In 1993, as Kazuyoshi Ishii (founder of Seidokan karate) produced K-1 under special Kickboxing rules (No elbow and neck wrestling) in 1993, Kickboxing became famous again. The sport has spread through North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Jan Plas, the Dutch kickboxer, founded Mejiro Gym with some Muay Thai pioneers in the Netherlands in 1978, after he learned Kickboxing from Kenji Kurosaki in Japan. Plas also founded NKBB (The Dutch Kickboxing Association), which was the first Kickboxing organization in Netherlands, in 1978. The sport took off in the U.S. with the popularity and success of Bill "Superfoot" Wallace" in the 1970s.
This is almost same as Muay Thai but there are differences between them.
Time: three minutes × five rounds
Allowed to attack with elbow
Allowed to attack with knee
Allowed to kick the lower half of the body except crotch
Allowed to do neck-wrestling (folding opponent's head with arms and elbows to attack the opponent's body or head with knee-strikes)
Head butts and throws were banned in 1966 for boxers' safety.
No ram muay before match
No Thai music during the match
Interval takes one minute only as same as boxing
In muay thai, kicking to mid-body and head are scored highly generating a large number of points on judges' scorecards. Moreover, kicking is still judged highly even if the kick was blocked. In contrast, punching is worth fewer points. In Kickboxing punches and kicks are held in closer esteem.
These are rules used in American and Australian Full Contact Karate.
Opponents are allowed to hit each other with fists and feet, striking above the hip
Using elbows or knees is forbidden and the use of the shins is seldom allowed.
Bouts are usually 3 to 12 rounds (lasting 2 - 3 minutes each) for amateur and professional contests with a 1-minute rest in between rounds.
This is in contrast to Muay Thai where the use of elbows and knees are allowed; in fact some Muay Thai practitioners consider Kickboxing a "watered down" version of Muay Thai. Fighters and promoters can agree to various rules including kicks only above the waist, kicks anywhere, no knee strikes, knees only to the body, and so on. American Kickboxing is essentially much a mixture of Western Boxing and Karate.
The round durations and the number of rounds can vary depending on the stipulations agreed to before hand by each fighter or manager. A winner is declared during the bout if there is a submission (fighter quits or fighter's corner throws in the towel), knockout (KO), or referee stoppage (Technical Knock Out, or TKO). If all of the rounds expire with no knockout then the fight is scored by a team of 3 judges. The judges determine a winner based on their scoring of each round. A split decision indicates a disagreement between the judges, while a unanimous decision indicates that all judges saw the fight the same way and all have declared the same winner.
Originally, European style Kickboxing was formed with Muay thai and Japanese Kickboxing.
Time: 3 minutes × 5 rounds
Not allowed to attack with elbow
Allowed to attack with knee
Allowed to kick the lower half of the body except crotch
Allowed to do neck-wrestling but frequency is limited.
Headbutts and throws are not allowed