Kickboxing is unarmed combat that consists of various standup combat sports inside a boxing ring. It falls under the category of “contact sports” as well.
As it is known, the term “kickboxing” first originated in Japan in the late 1950s. It was formed as a mix of Karate and Boxing, also influenced by other combat sports such as Taekwondo and Muay Thai.
Are you curious about the history and impact of this magnificent sport on the world of sports? You’ve come to the right site, then.
Interested? Let’s go.
1. A Brief History of Kickboxing
Kickboxing was developed in Japan in the late 1950s and adapted from various martial arts. Muay Thai is understood as an evolved version of Muay Thai, a traditional style of Thai martial arts, in Muay Boran.
This evolution was the older version of the contact sport and was practiced by Siamese warriors as a combat system. The Japanese version is looked upon as a modern form of the same. This makes this sport a hybrid martial art.
Kickboxing gained popularity in the 1960s and reached America by the 1970s. In 1974, the United States held the first world kickboxing championship under the Professional Karate Association.
The oldest observation of the sport dates back to the 13th-14th centuries, in the form of Muay Boran. Muay Boran evolved to form Muay Thai, in which the origins of kickboxing lie.
What is different about kickboxing is the enormous amount of energy, quickness, balance, and reflexes it requires to overcome and control the opponent.
2. Osamu Noguchi- The Father of Kickboxing
Osamu Noguchi was a famous promoter known as the father or the inventor of kickboxing. Noguchi created an amalgamation of Karate and Muay Thai and created this sport, a combination of kicks and punches.
He also created the first association for this sport in 1966, which organized the first-ever kickboxing event on April 11th, 1966, in Osaka.
3. Top Kickboxing Styles
Kickboxing has emerged as a popular competitive combat sport over the years, thus resulting in the emergence of various styles within the umbrella term.
Some of the different styles of the sport are:
- Japanese kickboxing (Japan, the origin)
- Sanda (Chinese Kickboxing)
- American Kickboxing (USA)
- Dutch Kickboxing (a combination of Muay Thai, Boxing, and Karate)
- Make Boxing (India)
- Burmese Lethwei (Traditional Burmese Martial arts technique)
- Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing)
- Filipino Yaw-Yan (Filipino martial arts technique)
4. Top Kickboxing Styles Rules
Since it is considered one of the various competitive sports, kickboxing has various rules.
These rules, however, can vary depending upon the governing body and the style, as there is no set of rules for it since it is an evolved form of various traditional sports.
Some of these bodies are the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) and the International Sport Karate Association.
Also, the International Kickboxing Federation, to name a few. Some of the rules and styles of the sport are:
4.1. Full Contact
Also known as Full Contact, American Kickboxing is an amalgamation of boxing and traditional karate.
While male kickboxers are expected to combat bare-chested with protective gear, female kickboxers wear a sports bra in addition to it and protective gear.
The following are the rules followed in Full Contact:
- Punches and kicks are allowed above the belt.
- Elbow strikes and knee strikes can disqualify the kickboxer.
- No clinch fighting and grappling.
- The game consists of 3-10 rounds, with a round time of 2 minutes and minute-long breaks.
4.2. Freestyle Kickboxing
Freestyle kickboxing is considered contradictory to American kickboxing due to the allowance of low kicks in combat. The gear and clothing are the same as those of Full Contact.
The following are some of its rules:
- Punches and Kicks are also allowed below the belt, except in the Groin area.
- The use of elbows and knees can disqualify the player.
- Clinch fighting and throws are not allowed.
- A round lasts for 2-3 minutes, with one-minute rest between the rounds.
- 3-5 rounds are played for amateur players, while 3-10 for professional players.
4.3. Muay Thai
Also known as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is a game of 5 rounds that are 3 minutes long.
This style is different from other styles as it is the only style that allows the use of elbows, knees, clinch fights, throws, and low kicks. Sweeps are also accepted.
Besides, groin strikes are also partially allowed (in Thailand). Also, a kick wins more points than a punch, even if it is blocked.
The following are some of the rules:
- Kicking and punching the opponent is accepted.
- Groin Strikes are allowed in Thailand.
- Clinch fight is allowed.
- Some techniques of throws and sweeps are also allowed.
- Three 3-minute long rounds are played with 2-minute long breaks in between them.
5. Some kickboxing Techniques
Being a combat sport, the players undergo special training to learn some techniques, some of which are:
Since kickboxing is a combination of western boxing and karate, the punches used are identical to professional boxing punches.
Some of the punching techniques that players learn during their kickboxing training are:
- Cross punch
- Hook punch
- Uppercut punch
- Jab punch
There are many variants of kicks that are taught to players undergoing training, some of which are:
- Roundhouse Kick
- Front Kick
- Side Kick
- Spinning Kick
- Axe kick
5.3. Knee strikes
Knee strikes, which are allowed in the Japanese variant, constitute the following technique:
- Straight knee
- Flying knee
- Hook knee
- Curving Knee
5.4. Elbow Strikes
For the variants of the sport that allow elbow strikes, the following are some of the techniques that can be used:
- Spinning Elbow
- Downward Elbow
- Horizontal Elbow
- Diagonal Elbow
6. Kickboxing as a Workout
Did you know this sport can help you maintain your fitness, especially cardiovascular health?
Kickboxing is a full-body workout that can help you increase your fitness level and manage the weight distribution in your body. This workout is called “Cardio Kickboxing.”
As the name suggests, the workout is a great form of cardio and fights cardiovascular diseases. With the evolution of the original sport, this form of exercise has also become a popular form of workout.
Thus, you can easily find cardio kickboxing instructors. Online instructors and videos are available as well. If you’re looking for a way to maintain your physical fitness while having fun, cardio kickboxing in the gym could be your way to go!
6.1 Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing
6.1.1. A Good Way to Lose Weight
If you want to lose some weight and manage the fat distribution in your body, this workout can be ideal because it can make you sweat a ton since it is a cardio and a total body workout; plus, it’s fun!
6.1.2. A Useful Way to Defend Yourself
If you’re looking for confidence and want to protect yourself against potential threats.
This variation of the sport in a workout can be very helpful. Mixed martial arts and contact sports are great ways of self-defense.
It’s a great exercise to boost confidence and can prove useful in fighting for your safety.
6.1.3. Tones Your Body
As mentioned earlier, this workout makes you sweat and manages fat distribution in your body.
Thus, it can help you get the toned body you’ve always dreamed of. The rapid calorie burn will help you in managing the fat percentage and strengthen your muscles.
6.1.4. Boosts Your Energy
Increased blood flow and oxygen circulation directly boost your energy, waking your body and muscles up.
The workout increases your flow to the various parts of your body. This can help you in activating muscles and increase alertness levels.
6.1.5. Improves Your Posture
The workout requires you to maintain your balance, as it requires you to stay on one foot and your toes. Over time, this develops a good sense of balance in your body and gradually helps you improve your posture!
7. Some Amazing Facts About Kickboxing
Kickboxing might be a new sport, but it does not mean it does not have an interesting history and surprising facts. Following are some amazing facts about it, apart from those you read till now!
7.1. The largest Kickboxing Promotion Company
The largest Kickboxing Promotion Company in the world is a Singapore-based promotion company called Glory kickboxing. The first-ever event by the promotion company was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2012.
To date, it has hosted over 90 kickboxing events! This has made it the largest company supporting kickboxing promotions.
7.2. Similar Combat Sports
The techniques and rules of the game vary depending on the place and culture.
As a result, it has become an umbrella term used for various contact and combat sports such as Dutch kickboxing, Paradal Serey, or Kun Khmer (its Cambodian variant), among several others.
7.3. The Largest School of Martial Arts
Kyokushin Karate, or Kyokushin, is one of the world’s largest martial arts schools, teaching various traditional and hybrid types of combat sports to future martial artists, including kickboxing.
It was established in 1964 in Japan. You can find a personal trainer or learn with a group and let the martial artist in you grow and thrive!
7.4. It Requires You to Wear Boxing Gloves
This sport is different from other traditional sports because it requires one to wear boxing gloves. Since it is a hybrid of Karate and Boxing and originated from Muay Thai, you might need some padding on those fists!
7.5. It Does Not Require Much Equipment
A kickboxing match does not require much equipment apart from protective gear. It might be a modern sport.
But it does not require complex kickboxing equipment! Equipment requires only gloves, hand wraps, protective cups, and clothing.
7.6. Intense Calorie Burn
Kickboxing initiates total movement, which tones your muscles and allows high and intense calorie burn and sweating levels. Therefore, it is quickly being popularized as a type of workout among the younger generation.
Kickboxers can learn various forms of kicks, lick straight, hook, or roundhouse kick. There are many possible kicks. Roundhouse kicks are the most popular in the sport.
But the players must remember that the sport’s rules vary from region to region; therefore, they must be conscious.
7.8. It is an Aerobic Exercise
Another reason kickboxing is an intense workout is because it is an Aerobic exercise, which triggers high levels of sweating, calorie burn, and cardio activity.
That makes it great for an individual’s cardiovascular health, preventing many heart diseases.
7.9. Age Group
Since it is an intense sport, most individuals who opt for the sport belong to the age group of 18-35.
7.10. Improves Coordination and Flexibility
The sport requires swift kicks and punches, which develop higher levels of coordination and flexibility in the practitioners.
Kickboxing is a new sport as it originated not long ago, but it has a rich history of evolution since it is a hybrid of various traditional types of sports.
Due to its growing popularity, this sport’s classes are becoming famous. It has quickly become an umbrella term for various fighting sports and constitutes many rules and techniques. Whether you want to learn self defense arts or master your straight punch or hook kicks, kickboxing encompasses everything.
Today’s youth is showing more and more interest in the sport, as it has various health benefits. From flexibility to good heart health, kickboxing has many health benefits.
If practiced with proper precautions, it has a low chance of injuries. Before fighting, the practitioner must learn technical aspects, such as the correct way to punch and the right way to kick, and fights go smoothly without self-inflicted injuries.
Various techniques and rules can be there in the game, depending upon the region and the place’s culture, which can be learned with the help of a personal trainer. The wide range of skills and benefits it offers has made it a rather famous sport in a short amount of time!
Do you practice kickboxing? Do you know any amazing facts about it? Let us know in the comment section!
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