Kickboxing is a dynamic and effective martial art, evolving from the 'contact' side of many different martial arts. Essentially it is boxing with karate type kicks.
Officially it began in the USA during the 1970's when American karate practitioners became frustrated with strict controls on martial arts competitions which did not allow full contact kicks and punches. As time progressed safety rules were improved and protective clothing was added. As this is a relatively new sport there are no long-term traditions. The sport has undergone changes and been refined during the last two decades.
In most kickboxing schools, kicks, punches, blocks, knees, throws, and shadow boxing are learned and applied under professional instruction. The students' skills are perfected by sparring with other students - in order to learn how to judge distances, timing and contact.
Kickboxing is a formidable form of self-defence. It is easy to learn and very practical. Kickboxing is for students interested in learning "real" kickboxing and enables students to learn and develop practical fighting skills.
During the early seventies, the American martial arts
world was shaken to its foundations by the demands made
on it by a fresh young new generation of practitioners.
Fighters started looking for a competitive format in
which they could use their skills to the full effect,
full power punches and kicks in bouts fought to the
knockout. The development of specialised protective
equipment speeded up the evolution of this new sport,
which became known as kickboxing.
How to Compete
Unless you compete to win, do not compete. You should never even think: "I am competing for the experience, but I know I am not going to win." Whatever the odds, always compete to win, paying the fullest attention to the business at hand. Completely concentrate on your bout, ignoring everything and everybody else except the referee when he intervenes. To win, you must either find or create an opening. You can do so by initiating an attack or by inducing your opponent to attack in a direction in which your predetermined tactics will turn his attack to your advantage. The following tactical schemes will help you:
I. The X Attack a low target and use your opponent's
reaction to attack in a diametrically opposed high target.
Example: A low direct kick with the right followed by
a left circular punch to the head.
The rules vary between different styles of kickboxing.
There are mainly three styles: Japanese, American and
During competitions, several forms of the sport are to be distinguished: full contact, kickboxing low kick, Thai-kickboxing, kickboxing light contact, kickboxing semi contact, kickboxing freestyle forms and aero kickboxing.