What Is Kick Boxing ?

Kick boxing is a mixture of western boxing and kicking, but why was this invented when there were kicking sports and western boxing in existence ? In the 1960s there was a new phenomena taking place in the united states, and that phenomena was a martial art called Karate, Karate was a Japanese martial art that was witnessed in Japan by soldiers that had fought there, this art was like nothing westerners had ever seen some westerners had witnessed Judo which as we know is based mainly around holding and throwing it was in fact similar to wrestling which had been in the west which included America and the UK  the main elements of kick boxing combine the best of western boxing with kicks that function in the real world


In this video you can see the basics that are required tin kick boxing, we have the jab the straight right and the mawashi geri kick, these moves are typical of almost all martial arts from Tai Chi to MuayTtai to Karate, the crossover is easy to see, karate has a huge influence on kick boxing as this was taken almost exclusively from the karate that arrived from Japan in the 1960s. The Karate that was in the US was kata based or it was full contact but with punches to the body but not the head, this meant that there was a gap in full contact fighting, safety of course is very important but so is trying to make your art as realistic as possible without causing death or very serious injury, so a new approach was needed that would satisfy both needs.



In the video you can see that balance is needed so that you can move from one technique to the next smoothly and with good speed and timing. Because Karate was originally designed as an art for killing with a single strike it made using it in that form as a sport virtually impossible, to make kicking and punching your fellow man relatively safe  special equipment needed to be used. In Judo you could win against your opponent by holding him down and scoring that way, in boxing you could either win on points or by knockout, but in Karate because it was designed that each bow was a killer blow you had to sort of aim to hit but not quite hit your opponent so because of this it was hard to tell what the effect would be in a real combat situation, the disputes would be great if you thought that   my strike was closer to hitting you without hitting therefor I win, this situation could not continue for Karateka who liked to fight with a clear  winner and a clear loser. A Korean Karate teacher called Jhoon Rhee had special equipment made that could be worn on the hands and on the feet and shins to protect the fighters when competing in full contact competition, kick boxing rules are quite interesting :


Semi-contact rules

  • Opponents are allowed to hit each other with punches and kicks, striking above the waist.
  • Elbows and knees are forbidden and the use of the shins is seldom allowed.
  • Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are forbidden.
  • Bouts are usually 3 to 12 rounds (lasting 2–3 minutes each) with a 1-minute rest in between rounds.

All of these weapons can be used but they are used how they were used in original Karate point scoring semi-contact where the punches and kicks are pulled and not followed through.



Full contact rules

  • Fighters can score through punches or kicks, striking above the waist and foot sweeps, executed below the ankle.
  • Punches, kicks, and foot sweeps are awarded 1 point. Kicks to the head or jumping kicks to the body are awarded 2 points. Jumping kicks to the head are awarded 3 points.
  • Hook kicks and Axe kicks are allowed but must be executed with the sole of the foot.
  • The use of the shins is seldom allowed, save for jumping and spinning techniques.
  • Elbows, knees, and spinning back fists are forbidden.
  • Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps (with the exception of foot sweeps) are forbidden.
  • Bouts are usually 3 rounds (lasting 2–3 minutes each) with a 1-minute rest in between rounds.

The attacks in full contact are all out and the winner can win by knockout. Full contact kickboxing is as popular now as it has been for almost 60 years some other forms of kick boxing exist but the rules vary and so do the names, but at it’s base the other kick punch sports are similar.


Kick Boxing bout


Kick boxing equipment


The male kick boxers are bare-chested wearing kickboxing trousers and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10 oz, 280 g, boxing gloves, groin guard, shin-pads, and kick-boots and protective helmet, for amateurs and those under 16. The female kick boxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing, protective gear.


kick boxing boots


kick boxing gloves

Shin Guards

shin guards


All of this equipment is what is typical for full contact Karate other fighting sports may use similar but it is full contact Karate that is best known for using these.