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History of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a very general term that can relate to a wide range of disciplines. It is used widely to cover many stand up striking fighting styles within the martial arts. Records suggest kickboxing was originally begun in Japan and developed from the art of karate, but more and more research is showing that it is likely to have developed from the Thai martial art of Muay Thai Boxing simultaneously.

Kickboxing is a ring-based sport which involves two combatants at a time. Different types of kickboxing involve different techniques which can be anything from kicks to punches to elbow strikes or head-butts. As martial arts go, kickboxing is one of the youngest there is but this doesn’t stop it being a hugely powerful and valuable art to master.

Origins of Kickboxing

Muay Thai Boxing is a combative martial art which goes back to as early as the Sukothai Era (1238-1377), in the form of Muay Boran, an ancient form of boxing used by the soldiers of Siam. It wasn’t until 1920 that Muay Thai began to be used, separating the newer recreational, self-defence form from the older combative Muay Boran.

Kickboxing is said to have been developed when the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi came across Muay Thai as well as wanting to encourage a style of martial arts which held true the principles of karate, whilst also allowing full striking. Full striking wasn’t allowed in karate competitions and tournaments at the time. Noguchi dedicated much time to studying Muay Thai and began to blend it with full contact karate and boxing to create the new art which is known as kickboxing.

Kickboxing Sub-styles

There are many different types of kickboxing and sub-styles that are practiced in different parts of the world including:

  • Adithada
  • American kickboxing
  • Gwon-gyokdo
  • Japanese kickboxing
  • K-1
  • Lethwei
  • Muay Boran
  • Muay Thai
  • Pradal Serey
  • Sanshou / Sanda
  • Savate
  • Shoot boxing
  • Yaw-Yan

Goals of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a combative sport martial art which is also a practical form of self-defence. Self-defence and preservation are amongst its key goals alongside fitness and strength building. It is fought in competition, much like regular boxing but also used for fitness training and self-defence by many others. Your goals can be whatever you want them to be, kickboxing is extremely versatile and this adds to its popularity.

Features of Kickboxing

Kickboxing has a wide range of different features and techniques. It comprises many of the different striking martial arts including punching, kicking, blocking and evasive moves. Different styles of kickboxing also have other elements including knee strikes, head-butting, clinching, takedowns, throws and elbow strikes.

Benefits of Kickboxing

There are many benefits to mastering the art of kickboxing, which can usually split into two groups. Here’s a closer look at them below:

Physical Benefits

Kickboxing provides a powerful cardio workout if practiced regularly. It helps develop lean body muscle, burn fat, boost strength, flexibility, balance and even concentration. Kickboxing offers a guaranteed all body workout and after a few weeks you will see a big change in your body if you commit to it.

Psychological Benefits

Kickboxing, like all high energy exercise, sends endorphins running through your body, helping give it a burst of positive energy. More than this kickboxing is taught as a method of self-defence and therefore instructors work to help build up individual self-esteem and confidence. Kickboxing also relies on high levels of concentration and focus and the techniques used can be transferred into other areas of your life.

Kickboxing is practiced by men and women of all ages around the world and WKMKA is dedicated to training as many committed class members as possible. We are affiliated with WAKO GB, the UK and world leading organisation for governing the sport and practice of kickboxing.