Kickboxing (in Japanese キックボクシング kikkubokushingu) is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originates in the 1960s, with competitions held since then. American kickboxing originates in the early 1970s. Historically, kickboxing can be considered a hybrid martial art formed from the combination of elements of various traditional styles. This approach became increasingly popular since the 1970s, and since the 1990s, kickboxing has contributed to the emergence of mixed martial arts via further hybridization with ground fighting techniques from Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Folk wrestling.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include International Combat Organisation, World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World Sport Kickboxing Federation, among others. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1, Glory, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others. Bouts organized under different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of knees or clinching, etc.
What Is Kickboxing?
Although the true roots of kickboxing date back to Asia 2,000 years ago, modern competitive kickboxing actually started in the 1970s, when American karate experts arranged competitions that allowed full-contact kicks and punches that had been banned in karate.
Because of health and safety concerns, padding and protective clothing and safety rules were introduced into the sport over the years, which led to the various forms of competitive kickboxing practiced in the United States today. The forms differ in the techniques used and the amount of physical contact that is allowed between the competitors.