Kickboxing is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai, Taekwon-Do and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defence, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originated in the 1960s, with competitions being held since then. American kickboxing originated in the 1970s and was brought to prominence in September 1974, when the Professional Karate Association (PKA) held the first World Championships. 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 are many different styles of kickboxing due to it's vast mixed background. Our Kickboxing class is purely practiced for the means of combat sport and is based on a Taekwon-Do style. The classes are focused on developing skill levels through the ranks of; beginner, intermediate and advanced.
When first starting, the student will begin at novice level (white-yellow belt grades level) then progressing onto intermediate (green to blue grade level) before progressing onto advanced (red and black grade level). Once reaching Black Belt, the practitioner no longer obtains a new belt colour, but their grade is represented in Dans (number ranks) usually portrayed in roman numeric format. The highest rank to be achieved in Kickboxing is 8th Dan.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include; International Combat Organisation, World Association of Kickboxing Organisations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Kickboxing Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World Sport Kickboxing Federation, and many more. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as the forementioned organisations or other promotional groups suchs as; K-1, Glory, SUPERKOMBAT, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium etc. Bouts organised under different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of knees or clinching and so on.
Kickboxing has a huge sporting background and as a result there is a large focus on gearing the training towards this. Some of the different events that can be explored through kickboxing are:
The name speaks for itself; this form of competition is performed in a ring and primarily has similar rules to boxing. The main difference is that the opponent may also use their legs to defend and attack. The competition is finished when a fighter is knocked out or a technical knockout occurs (TKO). If the competition ends after the designated rounds, then the fighter who has scored on their opponent effectively and proficiently will be deemed the winner. In the event of a tied result, the fighter whom was judged to be technically better will be given the decision.
Light Contact (Continuous Sparring):
This competition is held on a matted area. The objective of this type of competition is to hit your opponent with as many techniques as possible using control. The more complex and difficult the scoring technique the higher the score (see Semi Contact Scoring). If you hit your opponent without control you are penalised or even disqualified depending on the severity of the offence. The winner is judged by the person whom has scored and landed more techniques. In the event of a tied result, the fighter whom was judged to be technically better will be given the decision after the designated rounds.
Semi Contact (Point Sparring):
By far the most popular discipline, this form of competition is also performed on a matted area. The objective of this competition is to penetrate your opponent’s defences and deliver an effective and controlled technique with your hands or legs by only using "touch contact". Depending on what attack is delivered and what target area it makes contact with, will determine the number of points scored.
The generic guideline scoring system is as follows:
Punch = 1pt
Kick to the head = 2pts
Kick to the body = 1pt
Jumping kick to the body = 2pts or to the head = 3pts
A Sweep technique = 1pt
Each time a fighter scores the match is stopped and the three judges score the technique, if two or three judges are in full agreement then a score is given. The objective for the fighter is to score as many points on their opponent as possible. The winner of the contest is the fighter with the highest score. In the event of a tie, time is extended by one minute. If the competition is still tied, it will then be decided by sudden death - the first fighter to score a point.
The competitors wear loose fitting clothing, a pair of kicking pants and V-neck
tops are very popular. Club t-shirts are permitted too.
The benefits of Kickboxing:
It will help develop; muscle tone, strength, flexibility balance and concentration, it is considered to be an effective total body workout. In a recent study by US Fitness magazine it was proven that a kickboxing class can burn an impressive 800 calories an hour. It will alos help maintain weight and body fat controls and bone density. In addition, the skills taught can be used in self-defence, if needed.
It is considered to be calming and relaxing as training is a great way to relieve stress. It requires a high degree of concentration and focus to be able to deliver the multiple movements and techniques. The focus is often on helping body and spirit feel centred and connected to each other, like all Martial Arts should be.
It can be practiced alone or with others. Group introduction is widely available. It is accessible to people of vastly ranging ages and fitness levels. Equipment in the initial stages is minimal and equipment is primarily inexpensive in comparison to other major sports or actitivies.