Kickboxing combines the punches of boxing with the kicks of karate. There are a few variations of the sport. Some competitive kickboxers practice the sport against opponents in the ring. Other fitness enthusiasts practice kickboxing as an aerobic workout. Kickboxing techniques are also practical for self defense. Japanese kickboxing originated in the 1960s, with competitions 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. 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 Kickboxing Network, among others. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1, Glory, SUPERKOMBAT, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others.
“Kickboxing” is something of a catchall term. In South East Asia alone, the word can refer to Cambodia’s Pradal Serey, Lethwei from Burma, the Filipino Yaw Yan, or the tremendously popular Muay Thai, all of which allow the use of elbows and knees during fights. In the U.S., however, kickboxing is more a blend of boxing and karatethat strictly prohibits strikes with anything but the hands and feet, as well as attacking an opponent’s groin, legs, or back.
Techniques: Competitive kickboxers use a wide a range of techniques to disorient and defeat opponents. Punches include the jab, uppercut and hook. The hook punch is one of the most devastating strikes because it swings around and powerfully hits an opponent from the side. Kicks also are powerful weapons in the sport. Kicking techniques include the front, hook, side, roundhouse and spinning back kicks. Spinning back kicks are good for surprising opponents. A kickboxer performs this technique by quickly spinning and driving his heel backward into his opponent.
Rules and Regulations: There are several organizations that promote and govern kickboxing matches. Rules can vary between organizations, but matches are typically between three and 12 rounds. Each round is usually two to three minutes long. Contestants wear protective fighting gear on their hands and feet. Some organizations allow kicks below the waist, but others restrict kicking techniques to above the waist. Kickboxing and boxing matches are decided in a similar manner. Opponents are divided by weight class and the outcome of a match is determined by a decision, draw or knockout.
Preparation: In preparation for matches, kickboxers go through some of the most rigorous workouts in the sporting world. Kickboxers must be well conditioned to both deliver and take blows for the duration of a fight. This requires intense muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance training.
Health benefits of Kickboxing: Besides keeping your body fit, kickboxing also reduces and relieves stress. Its rigorous workout — controlled punching and kicking movements carried out with the discipline and skills required for martial arts — can do wonders for feelings of frustration and anger. Practicing kickboxing moves also can help to improve balance, flexibility, coordination, and endurance. Kickboxing is also a great way to get a total-body workout while learning simple self-defense moves. An increased heart rate during kickboxing will help burn fat and calories for you to lose weight.
Kickboxing in India: The National Kickboxing Federation known as IAKO (Indian Association of Kickboxing Organisations) is the pioneer in introducing Kickboxing and solely representing the International Kickboxing Federation WAKO (World Association of kickboxing Organisations) in India since 1993.