Kickboxing (in Japanese キックボクシング kikkubokushingu) is a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing. Kickboxing is often practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originates in the 1960s, with competitions held since the 1960s. American kickboxing originates in the 1970s. Japanese kickboxing developed into K-1 in 1993. 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 jujutsu and collegiate wrestling.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World 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, It's Showtime, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others.
In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves, groin-guard,butt-guard and optional shin-pads, kick-boots, protective helmet (usually for those under 16). The female boxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. In international kickboxing, where kicks to the thigh are allowed using special low-kick rules, use of Thai shorts instead of long trousers is possible. In addition, amateur rules often allow less experienced competitors to use light or semi-contact rules, where the intention is to score points by executing successful strikes past the opponent's guard, and use of force is regulated. The equipment for semi-contact is similar to full-contact matches, usually with addition of headgear. Competitors usually dress in a t-shirt for semi-contact matches, to separate them from the bare-chested full-contact participants.
These are the rules used in American full contact karate.
Opponents are allowed to hit each other with fists and feet, striking above the hip
Using elbows is forbidden and the use of the shins is seldom allowed.
Bouts are usually 3 to 12 rounds (lasting 2–3 minutes each) for amateur and professional contests with a 1-minute rest in between rounds.
This is in direct contrast to Muay Thai, where the use of elbows and knees are allowed. In fact, some Muay Thai practitioners consider American kickboxing a "watered down" version of Muay Thai. Fighters and promoters can agree to various rules including kicks only above the waist, kicks anywhere, no knee strikes, knees only to the body, and so on. American kickboxing is essentially much a mixture of Western boxing and traditional karate.
The round durations and the number of rounds can vary depending on the stipulations agreed to beforehand by each fighter or manager. A winner is declared during the bout if there is a submission (fighter quits or fighter's corner throws in the towel), knockout (KO), or referee stoppage (technical knock out, or TKO). If all of the rounds expire with no knockout then the fight is scored by a team of 3 judges. The judges determine a winner based on their scoring of each round. A split decision indicates a disagreement between the judges, while a unanimous decision indicates that all judges saw the fight the same way and all have declared the same winner.
(Thai: มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, IPA: [mūɛj tʰāj]) is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Burma and muay Lao from Laos.
The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya which means "to bind together". Muay thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called nak muay farang, meaning "foreign boxer."