To ask a combat sport enthusiast, what is Kickboxing? it may seem like a crazy question, but to many there is a lot of misconception that surrounds kickboxing.

Kickboxing is a wide terminology that can cover many aspects of the combat sport, kickboxing.

K1 Kickboxing Equipment

So, what is kickboxing?

In short, kickboxing is a sport in which you can kick your opponent and punch like in boxing, hence the name kick-boxing.

The main objective to kickboxing is to fight competitively with an opponent in a boxing ring with a certain set of rules, yet over the years kickboxing has formed many training classes like cardio kickboxing, non-contact kickboxing and kickboxing conditioning so it can even cater for people not looking to fight.

Their are many fighting styles of kickboxing and the confusion comes down to the different rules and moves allowed in each kickboxing style.

Some people have thought that Muay Thai and kickboxing are just the same, but unless you are familiar with the sports, you are not to know.

So, is kickboxing and Muay Thai the same?

kickboxing and Muay Thai are both forms of kickboxing but they are literally worlds apart as in Muay Thai you can clinch, knee and elbow too. Whereas the term ‘kickboxing’ is usually meaning for the style full contact kickboxing which you can simply just punch and kick.

Read our full article ‘What is the difference between kickboxing and Muay Thai rules’ here.

Majority of the kickboxing styles are fought in a boxing ring with the same set-up structure, so it is easy to see how it can cause the confusion. However, each style of kickboxing do have their own specific equipment which is used that also helps easily distinguish which style of kickboxing it is. You can see the full list of the variety of kickboxing equipment types here.

It is not just Muay Thai and full contact kickboxing that fall under the kickboxing umbrella, their is also many other styles too.

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The styles of kickboxing include:

  • Full Contact Kickboxing:

Derived from sport Karate, full contact kickboxing has a western style of boxing movement but with kicks allowed. Even though it is called full contact kickboxing, the strikes are quite limited. All strikes are above the waist only unless it is a sweep and leg kicks and knees are prohibited.

  • Light Contact Kickboxing:

You may be wondering what is light Contact Kickboxing? Light contact kickboxing has been created as an entry level for fighters before full contact kickboxing. It is very similar to full contact kickboxing, however the striking is controlled and the referee will intervene if it is seen to get heavy.

  • Low-Kick Kickboxing:

This style is the same as full contact kickboxing only with the exception to kicks to the leg are allowed.

  • Semi Contact/ Point Fighting Kickboxing:

Semi Contact sometimes gets confused with light Contact Kickboxing as it has been seen that fighters have actually entered the wrong competition in the past. Semi contact kickboxing is one of the only styles that is fought outside of a boxing ring and fought on mats. It is for fast clean striking to score points with the judges.

  • K-1 Kickboxing:

K-1 Kickboxing is certainly one of the most popular of styles of kickboxing. It is a hybrid form of kickboxing as it has the exciting features of both full contact kickboxing and Muay Thai. It is faced paced with less rounds than full contact and maximum striking like Muay Thai. However, elbows and holding the clinch are forbidden to keep the action moving.

Read our article ‘What is K-1 kickboxing’ here.

  • Muay Thai:

Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing even though it has a different heritage. Muay translates to ‘boxing’ and Thai is the nationality. This is why in the U.K we also call it Thaiboxing. It is the most complex of the kickboxing styles and it is considered the toughest stand up sport. It is named ‘The art of the eight limbs’ as striking from both hands, elbows, knees and shins are allowed.

Final Thoughts

As you can see their any various styles of kickboxing and they are all different in many ways. We hope you have enjoyed reading our article and it has helped understand more about kickboxing.

If you would like to see what we think is one of the best kickboxing fights ever click here.