When you imagine a kickboxing fight, you would expect the opponents to want to hit eachother as hard as they possibly can to win the fight. However, as crazy as it may sound, there is actually a style of kickboxing called light contact or light continuous kickboxing.

So, what is light contact kickboxing?

Light contact kickboxing has all the same moves and rules to Full contact kickboxing but can be fought in either a boxing ring or on mats. The rounds are usually either 1.5 or 2 minutes and the contact is controlled in a lighter manner. The best way to describe it is its sort of like a competitive sparring bout. As fighters can feel very nervous in the ring, their punches may naturally be harder than what’s allowed and this is for the referee to intervene and control the contact.

There is no win by knockout and the winner is decided by the referee to who performed the best. If a knockout does happen, the fighter who threw the heavy blow is disqualified.

The equipment used in light contact kickboxing is all the same to full contact kickboxing including 10oz boxing gloves and head gear.

Watch the video below to clips of the WAKO light contact championships:

Light contact vs Full Contact kickboxing: Which is better for beginners?

It can be quite daunting to fight on a full contact night event as a novice fighter, especially with a boozy crowd. So, the daytime light continuous kickboxing events are perfect for new fighters wanting to test the waters. Furthermore, you can go with all the members from your club to give each other some moral support.

Once you sign-in in the morning, the promoters will match make you with a suitable opponent with the same weight and experience, and then you simply wait to be called up. One of the best promotions in the UK for light contact is the Battle of Kent run by promoter Colin Payne. The Battle of Kent is professionally run and the events run continuously throughout the year.

The TKO Elite website suggests: The Battle of Kent is the biggest and longest running series of events of its kind in the country and will be attended by gyms from all over. It is the biggest platform for the novice competitor in the sport.

Daniel Knight From Sidekick said: “I have competed on the Battle of Kent light contact kickboxing a couple of times and it is a great event. It gives you all the experience of being a fighter”.

To compete on a light contact kickboxing event, a fighter needs to be of a high enough level and approved by their kickboxing coach. To learn more about the levels in kickboxing read our article here.

Final thoughts

Light contact kickboxing is designed for novice fighters and it is a fantastic way to gain the experience. It also is reassuring to know that everyone competing is in the same boat as you. When a fighter has competed on a few light continuous events, they may then feel confident enough to progress to full contact kickboxing.

Thank you to Jon Snapaway Photography for the use of the featured image.