What is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a striking martial art that uses arms, hands, legs and feet to strike. Kick Boxing is a derivative of Muay Thai boxing, which originated in Thailand as a combat discipline, and from ancient India as a form of self defense which utilized aggressive, attacking kicks. As with many martial arts, it combines techniques from a variety of sources; in this case, Boxing, Karate and Taekwondo.
The term Kickboxing was first coined by a Japanese boxing promoter named Osamu Noguchi in the mid 1960s. The basic elements of Kickboxing include offensive maneuvers such as punches and kicks, as well as blocks and other defensive or evasive moves, but can also include elbow and knee strikes, clinches, head butts, throws and takedowns. It is both a full contact sport and an excellent form of physical fitness training.
History of KickBoxing
Modern Kick Boxing almost certainly owes its creation to the ancient combat discipline of Muay Thai boxing, whose techniques go back several hundred years in Thailand. The main difference between the two is that Muay Thai allows for strikes below the belt, whereas Kickboxing does not. In 1966, Osamu Noguchi organized a demonstration tournament which featured three Karate fighters against three Muay Thai fighters in a full contact competition.
Noguchi was interested in developing a style that allowed for more contact than Karate competitions permitted at the time, and was fascinated with the ability of Muay Thai to permit virtually unlimited strikes by hands and feet to all parts of the body. The Karate fighters won the event by a margin of 2-1, and this convinced Noguchi to study Muay Thai in more detail, in order to advance a new discipline that would incorporate many styles from around the world, which he eventually named Kickboxing.
In 1968 he was instrumental in the formation of the worlds’ first Kickboxing Association in Japan. Over the course of the next 25 years, international recognition began to grow as more and more people became familiar with the intensity and controlled aggression of Kickboxing, as it gradually made its way into popular culture via Asian martial arts films. With the advent of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the early 1990s, the sport of Kickboxing saw a dramatic rise in worldwide popularity, and has become one of the best known of all the martial arts in the last quarter of the 20th century through to the present.
Philosophy of KickBoxing
As a relatively young art, Kick Boxing does not have a specific philosophy in the same way that more established martial arts may have. Because it is based on other martial art styles, Kickboxing has evolved guiding principles such as discipline, rigorous training and an appetite for knowledge from each of the various forms from which it is derived.
As with many other schools of martial arts or physical fitness, the emphasis is on personal development, with the desired goal being a harmonious blend of mind, body and spirit into a unified balance of strength, discipline and individual growth.
Although initially received as a ruthless blood sport, Kickboxing has come to be seen for the uniquely disciplined and vigorous form of martial art that it was intended to be, a fact which is due almost exclusively to the enormous popularity of MMA over the past 20 years. The more people that have become exposed to it, the more it has become recognized for its intrinsically elegant and effective style.
KickBoxing as Self Defense
Kickboxing utilizes a unique blend of both offensive and defensive tactics through the primary use of leg, knee and elbow strikes. Although generally thought of as a standing posture martial art, Kickboxing can also make effective use of throws, takedowns and ground fighting strategies that have further enhanced its reputation as a potent form of self defense.
KickBoxing for Kids
Despite its early reputation as a blood sport, Kickboxing has since enjoyed immense popularity, especially among younger people and those that recognize its inherent characteristics of dedication, skill and especially technique. With its emphasis on flexibility and agility, Kickboxing is a tremendously rewarding discipline for children of all ages, and can instill in them from a young age the benefits of physical fitness, diligence and self respect.
KickBoxing for Adults
There is no denying that Kickboxing has enjoyed a huge upswing in popularity with the advent of Mixed Martial Arts tournaments within North America, which has introduced the sport to a new audience. Adults both young and old are now learning the discipline in great numbers because it offers such a balanced mix of both offensive and defensive maneuvers that stress the importance of mental and physical training and stamina.
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