HISTORY

Karate has been practiced since the 19th century, but kickboxing has a much shorter history. The term “kickboxing” was created by a Japanese boxing promoter in the 1950s. The promoter used the term to refer to a combination of Muay Thai boxing and karate. The term later gained more popularity in the United States in the 1970s. American full-contact karate practitioners were frustrated by the scoring limitations of tournaments and decided to take their bouts to the boxing ring. A couple of the legends of the sport from that time are Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace. Kickboxing became more popular when ESPN started broadcasting matches in 1979.