Why practice Kickboxing?

Kickboxing is a broad term that can be used both in a wide and narrow sense, this can make understanding the history somewhat difficult. Some of the earliest forms of kickboxing included the various Indochinese martial arts especially muay boran, which developed into modern muay thai.

However, in terms of modern competition, it was during the 1950s that a Japanese karateka named Tatsuo Yamada first established an outline of a new sport that combined karateand muay thai.

This was further explored during the early 1960s, when competitions between karate and muay thai began, which allowed for rule modifications to take place. By the middle of the decade the first true kickboxing events were being held in Osaka.

By the 1970s and 1980s the sport had expanded beyond Japan and had reached North America and Europe. It was during this time that many of the most prominent governing bodies were formed.

  • In Japan the sport was widely popular and was regularly broadcast on television before going into a dark period during the 1980s.
  • In North America the sport had unclear rules so kickboxing and full contact karate were essentially the same sport.
  • In Europe the sport found marginal success but did not thrive until the 1990s.

Since the 1990s the sport has been mostly dominated by the Japanese K-1 promotion, with some competition coming from other promotions and mostly pre-existing governing bodies.

Along with the growing popularity in competition, there has been an increased amount of participation and exposure in the mass mediafitness, and self-defense.