Kickboxing is one of the most confusing of all sporting disciplines, football, tennis, golf etc have set rules and are all practiced universally, kickboxing has developed slightly different throughout history, beginning as long ago as AD 500 in Asia. There are two well known styles Muay Thai and Chinese or Shaolin Boxing (Kung Fu, although there are many different styles to this unarmed combat.) brought from India and is one of the earliest recorded, but the style we know was developed from karate not other kickboxing styles.
During the 1970’s martial arts were introduced by Bruce Lee and became extremely popular within a very short time, therein different styles soon spread throughout the world. As more people practiced the art there was more need for some to prove themselves and compete against one another, the style practiced was karate and the competitions were very successful.
Kickboxing was a new martial art that started in the early seventies, back then it was known as full contact karate, now it is the most popular martial art practiced. The official birth of kickboxing was in September 1974 in Los Angeles. It first began in America where karate practitioners became frustrated with strict controls on all competitions that were held, as they did not allow full contact. It then came apparent that injuries were occurring, as a result of this safety rules were introduced and improved, also protective clothing was added. The sport has undergone changes and has been refined during the last two decades. The practitioners of the sport use sparring techniques against one another learnt from their instructor.
During a training session kicks, punches, kick blocks, shadow boxing are all practiced, and wood breaking, all are learned and applied under professional instruction. Many layman are under the impression that modern day kickboxing originated in Thailand, Japan or elsewhere in the far east, in fact, the real origins of the sport are revealed in the real name by which it was known, full contact karate. During the mid seventies various American tournament karate practitioners became frustrated with the limitations of the then rather primitive competitive scoring system. They wanted to find a system within which they could apply kicks and punches to the knockout.
Full contact karate was born. In 1974 Mike Anderson, together with Don ‘the dragon’ and Judy Quin, formed the first sanctioning body of the new sport and named it PKA(World Professional Karate Championships). Early bouts were fought on the open matted areas just as ordinary karate matches were. Later events were staged in the regular size boxing rings. These early tournaments produced kickboxing’s first stars, Joe Lewis, Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace, Benny Urquidez and Jeff Smith. Later the Americans really wanted to test their mettle and sent teams of kick boxers to Japan from this point kickboxing developed into a true international sport, from this time onwards the popularity of kickboxing spread across the world. Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez promoted the sport by travelling the world. George Bruckner from Germany pioneered the full contact sport in Europe and promoted the first WAKO in 1978 in Berlin. With 18 countries competing, the sport went from strength to strength and became an international sport, followed by the WKA and the WKC.
Kickboxing today gives great enjoyment to people of all ages and whether you wish to compete or not, it is just as rewarding a sport, shape your body and mind with a combination of effective training techniques. This martial art gives you ultimate physical and mental benefits.
The syllabus the practitioner follows under the guidance of the instructor is exciting, challenging and has something for everyone with a philosophy that believes in strengthening the mind and body through self discipline fitness and awareness. Although kickboxing is a martial art, there is a lot less tradition involved than others, but this does not detract from the gain of confidence acquired through self -defence and street awareness. Kickboxing is designed for everyone where safety is paramount and enjoyment high.