Do You Know About All The Different Types Of Kickboxing?

Although many people have heard about kickboxing and even seen the martial art in action, be it in movies or during tournaments, the general idea that people have, is that kickboxing is a general term referring to only one style of fighting. The truth is far from that, however, as there are many different styles with many subtle differences around the world, varying from nation to nation. Here is a list of the most important styles of kickboxing.
Chinese Kickboxing
Appearing originally in China at Shaolin monasteries, this style is the oldest form of kickboxing and the original style that was first developed. Also called Shaolin Boxing, you are allowed to hit with your fists, legs, open hands and elbows as well, basically striking with all body limbs available. This old martial style was later evolved by a Japanese master into what is known as Shorinji Karate today.
Thai Boxing
Originating in Thailand, Thai Boxing is better known as Muay Thai, and is basically the flagship style of kickboxing. Whenever someone thinks of kickboxing, they usually have Muay Thai in mind, and don`t even know that it is only one style of many. A very brutal style in its own right, Muay Thai is completely full contact, with high risk of serious injury. The moves usually encompass punches, heavy elbow strikes, even from a high jump, as well as a lot of kicks, mostly to the shin and knee joint regions of the opponents body. Thai Boxing is also widely practiced by MMA fighters as well, along with other martial arts that they know.
American Kickboxing
This style is basically a combination of traditional boxing techniques, which allow only fists to be used, with kicks, that come from Karate, Tae-Kwondo and Muay Thai shin attacks. Elbow attacks are not allowed, as to avoid serious injury. But apart from elbow attacks, American Kickboxing is full contact as well. Just imagine traditional boxing, only with high and low kicks thrown in, but kicks are not allowed to go lower then the waist.
Japanese Kickboxing
Very comparable to traditional Muay Thai, the major difference lies in the pointing system during competitions. This was the first martial arts style that adopted the name “Kickboxing” in the sense we know it today.
Korean Kickboxing
Korean style kickboxing is actually a mash-up of Tae-Kwondo and Muay Thai. Better known as Gwon-gyokdo, it is heavily practiced in Korea, but not much outside the country. This style relies mostly on footwork and kicks, but uses arms strikes as well.
Burmese Kickboxing
One of the more brutal and more full contact styles of kickboxing, Burmese style or Lethwei allows even headbutts during a fight. Generally, fighters are allowed to use any limb, and can land blows on any part of the opponents body. It`s the most free form style of kickboxing and most akin to street-fighting, due to almost no rules, but also the most dangerous, with high risk of really serious injury.
French Kickboxing
Another variation of the traditional kickboxing style, French kickboxing or Savate has the unique twist, in that it allows the fighters to wear shoes during fights. Kicks automatically become much more damaging and hurtful.
Shoot Boxing
This is another Japanese variation, which has it`s roots in the old Chinese style. Throws are allowed during the fight, but the opponent must be standing at the moment of the grab for the follow up throw.
Indian Kickboxing
Known as Adithada, this style is primarily practiced on the Indian subcontinent and is very similar to the Burmese style. Almost everything is allowed, from kicks to elbows to forehead strikes into an opponents face. Another very dangerous variation of kickboxing.
Thai Bo Kickboxing
Lastly, Thai Bo kickboxing is not really a martial arts style, but more like a very good cardio and fitness workout that is practiced all over the world and is very popular. It incorporates punches, kicks and styles from Chinese kickboxing, Muay Thai as well as the American variation of the sport, but is mainly used as a workout. Even elements of Karate are incorporated into Thai Bo, along with special side stances, called “bo stances” from Chinese kickboxing, hence the name.
There is a lot more to this martial art then just a generic name that everybody recognizes and associates with a single style. Kickboxing, like any other fighting style, is very complex. And it is useful to know the many differences that exist in this particular martial art for anyone that is looking to study and practice this sport.

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