Keeping true with legacy of new generation of combative styles, Kickboxing is another hybrid martial art which has taken the world by storm. This fighting style has been crafted with techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, and western Boxing, all wrapped under one umbrella and given the name Kickboxing. Innovation has been written in its blood, as this art form evolved with the passage of time. And though it was initially considered as a stand-up combative sport, it became all the more dynamic and effective by further incorporating ground fighting techniques of Jujutsu, and Folk Wrestling. Its various manoeuvres include kicks, punches, blocks, elbow strikes, knee strikes, head butting, and even takedowns and throws.
History / Origins
People got wind of the term ‘Kickboxing’ in 1960s, courtesy to Osamu Noguchi, who was a Japanese boxing promoter. The basic term implies to the style of Japanese and American Kickboxing. Though broadly speaking, it also refers to other stand-up combats which include punches and kicks involved in Muay Thai, Burmese Boxing, Indian Boxing, Savate, and other styles of Karate, etc.
The art of Japanese Kickboxing came to the forefront in 1960s, and its popularity graph is still high. Since Kickboxing is a hybrid of ancient martial arts, its seeds were sown quite early, and its roots can be traced to the Indochinese martial art, Muay boran, which later evolved into Muay Thai. The ground work was later taken on by Tatsuo Yamada a Karate champ from Japan in the 1950s. He roughly laid down the plan of a new fighting art by blending Karate and Muay thai. Then, in the early 1960s the competitions between Karate and Muay Thai were on the rise which necessitated for the formation of new rules, and thus by the middle of 1960s new rule sets were formed, and the first true-blood Kickboxing event was organized in Osaka.
Today, the patronizing work for Kickboxing is in the hands of different international governing bodies including, World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, International Combat Organization, World Kickboxing Association, International Kickboxing Federation, to name a few. Today Kickboxing exhibits its self in different forms, and goes under various names like Shoot Boxing, which is popular in Japan and adopts standing submission such as arm locks, chokeholds, and wristlocks along with kicks, punches, and throws. Then there is the Sanda form of Kickboxing which was originally meant for the Chinese military.
You will find Kickboxing competitions all over the world, including North America, Europe, and Asian countries, etc. And these competitions have produced many champions, who have become celebrities on their own terms.
It is said that on December 20, 1959, a Muay Thai event was organized in Tokyo Asakusa town hall in Japan. Tatsuo Yamada was the Japanese Karate expert, but he was dissatisfied with the rules of Karate which disallowed directly hitting the opponents. Hence, in November 1959 he formulated rules for a new game ‘Karate-boxing.’ He was helped in the unification work by a Thai champion of Muay Thai.
Then, Karate Vs Muay Thai fights became the call of the day, and it attracted crowds in huge numbers. On February 12, 1963, three Kyokushin Karate fighters from Japan competed with three Muay Thai fighters at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand, which Japan eventually won 3-1, and the one loss it suffered was because a substitute fighter had to replace the original one. Eventually Osamu Noguchi, studied Muay Thai in fuller detail, and came forward to name the new hybrid sport as ‘Kickboxing.’