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Kickboxing, refers to the sport of combining the grace and style of boxing with kicking. Kickboxing is a standing sport and does not allow continuation of the fight once a combatant has reached the ground.

Kickboxing is often practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a full-contact sport. In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10-oz. boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, kick-boots, and optional protective helmet (usually for those under 16). The female boxers will wear a tank top and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. In European kickboxing, where kicks to the thigh are allowed using special low-kick rules, use of boxing shorts instead of long trousers is possible.

In addition, amateur rules often allow less experienced competitors to use light or semi-contact rules, where the intention is to score points by executing successful strikes past the opponent’s guard, and use of force is regulated. The equipment for semi-contact is similar to full-contact matches, usually with addition of head gear. Competitors usually dress in a t-shirt for semi-contact matches, to separate them from the bare-chested full-contact participants.

Kickboxing is often confused with Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing. The two sports are similar; however, in Thai Boxing, kicks below the belt are allowed, as are strikes with knees and elbows.

There are many arts labelled kickboxing including Japanese kickboxing, American kickboxing, Indian boxing, Burmese boxing, as well as French boxing. The term kickboxing is disputed and has become more associated with the Japanese and American variants. Many of the other styles do not consider themselves to be ‘kickboxing’, although the public often uses the term generically to refer to all these martial arts.

The term kickboxing was created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi for a variant of Muay Thai and Karate that he created in the 1950s.[citation needed] The term was later used by the American variant. When used by the practitioners of those two styles, it usually refers to those styles specifically.

Kickboxing Gradings

The style of Muay Thai originates from Thailand and incorporates punches, kicks, elbows and knees. It was used in warfare and as a means of self-defence. Eventually, after being passed down orally and through demonstrations, Muay Thai became the national sport of Thailand.

Zennin Thai Kickboxing provides students with a system that provides effective self-defence applications combined with competitive and sporting components. The syllabus also includes a grading system, similar to the system used in most martial arts. This grading system is used to distinguish between the various levels attained by individual students. The grading system also provides students with feedback on their progress and development whilst also providing them with achievable goals.

A basic class in Muay Thai consists of a Warm-up, Skipping, Stretching, Pushups and Sit-ups, Technique Work, Shadow Boxing, Partner Drills and Sparring. A typical class provides the student with a great overall workout, which is why many students enjoy the benefits of Muay Thai Boxing classes.

Muay Thai grades are recognizable by the colour of the singlet that the student wears.

  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Brown
  • Black with logo (1st degree)

Kickboxing equipment

A list of recommended and needed equipment

Essential equipment

  • Gloves (weight will depend on your size and strength. Ask your teacher for advice)
  • Mouthguard
  • Shin pads
  • Drink bottle

Recommended equipment

  • Box
  • Kickboxing shorts or loose fitting shorts
  • Wraps (these help protect your wrists and knuckles)