History of kickboxing

  • 05/11/17

Now where does kickboxing come from? It is in fact quite a loose term, involving a mix of various styles. In a wider sense, kickboxing includes all types of stand-up combat sports allowing both punching and kicking. Some of the earliest forms of the discipline were based on Indochinese martial arts, one of which developed into Muay Thai, a Thai style of striking which emphasises on knee and elbow strikes, kicks and punches. It is also referred to as “the art of eight shins” due to it using eight points of contact, as opposed to two for boxing. Earlier forms of Muay Thai (Muay Boran) can be traced back to the 16th century, with further significance in the 18th century; Nai Khanomtom, an expert in hand-to-hand contact, won his freedom in a fight after being held captive during the battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam. Returning home to Siam (Thailand) as a hero, Muay Thai, or Siamese-Style boxing, thus became recognised as a national sport.

Moving forward a couple of centuries, the term “kickboxing” itself was introduced in the 1960’s in Japan, as a Japanese Anglicism for combined martial art disciplines focused on self-defense, including karate and Muay Thai. This was further developed and recognised in the US when the first World Championships were held in 1974. Kickboxing can integrate various arts and techniques, whether it be an emphasis on kicks, knee and elbow strikes, punches or headbutts. The form of kickboxing we focus on here at The Martial Arts Place is Mo-Gei-DoTM; translated as “The Way of No Boundaries”, it is based on a variation of karate and boxing. Historical facts of the day!