Kickboxing may feel like a new phenomenon; however, it’s actually anything but new. It is a hybrid of karate and boxing, both of which have been around for a pretty long time. Kickboxing as we know it today has been recognised in Japan since the late 1950s, and the first world championships were held by the Professional Karate Association in 1974.
Various forms of kickboxing are practiced around the world, and they include:
- Boxe pieds-poings (“feet-fists-boxing”): This is a French term that covers French-style boxing as well as Burmese and Thai boxing, all styles of full-contact karate, and American, Dutch, and Japanese kickboxing.
- Pradal Serey/Kun Khmer: The term originated in Southeast Asia and the style emphasises kicking and extensive use of clinching.
- Muay Boran (“ancient boxing”): From Thailand, this is the predecessor of Muay Thai and allows the use of headbutts.
- Muay Thai: From Thailand, this is a well-known martial art.
- Lethwei: This is a Burmese style of kickboxing with strong emphasis on headbutts, knees, and elbow strikes.
- Muay Lao: This is a Laotian type of kick boxing that is similar to Muay Thai.
- Yaw-Yan/Sayaw ng Kamatayan (“dance of death”): This is a Filipino martial art with strong emphasis on delivering attacks from long range.
- Adithada: From southern Kalarippayattu, this is a form of kickboxing that uses knee, elbow, and forehead strikes.
- Savate: This originated in 19th-century France and is mostly known for its foot-kicking techniques.
- Combat Hopak: From the Ukraine, this style is mostly built around punching and kicking techniques.
- Dutch Kickboxing: This incorporates aspects of Muay Thai, boxing, and the Kyokushin style of karate.
- Sanda: This Chinese style of kickboxing includes takedowns, throws, and all other sorts of striking (use of arms and legs).
Where to Learn Kickboxing
If you want to learn kickboxing in Reading or elsewhere, you should look for a martial arts academy that is dedicated to creating a safe, fun, and welcoming atmosphere for all students, whether they are new to the sport or are ready to compete for championships. The academy should have equipment such as an MMA cage, a ring, plenty of padded practice areas, and punching bags for practice.
You will also want to look for instructors who have won world championships in multiple martial arts disciplines and have trained world champion fighters. This demonstrates both their knowledge and their commitment to sharing that knowledge. If they have training in first aid and full DBS checks on file, that’s even better.