While Muay Thai is not only my specialty in Long Island, NY, it’s also my favorite types of martial arts that’s classed as a kickboxing style. I often get a lot of questions about the different styles of kickboxing and how American kickboxing is different than Muay Thai or other styles like Burmese kickboxing that allows headbutts and any part of the body to strike the opponent on any part of his body. Cambodian kickboxing emphasizes the use of elbows and Muay Thai uses knees, elbows, feet and hands. American Kickboxing is different in that it doesn’t allow kicking below the waist. .
American kickboxing developed later than many of the kickboxing sports.
While karate and other martial arts became popular in America, Western boxing was also supreme. American kickboxing is a marriage of the two sports. It has elements of both karate and boxing. The development of the sport started in the 1970s, when all types of kickboxing became popular. Because many Americans had only experience with Karate, they weren’t used to expending the energy for the kickboxing rounds. A ten round fight was a pure struggle.
Boxing trainers helped.
Those involved in Karate seldom used gloves, but that soon made those people turn to training programs created for Western boxers. Changes in the number of rounds for sparring, using full contact sparring and taking punches to the upper body and head was all part of the training. That training improved them in the ring and helped develop the modern version that grew into American kickboxing. It spread to international circuits and became its own sport.
A few rules set it apart from other martial arts.
Hitting above the waist is part of American kickboxing. It can be done with either punches or kicks. There’s no use of knees or elbows in this sport. Few matches allow shins to be used either. Grappling and clinch fighting isn’t allowed. The use of sweeps is legal, but that also depends on the bout and referee. The bouts normally last 2-3 minutes. There are as few as three and as many as twelve with a minute rest between the rounds.
- Some people think that the reason that American kickboxing only allows kicking above the waist is that promoters wanted a flashier sport with high kicks to draw the public.
- Like other types of kickboxing, agility, energy level and reflexes are king. Planning your next move wisely to defend yourself or attack your opponent is important.
- The first World Championship of American Kickboxing was in 1974. The Professional Karate Association held it.
- It’s acceptance also boosted other forms of the sport. It was part of the reason that Mixed Martial Arts was developed.