As with all of our subjects here, a disclaimer is warranted. Anytime you, your friends, or your family choose to practice these techniques without trained professional supervision, you are risking serious injury and bodily harm. This is because you may injure yourself while practicing incorrect form, either by pulling a tendon or muscle, or through improper balance and follow through. You may also injure others, as beginners often don’t pull their punches or kicks properly, or they inadvertently strike an area that is overly sensitive, such as certain nerve clusters. Remember, it is always best to get professional advice and training before attempting these techniques, and to only use them in self-defense.
Kickboxing is an often seen term in the MMA world, and yet few people ever bother to define it properly. This is perhaps due to the fact that there are multiple kickboxing organizations, and they each host their own set of rules and definitions for kick boxing tournaments and titles. However, each and every one of these organizations sticks to the basic definition of kickboxing. It’s fighting, plain and simple. The term kick boxing came about because it is a wonderful mish-mash of techniques from various martial arts, including but not limited to: Savate, Muay Thai, Indian or Burmese boxing, Sanda, various Karate styles, Tae Kwon Do, and others. The actual term “kickboxing” was introduced by Osamu Noguchi, a Japanese boxing promoter, in order to introduce this hybrid martial art to the world. When it comes down to it though, kick boxing can be defined as any art that uses your hands and feet to perform strikes and blocks.
Today, there are two basic schools of kickboxing, Japanese and American kickboxing. Japanese kickboxing was developed in the 1950’s by Tatsuo Yamada, who gave the first outlines of a new sport combining karate and Muay Thai. Finally, by the 1960’s, the first true kickboxing events were held in Osaka. It’s popularity spread across North America and Europe, and certain rules were modified, resulting in the Americanized version of Japanese kickboxing, which mainly means excluding most knee and elbow strikes. Since the rules can vary widely between the organizations, we’ll mainly focus on the techniques, which all have the same basic foundations. Many martial arts rely on these very same foundations, so it would be to your advantage to learn these carefully and practice them often, because in many life threatening situations, your forget everything else important and have to rely on the bare basics. If you know them by muscle memory, it makes everything else easier, from learning future techniques in the dojo, to the few times when you have to count on it to defend yourself in the streets.