Comparing boxing and kickboxing | Which is better

Boxing and kickboxing are spectacular and effective martial arts that embody strength and masculinity. However, despite the similarity of the names, they are very different from each other.



Boxing – a classic martial art. This sport was born in England. The exact date of the first competitions is unknown, but historical documents show that in the XIX century fighters “beat” each other in the ring on quite modern rules.

The centuries-long history made precise and unambiguous rules of wrestling:

  1. The fight lasts 12 rounds of 3 minutes each;

  2. A fight ends early if one of the opponents is unable to continue the fight (knockout or knockdown is recorded);

  3. If both opponents last 12 rounds, the victory is determined by the decision of the referee – the judge;

  4. No hitting below the waist, holding each other, pushing or biting are allowed;

  5. It is forbidden to kick, hit with legs, head or knees;

  6. No punches to the back, neck, back of the head, or kidneys.

Duels are fought only with hands and straight punches. Allowed to hit on the head, although in the amateur direction athletes are required to wear a special protective helmet.

Training implies not only sparring, but also exercises for special physical preparation. The fitness component of the classes includes strength training with or without equipment.

It is worth noting that modern boxing is not only a sport, but also a spectacular show. Athletes and champions become famous and famous, and their match fees are very high.

So, to summarize.


  • Lack of traumatic punches and holds, which will appeal to the novice athlete;

  • Spectacle, which can make boxing of interest to spectators who are relaxed about the sport;

  • Centuries-old history and clear, unambiguous rules.


  • Most of the punches are to the head. The sport is dangerous for athletes.



Kickboxing is a young martial art that is based on Eastern martial arts. It is based on the techniques of English and Thai boxing, as well as Taekwondo. The rules of kickboxing were formed in the 1960s.

There are two types of kickboxing – American and Japanese. The former implies no restriction on the force of blows, allows full contact and blows to the head. The Japanese school has inherited a lot from the Thai boxing and therefore simply allows grappling with the use of the legs.

It is distinguished by five directions:

  1. Seven-contact (limited). Strong and accentuated striking techniques are prohibited, the bout is fast and intermittent;

  2. Light-contact (light). Strong punches are prohibited, knockout or knockdown is allowed but not counted, jump holds are most highly judged;

  3. Full-contact (full-contact). Strong and accentuated punching movements are allowed, knockdowns and knockdowns count, but punching is allowed only above the belt;

  4. Full-contact with low-kick elements. In addition to the above, it is allowed to kick the thigh and do underhooks;

  5. k-1. Allowed to hit the joints and techniques using the knees. The toughest division.

The duration of the competition, the specific rules and conditions vary from division to division. Since it is a fairly young sport, there are many internal disciplines, and they are currently in their formative stages.

So, let’s summarize.


  • Few restrictions for athletes. Kicks, punches, hands, and accentuated holds are allowed.


  • High injury rates in competitions, especially in the K-1 and full-contact areas;

  • Unfinished organizational issues.

It’s worth noting that due to the lack of organizational aspects, including training programs and simply the rules of combat, kickboxing is not suitable for beginners.


So, boxing is a classic martial discipline, and kickboxing is a young discipline that allows kicking. But the differences between these arts do not stop there.




Formation as a sport discipline

Unknown exactly, but 19th century is thought to be


The nature of blows

Only hands, only to the upper body (including head)

Hands and feet, knees, elbows, to the upper and middle body, and low-kicks to the hips are allowed

The use of boxing gloves



Nature of training

Sparring, strength exercises

It differs depending on the school

It is also worth noting that kickboxing bouts involve more movements and techniques, as it has “inherited” a lot from Eastern martial arts.

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