History of Kickboxing
Kickboxing (in Japanese キックボクシング kikkubokushingu) is a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originates in the 1960s, with competitions held since then. American kickboxing originates in the early 1970s. Historically, kickboxing can be considered a hybrid martial art formed from the combination of elements of various traditional styles. This approach became increasingly popular since the 1970s, and since the 1990s, kickboxing has contributed to the emergence of mixed martial arts via further hybridization with ground fighting techniques from Jujutsu and Folk wrestling.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include International Combat Organization, World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World Sport Kickboxing Federation, among others. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1, its Showtime (now merged to GLORY), Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others. Bouts organized under different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of knees or clinching, etc.
Individual rule sets
Kickboxing has a number of different rule sets. For example, American Kickboxing and/or American full contact karate restricts to strikes using punches and higher kicks; whereas some other arts often regarded as "kickboxing" allow low kicks and even knee strikes, elbows, and grappling maneuvers. All forms of kickboxing use an identical scoring system, however. A winner is declared during the bout if there is a submission (fighter quits or fighter's corner throws in the towel), knockout (KO), or referee stoppage (technical knockout, or TKO). If all of the rounds expire with no knockout then the fight is scored by a team of 3 judges. The judges determine a winner based on their scoring of each round. A split decision indicates a disagreement between the judges, while a unanimous decision indicates that all judges saw the fight the same way and all have declared the same winner.
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