The exact history of Kick Boxing is pretty easily explained.
Boxing was the sport of gentlemen for hundreds of years, backed up by Marquis of Queensberry rules, and promoted to popular acclaim and lots of tickets sold. After all, this was the manly test, the proof of the pudding, and election of the true top dog.
In the 1960s Karate hit the shores of the United States. It took the country by storm. Dojos popped up by the score, tournaments rippled across the country, and a new sport of gentlemen threatened to take over.
Except that boxing wouldn’t go away.
And, upon examination, there appeared to be good points to both practices.
Boxing had quicker training methods, was better for immediate self defense, improved the body in a more aerobic fashion, and so on.
Karate, however, had those durned kicks.
Kicks used to be considered ‘dirty fighting.’ But now they were in vogue. And they were MUCH better for street self defense because one well placed kick to the family jewels and a thug was bankrupt.
So, how about if we put karate kicks with boxing punches?
And the gentlemanly art of Kickboxing was born.
It became popular first in tournaments, then became a popular form of defense and conditioning in the gyms of America. People loved the no nonsense, man to man training methods.
Now, there are a couple of problems with the sport of Kick Boxing. These are actually significant problems, and should be paid attention to.
To mention just one such problem, the punches are thrown in a circular fashion off the shoulders, while kicks use a more linear type of movement. This is actually an awkward combination, and the result is that the kicks of karate have degraded. People now throw kicks and let the body swing around (exposing the back). Further, when throwing the kicks the energy comes from the Tan Tien, which is an energy center located in the body some two inches below the navel. Boxing does not use this energy center. Thus, there is a certain ‘collision’ of concepts.
So what is the solution?
Study both. Study a good form of boxing for six months. Get your cardio, pump up the muscles, learn what it feels like to be in a fight (subject to the rules of the ring and your particular kick boxing club). Then explore the classical martial arts. Look for a better relationship between punches and kicks, explore the energy centers used in the practice of Karate.
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by Al Case