Kickboxing started in the US during the 1970's when American karate practitioners became frustrated with strict controls on martial arts competitions that didn't allow full contact kicks and punches. Many questions were raised when the sport began about the high risk of injury. As a result, safety rules were improved and protective clothing was added.

As this is a relatively new sport there are no long-term traditions, although many laymen are under the impression that modern day kickboxing originated in Thailand, Japan or elsewhere in the Far East. The sport has undergone changes and been refined during the last two decades.

Many people claim to be the founders of Kickboxing but the truth is, it originated from different sources for different reasons. Back in the 1960’s in the U.S.A. points karate was the first to hit the scene with promotions such as Ed Parkers Long beach Tournaments being one of the most famous. Although popular amongst the Martial Arts fraternity, they didn’t attract the general public in the same way as the Professional Boxing and Wrestling scene did.

Promoters eventually realised this and put it down to the contact element involved in Boxing and wrestling that wasn’t so much present on the Martial Arts Tournament scene, as people wanted to see K.O’s. Although the Martial Artists involved did receive injuries through the contact (as protective equipment was rarely used) this wasn’t in the so called rule book, as excessive contact was frowned upon and a competitor could lose through doing so.

So the promoters along with several Top Martial Artists of the day gave birth to Full - Contact Karate. Some of these early bouts were still fought on the matted area used on the points Tournament circuit, but eventually they succumbed to the Boxing Ring.

Fighting for points and then Fighting Full Contact in the ring came as quite a shock to many Top Fighters at that time, mainly the stamina and conditioning being their main problem. Boxing gloves also robbed many a Martial Artist of his best hand manouvers and a big re-think was on its way.

Martial Artists turned their attention to the way Boxers condition and prepare themselves for the ring and found that with this approach their bodies coped with the pressure that they couldn?t handle previously. Fighters suddenly made progress in leaps and bounds with their new found sport that was starting to get noticed amongst the general public and soon was becoming known as “Kickboxing” and so the sport was starting to come out of infancy and to the forefront of many Martial Arts schools, who although keeping to their Traditional values started to introduce this to students who were competitively minded and wanted the challenge of the Full - contact arena. Kickboxing was now legitimate and accepted as a new breed of martial art.

As Kickboxing was developing in the west, Thai - Boxing was carrying on with what it had been doing for the last 2,000 years in its native land. So-called World “Full Contact “ and “Kickboxing Champions” who had never fought abroad were in for a culture shock. As these Fighters ventured to Thailand and Japan, they soon had to return home with their tails between their legs as the Thai’s were beating them hands down, as they had never experienced the devastating knee, elbow and kicking skills these Martial Artists possessed. But as time went on the westerners learned from the Thai - Boxers and developed their own art to a higher level and today some of the best Thai and Kick boxers are spread Worldwide.

Today Kickboxing is fought under several different rules. Here are the main ones. Full contact where all kicks above the waist along with all the basic boxing techniques. Kickboxing, as full contact with leg kicking, that is kicking to the legs is allowed, and Thai, where the use of knees and elbows is allowed.

The sport has undergone changes and has been refined over the last two decades, and has gained recognition as a highly effective martial art for both ring fighting and for holistic fitness.