Need to know about kickboxing
Kick-boxing is a modern combat sport invented in the early 1960s in the United States. It is an inspiration from English boxing and French boxing and there are mainly two types: American kick-boxing, feet and points, and Japanese kick-boxing where we add knees and elbows.
Historically, we are rather far from karate for example, which has been around for more than 1500 years, but the media coverage of big tournaments like the K-1 World Grand Prix or the K-1 World Max has put this discipline in the spotlight.
Some athletes of this sport, as for MMA, have become real stars, and this complete and spectacular discipline still attracts a lot of public. Finally, on the other side of the Atlantic, there are many variants and disciplines that are included in kick-boxing, such as full-contact, French savate boxing, Indian boxing, sambo, but also Southeast Asian boxing such as Muay Thai, Burmese boxing or Vietnamese boxing.
To get into a ring in kick-boxing competition, a complete set of equipment is required, just like for all foot-point combat sports. Here is the equipment that will sometimes be mandatory and in the past optional.
Gloves are obviously indispensable in kick boxing. They will effectively protect your butts, while cushioning the blows and avoiding the protruding parts of your hands that could deeply cut your opponent. They are generally made of leather or imitation leather, and they are more or less large and heavy depending on your weight category.
First and foremost, they must effectively protect the first phalanges of the fist. They will be particularly padded to absorb shocks as much as possible. The thumb is attached to the rest of the hand. This avoids turning it over if it is hooked on and it also prevents it from ending up too easily in the eye of the opponent.
They will allow you to properly squeeze your fingers inside the glove and thus protect your metacarpals. They are 2 m long strips that are rolled up according to a precise technique. For training, they can be replaced by mittens, which are much easier to use.
Protects teeth and shell
It is obvious that in a foot-fist contact sport, the teeth are particularly vulnerable. A blow to the jawbone that causes the upper and lower teeth to clash could cause serious damage, and you could even bite your tongue or cheek violently. So mouthguards are a must, both in competition and in training. A model only for the upper teeth is ideal for beginners. It protects effectively without preventing us from breathing.
In kick-boxing, whether in amateur competitions or in training, shin guards may be mandatory. They have nothing to do with soccer models. They are covered with foam and well padded, just like gloves. The top of the foot is also covered to protect both the attacker and the defender.
The protective helmet
It is mandatory in most amateur competitions, and some will prefer to train with it to avoid taking a bad hit. The protective helmet must fit properly to effectively protect the kickboxer. With it, you can let go completely without too much fear, and your opponents will also be less afraid of hurting you.
Belts and ranks
Kick-boxing is inspired by older martial arts to mark the evolution of practitioners. Thus, whether for American or Japanese kick-boxing, students are given different belts as they evolve. There is the white belt for beginners, then the yellow, orange, green, blue and brown belts. In France, two-colored belts mark the progression between two belts, and there is also a purple belt just before the blue-brown one. It is the teacher who judges the progression of these students and therefore sets the grades.
Then there is the black belt, which is given by the kick-boxing federation according to the results in combat. There are ten different degrees after the black belt, from the 5th degree one becomes an Expert and one gets the black-red belt, the white-red belt arrives at the 6th degree and one then becomes a Grand-Expert, then the red belt is given for the 9th degree.
The rules of kick-boxing
Depending on the discipline, the rules vary. In American kick-boxing, fighters will only be allowed to use their fists and feet. In the event of a collision, the two kick-boxers are quickly put back together again. In Japanese kick-boxing, elbows and knees are allowed, and the kick-boxers are allowed to stand a little longer if they are trying to throw punches, especially to reduce the distance.
The fights take place in a ring. As a professional, the objective is to put your opponent out of action (KO). There are between 3 and 5 times depending on the competition which lasts between 2 and 3 minutes. The boxers fight by category of rank, but also by weight.
In the event that both fighters reach the end of the bout without having been knocked out, then they are decided by judges who will have counted the points throughout the bout. The one with the most points wins the fight.
For amateurs, and especially for the younger ones, the blows are not dealt or only lightly. This is called medium-contact or light-contact. In this kind of match, unless there is an injury, the fight always goes to its end. The search for the KO does not exist and only the points decide between the two fighters.