CAN YOU KICK IN BOXING?
Combat sports have been around for centuries, and in the ancient times competitors would fight for glory in pankration bouts, where they would rather die than submit to their opponent. This means that anything was legal including kicks, punches, even eye gouges, but over time as the art evolved, and was filtered down the line, rules were put in place.
What this article covers:
- Why Is Kicking Illegal in Boxing
- Can You Train Kicking Techniques in Boxing
- Why Boxing Has a Formidable Presence
- Boxing in Mixed Martial Arts
- Muay Thai Boxing
- The Benefits of Boxing Training
Nowadays there are many different forms of striking that allow kicking into their arsenal. Combat sports like Muay Thai, Kick Boxing, Savate, Mixed Martial Arts, Taekwondo, and Karate all allow kick boxing kicks as a part of their repertoire. All of these styles of combat use energetic strikes with their fists, which is why Martial Arts like Kick Boxing, and Muay Thai Boxing have the word boxing attached.
The art of boxing has been around for a long time also, and has become one of the premier styles of combat in the United States of America. Many athletes are training extensively to get inside the ring, and follow in the footsteps of many iconic fighters like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr, and Floyd Mayweather. Unlike kick boxing workouts, the art of boxing requires a more hands on approach. Kicking in boxing is completely illegal, and considered a foul where an athlete will lose points, and inevitably get disqualified. Boxing is an extremely dynamic form of combat, where athletes will use speed, precision, power, balance, footwook, and intelligence to outwit and out maneuver their opponents.
WHY IS KICKING ILLEGAL IN BOXING
All combat sports are different, and each certain style has its own strengths and weaknesses. Certain striking arts specialise in different aspects like a K-1 fighter will use kick boxing moves, a Boxer will only punch with their fists, a Muay Thai striker can use their elbows and knees, and a Mixed Martial Artists can implement all styles including striking, grappling, and throwing techniques. The sport of boxing is more of a specialised method of striking, as it does not involve the use of kicks. Boxing can be considered as a specifically designed form of combat, and this means because there are no kick boxing combos involved, it can be a lot harder to defeat an opponent with just punches. Especially considering the size of a sixteen ounce boxing glove. The fact that there are no kicks in boxing means an opponent has a better chance of using evasive maneuvers. The athlete can get creative with their footwork, and use different fight stances like the orthodox, the southpaw, the peek a boo, and the hands down.
CAN YOU TRAIN KICKING TECHNIQUES IN BOXING
There are no specific guidelines that say any boxing athlete cannot train in kick boxing circuits, however there are pros and cons to both. If a boxing athlete decides they want to use kick boxing concepts, to help prepare themselves for competitive fights, then there are some significant physical advantages. Training in kick boxing drills have some of the most influential forms of cardio workouts, and strength and conditioning applications. This can be quite advantageous for an athlete as they will build up an incredible amount of strength and conditioning, as well as fight resilience. Training in Muay Thai Boxing can help a boxing athlete exponentially, due to the formidable full contact that a Thai fighter endures. Training against athletes that are throwing hard strikes to their body, with knees, elbows and kicks can be a masterful way to condition themselves for the upcoming battles.
However, there is a huge downside for a boxer to be training in any type of kick boxing methods. The simple fact remains that boxing does not allow kicking of any sort. What makes each individual combat style unique, is that each athlete has the ability to ingrain their movements into their muscle memory. A boxer is the same, as they will have specific footwork routines that help their punches, while their footwork is not set up the right way to achieve kicking techniques. This means if they are training in kicking exercises they may pick up some muscle memory that can inhibit them towards their boxing style, especially when it comes to the fight night. Boxing athletes must spend most of their time training, and staying purely on the boxing side of the fence, and just leave the kicking actions for when they are not about to jump inside the ring. Overall, learning all styles of combat is important, and this is so that the athlete can be creative, and take certain aspects of all Martial Arts, and combine them into their own formidable style of combat.
WHY BOXING HAS A FORMIDABLE PRESENCE
The art of Boxing was once the most popular sport in the United States of America, alongside horse racing. The 1960's and the 1970's were the golden era, and combat sports became extremely high profile, and reached televised audiences across the country. Due to the nature of televised boxing, many Americans all over the country began gambling through casino platforms, which made the sport even more tantalising. The fact that a proud American can go to the casino, and put a bet on a fight, and then watch two combatants fight it out for supremacy, is one of the basic American rights, and privileges.
After many golden names entered the frame, athletes like Mohummed Ali, Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson, all built a formidable legacy that sparked electricity into the hearts of many American fans. This only continued on through the decades, as further iconic legends like Roy Jones Jr, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Andy Ruiz Jr all starred in the long line of boxing greats. Professional boxing is still one of the most loved sports in the United States of America, and even though it has been widely criticised for its gambling prospects, and possibilities of fixed fights, the fans across America still tune in to watch these great athletes battle for the title.
BOXING IN MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Since the early 1990's when the Ultimate Fighting Championship first showcased this iconic event of one style against another, the fight world has been in a frenzy since. Boxing had always ruled the airways throughout the sixties, the seventies, and beyond. When a young Royce Gracie easily defeated the boxer Art Jimmerson at UFC 1 in two minutes into the fight, it started a series of events that led to a future style of combat that had elements of all fighting styles. Mixed Martial Arts was born, and athletes all over the world in all different styles of combat sports, began gathering all of the information they needed to enhance their ability to fight. The additions of Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Boxing, and Wrestling, were all combined with the more well known forms of Boxing, Karate, and Taekwondo, as they all became the cornerstone for a new style of Mixed Martial Arts.
In the modern day of Mixed Martial Arts, boxing plays a pivotal role in many of the UFC's athletes. Even though Brazilian Jiu Jitsu first defeated Boxing at the hands of Royce Gracie at the inaugural UFC, the more modern style of MMA has become iconic, where a striker is in the box seat compared to a grappler. This is mainly due to the fact that strikers work extensively on their takedown defense, as well as learning defensive measures while they are in a ground fighting situation. There are many fighters that use boxing in MMA, and iconic UFC fighters like Connor McGregor, Nate Diaz, and Cris Cyborg are all licensed to box in the state of California. Boxing has been on display for years, as many high level athletes utilise this highly dynamic, and strategic style of striking. Other UFC fighters like Stipe Miocic, Jimi Manuwa, and Jose Aldo all have excellent boxing skills, and using them in the Mixed Martial Arts platform has become extremely relevant in the modern era.
MUAY THAI BOXING
Muay Thai Boxing has become one of the most formidable striking styles in all of combat sports. The iconic Thailand National sport is known around the globe for its brutality of knee, and elbow strikes. Muay Thai Boxing uses the art of eight limbs, which is a metaphor for the most fierce weapons that an athlete can use, their fists, their elbows, their knees, and their feet. Thai boxing has an abrupt approach, as it uses forward momentum to attack the structure of their opponent. It is very rare to see a Thai boxer taking a backward step, and this is because their striking style is highly aggressive. A Muay Thai boxer is always looking to initiate a Thai clinch in order to brutalise their opponent with knees to the body, or elbows to the head.
Even though Muay Thai Boxing heavily revolves around scoring through knee, and elbow strikes, there is still quite a predominant series of boxing tactics involved. All Thai boxers use fundamental boxing skills inside of their traditional Martial Art. The art of boxing is simply just a piece of the greater puzzle, as all combat arts will use forms of boxing in order to gain advantage over their opponent. This is why Muay Thai fighters will use boxing set ups like jabs, crosses, hooks, straights, overhands and uppercuts to set up their opponents for their more iconic strikes like a knee to the abdomen, a hard kick to the leg, or an elbow strike to the head.
THE BENEFITS OF BOXING TRAINING
Boxing is an iconic form of Martial Arts, and all athletes in the sport benefit extensively from the high levels of cardiovascular workouts, strength and conditioning drills, and every other skill and development exercise. Shadow boxing is one of the most important exercises within any combat sport, and this involves an athlete to dance around the mat using footwork, and evasive maneuvers, while throwing punching combinations into the air. This system is designed to help an athlete with the fluency of their punches, as well as the cohesion between their footwork, and their punching prowess. Shadow boxing will also improve an athlete's balance, agility, and their hand and eye coordination. This system is also a great cardiovascular workout which can be highly beneficial to a professional athlete, and to an everyday person looking for fun and fitness.
Using focus mitts is a great way for anyone to sharpen up their striking skills. Professional fighters will use focus mitts to practice their combinations, and beginners of the art can use this not only for skills training, but for stress relief too. Trainers of the art will always throw punches at their students to help them with their evasive techniques. This means ducking, and slipping punches, parrying or circling away from punches, and every other evasive maneuver possible. A fighter can run on the spot, and throw a continuous series of uppercuts, hooks, crosses, straights or jabs to help build endurance within their muscle. Athletes can also use the focus mitts in a more coordinated manner to help them with their accuracy, and their rhythm of striking.
The Thai pads are a little different to the focus mitts, and an athlete can work more on their power punches, but at the same time combining them with their fluency of attack. The great aspect about the Thai pads is that an athlete can also throw kicks, knees, punches, or elbows, as they are an extremely diverse piece of boxing equipment. Boxing bags are iconic, and athletes or beginners of the art can use these bags to work on many different elements within the game. Traditionally the heavy bag is used to work on power punching, where the lighter style of bag is used for more volume of combination punches. The speed bag is a piece of equipment that demands speed, timing, and reflexes from an athlete, and keeping up with this dynamic concept will turn a student into a champion. In all bag related techniques, the athlete can use the bag and circle around, which can benefit them extensively with their movement, and how they gauge the distance between them, and their opponent. This is highly beneficial for a professional athlete, so they can use speed, timing, and power to defeat their opponents, but this is also beneficial to a person that is looking for self defense, as they may encounter this in a street altercation.
There are so many benefits that boxing can offer people, with a wide range of physical benefits, but also an extensive range of mental health benefits as well. Modern day people have many stresses in their life, where they can suffer from different forms of mental abuse, physical abuse, or other conditions like depression, anxiety, and even autism. Martial Arts like boxing can offer a person a great way to forget their troubles in life, while still being able to vent their frustration into the bags. It is proven that learning comprehensive systems of Martial Arts is quite challenging to the brain, which can give someone with little to live for, a whole new lease on life. Sometimes all a person needs is a challenge, so they can begin to shake those feelings of worthlessness, and insecurity, and instead wake up feeling happy, and confident.
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