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High calibre kick boxing arts have a real presence about them, as the lure of a spinning back kick, or a brutal axe kick, has many fight fans in awe. It wasn't really until the 1970's when movie stars like Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris emerged onto the big screen, showcasing a prominence in kick boxing.

What this article covers:

The exciting nature of how dominant kick boxing can be, has driven the innovation of different forms of striking combat. Muay Thai uses a formidable strategy of always pressing forward, where French Savate will use a more energetic in and out method, which is similar to a Karate application. Different forms of kick boxing have different ways of executing their movements, and because of the diversity that kick boxing incorporates, there are many pathways toward success.

Renowned Boxing Coach Barry Robinson has the footwork game plan that could propel your kickboxing to new heights!

How to get started in kickboxing

There are a multitude of different weapons available to a kick boxing athlete, and the more rigorous they train, the more extensive their arsenal of weaponry becomes. Most people think that kick boxing is all about kicking, when in actual fact a good kick boxer will incorporate a fast, and capable style of boxing techniques. When an athlete utilises good footwork, and good punching skills, this is how they are able to set up a range of different kick boxing kicks. There are many different styles of kicks incorporated in all kick boxing Martial Arts, and they range from a simple low kick to the leg, right through to the more extravagant spinning back kicks, and question mark kicks to the head.


The roundhouse kick would have to be one of the most popular kicks to ever be seen in combat sports. To effectively utilise this kick boxing move the athlete must first stand in a more balanced manner with their left foot forward, and their hands guarding the chin. Once the athlete is settled, and ready to pounce they will simply lift their right knee, and begin to pivot on their left foot, as they rotate their hips. The athlete's shin will form a horizontal line, as it strikes to the midsection, or the head of their opponent. It is a vital element that the athlete remains with their hands guarding their chin, and this is just in case their opponent uses a counter strike. The most important part of this technique is the left foot pivot, as this is how the rotation of the hips can generate enough power to land with a significant force.

One of the highest percentage kicks in all of kick boxing is the simple front kick. In Muay Thai boxing this kick is known as the teep, which is slightly different to a normal kick boxing front kick. The Muay Thai version is more of a weighted push kick, compared to the more traditional kick boxing method, which is more of a snap force to their opponent. To implement this technique the athlete will simply lift their knee up high, before extending their leg outwards, and connecting with the sole of their foot into the abdomen of their opponent. It is extremely important to deliver this kick quickly, and to pull it back to the standing position once it has been applied, and this is so the opponent does not grab hold of the foot, and use that as an opportunity to sweep them to the floor, or land a counter strike to the body, or the head.

In kick boxing there are two main variations of the kick boxing stance, and this is the traditional orthodox stance with an athlete's left foot forward, and their right hand back as the power punch, or the southpaw stance, which is the right foot forward with their left hand back as the power punch. From the southpaw position athletes can utilise the side kick, which is a high calibre, and a high percentage kicking technique. To execute this technique the athlete will start by stepping their left leg across their body, and behind their right leg. From here they will lift their right knee, as they begin to rotate their hips, showing their back to their opponent. From here they will simply use their right knee, and extend their leg out, connecting with the sole of their foot to the abdomen of their opponent. This can be an extremely efficient kick to use, and can often catch an opponent off guard.


Kick boxing can be an extremely brutal form of combat, and this is due to the high impact of kicks that can be utilised. Kicks to the leg can be just as brutal as kicks to the head, or kicks to the vital areas surrounding the ribs. One of the most dangerous kicks that is used in combat sports today is the low kick to the leg. This is a Muay Thai boxer's speciality, as they will often step in and chop away at the leg with tremendous force. This kick has been known to cut off circulation to an athlete's leg, which will often leave them incapacitated. The low kick is also heavily used in Mixed Martial Arts, as athletes like Pedro Rizzo, Edson Barboza, Thiago Alves, and Justin Gaethje all command devastating power with their leg kicks. To execute a low kick to the leg, the athlete will start from the traditional orthodox stance. Executing the leg kick is all about applying devastating force, and the best way to do this is to step the lead leg out slightly diagonal, and as their rear leg swings across, their lead leg will pivot, as the rotation in the hips delivers significant power into the thigh of their opponent. It is of high importance that the athlete lands the blow with their shin, and not their foot, and this is how they can land significant force without breaking their foot.

The spinning back kick is one of the most underrated kick boxing maneuvers in the business. This devastating kick has the ability to land significant trauma to any area the athlete connects with. For athletes that want to incorporate this maneuver into their kick boxing training, a good structural video to watch is Joe Rogan's spinning back kick. In this video Joe shows just how much force can be applied by using this formidable kick boxing technique. To implement this attacking kick, the athlete will start by pivoting on their lead leg, turning their heel towards their opponent. From there they can rotate their hips, and use momentum to spin around, as they extend their rear leg into the abdomen of their opponent. It is important to use this kick with speed and power, and to catch their opponent off guard, athletes can also add head fakes, or stutter steps in so they can lure them into the kick.

The question mark kick is another extremely valuable kick that is heavily utilised in kick boxing matches. This technique is most commonly used in conjunction with the rear body kick. Quite often an athlete will attempt to land rear body kicks, as their opponent will either block, or evade. This is a good way to bait their opponent right into the question mark kick. The athlete will attack with a rear body kick, and as the opponent reacts, they will pivot on their left leg, lifting their right leg high above the guard of their opponent. From here they will rotate their hips, and roll their shin over diagonally to the side, as they land their shin into their opponent's head. The action of this kick actually looks like a question mark, which is where its name derives from.  This kick is extremely powerful, and is one of many kicks utilised in kick boxing circuits in most combat academies.

Another deadly kick in the kick boxing arsenal is called the spinning hook kick. This kick can be extremely devastating, but has its own element of risk attached. To use this kick effectively the athlete must turn their back slightly to their opponent, which can be dangerous against high quality opposition. From the traditional orthodox stance the athlete will initiate what is called a back turn, and this is when they pivot on their lead leg, and expose their back to their opponent. From this position they will now use their rear leg to lift up, and extend backwards in a hooking motion, as they circle around in a full three hundred and sixty degrees of rotation. As the opponent has completed this spin, their foot will land with significant force into the abdomen, or the head of their opponent. This kick was originally derived from the art of Taekwondo, but has now become a part of most kick boxing Martial Arts.

Another deadly kick which goes part and parcel with the rear body kick, is called the switch lead kick, and this kick is one of Muay Thai boxing's finest. To execute this style of strike the athlete will stand in a traditional orthodox fighting stance, as they begin to fake with a rear body kick. As the athlete begins to fake with their rear leg what they can do is bring their rear leg forward, switching their lead leg to the rear in one quick movement. As soon as they have initiated the switch, the athlete will instantly use their new rear leg to lift up and rotate through the hips, landing their shin across the abdomen, or the head of their opponent. This is a kick that can be extremely fast, and will often catch an opponent off guard, but can also be used in conjunction with various punching combinations.


One of the most iconic kick boxing combos is the jab, cross, left hook, low kick. This combination is commonly used by many high level strikers in the modern game of kick boxing. The athlete will begin with a good orthodox fighting stance, as they look to execute a left hand jab.  The good thing about using a jab as an initial set up, is if their footing isn't right, or if the opponent counter strikes in quick fashion, the athlete can simply circle away and set up again for another jab. When the athlete first lands the jab they will follow up in quick succession with a nice right hand cross to the jaw. From here the athlete will rotate their hips, as they land the left hook to the body, and use the same momentum back in the opposite direction, by administering a right foot kick to the thigh of their opponent. This is a devastating four hit combination that is highly successful at all levels of striking.

Another extremely effective punch and kick combination will start with an athlete going for the double jab. This technique is basically two jabs in quick succession, and will usually throw off the opponent as they will commonly expect a straight, or a cross after the first jab. As the athlete throws two jabs in a row, they will follow up with a nice right hand cross, and at the same time use their forward momentum to execute a right front kick. This can be a highly advantageous combination, and in Mixed Martial Arts the athlete can follow up with a take down attempt, as commonly an opponent will be taking a few steps backwards, as they absorb the front kick. In Muay Thai boxing the same combination can be used, but instead of throwing a front kick after the cross, they can simply initiate a Thai clinch, and look to throw brutal knees into the abdomen of their opponent.


Kick boxing is one of those highly intense, and dynamic combat sports. Becoming a professional fighter, and stepping into the ring against other high level athletes can have a heavy toll on an athlete both physically, and mentally. The only way for an athlete to combat this is to be well prepared for the fight, and this begins with how effective their training methods are. Training to become exceptional at fighting, and resilient enough to take punishment within the match, takes dedication, hard work, and consistency on the mats. The first step to effective training methods is all about attitude, and all athletes need to come to training with the right mindset of looking to improve, rather than thinking they are already good enough. Arrogance in combat sports will often lead to losses inside the ring, and commonly injuries as well. Athletes should be humble when they are learning, but still ferocious with their training attitude.

Renowned Boxing Coach Barry Robinson has the footwork game plan that could propel your kickboxing to new heights!

How to begin kickboxing

Warming up is one of the key components to becoming good at any combat sport. This means to use the right systems to increase the athlete's heart rate, in order to get the blood flowing, as well as the oxygen to all of their muscles. In order to do this an athlete must use dynamic stretching, which is movements like running, or skipping, or exercises like star jumps, jump squats, and other exercise routines. Once the athlete has begun the warm up process, they can use deeper stretching methods to iron out any tight spots, before they commence the bulk of their training. Using shadow boxing is a great warm up method, which not only gives the athlete extra cardiovascular ability, but it helps them to perfect their form, their footwork, and the cohesion of all of their fighting elements.

Once the athlete has definitively warmed up, and is ready to hit the bulk of their training session, they will need to use good energy, and a good attitude to perfect their techniques. This can be done on the focus mitts, or the Thai pads, and athletes will need to work on their combinations, keeping in mind good footwork, and good form is imperative to improving within their kick boxing skills. Athletes must take this part seriously, and look to use good evasion skills including side stepping, ducking, weaving, feinting, changing levels, and using head movements all in cohesion with different punching, and kicking combinations. All athletes should be pushing themselves to the limit, because only going through the motions, and punching the pads a few times is not going to help them become efficient in striking. Athletes need to put themselves through the paces, and commit to an extensive training session, and do so at least three or four times per week, so they can become extremely proficient within all aspects of their striking repertoire.

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