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Kick boxing is a formidable style of Martial Arts, and with a wide range of different forms, the rise in popularity has been significant. After the culmination of the UFC in the early 1990's the idea that a grappler could defeat a striker only strengthened the resolve of many combat athletes.

What this article covers:

The striking game was set to increase their efficiency in their output, as many styles increased their kick boxing training regimes to become more formidable inside of the octagon. There are significant differences between many of the kick boxing styles, like American kick boxing which only allows strikes above the waist, compared with Muay Thai Boxing that allows elbow, and knee strikes to any part of the body.

Karate Champion and UFC Veteran Stephen "Wonder Boy Thompson" has joined forces with DynamicStriking.com to share MOVEMENT AS A WEAPON!

Kickboxing techniques

Training in a comprehensive striking style like Muay Thai Boxing, Savate, Japanese Kick Boxing, or Shoot Boxing involves strenuous kick boxing workouts. Improving in a combat sport like kick boxing takes serious dedication to the training systems, consistency on the mats, and a mental, and physical resilience. There are many avenues for improvement in the striking arts, and with the right guidance, students will be capable of building a fundamental game style. One of the most important aspects for improvement is to be humble, listen to the knowledge, and soak in all of the important tips that the coaches are professing.


Mastering footwork is a crucial element in any combat sports, especially kick boxing. With a striking art that incorporates a high amount of kicking, an athlete's footwork needs to be extremely effective so they can set up room to initiate a kick. An important concept in improving any type of footwork for combat sports is warming up, and activating the right components is vital. Utilising kick boxing drills, like activating the ankles can be of high benefit to an athlete. Athletes will need to use techniques like sliding in and out of range, or shuffling sideways to avoid punches, or kicks. Building up agility is an important concept, and using rope ladders are a great way to do this. Athletes can put their gloves on, while they step in and out of the rope ladder rungs, as they use ducking, feinting and throwing shadow boxing punches. This is a great way to master different footwork, as the lines of the rope ladder will give them a more measured approach.

A good way to learn footwork techniques is to practice stepping in and out of range of their training partner. While the athlete circles around, they will be purely ducking punches, slipping and parrying, while focusing solely on where to step. This is a good way to improve footwork skills, but to also combine them with evasion techniques like ducking, and weaving. Once the athlete has more of an understanding of this concept, and how to move accordingly, they can add in their own variations of striking by either hitting the focus mitts, the Thai pads, or any other boxing equipment. One of the best ways to improve footwork skill is by pure shadow boxing, and this means to move around the mats in a solo drill, while punching and kicking into the air. This may seem strange to some athletes, but it is a proven drill that works time and time again for many of the world's best strikers. Using a drill like shadow boxing is non impactful on an athlete's body, and allows them to have freedom of movement so they can be creative, and start to ingrain these footwork movements into their muscle memory. This will only help to improve the overall quality of an athlete's striking ability.


Improving an athlete's quality of striking can happen in a number of different ways. Using the right kick boxing stance is vital to achieving a higher level of striking, and even though there are many different types of stances, athletes will need to be calculated in how they formulate their initial plan. It is extremely important for an athlete to keep their feet a shoulder width apart, with one leg facing forward, while being on the balls of their feet. This is so the athlete has a more agile frame, and is capable of checking kicks, or attacking with their own boxing, or kick boxing combos. Improving any striking technique involves having the right balance off of each foot, as they set up kicks and punches. Athletes should practice their fighting stance, and utilise drills like maneuvering their weight forward, and backwards, while using different striking techniques that will improve the quality of their striking.

The Thai pads are one of the most iconic pieces of combat equipment utilised in all Martial Arts. Muay Thai boxers are notorious for their incredible power, and resilience within their shins, and this can be directly correlated to the use of the Thai pads. To improve an athlete's striking ability they should be working extensively with their training partners, or their trainers by punching and kicking into the Thai pads. All good trainers know comprehensive ways to help their students improve their striking ability. Working through different systematic combinations, while using evasion techniques, and counter strikes is an important factor in improving how an athlete will use their striking proficiency. Using the Thai pads is a great way to work on an athlete's accuracy, their punching form, and even their power shots, as they will be pushed to their limits with repetitive training exercises.

Using a different assortment of boxing bags can be another great way to improve an athlete's quality of striking. An important tip for all athletes looking to enhance their striking ferocity, is to use boxing bags in a calculated manner. Any student can just wail into a bag with reckless punches, but this will not help their technique, or their rhythm. It is important to use the bag like an opponent, and begin circling around the bag looking at stepping in and out of range, and mimicking a real fight situation. If an athlete can be successful in these aspects they will begin to throw punches at the bag with good technique, good rhythm, and with a great amount of power. Using the bags can also be a great way to build endurance within their striking. This means to punch continuously with speed and power, so they will burn out the muscles, and build up a significant endurance within their muscles. This can be vitally important when an athlete is faced with a real opponent in the later rounds of a fight, as all athletes will lose energy, which can result in poor technique. If an athlete can build up a significant amount of reserve power then even when they are tired they will still be using good rhythm, good form, with a significant amount of power within their strikes.


There are a few different ways to combine footwork, and an athlete's striking combinations, and the best way to start this cohesion is by shadow boxing. During shadow boxing workouts athletes can work on separate parts of their overall game, which will give them less to think about when they master each aspect. Once an athlete has all of the knowledge, or the relevant information they need, they can begin pulling everything together into one prominent form. Using different footwork techniques like stepping in and changing levels, while ducking their head, and throwing hooks all at the same time, is how an athlete can begin to categorise each of their available movements. There is an extremely wide range of striking techniques that can be utilised, and athletes need to ingrain all of these systems into their muscle memory if they want to be instinctive while they fight.

Another good way to combine all of these elements together is by pure sparring. There are two aspects to sparring, and the first one is when two training partners are setting up to spar, they can simply spar lightly, where they can play different sorts of games to improve their striking ability. This could mean one person strikes, while the other evades, or picking certain spots like the shoulders to land strikes on, will give the athletes a greater sense of accuracy, and will make them think about how they are going to defend, and evade the shots. The other aspect of sparring is full contact, and this can be dangerous due to how devastating some athletes are with their striking ability. Utilising full contact sparring against a training partner, an athlete must be cautious, and not treat their training partner like a boxing bag. Instead they should still use diligence to practice their striking in a safe manner, while still getting the most out of their striking. The good part about full contact sparring is an athlete will be tested, and will be forced to rely on their muscle memory, while they are under a barrage of attacks. Even though an athlete will suffer significant bruises, and battery, this is a great way to increase the cohesion between footwork, and striking.


Some athletes will not know how to start kick boxing, and this may be because of how brutal the art form looks. It can be hard for beginners to walk into an academy in the first place, because they may feel like they are being sized up by all of the other competitive athletes. This is why most beginners will work on their strength and conditioning before they even step foot inside of the gym. This can be a good idea, as it will only enhance their ability to learn and grow within the confines of a kick boxing academy. This does not mean that all beginners need to work on their strength and conditioning before they come, because training in an art form like kick boxing, will only develop their conditioning extensively. Using strength and conditioning methods to best prepare for a fight is crucial to the outcome of any match. Athletes can have an incredible amount of skill, the best striking technique, and a really good rhythm, but without a good cardio ability, or a significant strength ability, they can fall over at the wayside. 

Fighting in combat sports like Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, or K-1 Kick Boxing can be considerably grueling. Athletes will often wind up spending numerous rounds fighting against an opponent, before going to the judge's score cards for a decision. This means that having a considerable amount of strength and conditioning will only help an athlete out in the later rounds of a fight. Athletes must utilise running, skipping, and shadow boxing as a way to improve their cardiovascular ability. In terms of their strength and conditioning they need to utilise methods like kettlebell training, resistance band training, lifting weights, or even specific exercises like chin ups, push ups, squats and lunches. One thing is for certain inside of a competitive match, is that an opponent will come in with a high amount of strength and conditioning, so all athletes must prepare like they are going to war, or they may end up on the receiving end of a brutal knock out, or an embarrassing loss.


Most competitive athletes will suffer nerves before they step inside of a professional fight. Combating nerves can be one of the hardest aspects inside of the competitive arena, and if an athlete allows their adrenaline to spike before the fight begins, it can be detrimental to their performance. Athletes must develop strategies in order to calm themselves down, and stop any of these pre fight nerves. The main element to this is for each individual athlete to understand themselves, and to be honest with how they should best prepare. Some athletes will simply listen to music, and go through breathing exercises, while others will just punch the focus mitts, and tire themselves out slightly. All athletes must be able to take control of how they perform inside of a real fight situation, and this is exactly the same in a real life street altercation, as usually adrenaline and nerves can take over, making a confrontation on the street very scary. This is why athletes train vigorously to ingrain their muscle memory, so that when they are faced with challenges they will simply stay calm, breathe deep, and rely on their muscle memory systems to get them through.

Karate Champion and UFC Veteran Stephen "Wonder Boy Thompson" has joined forces with DynamicStriking.com to share MOVEMENT AS A WEAPON!

Kickboxing training tips

Another important strategy that all athletes should incorporate during their fights, is learning how to pace themselves. Some athletes are overzealous, and will come too fast out of the blocks, and throw a reckless series of punches that will tire them out quickly, and may not even connect with their opponent. A smart strategy is to be cautious, and feel out the opponent. An athlete must know their own limitations, so they can move at the right pace during a long and drawn out fight. An athlete can still be lightning fast with their combinations as they step in and out of range, but pacing themselves means to set themselves up for the long haul. This is where fight conditioning comes into play, and athletes that have a strong cardiovascular ability, and muscle endurance will be able to use a good fight pace consistently throughout their whole performance.

Some competitive athletes do not like to research their opponent before fights, as they would rather be brave and just go in and bang. Although this might be a pride aspect for a lot of competitive athletes, it is imperative that all fighters do their research. Developing a right strategy for each fight is going to be different depending on their opponents. An opponent that has a good leg kick, compared to a more predominant boxing skill is going to force an athlete to prepare differently. The best way to improve their fight strategy is by understanding how their opponent moves, so the athlete can develop their own game plan to combat this. It is highly important in all combat sports, to develop strategy, and in a lot of cases it is the only way to win an actual fight. In the modern era combat athletes are all relatively similar in skill level, and stature, and this means that fights can end up a stalemate, as the fight will often go to the judge's score cards. This is why athletes that do the right homework, and develop the right game plans will have a higher success rate at winning competitive fights. 

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