X Close
Your Cart
Keep Shopping


There are many different styles of striking in the world of combat sports, and two of the most iconic art forms are boxing, and kick boxing. Both of these striking arts use hard, and accurate punches, except in kick boxing the athlete's can use a combination of punches, and kicks. Each of these forms of combat have their own unique set of components, and slightly different training methods. Both combat arts have increased significantly in their overall popularity, as many students from all over the world are lining up to make a name for themselves in their respective combat sport. Employing striking techniques is one aspect, but when it comes down to kick boxing vs mma, the athlete that has a well rounded game, and combines all forms of striking together, has a greater chance of success inside of the cage. 

What this article covers:

There have been many legends in each combat sport, as boxing boasts athletes like Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones Jr, and Andy Ruiz Jr, compared to the likes of Mirko CroCop, Anderson Silva, Lyotto Machida, Ernesto Hoost, Semmy Schilt, and Buakaw, who are all athletes that employ high level kick boxing techniques in their fighting arsenal. It is extremely hard to pinpoint which Martial Art is more efficient, because both of these styles incorporate a high level of punching techniques.

Renowned Combat Coach Rafael Cordeiro has joined forces with DynamicStriking.com to share his fundamentals of the sweet science!

boxing vs kickboxing

Kick boxing does have a slight edge in terms of its competitive form, and this is because an athlete can use their legs to keep their opponent away. They can also use their kick boxing maneuvers to launch long range attacks. There are strengths and weaknesses to both forms, so it really does come down to each individual athlete, and how well they have trained within their own sport, as well as their level of skill, and their overall cardio, strength, and conditioning ability. 


Kick boxing is a highly effective style of striking that involves a series punches, and kicks. Some forms of kick boxing will also employ other striking techniques like knee strikes, elbow strikes, and even head butts. Kick boxing derived from the ancient styles of Kung Fu, and Karate, and as the Martial Art evolved over centuries the art of today is extremely diverse. Kick boxing is seen in many different forms, and even though the art does imply a high calibre of kicking techniques, there are extensive punching combinations involved. There are slight differences between all versions of striking, like kick boxing vs muay thai where the Thailand national sport incorporates a brutal nature of clinching, with elbow and knee strikes. American kick boxing does not allow any strikes below the waist, Lethwei uses a nine limb system of attack, which includes fists, feet, elbows, knees, and the head, and kick boxing in Mixed Martial Arts allows the use of Wrestling, and Judo takedowns, along with various other forms of grappling. Other disciplines of kick boxing include Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, Shoot Fighting, Sanshou, Japanese kick boxing (K-1), Yaw-Yan, Muay Boran, and Kung Fu, and in their full contact form they can all be equally as dangerous as each other.


Boxing is an extremely dynamic form of hand to hand combat, and even though kicks are illegal in boxing, the calibre of punching combinations is highly professional. The sport of boxing is an intense competition that involves two athletes to face off in a battle with their fists. All boxing athletes wear sixteen ounce gloves, which is more about protecting their hands, rather than an opponent's face. A boxer uses a series of fast, and effective striking techniques, which are predominantly set up by employing good footwork, balance, coordination, posture, and agility. Punches are only allowed above the waist in boxing, and all athletes need to work on ways to penetrate their opponent's defense. This makes footwork, distance management, positional awareness, and head movement, all pivotal aspects in a competitive boxing fight. Boxing has been around for a long time, with some forms dating back to 300 BC, where Ancient Greeks would battle to the death in pankration events that utilised significant boxing skills. 


Training in the art of boxing requires an athlete to become extremely fit, and build up considerable strength, and conditioning. All of the training exercises in boxing will give the athlete a significant boost in cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. All an athlete needs is the right mindset, and they will be able to endure the challenges that come along with training in combat sports. Serious combat athletes need dedication, perseverance, and consistency within their training structures, and then they will achieve success inside of the ring. Improving an athlete's overall quality of conditioning is pivotal when they are facing high quality opposition, or when they are spending long hours training inside of their gym.

There are many different avenues that athletes will need to improve to build up an all round technical ability in boxing. Having a superior level of conditioning is only one part of the puzzle, and athletes need a range of significant skills in many other attributes. Footwork is crucial in boxing, and all athletes will develop skills in balance, coordination, agility, and posture, which are the four main components in good footwork ability. Understanding how to maintain a safe distance away from an opponent, and knowing when to engage using clean footwork skills is extremely important. Athletes will use side stepping, feinting, level changing, pivoting, sliding, and back stepping in a number of different ways, and this is how the athlete will improve their ability to get in and out of range, so they can attack their opponents, but still maintain a safe position when an opponent counter strikes.

Speed, power, rhythm, and accuracy are all equally important components in becoming a quality boxer. Athletes will train extensively on the focus mitts, the boxing bags, real life sparring partners, and in solo shadow boxing drills, to build up a combination of all of these attributes. Practising punching form and combining footwork skills, can be done in shadow boxing sessions, and along with these skill increases, the athlete will improve their physical conditioning too. The focus mitts are used to practise punching combinations, and this will improve an athlete's accuracy, as well as their rhythm, speed, and power. The boxing bags are great for increasing the athlete's overall power punches, and in the modern era of combat this is extremely important. Real life sparring is vital for the athlete to combine all of their training skills, and build a real fluency within their game style. This will also increase their resilience, and their mental toughness, which is crucial in a sport like boxing.


Training to become a kick boxer has even more levels than traditional boxing, and this is because athletes will need to perfect their punching, as well as their kicking techniques. Kick boxing is used a lot for real life self defense purposes, and even different combat organisations use modified forms of kick boxing as their main hand to hand combat. A kick boxer vs marine is a good comparison, and this is because both athletes will need a series of comprehensive striking techniques that coincide with each other. Just like boxing, kick boxing also helps an athlete to increase their cardiovascular ability, and their overall level of strength and conditioning. It takes some serious nouse to become a formidable striker, and training an athlete to kick, and punch at the same time can take more physical endurance, a heightened sense of hand and eye coordination, and a higher aptitude for fight strategy.

Kick boxers will hit the focus mitts, and the boxing bags, just like a traditional boxer, and this is so they can improve their punching efficiency. The added difference for a kick boxer is the use of kick shields, and the Thai pads. Athletes will engage in highly dynamic striking combinations that incorporate kicks, and punches. The Thai pads are a notorious piece of equipment used in Muay Thai boxing, where athletes can increase their ability to hit hard, and improve their striking form. The Thai pads are thicker and bigger than a traditional focus mitt, which can give a kick boxer an added advantage in striking ability over a boxer. Kick boxing is the natural progression of boxing, and this is because a boxer can only punch, where a kick boxer can add in kicking maneuvers, and some forms of kick boxing can also use elbow strikes, knee strikes, and even head butts. 


Mixed Martial Arts has become the pinnacle of all combative forms, and with the cohesion of all combat styles into one, the intensity of the MMA athlete's is unmatched throughout the world. All high level athletes have a combination of different styles in their repertoire, and knowing how to use each element in the heat of battle is the important factor. Many MMA athletes will employ boxing fundamentals into their striking efficiency, and using the jab, and a series of boxing combinations can be extremely effective. UFC legends like Junior Dos Santos, Nate Diaz, Connor McGregor, and Nick Diaz have all proven just how influential boxing can be in Mixed Martial Arts. In MMA an athlete must be cautious, because their opponent has many options like throwing punches, throwing kicks, or attempting takedown maneuvers, and this makes the fight extremely diverse, and highly unpredictable. Boxing can be an effective tool to use to get into an opponent's range, and still be capable of executing highly efficient striking, while still using enough power to finish a fight. 

Kick boxing is another high quality striking art that is used by some of the best Mixed Martial Artists in history. Athletes like Anderson Silva, Alistair Overeem, Mirko CroCop, Stephen Thompson, Lyotto Machida, and Israel Adesanya have all showcased how effective their kick boxing styles can be inside of the ring, or the cage. One of the most effective striking techniques inside of the octagon is the low kick to the thigh, and this Muay Thai special has stopped many challengers that have stepped inside of the cage. What makes kick boxing so deadly is the hard impact an athlete can execute with their tibia bone, and these kicks can be directed to the legs, the midsection, or the head of an opponent. The best part about the use of kick boxing techniques is that an athlete can steer clear of an opponent's punch, because of a kick boxer's long range attacks. Utilising a way to keep distance between an athlete and their opponent is crucial for Mixed Martial Arts, and the high level kick boxers will often send their opponent's to the canvas with deadly leg, liver, or headshots.


It is hard to know which artform is the more effective one, and this is for more than one reason. For starters kick boxing employs boxing combinations into its repertoire, so this art is already heavily influenced in this regard. This means that the effectiveness of boxing already exists within the kick boxing arsenal. There is a difference in the footwork of each art form, and a boxer will use a variety of side steps, forward foot slides, and fake steps in order to attack with punches. A kick boxer has a more side on stance, so they can execute kicks, and so they can be ready to check kicks. A kick boxer will also need to be more evasive with their footwork, so they can get in and out of range quickly, while still being able to use effective kicking maneuvers. Boxing has been around for a long time, with some of these concepts dating back to ancient Greece and ancient India. The effective nature of boxing has been on show for generations, and the notoriety of professional competition is still extremely popular all over the globe.

Renowned Combat Coach Rafael Cordeiro has joined forces with DynamicStriking.com to share his fundamentals of the sweet science!

boxing or kickboxing

Kick boxing does have the slight edge in effectiveness, and this is because a kick boxer can attack from a greater distance, but still have the weapons needed to get in close, and utilise high calibre punching techniques. A world class kick boxer will have a higher efficiency rate of finishing opponents, and this is because there are simply more effective techniques they can utilise. Having the ability to finish an opponent with a hard leg kick is instrumental to any combat athlete, let alone having the flexibility and the power to knock an opponent out with a head kick. Kicks can also be used to set up punching combinations, like a Muay Thai fighter will use the teep in order to unbalance their opponent, as they pounce and land more efficient close quarters striking. A kickboxer has more options than a boxer, and this is the bottom line in what makes kick boxing more efficient than boxing.


If a boxer and a kick boxer had a real life competitive fight, the outcome will always come down to individual skill, and athleticism. The outcome would also highly depend on the rule set for the fight, and if both athletes were only allowed to use their own Martial Arts skills, then the outcome would be heavily favoured toward the kick boxer. This does not mean that a boxer would not be able to win, because a boxer would still have a high chance of getting in close, and achieving a knockout. The kick boxer has an advantage because they can use kicks, knees, and elbows, which just gives them a greater chance of achieving a knockout victory. It is one aspect to knockout an opponent with gloves on, compared to wrapping a tibia bone around an opponent's head, and the devastation that a kick, elbow, or a knee can cause is cataclysmic. A kick boxer also has a longer ranged attack, which puts them in the box seat to initiate a finishing blow, and also gives them a greater component for defense, as they can use teep kicks to keep their distance. A kick boxer would win against a boxer in most cases, but as previously mentioned, it really does come down to each individual athlete, and how skilful, determined, and strategic they are. 

Enjoyed what you just read? Explore these related topics: