Monday, January 9, 2012

Where Do Boxing & Kickboxing Differ?

Boxing and kickboxing are both very intense combat sports involving various types of striking techniques. Many similarities exist as far as hand techniques, but when it comes to defense tactics as well as kicks, there are a lot of distinct differences that set the two sports apart.

Punches and Hand Strikes
Punches are very similar with both boxing and kickboxing. Shoes are worn in boxing and provide a better grip for stronger rotation and punching power. However, pivoting on punches in kickboxing is still fairly similar. Jabs, crosses, uppercuts and hooks are utilized in both sports. Body punches can be a bit more of a challenge to execute in kickboxing as the risk of putting oneself in harms way for an opponents high kick is elevated. One strike that is unique to kickboxing is the spinning back fist. This involves the kickboxer rotating around through the torso in order to deliver a powerful strike with the back arm and striking with the backside of the hand. This type of strike is not allowed in boxing.
Kicks are an obvious difference that separate the two sports and make up the foundation of kickboxing. A certain number of kicks are required to be attempted per round in most kickboxing competitions. For example, a fighter may be required to throw a minimum of eight kicks per round or is penalized. Fighters learn to throw various kicks including front, side, roundhouse, hook, crescent kicks, and spinning kicks. Depending on the style of kickboxing, certain padding is worn on the shins and tops of the feet. In American kickboxing rules, kicks are only allowed above waist level and only front leg sweeps are allowed to the leg.
Punching combinations are very similar in both sports. For example, it is very common to see combinations such as a jab-cross-left hook combination in boxing and kickboxing. The differences occur in kickboxing when kicks are integrated into striking combinations. Jabs and crosses are normally followed immediately by front kicks or roundhouse kicks. This adds for much more variety of striking combinations in kickboxing. Due to these factors, more balance and coordination is necessary to execute kicks and punches in sequence during kickboxing matches.
Defensive Tactics
Kickboxing requires defending against various different kicks and punches and defensive maneuvers vary between the two sports. Boxing allows the athlete to dip lower to duck under punches while defending but this can be much more risky in kickboxing. If an athlete dips down low in kickboxing, there is high risk of getting blasted in the head with a strong roundhouse kick or another kicking technique.
Most other defensive techniques are similar between the two sports. However, there is just more to worry about in kickboxing with the various strikes and combinations that may be thrown at any point.
Round Time
Boxing rounds last three minutes in duration for professional fights. Professional kickboxing rounds are two minutes in length. More energy is exerted during kicking techniques which may explain the shorter round times. Both sports require 60 second rest periods between each round.

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