Kickboxing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Sport

January 23, 2023
From: Spartacus
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Are you ready to kick it up a notch? Kickboxing, the ultimate combination of martial arts and combat sports, is sure to get your heart pumping and your adrenaline rushing. From punches and kicks to knees and elbows, kickboxing is a full-contact sport that requires strength, speed, and agility.

And the best part? You don’t have to be a professional fighter to enjoy the benefits of kickboxing. It’s also a popular form of fitness and self-defence, so anyone can try it out and see the results for themselves.

At Spartacus MMA, we know that kickboxing is more than just a sport, it’s a way of life. That’s why we offer live events and exclusive content on our app, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest fights and get an inside look at the world of kickboxing. So, whether you’re a seasoned fighter or just starting out, our guide to the basics of kickboxing has got you covered. From the different techniques used to the training methods and styles, we’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to know to kick your way to success.

History of Kickboxing

The origins of kickboxing can be traced back to the 1960s, when martial artists in Japan and the United States began experimenting with combining the different striking techniques of different martial arts. The first documented kickboxing match was held in Japan in 1966, and the sport quickly gained popularity in other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe. In 1974, the first World Championships were held in Tokyo, Japan, and kickboxing continued to evolve as a sport with the formation of various organisations and the development of different rules and regulations. Today, kickboxing is a popular sport around the world and is also commonly used as a form of fitness and self-defence.

The Techniques of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is the ultimate striking sport that involves using a wide variety of techniques to outsmart and overpower your opponent. From punches to kicks, knees to elbows, this sport has it all!

Let’s start with punches. In kickboxing, you’ll learn the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. These strikes are aimed at the opponent’s head and body, and can be used in a combination to throw your opponent off their game. With each punch, you’ll need to focus on accuracy and speed to get the best results.


Kicks are another important aspect of kickboxing and will be a game-changer in your arsenal. Front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and sidekicks can target your opponent’s legs, body, and head. With proper technique and power, you can knock your opponent off their feet and secure a victory.


Knee strikes are often used in close combat, and can deal significant damage to your opponent’s body. With proper technique, you can use your knees to drive into your opponent and weaken their defences.


And let’s not forget about elbow strikes, which are less common but equally effective. Aimed at the head, a well-executed elbow strike can leave your opponent dazed and confused, giving you the upper hand in the fight.


In kickboxing, technique and form are everything. To succeed, you need to practise until you can strike accurately and efficiently. Proper footwork and stance are also crucial elements of kickboxing, as they allow you to move quickly and gracefully around the ring, while maintaining a strong and stable position to defend against your opponent’s strikes.

For beginners, starting with the basics is key. Gradually building your skills and knowledge as you progress in the sport will ensure that you become a skilled kickboxer in no time. So get ready to put in the work, learn the techniques, and get ready to take on the competition!

Training for Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a high-intensity sport that demands a combination of cardio, strength training, and technique drills to build a well-rounded skill set.

Cardiovascular endurance is key in kickboxing, as it helps fighters to maintain their energy levels throughout the fight. Running, cycling, swimming, and jumping rope are all effective ways to improve your cardio fitness, which will in turn help you to sustain your performance in the ring.

Strength training is equally important in kickboxing, as it helps to develop the explosive power needed to deliver powerful strikes. This can include weightlifting, resistance training, and bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and squats. Strengthening your core and legs is especially important, as these areas are used extensively in kicking and striking.

In addition to cardio and strength training, technique drills are essential for honing your skills as a kickboxer. These drills involve practising various strikes, footwork, and defensive techniques with a partner or a striking bag. By repeatedly practising these techniques, you can improve your muscle memory and reflexes, allowing you to react more quickly and efficiently in a real fight situation.

Proper training and conditioning are crucial for success in kickboxing. Consistent training and pushing yourself to improve your technique and fitness levels are key to achieving your full potential as a kickboxer. It is also important to ensure that you are training safely and effectively, so seeking guidance and instruction from a qualified kickboxing gym or trainer can be beneficial.

The Different Styles of Kickboxing

One of the fascinating aspects of kickboxing is the different styles of kickboxing that have evolved over time. Let’s explore some of the most popular styles and what makes them unique.

First up, we have American kickboxing, which is all about power and athleticism. This style of kickboxing is known for its emphasis on punching and kicking techniques. However, elbow strikes are not allowed in this style of kickboxing. American kickboxing fighters are known for their explosive movements and ability to deliver powerful blows to their opponents.

Next, we have Japanese kickboxing, also known as K-1. This style of kickboxing emphasises striking techniques and the use of light contact. Japanese kickboxing allows the use of punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes, making it one of the most versatile styles of kickboxing. The fighters in this style of kickboxing are known for their technical skills and precision strikes.

Finally, we have Dutch kickboxing, also known as Dutch-style kickboxing or Muay Thai. This style of kickboxing is known for its emphasis on powerful low kicks and the use of clinching. Dutch kickboxing allows the use of punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes, and also permits the use of knee strikes while in the clinch. Fighters in this style of kickboxing are known for their endurance and ability to deliver devastating blows to their opponents.

Each style of kickboxing has its own unique characteristics, and fighters may choose to specialise in one style or incorporate elements of multiple styles into their fighting style. Understanding the differences between these styles is crucial for kickboxers, as it allows them to adapt their techniques and strategies when facing opponents with different styles.

To be successful in kickboxing, it is essential for fighters to continuously train and improve their skills. This involves not only practising the techniques of their chosen style but also learning about the techniques used in other styles. By doing so, fighters can broaden their knowledge and become more well-rounded kickboxers.

Whether you prefer the power of American kickboxing, the technical skills of Japanese kickboxing, or the devastating low kicks of Dutch kickboxing, the different styles of kickboxing offer something for everyone to enjoy. 

Kickboxing Equipments

When it comes to kickboxing, having the right equipment is essential to ensure safety and enhance your performance. At Spartacus MMA, we understand the importance of quality gear, and we’re here to guide you through the essential equipment you’ll need to excel in the sport.

  • Gloves: Kickboxing gloves are a must-have for any practitioner. They protect your hands and wrists while allowing you to deliver powerful punches and strikes. Look for gloves that offer proper padding and a secure fit to ensure maximum protection and comfort. Spartacus MMA fighters recommend the Fairtex brand of gloves.
  • Shin Guards: As kickboxing involves a significant amount of kicking, shin guards are vital to protect your shins from impact. Quality shin guards provide cushioning and support to prevent injuries during training or sparring sessions. The Venum Shin Guards are a go to among Spartacus MMA’s fighters. 
  • Mouthguard: Protecting your teeth and jaw is crucial in combat sports. A well-fitted mouthguard absorbs impact, reducing the risk of dental injuries and concussions. Choose a mouthguard that offers both comfort and protection. We recommend the SISU mouthguards.
  • Headgear: Although not always required in kickboxing, headgear can provide additional protection, especially during intense sparring sessions or when transitioning to full-contact fights. It safeguards your head from strikes and minimises the risk of cuts and bruises. We recommend the Fairtex Super Sparring Headguard.
  • Groin Protection: To protect a sensitive area, groin protection is a must. It shields you from accidental hits and provides added confidence during training or competitive bouts. The Shock Doctor Core Supporter is a must have for Spartacus MMA fighters. 
  • Hand Wraps: Hand wraps are essential to stabilise your wrists, protect your knuckles, and provide support to the small bones in your hands. They offer an extra layer of defence and help prevent injuries while punching. We recommend the Hayabusa Perfect Stretch Hand Wraps.
  • Heavy Bag: A heavy bag is a large, cylindrical bag that is suspended from the ceiling or mounted on a stand. When selecting a heavy bag, consider its weight, durability, and material. Heavy bags can weigh anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds, with the most common weight being 100 pounds. A heavier bag will provide more resistance and a more challenging workout. Durability is also important, as the bag will take a lot of abuse over time. Some popular brands of heavy bags include, Everlast, and Ringside.
  • Speed Bag: A speed bag is a small, pear-shaped bag that is used for developing hand speed, timing, and rhythm. When selecting a speed bag, look for one that is the right size for you and made with durable materials. The size of the bag depends on your skill level and experience. Beginners typically start with a larger bag, while more experienced fighters use smaller bags. Durable materials ensure that the bag will withstand repeated strikes. Some popular brands of speed bags include Title Boxing, Everlast, and Ringside.
  • Focus mitts are padded targets that a training partner holds for you to strike. They allow you to practise your strikes with a partner and simulate real-life combat situations. Look for focus mitts that offer good padding and durability. The padding should be thick enough to absorb the impact of your strikes and protect your partner’s hands. Durability is also important, as the mitts will take a lot of abuse over time. Some popular brands of focus mitts include Fairtex.

Competing in Kickboxing

Have you ever dreamed of stepping into the ring and showing off your kickboxing skills? Well, with different levels of competition available, you can start working your way up from amateur to professional matches!

Amateur kickboxing competitions are a great opportunity for beginners to gain experience and test their skills against other fighters. These events are typically organised by local or regional organisations and offer a chance to compete in a friendly, supportive environment.

Once you feel confident and ready to take your kickboxing to the next level, you can start competing in professional kickboxing competitions. These events are typically organised by major organisations and are held at a national or international level, offering larger prize money and greater exposure for the fighters.

When preparing for a kickboxing match, it’s important to focus on proper training and conditioning. This means engaging in activities such as cardio, strength training, and technique drills, as well as working with a coach or trainer to develop a game plan for the match.

It’s also important to be mentally prepared and to stay calm under pressure. Visualizing yourself performing well and staying relaxed during the match can help you to stay focused and in control.

In addition, it’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations of the specific organisation and to comply with them. This can include wearing proper protective gear such as gloves, shin guards, and a mouthguard during matches.

Competing in kickboxing can be a rewarding and exciting experience, allowing fighters to test their skills and improve their abilities in the sport. So, if you’re ready to step into the ring, start training and get ready to show off your kickboxing skills at the next competition!

Regulating Kickboxing: A Look at Notable Organisations and Countries

Kickboxing is a popular combat sport that has gained traction in different parts of the world. As a result, different organisations and countries have established their own set of rules and regulations that govern the sport.

Let’s start with the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF), which is based in the United States. It is one of the largest kickboxing organisations in the world, with divisions in over 60 countries. The IKF organises events and championships in various weight classes, including amateur and professional. They have a reputation for being a well-established and respected organisation in the world of kickboxing.

Next, we have the World Kickboxing Network (WKN), a France-based organisation that is known for its full-contact and oriental rules events. They organise events in various weight classes, including amateur and professional. They are known for their innovative approach to organising events, and they often feature new and exciting fighters.

The International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) is a United States-based organisation that is known for its full-contact and semi-contact events. They organise events in various weight classes, including amateur and professional. The ISKA has been around for over 30 years and has a reputation for being one of the most well-known and respected kickboxing organisations.

Finally, the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) is a United Kingdom-based organisation that is known for its full-contact and semi-contact events. They organise events in various weight classes, including amateur and professional. They have a reputation for being a well-organised and respected organisation in the world of kickboxing.

In addition to these organisations, several countries have their own governing bodies and regulations for kickboxing. Japan, for example, has the Japan Kickboxing Federation (JKF), which is the governing body for amateur kickboxing in the country. The JFK is responsible for organising events and championships. Thailand is known for its muay thai sport, which is similar to kickboxing. The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) is the governing body for muay thai in Thailand and is responsible for organising events and championships. Lastly, the Netherlands is known for its strong kickboxing community and has the Dutch Kickboxing Federation (NKBB), which is the governing body for amateur kickboxing in the country.

If you are looking to take your kickboxing skills to the next level? Spartacus MMA offers live events where you can watch the pros in action and learn from the best. Plus, with our exclusive fighter interviews and behind-the-scenes content, you can get an inside look at the world of kickboxing like never before.”

The world of kickboxing is diverse and offers fighters the opportunity to compete in various events and championships. Fighters must be familiar with the rules and regulations of the organisation or country they compete in to ensure a fair and safe competition. With the different organisations and governing bodies in place, kickboxing continues to grow and evolve as a sport.

Kickboxing Rules and Regulations

As with any sport, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations that govern it to ensure a fair and safe competition.

First off, it’s important to note that the rules of kickboxing may vary depending on the organisation and country where the competition takes place. However, in general, kickboxing matches consist of a set number of rounds, typically three or five, with each round lasting for three minutes. Fighters can use their fists, feet, knees, and elbows to strike their opponent.

To win a match, there are a few different ways to score points. Fighters can earn points by landing strikes to their opponent’s body or head, by knocking their opponent down, or by maintaining overall control of the match. However, there are some strikes that are not allowed in kickboxing, such as strikes to the back of the head, spine, or groin, as well as headbutts.

In addition to the strikes that are allowed and not allowed, fighters are also required to wear protective gear during the match. This includes gloves, shin guards, a mouthguard, and sometimes a helmet. The weight of the gloves worn by the fighters will vary depending on the weight class they are competing in.

Another important aspect of kickboxing is the role of the referee. The referee’s job is to ensure that the match is conducted fairly and safely. They have the authority to stop the match if they see any illegal moves or if they believe that a fighter is in danger of serious injury.


From the powerful punches to the lightning-fast kicks, this sport is all about unleashing your inner warrior and embracing the adrenaline rush. Whether you’re a beginner just stepping into the ring or a seasoned fighter honing your skills, kickboxing offers a dynamic and challenging experience that will keep you on your toes (literally!). It’s not just about physical strength, but also about mental focus, discipline, and determination.

So lace up those gloves, find a kickboxing gym or trainer who will be your guide, and embark on this exciting adventure. Embrace the sweat, the hard work, and the occasional bruise, because each step you take will bring you closer to becoming the best version of yourself.


What is kickboxing and what are its benefits?

Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport that combines elements of boxing and martial arts techniques like kicking. Benefits include improved cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility, and stress relief.

What techniques are involved in kickboxing?

Techniques include punches (jabs, hooks, uppercuts), kicks (front kicks, roundhouse kicks, sidekicks), knee strikes, and sometimes elbow strikes.

How do I start training for kickboxing?

You can start by finding a reputable gym or instructor, taking beginner’s classes, and gradually progressing. Work on your cardio and strength as well.

What is the importance of cardio and strength training in kickboxing?

Cardio improves stamina and endurance, while strength training helps in delivering powerful strikes. Both are essential for effective kickboxing.

What are the different styles of kickboxing?

Styles include American Kickboxing, Muay Thai, K-1, and Savate, among others, each with its own set of techniques and rules.

What equipment do I need to start kickboxing?

You’ll need gloves, hand wraps, mouth guard, shin guards, and appropriate footwear. Some also use headgear for sparring.

How do I choose the right kickboxing gloves, shin guards, and other gear?

Choose gear based on fit, comfort, and level of protection. It’s best to consult with an instructor or experienced kickboxer for recommendations.

How can I get into amateur or professional kickboxing competitions?

Start by excelling in your training, participate in local tournaments, and gain experience. A good record and the right connections can help you move into amateur or professional levels.

What should I focus on when preparing for a kickboxing match?

Focus on technique, strategy, physical conditioning, and mental preparation. Consistent practice and consultation with your coach are key.

What are some notable organisations and countries that regulate kickboxing?

Organizations like the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) and International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) regulate the sport. Countries like the USA, the Netherlands, and Thailand have strong kickboxing cultures.

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