Kickboxing vs Boxing: Which Sport Should I Choose?

kickboxing vs boxing

Which should I choose between kickboxing vs boxing? Both boxing and kickboxing have grown in popularity in recent years, and boxing and kickboxing training studios seem to be springing up everywhere. So, what is the difference between these two sports?

Overview of kickboxing and boxing

kickboxing vs boxing

History of kickboxing vs boxing

Boxing first appeared approximately 3000 BC, and it is well known that the Olympics, the biggest sporting event of antiquity, included a sort of boxing. In England around the 17th century, modern boxing emerged. The consolidated rules, which were issued in 1867 under the Marquess of Queensbury’s sponsorship, were largely responsible for giving it its present structure.

In terms of kickboxing history, there are two separate branches. The first came from Muay Thai, which in the 1920s adopted methods and components from western boxing, including boxing gloves, rounds, and the square ring. The other aspect of kickboxing’s growth began with karate in Japan. In the 1960s, Kyokushin karate practitioners engaged Muay Thai combatants. An amalgam of both martial arts techniques emerged as a result.

With the advent of K-1, kickboxing evolved into a unified style in the 1990s. The uniform rules adopted during the K-1 heyday are still in use by all major promotions today, including Glory and ONE Championship.

Boxing meaning


Boxing is a combat sport in which two opponents trade blows for a predetermined period of time inside a boxing ring while typically donning protective gloves and other safety gear like hand wraps and mouthguards.

Boxers must learn several strategies to disarm their opponents and break through their protection because only punches to targets from the waist up are permitted in the sport. As a result, in boxing matches, footwork, distance management, and head movement are crucial. For its subtle nuances and techniques that frequently escape the uninitiated audience but draw in many devoted admirers for life, boxing is sometimes referred to as the “sweet science.”

Kickboxing definition

Kickboxing combines punches and kicks. It is a general term that refers to a wide range of norms and styles. In kickboxing, elbows are not permitted but punches, kicks, and knees are.

The sport focuses on action-packed stand-up fights. Only very little time is allowed for clinches. Passivity and inactivity are discouraged, and the judges may even formally reprimand them.

What is the age for boxing?

Sports medicine experts advise starting boxing lessons when children are 9 to 10 years old. Boxing is too difficult, therefore starting a sport too early can turn off students. But starting early gives you a higher chance of developing discipline, muscle memory, endurance, and excellent habits.

What is the age for kickboxing?

high kick

There is no set age limit for kickboxing; children as young as 6 can begin training, and we know several people who started training in the 1980s and trained more than once a week. It is true that children may sometimes pick things up more rapidly than adults can, and they can easily get used to kickboxing techniques and maneuvers.

Difference Between Boxing & Kickboxing


In boxing, the two primary rule sets are amateur and professional. Each match lasts three minutes, with a minute break in between, and is held in a square ring. Three rounds make up an amateur bout, and the key objectives are punch volume and accuracy. The judges frequently choose the winner based on who landed the most blows. Knockdowns are permitted, but they are not the main goal.

In kickboxing rules, matches also take place in a boxing ring and last 3 or 5 rounds of 3 minutes each, with 1-minute breaks. Each round is scored separately using a 10-point must system, straight adapted from boxing. Nevertheless, progressive organizations like ONE FC are attempting to break free of this tradition and score the fights entirely. Perhaps better suited to the shorter kickboxing matches.

In kickboxing, only elbows are prohibited; all other kicks, punches, and knees are acceptable. The main distinction between kickboxing and Muay Thai is the briefness of clinches and the prohibition of striking during them.

female boxing


Competitions in boxing and kickboxing are conducted with boxing gloves and shorts. Mouthguards are required (I doubt that someone would choose not to wear one anyway).

Boxers wear unique, lightweight shoes that aid in stability and traction in the ring. Kickboxers fight barefoot due to the kicks, but even the best fighters frequently use ankle wraps with minimal shin protection.


Kickboxing differs significantly from boxing due to the insertion of kicks. The punches, though, and the responses to them are identical. Kickboxing incorporated the kicking game after appropriating them from boxing.

female kickboxing

Which sport should I choose?

Kickboxing and boxing are both excellent combat sports with benefits. If you want to be more versatile and have more MMA and self-defense skills, kickboxing should be your first pick. On the other hand, boxing is a combat sport with very rich traditions and an integral part of mainstream sports.


Above are our suggestions for choosing between kickboxing vs boxing. Despite having similar sounds, boxing and kickboxing are two completely different sports with extremely different laws and regulations. If you’re trying to decide between boxing and kickboxing, knowing the differences can be helpful. Don’t forget to come back to Boxingreport for the latest news!

Watch more: Kickboxing rules

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