The main difference between kickboxing and boxing is that boxing uses only arm techniques (punches), while kickboxing utilizes the legs (kicks) just as much as it does arms.
There is also a major discrepancy in the ruleset, as well as the technique, stance, and strategy. Also, both can be used effectively for self-defense, so even if you aren’t planning on competing in the sport, you can still benefit from training either a lot. You’ll get in peak physical and mental shape, regardless of your ambitions sport-wise.
What are the differences between kickboxing and boxing?
When taking a look at a boxer and a kickboxer, you probably couldn’t tell the difference at first glance. However, seeing only a few seconds of action is enough to determine how different these martial arts really are.
Since kickboxing allows kicks, while boxing does not, it’s obvious the technique is quite different between the two. Kickboxers have to adjust their game to attack and defend not only punches but leg techniques as well. That means different combinations, different stances, and overall a different approach to combat.
When it comes to punching, the method is virtually the same. Both sports use hooks, jabs, and uppercuts with some variations such as overhand punches. In kickboxing, it’s not rare to see a spinning back fist shot, while boxers hardly ever turn their backs on the opponent, not even for a split second.
Also, shots can come from different angles depending on the sport. kickboxing requires quicker movement in and out of shots, because of the larger distance a kick can reach. That enables fighters to dash inside with a kick-punch combo that boxers can’t utilize. That’s the reason you’ll see more superman punches in kickboxing.
When it comes to stance, kickboxing practitioners have to learn how to defend their whole body, including the legs, whereas boxers only need to defend from the waist up. To achieve that, Kickboxers are usually lighter on their feet and use a lot more switches in guards, from orthodox to unorthodox and vise versa.
You have a much longer reach with kicks than you have with punches. Also, you have to be careful with defending low kicks in kickboxing, because only a few decent shots can limit your quickness and movement, giving your opponent a huge advantage.
Hence, the fighters will usually keep a greater distance when in guard, and use a lot of quick jabs and in-and-out moves to avoid damage. You can see movement similar to kickboxing in MMA, but it’s highlighted even more there because of the thinner gloves and the danger of being taken down.
In boxing, you have a lot less area to cover. Any strike under the waist is prohibited, and you only use your hands, so it’s a lot more difficult to penetrate through the defense of your opponent.
The first and the obvious – kickboxing allows leg striking, while boxing does not. But, there is more to it. For instance, some versions of kickboxing also allow elbow strikes, while those are strictly prohibited in boxing.
In boxing, the bouts are usually set to eight, ten, or twelve rounds, lasting three minutes each. You automatically win if you knock your opponent out, or if you knock him down enough times for the match to be stopped. It’s usually three times in the same round or four times during the course of the match.