hundreds of years the people from the countries
of Asia such as China, Korea,
Japan have practised the
Martial Arts. 'Martial' is a word that means 'Military',
and initially during any 'Military' confrontation,
armies would primarily use weapons to defend themselves,
such as Swords and Spears. However, there was
always a need for an unarmed method of combat
should a warrior become disarmed at any point.
today the military personal of modern armies,
including special forces, despite having
advanced weaponary will still extensively
practise unarmed combat.
This is generally referred to as Combatives
and utilises the various striking techniques
as seen in Kickboxing.
Modern Combatives -
Rising Upper-Cut Elbow )
: Thai-Kickboxing / ' Muaythai ':
is a umbrella term used today to describe the
unarmed martial art systems of Thailand. Originally
these arts were simply know as 'MUAY'
which translates as 'Fighting'.
Various regions of the country had their own style,
these were 'Muay'-Thasao
from the North, 'Muay'-Khorat
from the East, 'Muay'-Lopburi
from the Central Area and 'Muay'-Chaiya
from the South.
the 1920’s the Thai martial arts systems, ( today
collectively known today as Muay-Boran
), were modified into a modern combat-sport. The
kicks, punches, knees and elbows were still legal,
but under the new rules, strikes to the groin
and to the neck were no longer allowed.
Headbutts were banned as was striking a downed
opponent, 'ground-striking' being a method used
during warfare to quickly disable an enemy, (
for example using a stamp-kick to the limbs/joints
of a floored enemy ).
Gloves would now be worn, and to replace the traditional
finger strikes, chops and chokes, instead the
punching techniques of Western
Boxing would be used. Bouts would
now be conducted in a ring and weight categories
of the traditional Muay-Boran
techniques were either banned outright or
became impractical due to the new 'Ring-Sport'
Additionally a new concept was introduced
for the ring, known as 'Clinch-Work', whereby
during bouts two fighters can Neck-Wrestle
extensively for a dominant position to deliver
Stamp-Kick to the face )
Clinch-Work is something not practised extensively
On the battlefield a soldier would not engage
in holding an opponent for any long duration as
it would be most likely that there would be several
adversarys in combat and one-to-one exchanges
for an extended period of time would be too dangerous.
Another reason that an extended/long Clinch-Hold
would be avoided is that holding an opponent around
the neck leaves you vulnerable to a headbutt strike.
Clinch-Work has proved popular however for the
Ring-Sport of Muay-Thai
as this excites the Thai
audiences and encourages more gambling, enabling
the fighters to earn greater amounts of money.
There is no concern about being hit with a Headbutt
strike, being dragged to the floor or thrown (
Judo style ) during a Muay-Thai
bout as these methods are specifically not allowed
in the rules. Neck-Wrestling / Clinch-Work is
literally a Ring-Sport method specifically developed
Around this time due to the clear differences
between the two formats the term Muay-Thai
which translates as 'Fighting-Thai'
became commonly used for the new Ring-Sport while
the older martial-arts style was referred to as
now became the worlds first sport featuring Kicking
which in turn lead to the term Thai-Kickboxing
being widely used by foreigners.
has become so popular that that today it is officially
the national sport of Thailand. The consequence
of this being that most Instructors operate Muay-Thai
training camps solely focused on the Combat-Sport
and the techniques/training methods that enable
their fighters to win according to the rules of
the ring. So much so that there are very few Masters
that will teach the traditional Muay-Boran
techniques, despite their effectiveness, as a
martial art system for self-defence.
Japan : Japanese Kickboxing
- ' K-1 ':
Champions often fought foreigners for increased
purses as these bouts would be incredibly popular
with gamblers, and in 1962 a challenge was sent
out for Japan’s best Karate fighters to compete
rules. Three Karate
fighters from Mas Oyama’s world famous Kyokushin
style accepted the challenge, going to the Lumpinee
Boxing Stadium in Thailand, and fighting against
fighters. The three Kyokushin
karate fighters names are Tadashi
Nakamuru, Akio Fujihira and Kenji Kurosaki. Japan
won the International challenge by two wins to
one. Tadashi Nakamura and Akio Fujihira both knocked
out their opponents with punches while Kenji Kurosaki
was knocked out by an elbow strike.
should be noted that the only Japanese loser,
Kenji Kurosaki, a Kyokushin
Instructor was supposed to be the cornerman rather
than one of the competing team, but was designated
as a substitute when the third chosen fighter
was unable to compete and he went into this challenge
without specific fight training. This negative
result was turned into a positive one as the loss
lead Kurosaki to further study Muay-Thai,
combining this system with his Kyokushin
to his homeland Kurosaki setup a new training
camp called Mejiro
based in Tokyo. Kurosaki’s system of
Japanese Kickboxing was known as Shin-Kakuto-Jutsu
( New-Combat-Techniques )
and many people flocked to train with the
Incidentally it was one such student of Kurosaki's,
Jan Plas, that in 1978 then founded Mejiro
Gym in Amsterdam, Holland.
This gym is considered the birthplace of Dutch
Kickboxing with the school
producing the Kickboxing legends Peter Aaerts
and Rob Kamen making it one of the most famous
and acomplished Kickboxing gyms in the world.
Father of Japanese and Dutch Kickboxing :
Dai-Shihan ( Grand-Master ) Kenji Kurosaki.
the early days of Japanese
Kickboxing in order to distinguish
it from the Thai
were allowed during the a contest as well as Judo-style-throws
to counter the Muay-Thai style Clinch-Hold / Neck-Wrestling.
However after a time these were removed as this
lead to a lot of injuries from the Head-Butt
strikes and the Body-Slams
from throwing. Instead the major rule change to
differentiate the Thai
and Japanese styles
was that the Japanese
style of Kickboxing simply no longer allowed the
Elbows or excessive Clinch-Hold ( Neck-Wrestling
). This in turn lead to much faster paced bouts
and greater use of Boxing ( punching in combinations
) rather than Punching ( single strikes with fists
The sport went on to become very popular in Japan
as it began to be broadcast on three television
channels up to three times weekly, with fight
cards that regularly included bouts between Japanese
Japanese champions during this period were Toshio
Fujiwara and Mitsuo Shima. Most notably, Fujiwara
was the first non-Thai to win an official title
in Thailand when he defeated his Thai opponent
in 1978 at Rajadamnern Stadium winning the lightweight
During the 1980’s Kickboxing began to lose its
popularity in Japan, until in 1993 when Seidokaikan
Karate Master, Kazuyoshi Ishii, started a promotion
known as K-1.
an International success and lead to several Kickboxing
legends becoming house hold names across the world,
such as Peter Aaerts, Ernseto Hoost, Semmy Schiltz,
Mushashi, Andy Hug, Andy Souwer, Albert Kraus,
A Black Belt delivers a
'Hiza-Geri = Knee-Kick' during
a K-1 Japanese
Kickboxing – Today an
Today Kickboxing is practised across the World
with audiences regularly attending bouts held
Rules’ or ‘K1
Rules’ be it Thai-Kickboxing
or Japanese Kickboxing.
These bouts are usually sanctioned by various
associations, such as the W.K.A.
( World Kickboxing Association ), the I.K.F.
( International Kickboxing Federation ) the I.S.K.A.
( International Sport Kickboxing Association
) or W.A.K.O.
( World Association Kickboxing Organisations )
with fighters progressing through national rankings
as they work towards becoming World Champions.
Both formats allow the full use of Kicking, utilising
three parts of the leg, ( the feet, the shins
and the knee ), along with Boxing - hence the
generic term of Kickboxing. Noteable differrences
are the use of the Elbow, which has become the
signature move of a Muaythai bout, and for 'K1
Rules' matches the requirement that bouts that
result in a draw then go onto contest an extra
Kickboxing ( K-1
) matches are faster paced being contested over
three rounds with extensive use of Boxing combinations
where as Thai-Kickboxing
) bouts are reneown for starting much slower due
to matches being contested over five rounds.
: Mark Matthews on his way
to winning the
British & Commonwealth
held by Mark Matthews:
Pro. Inter-Continental Champion ( W.P.K.L.) :
Pro. Commonwealth Champion ( I.S.K.A. ) : Muaythai
Pro. British Champion ( I.S.K.A. ) : Muaythai
Pro. English Champion ( W.A.K.O - Pro. ) : K1
Pro. Regional Champion ( W.A.K.O - Pro. ) : K1
The first sanctioning body for Kickboxing
World Titles was the W.K.A.
Andy Hug, who won the 2006 K-1 World
Grandprix was also the
: Understanding the
most popular formats.
-- Which was developed
--------- -( Muay Boran & Western Boxing
Japanese Kickboxing -----(
Kyokushin Karate & Muay-Thai ) ------K-1
PROFESSIONAL KICKBOXING - 21st
the latter part of the 20th Century the Japanese
Kickboxing promotion 'K-1'
took the sport to another level, running World
Grandprix Tournaments each year to find the
who really was the 'best-of-the-best'.
The winner of the 'K-1'
World Grandprix tournament would earn a staggering
Today the leading KICKBOXING promotion is 'GLORY'.
'GLORY' hold events internationally and the best
Professional Kickboxers in the World now fight
is currently one of the World's fastest
Combat-sports, lead by the promotion
Click on the following link, this will take
you to the official website for
Professional Kickboxing Promotion.
( Click the above link to the official website
Many schools only have their fighters compete
in one Kickboxing rule format. Warrington Kickboxing
Studio has champions that compete under both 'K1
Rules' ( Japanese
Kickboxing ) or 'Muaythai
of Warrington Kickboxing Champions in action
began in 1993 and in 2013 Neil Holden, the founder
of Warrington Kickboxing Studio, proudly promoted
an actual official K-1 event in the U.K.
MAX : England Grandprix 2013
September 2013, The Parr Hall,
Warrington, ( Near Manchester ), England.
Photo: Left to Right...
International Kickboxing Promoter
& Trainer - Neil Holden
K-1 MAX : England Grandprix
2013 'Champion' - Kerrith
K-1 Director - Ned Kurruc
International Kickboxing Promoter - Daniel
and Results from the the official 'K-1
MAX England Grandprix 2013'