Monday, November 30, 2015

Changes In Kickboxing

I remember watching kickboxing on TV back in the early 80s. I saw Bill "Superfoot" Wallace's retirement fight. I started competing in Kickboxing in 1985. At first is was called Full Contact Karate. On ESPN, it would show as Professional Kickboxing, "Kick of the 80s". This sport (America) evolved out of tournament Karate as an outlet for martial artists to compete with contact (tournament Karate was controlled contact, where the match stops each time a point is scored). Fighters wore long pants and a Black Belt. At the early stages, fighters came from traditional martial arts backgrounds and added boxing to their skills for the ring. Kicks were above the belt, sweeps to the calf or below were allowed and boxing. The only punch that stayed from tournament Karate was the spinning backlist. Internationally, fighters were competing with low kicks. Kickboxing in the Orient came out of the Muay Thai and Kyokushin(which borrowed a lot from Muay Thai). Low Kick rules fight came about (add low kicks to Full Contact Rules). Overtime Muay Thai became more widespread. At one time, many fighters would fight in all 3. K-1 evolved out of Japanese Full Contact Style Karate (bare knuckle with hand techniques to body and low kicks and knees allowed). During full contact karate fights that ended in a draw, tournament promoters had fighters take of their Karate tops, put on gloves, and know punching to the head was allowed. Overtime Seidokaikan (Ishii's group) would develop K-1. This was a modified Thai style (also called Oriental Rules). This league would bring top heavyweight fighters to a tournament to determine the best kick boxer in the world. Fast forwarding to today, we have Glory Kickboxing, which is almost like K-1, as the premier kickboxing organization. Muay Thai is still popular in Asia and Europe. The older styles of Kickboxing (American style and low kick) still exist to a small degree, but Glory (K-1) style is now most popular.

1 comment:

  1. Very Interesting. I had the opportunity to train with Bill Superfoot Wallace months back. We caught supper after the workout and I was privileged to hear from his account the early days of kickboxing (though, I was amazed how much he talked about his love for Judo). I am glad to see the surge of popularity with Glory Kickboxing and I prefer the pure element of striking over MMA. I would love to see some of the elite strikers such as Cerrone or Holm venture from MMA and enter Glory. With superstars, maybe elite Kickboxing can fill the vacuum that boxing has left?