Kickboxing refers to the sport of using martial-arts-style kicks and western-boxing-style punches to defeat an opponent in a similar way to that of standard boxing. Kickboxing is often practised for general fitness, or as a full-contact sport. In the full-contact sport the male boxers are bare chested wearing kickboxing trousers and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10oz boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, and kick-boots. The female boxers will wear a tank top in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. Many people make the mistake of confusing kickboxing with thaiboxing, the two sports are similar however only thaiboxing bouts are fought barefoot wearing thaiboxing shorts. Furthermore, in thaiboxing kicks below the belt are legal, as well as knee and elbow attacks. Kickboxing is usually practiced as an independent style, but in some cases kickboxing is a set of rules by which martial artists of other styles may compete too, however as the sport continually evolves a pure kickboxing style is more frequently the norm as a more specific training is required at advanced levels. Kickboxing is a standing sport and does not allow continuation of the fight once a combatant has reached the ground, in addition all punches and kicks must land above the belt (groin-guards are purely precautionary). One can start at any age, but until 18 years old, a protective helmet is strongly recommended.
Forms of kickboxing that have been labelled under this term  include:
Adithada (Indian kickboxing) â€” A form of kickboxing that uses knee, elbow and forehead strikes
Lethwei (Burmese Kickboxing) â€” Traditional Burmese martial arts of which has now grown into a popular kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee, elbow strikes and head butt. Any part of the body may be used to strike and be struck. It us also known as Bando kickboxing.
Pradal Serey (Khmer kickboxing) â€” A possible predecessor of Muay Thai
Muay Thai (Thai boxing) â€” Traditional Thai martial art of which has now grown into a popular kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee and elbow strikes
Japanese kickboxing â€” Similar to Muay Thai, but different point system is taken (e.g. K-1).
American kickboxing â€” Similar to Japanese kickboxing and Full contact karate, but different point system is taken
Full Contact Karate â€” Most of the time padding and in some cases body armor is used and is the applicable component of karate like many other styles which also include routines training.
Savate (French kickboxing) â€” Allows the use of shoes
Sanshou/Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) â€” The applicable component of wushu/kung fu of which Takedowns and throws are legal in competition as well as all other sorts of striking (use of arms and legs).
Shoot boxing â€” A Japanese form of kickboxing which allows throwing and submission while standing similar to San Shou
Yaw-Yan (Filipino Kickboxing) â€” Sayaw ng Kamatayan (Dance of Death) is the proper name for Yaw-Yan, a Filipino martial art developed by Napoleon Fernandez. The art resembles Muay Thai in a sense, but differs in the hip torquing motion as well as downward-cutting of its kicks.
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