Kickboxing is a sporting martial art very similar to boxing, except for the fact that it uses both arms and legs for striking. It can be practiced either as a full-contact combat sport or for general fitness. While the expression refers to various forms of combat sports activities, it is generally associated with Japanese plus American kickboxing. The term was released by Osamu Noguchi, a Japanase boxing promoter.
The History of Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a derivative of karate, boxing, taekwondo and other combat styles and it was created to compete towards them. All styles of kickboxing have been first developed in Japan. Nevertheless , similar influences were taking place in the usa as well and martial artists from toured both Japan and US, developing a common kickboxing standard.
Preliminary Japanese Development
As a specific form of martial art, kickboxing was inspired through Muay Thai, a combat sport originated in Thailand. Osamu Noguchi, a Japanese boxing promoter, developed this as a competitive style to oppose Muay Thai. He wanted to show the Japanese people the fighting design that he had discovered in Thailand and 1966 he took three Muay Thai fighters to compete towards Japanese karate fighters. The Japanese received by 2-1. Noguchi and Kenji Kurosaki studied the combat design thoroughly and developed a mixed martial art called kickboxing. At first, throwing and butting were allowed in order to distinguish it from the Muay Thailänder style. However , they were later eliminated.
A few years later, the Kickboxing Organization, the first kickboxing organization, was founded within Japan. Kickboxing was broadcast on TV and became very popular in The japanese. Back then, Tadashi Sawamura was an exceptionally popular kickboxer. After he retired, kickboxing started to lose its popularity and stopped being broadcast in the news. He hadn’t been on TV until 1993, when K-1 was founded. In 1993, Kazuyoshi Ishii, who was the founder of Seidokan karate, produced K-1 under kickboxing rules (no elbow or neck wrestling). Since then, kickboxing started to regain its reputation and became famous again. Quickly it’s popularity started spreading through North America and Europe as well.
Spreading to North America and Europe
January Plas, a Dutch kickboxer, and some Muay Thai pioneers, initiated Mejiro jym in Netherlands in 1978. He had learned kick boxing in Japan from the famous Kenji Kurosaki. In addition , he was also the one that started the Dutch Kickboxing Association (NKBB) in 1978, which was the first kickboxing organization in the Netherlands.
Kickboxing and Fitness
Kickboxing has gradually become a fitness craze as well. Kickboxing is very popular in European countries also. They are attended by both men and women. It has become very popular among women of all ages that are always looking for new methods to lose weight or stay in shape.
As you walk by a kickboxing class, you will see that most times it is packed. It seems that all you have to bring is yourself and plenty of power. Kickboxing classes are generally coregraphed to house or techno music. The whole class consists of a full hour of striking to the beat. It involves a lot of equip movements, squats, power movements and a good amount of cardiovascular workout.
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This is exactly what explains its high popularity as a fitness activity. With all the fun, you even forget about the fact that you are in fact working out.