A BRIEF HISTORY ON KICKBOXING
Featuring RhydianTolcher-James as page background as a young kickboxer
I suppose there are many people that claim to be the founders of Kickboxing
but the truth is, it originated from different sources for different reasons.
TOURNAMENTS - The early days
Back in the 1960's in the U.S.A. points karate was the first to hit the scene
with promotions such as Ed Parkers Longbeach Tournaments being one of the most famous. Although popular amongst the Martial
Arts fraternity, they didn't attract the general public in the same way as the Professional Boxing and Wrestling scene did.
Promoters eventually realised this and put it down to the contact elementinvolved
in Boxing and wrestling that wasn't so much present on the Martial Arts Tournament scene ( people want to see K.O's ). Although
the Martial Artists involved did receive injuries through the contact ( as protective equipment was rarely used ) this wasn't
in the so called rule book, as excessive contact was frowned upon and a competitor could lose through doing so.So the promoters
along with several Top Martial Artists of the day gave birth to Full - Contact Karate. Some of these early bouts were
still fought on the
matted area used on the points Tournament circuit, but eventually they succumbed to the Boxing Ring.Fighting
for points and then Fighting Full Contact in the ring came as quite a shock to many Top Fighters at that time, mainly the
stamina and conditioning being their main problem. Boxing gloves also robbed many a Martial Artist ofhis best hand manouvers
and a big re-think was on its way.Martial Artists turned their attention to the way Boxers condition and prepare themselves
for the ring and found that with this approach their bodies coped with the pressure that they could'nt handle previously.
Fighters suddenly made progress in leaps and bounds with their new found sport
that was starting to get noticed amongst the general public and soon was becoming known as "Kickboxing" and so the sport was
starting to come out of nfancy and to the forefront of many Martial Arts schools, who although keeping to their Traditional
values started to introduce this to students who were competitively minded and wanted the challenge of the Full - contact
arena. Kickboxing was now legitmate and accepted as a new breed of martial art.
BRUCE LEE AND KICKBOXING
Another side to the development of Kickboxing was the "Lets put on the protective
equipment and go all out" approach by the late great Bruce Lee. Most people know him for his ground breaking Kung Fu flicks,
but the truth is Bruce Lee was a Martial Artist first and a movie actor second using the latter to express his Martial way.
Although Bruce didn't compete on the circuit, his training methods were very much Kickboxing orientated, along with trapping
skills he borrowed from his Wing Chun Kung Fu background as Self Defence (the true meaning of learning a Martial Art) was
his main objective. Bruce learned from every Martial Art and fighting System he could from many of the top Martial Arts instructors
of the day and was certainly a pioneer of Kickboxing and the art of blending different systems of Martial Arts to suit his
and his students individual needs.Bruce Lee was way ahead of his time and his approach to the Martial arts was whatever
works for you use it. But Bruce wouldn't just put on your basic protective equipment, but instead would use kicks to the knee
and finger jabs to the eyes so special safety equipment was implemented to protect these area's from any damage, this
way he and his fellow students could practice what they preached and could walk away after with everything intact.
Lee trained several Top Martial Artists of the time . Joe Lewis, one of the pioneers of American Kickboxing was a student
of Bruce's and puts much of his success down to the training he received from Lee. So in a lot of ways Bruce Lee is responsible
for the development of Full - Contact Martial Arts as they are taught today in many Martial Arts schools across the world.
THAI - BOXING
As Kickboxing was developing in the west, Thai - Boxing was carrying on with what
it had been doing for the last 2,000 years in its native land. So called World "Full Contact " and "Kickboxing Champions"
who had never fought abroad were in for a culture shock. As these Fighters ventured to Thailand and Japan, they soon had to
return home with their tails between their legs as the Thai's were beating them hands down ,as they had never experienced
the devastating knee, elbow and kicking skills these Martial Artists possessed. But as time went on the westerners learned
from the Thai - Boxers and developed their own art to a higher level and today some of the best Thai and Kickboxers are spread
RULES OF THE GAME
Today Kickboxing is fought under several different rules - Below is a guide to
the main ones
FULL CONTACT - all kicks above the waist along with all the basic boxing
KICKBOXING - as above with leg kicking ( that is kicking to the legs) is allowed.
THAI - the use of knees and elbows is allowed ( in the u.k.
knees and elbows are allowed to the body only).