Rules of Kickboxing | How it is Played?

Of course, you must have heard of and seen boxing, which is a game of delivering punches by hand and taking down your opponent to earn more points and end up as the winner. The same is true for kickboxing, but you have to assume your legs as your hands here. As the name suggests, it’s about hitting your opponent with your legs.

Rules of Kickboxing

It’s a modern game or we can say that it is driven from boxing and other martial art games which have become one of the most followed sports in the world for their hype and cruelty of the game. The game of kickboxing developed in the USA in the 3rd half of the 19th century, an amalgamation of several other striking art put into American fashion.

After emerging onto the scene, the game became popular in quick time but the mixed martial art witnessed a change and a couple of companies came forward promoting the martial art fights like in UFC, which, to some extent, overshadowed the still-nourishing game of kickboxing.

Having already quite a few martial art games in the Olympics, the game is still not made it to the Olympics and is still waiting for its chances to be recognized as an Olympic sport in the world.

Objective of Kickboxing

Like boxing, kickboxing involves hitting your opponent but with kicks instead of hands. You can hit your opponent on hands and legs, or you can also hit your opponent on the head.

Kickboxing can be a little more dangerous than boxing because you get more hitting opportunities than boxing and the impact of kicks can be far more excruciating than punches, especially on the head.

The more clean hits you score, the more points you get. If the opponent is knocked-out during the fight or severely injured, the other fighter is declared winner.

How to Play?

Kickboxing is all about hitting your opponent with your legs but only on the permitted areas of the body. Players fight in bouts and attempt to knock out their opponent, every clean kick earns them a few points which prove useful if no knockout till the end of the game and determine the winner.

For the safety of players, Kickboxing has strict rules regarding which part of the body you can hit and in how many ways you can win the match. You can find every rule regarding the game in the section below.

General Rules of Kickboxing

  • Like boxing, players usually fight against those fighters in the same weight category.
  • Both fighters can hit each other anywhere – above waist – from head to any part of the body – but only from kicks.
  • The quickest and commanding way to win is to win by knockout. If the match goes till the last round, then the winner is decided by the most number of points.
  • In kickboxing, we can have draws if judges have given the same number of points to both the fighters.

Time Duration of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is fought in 3 bouts – 3 rounds – and each round can consist of 2-3 minutes. After each round, both the fighters get 1-minute rest.

Kickboxing Field

Kickboxing takes place in a ring, similar to the boxing ring. The size and width of the boxing ring depends upon the organisation organizing the tournament and varies accordingly. Normally, this ring is pretty much the same as we have in Boxing.

Kickboxing Playing Equipment

Kickboxers wear the following equipment to protect their hands and legs.

Hand Gloves: These are traditional boxing gloves which kickboxers also wear while fighting. There are no such restrictions regarding the weight and size of the gloves but fighters prefer to wear only those that fit well over their hands.

Footpads: Footpads are for the fighter’s protection because most of the work is supposed to be done by their legs. These pads save their legs from bruises and torn nails.

Point Scoring/Match Winning Moves

There are three ways to win a match in kickboxing:

Knockout: Knockout here is the same as in punch boxing. If your opponent is rendered unconscious during the fight, you will be declared winner.

Technical Knockout: Technical knockout is adjudged by the team of officials and doctors when a fighter is severely injured and his continuation of fight would pose threat to his life. In this instance, the opponent is declared winner.

Points: If no fighter has been knocked out till the last round then the fighter with most points is declared winner.

Fouls in Kickboxing

Just like in typical boxing, we have some foul in kickboxing which can result in a point to your opponent or in worst cases you can be disqualified from the match. Here’s the list of fouls in kickboxing.

  • Head butt
  • Groin strike
  • Linear kick at the knee joint
  • Striking the back of the head
  • Striking the back of the spine
  • Striking on rest break
  • Striking before the match bell
  • Use of abusive language or gesture
  • Attack to the throat

Referee and Judges

Kickboxing is still in a growing phase and the rules of the game vary from one organisation to another.

In most of the cases, referees supervise the match in the ring while judges give marks from outside. If the match goes till the end, then the player who did well according to the judges gets 10 out of 10 marks while the loser gets 9 out of 10. And in case of a one-sided fight, the loser still gets 8 marks while the winner gets full 10.

Famous Kickboxing Tournaments

Kickboxing is yet to establish its feet at international level and except the world championship, is only played at national level in countries where it is popular.

Governing Body

The International kickboxing federation is the governing body of Kickboxing and Muay Thai (another similar sport) in the world and is based in the United States. The world headquarters of the federation is located in Newcastle, California and USA and oversees around 2000 IKF events a year are held around the world.