FREE Kickboxing Guide

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Kickboxing Styles

types-kickboxingHere is a run down of the main types of kickboxing styles.

  • Adithada (Indian Style kickboxing) – This type of  uses primarily knee, elbow and forehead strikes.
  • Cardio Kickboxing (exercise based) – A form of kickboxing geared towards keeping fit.
  • Lethwei (Burmese kickboxing) – This is the traditional Burmese martial art. Now adays it is fast becoming a a main kick boxing event. Here boxers are allowed to headbutt as a form of attack. The boxer is allowed to use any limb or part of the body to strike, and can land a strike on any part of the opponents body. No area is off limits ! This type is  also known as Bando kickboxing.
  • Pradal Serey (Khmer “Cambodian” kickboxing) – This is allegdly the  predecessor of Muay Thai. Pradal Serey has strong emphasis on using different elbow attacks.
  • Gwon-gyokdo (Korean kickboxing) – that is a mashup between the 2 main types of kick boxing, mainly Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai. It is generally practised in Korea and is also known by the name ‘Kyuk Too Ki’.
  • Muay Thai (Thai boxing) – Traditional Thai martial art of which has now grown into a popular kickboxing event with strong emphasis on knee and elbow strikes.
  • Muay Boran (Ancient Boxing) – This was the predecessor of Muay Thai. It is like Pradal Serey where the use of headbutts is allowed.
  • Japanese kickboxing – In ways this is comparable to Muay Thai. The main difference is in competition, where a different points system is used. This was the first  fighting style to adopt the name of “Kickboxing”.
  • American kickboxing – The main difference here is that one is not allowed to kick any region below the waist.
  • Savate (French kickboxing) – Here boxers are allowed to wear shoes in competition. This allows boxers to land more deadly kicks.
  • Sanshou/Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) – This is similar to wushu/kung fu . Here throws are an integral part of sparring, so boxers are allowed to physicall grab hold of their opponent to land them on their back. 
  • Shoot boxing – This is a Japanese form of kickboxing. It is similar to Sanshou/Sanda, where the boxers are also allowed to perform throws. The main stipulation is that the boxer needs to be standing when doing this.
  • Yaw-Yan (Filipino kickboxing) – Sayaw ng Kamatayan (Dance of Death) is the proper name for Yaw-Yan. It comes from the school of teaching by the famous Napoleon Fernandez. Here kicks are generally in a downward direction, like a chop down to bring the user to the floor. It also has a big emphasis on hip pivoting to generate more speed and strength. 

You may hear your instructor mentioning these different types of styles, and therefore it is a good idea to have an overview of these 13 different styles of kickboxing. Generally they are all similar, but we have highlighted the main  differences from modern kickboxing.