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Kickboxing arts


The best known Kickboxing competition is K-1, a world-wide Kickboxing organization based since 1993 in Tokyo, Japan that promotes mainly stand-up competitions in which techniques derived from all Kickboxing styles are allowed (excluding Muay Thai elbows techniques and clinching). K-1 is associated with Japanese Kickboxing.

The letter K is officially designated as a representation of words 'Karate', 'Kickboxing' and 'Kung Fu'.

Basically it consists of two separate tournaments: the K-1 World Max fighters, for weight up to 70 kg, and the K-1 World Grand Prix, with no weight limits.

American Kickboxing

American Kickboxing matches may include between 3 to 12 rounds, lasting 2 or 3 minutes with a minute break between each round.

There are five fighting modalities. The last three are disputed in a ring, have fewer restrictions and their goal is the victory by knockout.

  • Semi Contact  –  The idea of semi contact is to develop one's speed and technical ability, by scoring points technically correct and as fast as possible. It's a modality that is disputed in a mat, in which the winner is the one who scores the most. Knockout is not allowed.

    For each blow that "enters", the match is stopped and the points are noted. Points are scored for punches, kicks and exit from the competition area.

    Each infraction causes loss of points, and may cause disqualification.

    Bans: Blows below the belt, on the neck and back; creeping above the ankle; striking with great violence.

  • Light Contact  –  The scoring is identical to the semi contact, but the match does not stop for every valid strike. It is only stopped when one competitor leaves the mat or at the end of a round, which, like the semi contact, have a duration of two minutes.

    This modality is often done in a ring, depending of the event.

    The same restrictions existing in the semi ligth are applied.

  • Full Contact  –  The goal is to use the kickboxing techniques with all power. All the kicks must be above the belt.

    This modality is like Boxing: knockout is the main goal and competitors get 8-10 points per round. There is a minimum of six kicks per round. Whoever kicks less than this number loses points.

    Bans: Blows below the belt, on the neck and back; creeping above the ankle; elbow and knee strikes.

  • Low Kick  –  There are almost the same rules as Full-Contact, except that it is allowed to strike the opponent's thigh.

    Bans: Blows below the knees, on the neck and back; creeping above the ankle; elbow and knee strikes.

  • K-1 Rules  –  Also known as "Thai Boxing". They allow punching, kicking and knee strikes. The uniform is different: like Muay Thai, a short is used and there is no protection on feet. Strikes anywhere on the body are valid and there is not a minimum limit of kicks.

    However, unlike Muay Thai, elbow strikes and holding the opponent for more than five seconds are forbidden.

There is also a sixth modality named "Musical Forms", which is a kind of choreagraphy.


There are three levels of competition:

  • Assault  –  The competitors must focus on their technique. Like Shotokan Karate, physical contact is limited. The match is evaluated according to the technique of the competitors, the accuracy of their punches and their appropriate control. the use of excessive force may lead to penalties. On this level, the risk of injury is lower and whoever scored the most wins.

  • Pre-Combat  –  Full-strength fighting is allowed so long as the fighters wear protective gear such as helmets and shinguards.

  • Combat  –  It is a full-contact level, in which protective gear other than groin protection and mouthguards is prohibited. The goal is to knockout the opponent.

Muay Thai

A Muay Thai match formally has no more than five rounds, each round takes three minutes to last, with a two-minute rest period in between. No additional round is allowed.

In amateur competitions, each match consists of four rounds separated by a predetermined time interval.

International Professional Muay Thai Weight Divisions

Weight Class Kg Pounds
Mini Flyweight
47,727 kg 105 lbs
Junior Flyweight 48,988 kg 108 lbs
Flyweight 50,802 kg 112 lbs
Junior Bantamweight 52,163 kg 115 lbs
Bantamweight 53,524 kg 118 lbs
Junior Featherweight 55,338 kg 122 lbs
Featherweight 57,153 kg 126 lbs
Junior Lightweight 58,967 kg 130 lbs
Lightweight 61,235 kg 135 lbs
Junior Welterweight 63,503 kg 140 lbs
Welterweight 66,638 kg 147 lbs
Junior Middleweight 69,853 kg 154 lbs
Middleweight 72,575 kg 160 lbs
Super Middleweight 76,3633 kg 168 lbs
Light Heavyweight 79,379 kg 175 lbs
Cruiserweight 86,183 kg 190 lbs
Heavyweight > 86,183 kg > 190 lbs
Super Heavyweight > 95 kg > 209 lbs

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