Boxing and kickboxing are both fighting styles that improve fitness and self-defense. Though these sports are related, they are very different. 

Boxing originated in Greece as a result of the Olympic games in 688 B.C. Kickboxing came from Japan and developed from the ancient art of Muay Thai. 

The differences between boxing and kickboxing go well beyond just being able to use your legs to kick an opponent during a kickboxing match. They involve different strategies and techniques tailored specifically to each sport’s rules and regulations.

difference between boxing and kickboxing

Boxing and Kickboxing Techniques

Stance – While maintaining a proper stance is important in both boxing and kickboxing, a proper stance for a boxer is slightly different from that of a kickboxer. In boxing, your stance should be sideways to reduce the surface area in which your opponent could land a tough punch. In kickboxing, the typical stance is more square. Like a sideways stance for a boxer, a square stance will help protect a kickboxer from powerful kicks from an opponent. 

Spacing – An important technique in boxing and kickboxing is maintaining appropriate space between you and your competitor. A boxer relies on his or her ability to land effective punches against competitors so it’s critical to keep spacing tight and remain closer to the opponent. The most powerful moves that a kickboxer has in his or her arsenal are, in fact, kicks. If a kickboxer is too close to an opponent, delivering a strong blow is unlikely. The limited space restricts the ability to fully extend the leg and ultimately limits the power of the kick. In kickboxing, it’s best to keep more distance from a competitor.

Punching – As a sport, boxing is limited to punches above the belt. Kickboxing, however, allows punching, kicking, elbow and knee strikes, locks, throws, and grappling. Punching techniques across boxing and kickboxing remain relatively the same. The most widely used punch is the jab, which is basically used to gauge the opponent’s reaction. Depending on how your competitor moves his or her hands as a result of the jab, the next punch thrown is usually a hook. Behind the uppercut, the hook is the second most powerful punch. It’s meant to make direct contact with the side of your opponent’s head and can lead to a knockout. The uppercut is the strongest type of punch, as they cause the most knockouts. Uppercuts are meant to land right below the chin, making them the perfect attack for when competitors are in close proximity to one other.

Kicking – The biggest difference between boxing and kickboxing is that, even though both boxers and kickboxers can punch, only kickboxers are allowed to employ kicking tactics during a sanctioned fight. The most common kick is the back kick. It’s a popular move because a kickboxer can execute it quickly and powerfully against an opponent. In addition to the back kick, the front kick is a popular kickboxing move. A front kick is carried out by lifting the knee in front of you, keeping the foot close to the hip, and quickly straightening the leg to strike an opponent. Front kicks are typically used to hit opponents below the chest, such as the knees, thighs, or stomach areas. Some highly skilled kickboxers, though, are able to front kick targets above the chest.

difference between kickboxing and boxing

Boxing and Kickboxing Strategy

Another huge difference between boxing and kickboxing is the respective strategies employed in each sport. Since boxing only allows above the belt punching, the strategy involved in winning a fight is much more defensive. As such, there is an emphasis on blocking and ducking from competitor punches. As opposed to boxing, kickboxing strategy is focused heavily on using offensive tactics because you simply have more opportunities to strike your opponent.

Benefits of Training with Razor’s Edge MMA

Supercharge your confidence by learning boxing and kickboxing with Razor’s Edge Mixed Martial Arts. We specialize in teaching techniques for self-defense and discipline while getting your heart rate up and improving overall fitness. Interested but not sure where to start? We’re here to help – contact us to discuss your options and get started today!