Is Kickboxing A Martial Art?

A martial art form that’s popular among combat sports practitioners and average gym goers alike, Kickboxing is indeed considered a martial art based on the fact that the techniques learned in Kickboxing can be used in combat. Today, Kickboxing has a reputation for being an entry-level martial art as it’s techniques are simple and to the point. Students learn how to throw fundamental punches, such as the jab, cross, hooks and uppercuts, as well as the basics of throwing kicks, such as the roundhouse kick and side kick. 

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You may be asking if Kickboxing is considered a martial art because you may have an interest in learning to defend yourself, or want to venture into a cardio-intensive sport, but rest assured, this article is here to break down why Kickboxing is a martial art and why you should consider enrolling into a Kickboxing gym.

What Makes Kickboxing A Martial Art?

By definition, a martial art can be described as any form of fighting that has a set way of practicing. If this is anything to go by, we can think about how Boxers are required to learn how to throw punches with precision and power and Muay Thai fighters are required to learn how to throw elbows and knees with devastating effect. Learning these techniques requires hours of practice to perfect, and learning Kickboxing is no different. 

Kickboxing techniques can indeed be used in hand-to-hand combat. Just look at modern day mixed martial arts - top fighters in the UFC, such as Israel Adesanya, Alex Pereira, and Dustin Jacoby are known as kickboxing specialists and use Kickboxing techniques with devastating effect inside the octagon. 

People who practice kickboxing on a regular basis often learn how to throw kicking techniques with speed and power. Many Kickboxers adopt similar traits to boxers where they approach each fight as a chess match, waiting for their opponent to make a move before launching their attacks. 

Kickboxing vs Other Martial Art Forms

Now that we know that Kickboxing is in fact a martial art, it’s often tough choosing a martial art to learn and to stick with for the long run. With so many options available, it will ultimately come down to what your goals are with learning a martial art.

Let’s compare kickboxing with other highly popular martial arts available:


If there’s one clear and obvious distinction between boxing and kickboxing, it’s all in the name. Boxing is limited to strictly punching strikes, while Kickboxing allows for leg kicks (and in some cases, knee strikes are allowed, just depending on the agreed upon rule set by the fighters).

Muay Thai

Muay Thai and Kickboxing are very similar to one another, with the only difference is that Muay Thai allows for elbow and knee strikes, as well as sweeps, while Kickboxing does not allow for those mentioned type of strikes. Another distinction between the two martial arts is that Kickboxers are taught to throw with precision and timing, whereas Muay Thai fighters are taught to throw with power.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

While Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is “apples and oranges” in comparison with Kickboxing, it’s worth mentioning on this list due to its ever growing popularity around the world. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu heavily involves grappling and wrestling, and the main goal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is to submit your opponent with the use of chokes and joints/limb submissions.

Benefits Of Kickboxing

Working out in general brings many benefits to your overall health and lifestyle, but adopting Kickboxing as your go-to training regimen can help you in so many areas, such as toning potentially ignored muscle groups, improved cardiovascular system, just to name a few. By choosing Kickboxing as your martial art of choice, you’ll have a responsibility to show up to each and every one of your classes. Ensuring your consistency with your training will help you develop discipline and allows for you to train regularly. As you practice techniques on a regular basis, you begin to develop a level of mastery of each technique, and soon enough you’ll begin to find your preferred techniques and use them to your heart's desire.

Once you’ve developed a solid foundation of the fundamental techniques, you’ll be equipped to mix and match your techniques as you wish. This allows for you to express yourself through your Kickboxing and allow yourself to develop your preferred style of fighting. There are practitioners who are pressure fighters, which means that they constantly move forward and are not afraid of oncoming strikes. There are also counter fighters, who prefer to sit back and wait for their opponents to throw a strike before dodging and firing an attack of their own. With practice comes mastery, and you’ll soon be ready to pick up some kickboxing gloves and get training!

Is Kickboxing Right For You?

Kickboxing is a martial art that is easy to learn and can be lots of fun. If your goal is to lose weight, learn to defend yourself, or develop a stronger sense of discipline, then consider finding a local kickboxing gym in your area and give it a shot.

If you do, you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped for success, and ATL Fight Shop has everything you need to succeed:

What You’ll Need 

If you’re ready to jump into a class, you’ll want to make sure you bring the essential gear for a great first day:

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