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Kickboxing Vs Boxing. What are the Differences and Benefits of Each?

Although kickboxing and boxing are closely related, they are two very different sports. The main difference is that in kickboxing, both hands and feet can be used, but only hands are allowed in boxing. In addition, kickboxing involves punches and kicks, while boxing entails punches and blocks. This article is going to show the main differences between kickboxing and boxing, and the benefits of each sport.


Kickboxing combines both kicks and punches and is mostly practiced for general fitness, self-defense, and as a contact sport. The sport takes place between two opponents who are allowed to hit each other with kicks, punches, and strikes above the waist.

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Kickboxing is regarded as a sport that integrates different movements and traditions from other sports like boxing and karate. It entails punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, locks, grappling, and throws.


Boxing is a combat sport that involves two opponents who fight against each other with their full strength, endurance, speed, reflexes, and punches. Boxers fight with their fists with padded gloves in a ring, over a series of 1-3 minute intervals referred to as rounds.

The Differences between Kickboxing and Boxing


The biggest difference between kickboxing and boxing are the offensive and defensive strategies used. Boxing is restricted to punches over the belt, which offers boxers with more ability to defend themselves. On the other hand, kickboxing entails the use of both punches and kicks, which provides kickboxers with more offensive opportunities.

Body Posture

The body posture for boxers is sideways because they try to minimize the amount of space available for their opponent to punch. On the other hand, a kickboxer’s stance is generally square like because the fighter has to be prepared for defense against incoming punches and kicks. If kickboxers go ahead to use a normal boxer’s posture, they would leave themselves vulnerable to more kicks and punches.


Boxers stay as close as possible to their opponents so they are able to land more punches. If you were too far, you would have to lean in more, leaving yourself open to a counter-attack. In contrast, kickboxers should keep more distance because the strongest hits come from kicks. Therefore, if you are too close, you limit the power you can get behind your leg when kicking.


In boxing, clinching entails grabbing your opponent with both hands, usually around their shoulders. This technique is very common and boxers love it because it brings the other person close in, preventing them from landing full-extension punches. It also provides a tired boxer with a brief rest. However, kickboxing enables opponents to throw each other, like in martial arts. If you tried clinching in kickboxing, there are very high chances that you will be thrown to the mat by your opponent.


In both kickboxing and boxing, punches are almost similar. The most common one is the jab, which is a straight hand done with the leading hand. It depends on the angle of the fighter’s body and is mostly used to read the opponent’s reaction. If the opponent moves the hand guarding their other hand, the next best move is the hook. This is a punch meant to make contact with your opponent’s side of the head. Another strong punch is the uppercut, which is mostly used when the boxer is in close quarters. It is landed below the chin of your opponent, and is a very common knockout strike in both kickboxing and boxing.

The Benefits of Kickboxing

The main benefit of kickboxing is that it involves a wide range of activities. Kickboxers train their feet, hands, knees, elbows, among other parts of their body. Not only do they learn how to use these body parts, but they also learn the art of defense.

The Benefits of Boxing

Kickboxing focuses on many things but boxing specializes in punches only. Nobody can punch better than a skilled boxer. Boxers seem to be faster than kickboxers because they are properly trained on defending against lightning fast jabs.

Kickboxing and boxing are both incredible sports to stay fit, practice professionally, and even use in self-defense. Although they share some similar techniques, they are quite different. For instance, kickboxing requires one to use hands and legs, while in boxing only hands are used. Despite such differences, both are great for both physical and defense training. Therefore, your selected sport between the two seems to depend on your preference and objectives.

If you are interested in boxing, kickboxing, or other self defense and fitness programs contact us today to get started!