What Is Full Contact Kickboxing?

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If you are looking for a high-intensity, competitive martial arts form that combines elements of boxing and karate, full contact kickboxing might be just what you’re looking for. Full contact kickboxing is a popular combat sport that has gained immense popularity over the years, thanks to its intense training sessions, technical expertise, and competitive environment.

In this article, we’ll dive into the essential aspects of full contact kickboxing, what it entails, how it is practised, and the benefits of participating in it.


What Is Full Contact Kickboxing?

Full contact kickboxing, also known as American kickboxing, is a traditional martial arts combat sport that primarily focuses on punches, kicks, knee strikes, and elbow strikes. Unlike other kickboxing disciplines that use light contact, full contact kickboxing involves striking opponents at full power.

Matches are held in a ring, and fighters engage in full contact, with the aim of knocking out their opponents or scoring the highest number of points within the time limit. Full contact kickboxing is an amateur and professional sport and is practised worldwide.


What Are The Rules Of Full Contact Kickboxing?

Like any other combat sports discipline, full contact kickboxing has a set of rules that govern the participants during the competition:

1. Attire: Participants dressing in shorts and a light vest that allow freedom of movement. Fighters must wear gloves, shin guards, and headgear that adhere to the safety standards set out for the competition.

2. Time Limit: Each full contact kickboxing match lasts three rounds, with each round being three minutes long. Fighters have a one-minute break between each round.

3. Points: Fighters earn points for each legal kick, strike, or punch that lands on their opponents. Points are awarded based on the type of strike, its accuracy, and the damage inflicted.

4. Prohibited Means of Combat: Fighters are not allowed to use illegal blows like head butts, choking, tripping, or hitting an opponent who is down.

5. Judges Decision: A panel of judges determines the winner based on the number of points earned by each fighter. If there is a tie, an additional round may be added until one competitor outdoes the other.


What are the Sub-Categories of Full-Contact Kickboxing?

There are various subcategories of full contact kickboxing, each with specific rules and disciplines that dictate how the game is played. Some of the most popular sub-categories include:

1. Semi-contact Kickboxing: As the name suggests, semi-contact kickboxing involves light contact between fighters. Contestants exchange blows, but the objective is not to knock out the opponent but score the most points.

2. Light-contact Kickboxing: Similar to Semi-contact, fighters make contact but not with enough power to create significant impact.

3. Low Kick kickboxing: Low kick kickboxing involves fighters kicking below the opponent’s waist level to score points or knock them out.

4. K-1 Style Kickboxing: K-1 style is full contact kickboxing where fighters are not allowed to use elbows. Knees can only be used in attacks below the waist.

5. Muay Thai Kickboxing: Muay Thai is a full-contact variation of kickboxing originating from Thailand and involves the use of fists, feet, knees, elbows, and the shins.


What Are The Benefits of Full Contact Kickboxing?

Full contact kickboxing offers numerous benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. Some of the advantages of participating in full-contact kickboxing include:

1. Improved Cardiovascular fitness: Full contact kickboxing involves explosive movements from your entire body, making it an effective cardiovascular workout.

2. Builds endurance and strength: From kickboxing matches to intense training sessions, full-contact kickboxing requires participants to build their endurance and strength to perform at their best.

3. Enhances flexibility: Full contact kickboxing exercises like stretching, kicking, and striking enhances flexibility by improving the range of motion of different body parts.

4. Boosts Self-Confidence: Regular training and sparring sessions allow participants to build stamina and skills, enhancing their confidence levels.

5. Stress Relief: Full contact kickboxing provides an opportunity for people to release tension and stress through intense physical activity.

6. Weight Loss: Full contact kickboxing is an effective way to help burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.



In summary, full contact kickboxing is an exciting combat sport that requires focus, discipline, and dedication to excel. With various subcategories, it offers ample opportunities for individuals with different skill sets to participate. Additionally, the health and fitness benefits that come with engaging in this form of exercise cannot be overstated. Whether you are an amateur or a seasoned pro, full contact kickboxing holds something for everyone, and it is undoubtedly an exciting sport to master.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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