Difference between Kickboxing and Boxing

Key difference: Kickboxing and Boxing are relatives of each-other, but not similar to each other. As the name suggests, Kickboxing is associated with kicks and boxing, while Boxing is associated only with boxing, and not kicks. Kickboxing and Boxing both are great cardiovascular exercises.

Kickboxing is a kicking and boxing game. It is a martial art as well as a type of combat sport, which is now getting flourished worldwide. It is originated from the martial forms like Karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing.

The Kickboxing is associated with continuous kicks and punches. It is generally practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport. There are several striking and kicking techniques associated in Kickboxing. The sport is conducted between two opponents, in the form rounds and in rings. The opponents are allowed to hit each other with punches and kicks, striking above the waist. The sport consists of various other forms and styles according to which the rules are designed and formulated in their respective rulebook. This art form is practiced mainly in Japan, America, and Thailand along with the other parts of the world. It is considered as a hybrid sport, which integrates movements and traditions from different sports, such as Karate and Boxing. It involves kicking, punching, elbow and knee strikes, throws, locks, and grappling techniques during a fight. 

Boxing is a combat sport; its origin was found and accepted by the ancient Greeks. It was declared as an Olympic legendary game, in the 687 B.C. the Boxing techniques are based on the sweet science methods and principles.

In Boxing, the opponents are called as Boxers, who are engage in a contest where they fight with their respective opponents with full strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and punches. The sport begins in round basis and is supervised by a referee over a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds. The result is decided when an opponent is deemed incapable to continue by a referee, is disqualified for breaking a rule, resigns by throwing in a towel, or is pronounced the winner or loser based on the judges' scorecards at the end of the contest. Today, the sport is a renowned part of Olympics and Commonwealth Sports.

Comparison between Kickboxing and Boxing:




Short description

Kickboxing is a form of martial art which combines boxing with elements of karate, in particular kicking with bare feet.

Boxing is the sport or practice of fighting with the fists, especially with padded gloves in a roped square ring according to prescribed rules.



Traditional Boxing- Greece

Modern Boxing- America


Kicks and boxes are engaged with the punches in the sport.

Boxes and blocks are engaged in the sport.

Valuable methods

Continuous kicking, boxing and striking.

Clinching, Circling and Left Jab.


The ducking low or using the feet to move away are not allowed in Kickboxing.

The ducking low or using the feet to move away are allowed in Boxing.

Body parts used

Both hands and feet can be used in Kickboxing.

Only hands are used in Boxing.


There is no such restrictions, the kick boxers can hit anywhere on the opponent.

No strikes are allowed below the belt.

Range of tools and Advantages over the Parts

Here, the hands, feet, elbow, knees and sometimes heads as weapons for striking.

Here only the punches are specialized and there are no usages of weapons in Boxing.


It is not a part of Olympics.

It is one of the major parts of Olympics.

Associations and Federations

  • World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
  • World Kickboxing Association
  • International Kickboxing Federation
  • International Boxing Federation (I.B.F.)
  • World Boxing Association (W.B.A.)
  • World Boxing Council (W.B.C.)
  • World Boxing Organization (W.B.O.)

Image Courtesy: foxsportscontent.com, washingtonpost.com

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