Kickboxing is a sport which combines martial arts and boxing. It adds together kicks from martial arts and punching from boxing.
Some people call the sport full contact karate, or karate boxing, which helps to explain how it started.
It started in the late 1950s when some karate experts wanted to try their sport with full contact, which wasn't allowed.
They organised some bouts against Thai boxers, which was full contact.
Throughout the 1960s some of those karate experts learned some new moves from Thai boxing, and developed their skills into what is now called kickboxing. Within kickboxing there are different styles - Japanese, American and European.
The basic moves are kicking, punching, jumping and blocking. The kicks are very similar to the martial arts of kung fu and tae kwon do, and karate.
The punches are the same as in boxing and the arms are held next to the head.
Fighting is called sparring and there are two different types - full contact and semi contact. Children are only allowed to compete in semi-contact because full contact involves hitting and kicking harder.
If you want to spar you must wear the following equipment:
kick boots which are padded to protect the feet
- shin guards
- boxing gloves
- mouth guard
- head guard