The History of Kickboxing
Here we tell you the most exciting facts in the history of this popular sport.
In many martial arts, the true origins or starting point are usually unknown. This is also true for kickboxing, however, it can be traced back to a point of creation. During the early to mid-1950s, a man by the name of Osamu Noguchi was a prominent boxer and boxing enthusiast in Japan. He traveled the world to watch popular boxing matches and liked the style of boxing used in Thailand, Muay Thai.
At that time, a man known as Tatsuo Yamada (the creator of Nihon Kempo Karate-Do) took an interest in Muay Thai as well he tried to find a form of fighting in which opponents could target their attacks directly at each other and come into contact with the targeted area of the opponents’ body.
In Karate, the fighters were never allowed to contact each other directly. Around 1959, Tatsuo Yamada created what he called Karate Boxing whose popularity had not grown exactly at that point because it was still a minimally unknown sport.
Tatsuo Yamada and Osamu Noguchi met (they were one of the few people interested in Muay Thai) and worked together to create Muay Thai vs Karate events. This was actually what Osamu Noguchi called Kickboxing and after several fights, the popularity of this new martial art quickly spread.
Before his death in 1967, Osamu Noguchi also created the Kickboxing Association and it was after this that Kickboxing began to take its true place not only among Japan but also in other countries. However, when Tashadi Sawamura (one of the most popular kickboxers during this time), experienced a short lull in his popularity, around the year 1993 the banned kneeling techniques and throws were removed from the sport by Kazuyoshi Ishii (the creator of the martial art Seidokan Karate). It was then that the popularity of kickboxing spread to the countries of North America, Australia, and Europe.
Image: Chris Kendall
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