Kickboxing (in Japanese キックボクシング kikkubokushingu) is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai, and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originated in the 1960s, with competitions held since then. American kickboxing originated in the 1970s and was brought to prominence in September 1974, when the Professional Karate Association (PKA) held the first World Championships. Historically, kickboxing can be considered a hybrid martial art formed from the combination of elements of various traditional styles. This approach became increasingly popular since the 1970s, and since the 1990s, kickboxing has contributed to the emergence of mixed martial arts via further hybridization with ground fighting techniques from Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Folk wrestling.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include International Combat Organisation, World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World Sport Kickboxing Federation, among others. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1, Glory, SUPERKOMBAT, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others. Bouts organized under different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of knees.