Which is better MMA or kickboxing

Difference Between Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA

Boxing as such is very old and began around 3000 BC in Egypt. Even then, only hitting with bandaged fists was allowed and, as is still common today, it was always a duel.

In the centuries that followed, this sport spread increasingly across the world. For example, there is evidence of ancient fistfighting in ancient Greece, Russia, Asia and America, which document this spread and show the respective differences.

In the course of the last century, especially since 1950, the 4 types already mentioned have emerged. In addition to various differences, they also have something in common:

  • Turn-based battles.
  • Fights take place in a defined area.
  • It is a duel.
  • A referee watches over rule violations.

The differences, on the other hand, are mainly in the set of rules, which precisely determine which body parts may be used or hit in boxing.

Classic boxing

In boxing, only hits with closed fists are allowed; However, kicks, knees and bites are completely prohibited. In addition, only the hits on the body area above the belt count.

The boxing gloves used must meet the standards of the respective umbrella organization during the competition. Special features are the sewn thumb and the very thick padding on the back of the hand.

Because no kicks are allowed, you don't need a long punching bag for training. Depending on the body size, punching bags that are 120 cm high are sufficient to improve your own punching techniques.

Kickboxing - extension of boxing

In contrast to boxing, kicks may also be performed in kickboxing; hence the name kick (for kicking) and boxing (for punches). While low kicks, i.e. kicks below the belt, are generally not allowed, this does not apply to all umbrella organizations for low kicks, i.e. kicks on the thigh or calf.

Kickboxers wear special kickboxing gloves that are much more flexible and thinner than normal boxing gloves. In addition, the inside of the glove is more strongly padded so that you can fend off kicks safely with the palm of your hand.

Muay thai

Muay Thai or Thai boxing is a full contact sport in which other punching and kicking techniques are allowed. For example, punches with the elbow are allowed and clinching (clasping the opponent and performing knee kicks) is allowed.

As with kickboxing, the kickboxing gloves are much more flexible and thinner on the back of the hand than with classic boxing. As a further protection, a groin guard (protection for the genital area) is usually worn, because kicks in the genital area are not directly allowed but tolerated.

In addition, shin guards, foot bandages and abdominal protection are often worn. These protective measures are not necessary in the previous martial arts because the respective body parts are excluded from combat by the rules.

Mixed martial arts

Mixed Martial Arts, MMA for short, is a hybrid of many different martial arts. In contrast to the other boxing and martial arts, MMA is characterized by the fact that there are very few regulations; for example, biting and attacking the genital area are taboo.

Many MMA fighters have knowledge of different martial arts such as kickboxing, muay thai, taekwondo and jiu-jitsu, although kickboxing is usually mastered by all fighters.

As with Muay Thai, clinching is allowed in mixed martial arts, as is throwing and ground fighting. As a result, MMA is also one of the full contact sports and also one of those with the least restrictions.

In contrast to other martial arts, MMA gloves are not mittens, but look like heavily padded cycling gloves. While the back and inside of the hand are more strongly padded, the fingers are not protected. Only then is it possible to grab the opponent and clasp the opponent's extremities during ground fighting.


Overall, the 4 martial arts differ mainly in the allowed punching or kicking techniques and the gloves used. In both areas there are clear changes from normal boxing to full contact sport MMA.

When training the respective sports, high-quality standing punching bags, long hanging punching bags and the boxing dummy are primarily suitable as training objects. In addition to punching techniques, a variety of kicking techniques can be practiced and improved on these training devices.