Kickboxing (in Japanese キックボクシング kikkubokushingu) is a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from Karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing. Kickboxing is often practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport.
Japanese kickboxing originates in the 1960s, with competitions held since the 1960s. American kickboxing originates in the 1970s. Japanese kickboxing developed into K-1 in 1993. 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 jujutsu and collegiate wrestling.
There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include World Association of Kickboxing Organizations, World Kickboxing Association, International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, among others. Consequently there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1, It’s Showtime, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, among others.