Kickboxing or Boxing for Self Defence


Kickboxing is better than boxing for self defense when defending yourself in most situations like street fights. This is because boxers are mostly focused on upper body movements like upper cuts, jabs and crosses, while kickboxing does all that and more by training the lower body for high kicks, low kicks, knee strikes, and more combinations.

2 fighters in the ring: Kickboxing or Boxing for Self Defence
Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy London

While kickboxing and boxing are closely allied, they are two different sports. It seems that the only difference between the two styles is one involves kicking, and the other does not, but it is much more than that.

In addition, both of them are great for self defence when you are outside the ring- but which one is the better? Here’s a guide on whether you should choose kickboxing or boxing for self defence.

Differences Between Kickboxing and Boxing

To determine whether to choose kickboxing or boxing for self defence, you have to understand the differences between the two.

Kickboxing is a mixture of punching and kicking. Its movements are primarily performed for general fitness, self defence, and as a contact sport. Boxing is more focused on being a combat sport and is primarily focused on the following movements: 

  • Jab cross
  • Hooks
  • Undercuts

The main advantage of kickboxing over boxing is its range of tools. Kickboxers train their hands, elbows, feet, and knees like pistols. Not only do they learn to use these bodily weapons, but they also learn how to defend. Where kickboxing teaches a variety of tools, boxing focuses mostly on upper body movements. Both sports have similarities, pacing and timing of jabs, crosses, undercuts, and hooks are of utmost importance.  

For self defence, which style would benefit you the most? Kickboxing or boxing? Well, it all depends on the context. These two fighting styles give you adequate defence skills if you ever find yourself in a street fight. As a kickboxer or a boxer, you need to know how to hit your opponent and protect yourself properly.

While both are useful, they still have their own advantages. The main advantage of kickboxing in a street fight is its versatility, reach, and more diverse combinations.

Kickboxing trains you to use your legs with low kicks, high kicks, and knee strikes. Since you were trained to work with your hands, feet, elbows, legs, and knees, you’ve got a full arsenal of attacks.

Remember, there are no rules in street fight and you should be using everything you have at your disposal to defend yourself. Kickboxing helps you use your lower body strength more efficiently in a fight. Using kickboxing for self defence will allow you to keep a distance from the attacker, who will be more likely to use punches.

With that said, boxers tend to be a little faster while defending against punches. Since they only train with their hands, they can throw more powerful punches as well.

Final Thoughts

In the question of kickboxing or boxing for self defence, I personally prefer kickboxing. I prefer kickboxing over boxing because in a street fight reach is more important when it comes to defending yourself. Furthermore, you’re ability to utilize your legs for those kicks during an attack is highly beneficial. You’re ability to use you both your upper and lower body to defend yourself in a high-stake situation is key. The more training you have with your bodily weapons, the better.

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