Kickboxing for kids - a complete guide from A to Z
Kickboxing for kids: is a kind of mixed martial arts ‘MMA’, in which punches and kicks are allowed.
It was the result of merging karate with boxing, so sometimes called “boxing with legs” or “karate in gloves.”.
You may think that kickboxing sport is not suitable for kids for many reasons, so let us see this.
In this article, For Kids Plus will talk about the history, styles and types of kickboxing, what is the best age to start kickboxing for kids, and the benefits of this sport to your child.
Also, you will know the difficulties that may encounter your kid while playing kickboxing and how to deal with it. How to choose kickboxing classes, club, and trainers for your kids.
Kickboxing is quite a young sport. It originated in the 60s of the last century at the peak of the popularity of oriental martial arts: karate, Judo, Muay Thai, etc.
At that time, there were many self-defense sports with different rules for fighting. Then the idea arose to hold such a tournament in which representatives of different styles could participate.
The new kind of wrestling was first called full contact karate, while “karate” was understood to mean any martial art. Adherents of traditional karate did not like the mention of the name of their sport in this way, and then a new term was adopted – “kickboxing” first in Japan, then in the USA.
The first world tournament was held in 1974 in Los Angeles. Women’s competition was included in the program in 1985.
Styles of kickboxing
1. Full contact kickboxing
In full-contact kickboxing, opponents fight with each other in professional level trying to earn some points.
2. Semi contact kickboxing
In semi-contact kickboxing, players learn all kickboxing movements including self-defense routines.
Sparing is allowed and scoring system is based on successfully landing strikes with light contact only.
3. Light contact kickboxing
Kids are practicing kickboxing in a controlled manner wearing appropriate safety gear that allows very light contact against another player.
4. Cardio kickboxing
In this type, there is no contact with a real opponent. Kickboxers perform kickboxing punches and strikes against an imaginary kickboxer.
Usually, this type of fighting takes place in a cardio gym class environment on the melody of music.
Types of kickboxing
According to the rules of kickboxing and types of blows allowed in the game, there are two types:
1- American kickboxing
American kickboxing or full contact kickboxing is based on Karate, where Opponents are allowed to hit each other with punches, kicks, and striking only above the waist.
At first, there were no rules in kickboxing as such. There were no limits on the force of the blows.
Headshots, sweeps, grabs, and throws were allowed. The rules were drawn up over time: throws, grabs, elbows, and knees were forbidden.
Athletes began to be divided into weight categories. Regulated the number of kicks for one round – the kickboxer had to inflict at least eight strokes (now at least six).
This was because the former boxers practically did not work with their feet, which contradicted the idea of kickboxing and reduced its entertainment.
2- Japanese kickboxing
There are no serious differences in Japanese kickboxing, and they are associated more with Thai boxing.
When Muay Thai penetrated Japan, it was not preserved in its original form but underwent some changes.
For example, in Japanese kickboxing, elbow strikes did not take root, as the audience did not like frequent stops of fights due to injuries and the scoring system is different.
What is the best age to start kickboxing lessons for kids?
The club determines the age at which children start kickboxing. Some kickboxing clubs accept children from 5-6 years, others from 8-9 years.
In this case, the approach to classes will be different for different age groups:
younger children’s training focuses on general physical development and usually takes place in a playful way.
According to many kickboxing coaches, 5 – 6 years is the best age for kids to start kickboxing lessons.
Boys and girls, is there any difference?
There is no difference in mastering the technique of martial arts and kickboxing between boys and girls.
Stages of kickboxing training lessons
There are 4 stages through which all kickboxers pass:
1. Stage of initial training (Usually from 10 years):
During the first two years, children improve physical fitness and become familiar with the basic techniques of kickboxing. Training includes outdoor games, stretching, and elements of acrobatics.
2. Training stage (from 12 years)
In the next three years, children continue to improve their level of physical fitness and begin to participate in competitions and training camps.
3. Stage of improvement of kickboxing skills (from 14 years)
The lessons become more focused on kickboxing skills and styles. Kids kickboxers improve endurance, speed, and reaction and the number of competitions increases as well.
4. Stage of higher sports mastery (from 15 years)
By this time, the athlete begins to develop his own style, which is visible in the manner of combat, understanding weaknesses and strengths.
Weight & age Categories in kickboxing
According to the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations “WAKO”, there is a different age and weight categories, for all sports played on Tatami “the floor of the fighting area” as follows:
Younger Cadets Category:
Age: 10, 11 and 12 years old.
Weight (Girls & Boys): – 28kg; – 32 kg; – 37 kg; – 42 kg; -47kg; + 47kg.
Older Cadets Category:
Age: 13, 14, 15 years old.
Weight (Boys): – 42kg; – 47kg; – 52 kg; – 57 kg; – 63 kg; -69kg; + 69kg.
Weight (Girls): – 42kg; – 46kg; – 50kg; – 55 kg; – 60kg; -65kg; + 65kg.
Age: from 16 to 18 years.
Weight (Men): – 57kg; – 63 kg; – 69kg; – 74kg; – 79kg; -84kg; – 89 kg; – 94kg; + 94kg.
Weight (Women): – 50kg; – 55 kg; – 60kg; – 65kg; – 70 kg; + 70kg.
Benefits of Kickboxing for kids
Disadvantages of Kickboxing for kids
Choosing the correct equipment and following the instructions will reduce the risk of injuries.
These disadvantages are not a serious problem at the amateur level but may increase if the child starts to play on a professional level.
Difficulties that may face your child while playing kickboxing
kickboxing classes for kids
Children's kickboxing classes prices
The average cost of children’s kickboxing classes ranges from 50$ to 120$ for 10 to 30 lessons.
Many kickboxing instructors will charge, on average, around $125 a month for weekly classes.
The price of classes for kids maybe 20 – 25% less than adults.
Also, your child will need kickboxing equipment as boxing gloves, mouth guard, chin guard, and headgear.
How to choose kickboxing club & trainer for juniors?
It depends on whether you are targeting a club or a specific coach:
– Choosing Club
To get started, go to the first free lesson, or visit it as a spectator if rules allow.
Be sure that the number of children in the group does not exceed what is stated and pay attention to the training process (time of warm-up and stretching).
Search for kickboxing clubs near you to be easy for you and your kids.
– Choosing a coach
Read the information about the coach, how much he prepared the athletes or how much success his students have achieved.
Pay attention to how he behaves with the children, whether he is watching them closely at the general training session or not.
Ask other parents why they are introducing their child to him.
If the coach does not have much success, then look at his personal achievements.
And, of course, be guided by whether your son or daughter likes him.
Kickboxing is a good sport for kids and provides the child with perseverance, dedication, courage, ability to think tactically, the strength of will and self-control.
A child can achieve high performance and become a champion at an official level.
If the child plays kickboxing at the amateur level, he will be fit and more self-confident.