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Kickboxing rules & regulations

Kickboxing rules & regulations

Let's take a look at the most common kickboxing rules and regulations..

Like most sports Kickboxing has a number of rule sand regulations to help protect competitors health and safety. Although there are a number of Kickboxing organizations the foundation rules and regulations stay the same with minor changes, keeping all organizations very similar. Rules for fights may also change depending on the Kickboxing contact version.

I will now try to explain a general overview of the rules and regulations the best I can:

How to score or win a kickboxing match up

Full contact matches

To win a full contact match you must either knock your opponent out, hurt them so they are unable to continue or win by points. This type of kickboxing match is very similar to a boxing match.

Light contact matches

To win a light contact match you must score more points than your opponent by landing as many successful strikes on your opponents legal targets as possible. Any fighter that is deemed to be fighting too hard will be warned by the referee. There are no knock-outs in light contact matches.

Semi contact matches

To win a semi contact match you must score as many points as possible. Points are awarded for light strikes that hit a legal target on your opponent. For each strike a score of 1-3 points is awarded, based on how clean and controlled the technique was.

Protective equipment

Competitors must wear a set of protective equipment that consists of a head guard, fight gloves, foot guards, shin guards, a mouth guard and a groin protector. If the competitor is female they must also wear a chest protector.

Weight divisions

As in boxing each competitors weight is checked a short time before the fight to ensure the fighters are weighing in at the correct weight. For a general guide o the weight division please visit our kickboxing weight divisions page.

Fighting area

The type of contact variation usually determines the type of fighting area. Full contact fights are fought in a ring (similar to a boxing ring). Semi contact fights are fought mats. Light contact kickboxing fights are fought in a ring or on a matted area.

Fight time

Semi contact and light contact fights are usually consist of 3 rounds lasting 2 minutes each. In these fights the clock is stopped in the event of an injury or successful hit.

Full contact kickboxing fights consist of 3 rounds of 2 minutes each with a 1 minute interval between each round.

Legal techniques

The following strikes are will successfully score points:

Hand strikes:

    1. Jabs
    2. Hooks
    3. Upper cuts
    4. Back fists
    5. Ridge hands

    Foot/leg strikes

    1. Front kicks
    2. Back kicks
    3. Roundhouse kicks
    4. Hook kicks
    5. Crescent kicks
    6. Axe kicks
    7. Foot Sweeps

Unlike Thai Kickboxing, elbows, low kicks and knees are not allowed unless specifically stated in a special match up.

Legal targets

Forbidden targets

The following are illegal targets and if hit will lead to a penalty or disqualification:

  1. Neck
  2. Throat
  3. Genitals/groin
  4. Back
  5. Joint


Competitors must not:

  1. Use any 'throws' or submissions found in styles such as judo or jiu jitsu.
  2. 'Trash talk' or spitting - doing so will lead to a warning, point reduction or even disqualification.
  3. Run away, turn his back on his opponent, fall down intentionally or anything similar.
  4. Continue to attack their opponent if they have become stuck in the ropes.

Medical examination

Before a competitor can compete they must successfully complete an examination carried out by a qualified medical doctor. This examination must be up to date and carried out once a year.

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