Is Kickboxing Good for Street Fights?


Kickboxing is fun, popular, and lethal. A considerable chunk of top MMA fighters employs it as one of their foundational martial arts — so it’s effective. But is Kickboxing good for street fights?

Here’s what I know based on my experience:

Kickboxing is good for street fights seeing as it’s an effective stand-up striking art. It’s a combination of boxing, karate, and Muay Thai, so it offers more options than many fighting styles to protect oneself in a street fight. But its downside is a lack of training on the ground.

But it’s not a magic bullet. Street fights can be highly chaotic and hence unpredictable affairs.

In this article, we’ll check out how effective it is. We’ll look at whether it equips you with skills that would help you fight and if you can use it if attacked by multiple opponents. We will also explore if it’s just for cardio.

After that, we’ll consider its cons. Lastly, we’ll look at which fighting style is the best for street fights.

Let the fun begin…

Does kickboxing teach you how to fight?

Some kickboxing classes are focused exclusively on fitness. However, kickboxing classes focused on competition do teach practitioners how to fight. It is a blend of boxing and martial arts, so punching and kicking are a natural byproduct of learning it.

Practitioners learn how to use their fists, shins, knees, and elbows.

Boxing and striking seem simple to non-fighters, but they are skills, and kickboxing teaches you how to use both to fight effectively.

You’ll get started by learning how to box, then how to strike, and you’ll learn how to combine both. When you watch a kickboxer punch someone, it’s usually so lightning-fast that you may not be able to discern the mechanics.

The intricacies of what’s involved in the different forms of punches — jabs, hooks, and crosses — are taught.

You’ll also notice that kickboxers rarely drop their guard. After unleashing a punch, for example, their hands return to the initial position to protect their face.

A similar thing occurs, too, when they kick their opponent. It’s executed swiftly, and the fighter assumes their former stance. In a nutshell, you’ll be taught the intricacies involved in fighting others by using both your fists and shins.

Muay Thai is one of the most popular styles of kickboxing, but is it useful in a street fight?

Check out a recent article of mine where I explained how dangerous and powerful Muay Thai is. I also shared the weakest martial art and the best martial art for a street fight.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is kickboxing good against multiple attackers?

Kickboxing is one of the better arts to learn against multiple attackers due to its ability to use so many different parts of the body as weapons. However, defending against more than one person is challenging for any style of martial art. 

Trying to fight several people at the same time is completely unlike what we have been programmed to believe in movies. It is a fantasy most of us have — so it is projected back to us.

It is hard to fight multiple opponents at the same time. This is because beating one person is hard enough under the circumstances.

You’re contending with someone who’s using all their skills and power to subdue or even incapacitate you, and you’re doing the same. And the truth is that no real fight is easy.

A second attacker could make all the difference in taking you out.

So, fights are physically and mentally draining — even when it’s just one person you’re about to give a beatdown. Now, imagine having to deal with 3 or 5 of such an individual — at the same time. Even Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov or Jon Jones would have a hard time taking on 2 tough dudes at the same time!

But with various kicks at your disposal, punches, elbow strikes, and other techniques, kickboxing does give you an advantage that martial arts such as Karate or Aikido might not have in a multiple attacker situation.

Earlier, I hinted at the fact that kickboxing is a blend of karate and boxing.

Of course, it’s now a distinct combat style. Say you’ve got to choose between karate vs. kickboxing, which one do you think is better if self-defense is the goal?

A recent article of mine explores this riveting question and others like it. I answered questions such as how dangerous kickboxing is and whether it’s a good form of self-defense. I also considered whether karate is useful in a street fight.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is kickboxing just cardio?

Kickboxing is not just cardio, although some classes are purely focused on fitness and not competition or self-defense. Kickboxing is a combat system that is a blend of boxing and karate — it is a fighting system. But it is a full-body workout that includes a complete cardio workout.

Kickboxing is an awesome cardio workout.

But, this is simply a “nice-to-have” feature. At its core, it’s one of the most demanding and brutal combat systems out there. Jon Jones, DaSilva, Adesanya, and many others are some of the best fighters who leverage kickboxing in most of their fights.

Kickboxing is about fighting with one’s fists, knees, and elbows. It’s a richer combat system because you’ve got a lot more weapons to fight with. It has many forms.

American kickboxing and Muay Thai are some of the most popular.

When learned, you become more physically fit, and you’d have a lean and mean body, but it offers a lot more; you also become a fighting machine.

Muay Thai and kickboxing are related and highly similar. What if you’ve got to choose between kickboxing and Muay Thai, which one’s better?

In a recent article, I spoke about whether both are the same and if kickboxing is safer than Muay Thai. In it, I also looked at which one is better for fitness.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What are the cons of kickboxing?

The cons of kickboxing are the relatively high rate of injuries, the fact that no grappling or ground movement is taught, being intense and physically demanding, and possibly being too challenging for those who are older or out of shape.

So as effective as kickboxing is, we need to look at some of the downsides in greater detail so you can make the right decision for yourself.

First, the rate of injuries is relatively high. For every 1000 minutes of the combat sport, 40 injuries occur. That’s an average of 2.5 injuries each hour.

A study conducted in 2015 corroborated the fact I shared above. It was conducted over 15 years, and it involved 400 kickboxers. It concluded that the frequency of injuries is high and that the injuries themselves are often significant.

Second, in terms of a style that’s great for self-defense, kickboxing isn’t the best choice of all the martial arts.

It’s got no grappling component and consequently no ground game. If a kickboxer were taken down, they would most likely be defeated in a fight because they would be clueless.

Third, combining boxing and kicking is not as easy as it looks. Some techniques may not come naturally at first. Such as kicking with one’s shins. Apart from learning the techniques, there’s a conditioning component that can be grueling.

So, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Which fighting style is best for street fights?

Krav Maga is the fighting style that is best for street fights because it was developed for self-defense for the Israel Defense Forces. Practitioners have skills with which they can quickly subdue or incapacitate an opponent with minimal or no harm to themselves. 

It’s an “anything goes” fighting style — a reason why it’s super-effective.

What makes Krav Maga the best style is that it’s a blend of some of the most lethal techniques in other martial arts. It borrows with ease. Its ethos is “by any means necessary”, so there are no rules or rigid adherence to some patterns.

Of course, it has many techniques that KM fighters employ, but the “key rule” is that you must protect yourself.

One who’s hip to the style would not hesitate to gouge an opponent’s eyes, knee them in the groin, or crush their nose with a swift and deadly elbow or palm strike.

In a sense, Krav Maga fighters are not interested in fighting, as it were. They’re looking to execute one or two moves that would bring their opponent to their knees, so that they can go home unscathed.

This begs the question: Are Krav Maga classes worth it? 

That’s the theme of a recent article of mine where I looked at whether Krav Maga is effective in real life or a street fight. How much does the training cost and how long does it take to learn are also explored.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

10 Killer Kickboxing Combos for Beginners to Advanced


In the article, we looked at kickboxing, whether it equips you with skills that would help you fight and if you can use it if attacked by multiple opponents.

But we also explored if it’s just for cardio.

Then, we looked at its drawbacks. Lastly, we found out which fighting style is the best for street fights.

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

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