UFHybrid: a thing made up of two or more different elements; a mixture.
You can find numerous hybrids in the world. Some plants are hybrids. Most, if not all, of the foods you eat are hybrids. My dog is a hybrid. Apparently there are Hybrid cars (who knew?) but I’m not sure that is the same concept but I digress. MMA is a hybrid. You and I are hybrids… right?
Let’s focus on the MMA. That’s why I am paid the Big Nothing Dollars: BND (I love acronyms) and Kickboxing is, you guessed it, a hybrid. It is a fascinating aspect of MMA, but also one of the more difficult martial arts to explain.
What is kickboxing?
The term kickboxing is a somewhat generic one used to cover the combination of several different stand up fighting styles in martial arts, mainly Karate and Muay Thai boxing. Kickboxing combines the punches and elbows of Thai boxing with the kicks of karate. Due to its overall simplicity and main focus on self-defense, as opposed to other fighting styles that can be competition based, kickboxing translates very well to the sport of MMA.
The term gained popularity in the United States in the late 60’s and early 70’s with the massive popularity of Bruce Lee. American full-contact karate practitioners were frustrated by the scoring limitations of tournaments and decided to branch out. They wanted to find a system within which they could apply kicks and punches to their full advantage.
Kickboxers employ a wide range of techniques that all cannot be described in one post… but I’ll try.
Punches include the jab, cross, uppercut, and hook. The jab is the most important punch in MMA. Reason being is that it sets up the more damaging punches and it’s used to gauge distance and create angles. Simply put, it is a straight punch with the lead hand. The cross literally crosses the body in a straight line prior to contact with the target, hence the name. When you throw the hook, it literally looks like a hook. Typically thrown from the lead hand, the arm should be bent at an angle of 90 degrees, or close to it. If the angle is much more of much less, then maximum power will not be derived from the punch.
Kicks is where the “kick” in kickboxing comes from. Kicking techniques include the front, hook, side, roundhouse and spinning back kicks.
Kickboxing is a pretty common Martial Art in MMA. A UFC gym in San Jose, American Kickboxing Academy, specializes in Kickboxing. Cain Velazques, Daniel Cormier, Cung Le, and more all train here. However, if we want to talk about Kickboxing perfection, look no further than UFC Women’s Strawweight Champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk. It is not a stretch to say that she is the best striker in MMA throughout the world, regardless of gender.
She. Is. The. Best.
She is an extremely accurate striker. Her technique is flawless. She is a 4-time Kickboxing world champion. She is simply the best. Carlos Condit is a close second, but Joanna is as good a fighter as Ronda Rousey. Albeit with different styles, but elite.
In summary: Kickboxing is a hybrid of Karate and boxing, and you should watch any match with Joanna Jedrzejczyk. You will not be disappointed.