Not all sports that use their bodies and display some kicks are mixed martial arts. There is also a martial art called kickboxing that you should know about. It has been a vernacular expression for a long time but is not as popular as MMA. Get to know the two martial arts in this article.

Kickboxing vs. MMA

Kickboxing, also known as striking combat, involves using fists, elbows, knees, and shins to strike their opponent. The sport is practiced in a ring, with the fighters wearing special gloves. It’s a great form of physical activity, and its fans love the explosive, fast-paced nature of the sport. Kickboxing is an international sport with numerous organizations, federations, and competitions.

Before becoming that, kickboxing was a combat sport that had its origin in Japan when the stablemasters and samurai warriors would use kicks in their fights. It became a worldwide phenomenon that is now practiced in different martial arts. A person practicing kickboxing is known as a kickboxer.

Several styles are used in the martial art of kickboxing. Some of the major styles that are used in this martial art are:

  • Karate
  • Boxing
  • Muay Thai
  • Tae kwon do
  • MMA

MMA, or mixed martial arts, is also a form of striking combat. The sport includes not only punches and kicks (and elbows and knees) but also grappling, and occasionally submission holds.

MMA fighters can use various fighting techniques and train in the sport’s striking and grappling aspects. It has a very loyal, worldwide following. MMA fighters aren’t commonly referred to as “kickboxers,” and vice versa.

MMA is a full-contact combat sport that has been a professional one since the year 2000. The fighters can use their skills in various disciplines, including Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, BJJ, and jiu-jitsu.

Which Is Better? Kickboxing or MMA?

There is a multitude of differences between the two sports. Both are great choices for those who want to work out and have fun. MMA is undoubtedly more popular than kickboxing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean kickboxing is less enjoyable or effective. MMA is also more intense, involving punches, kicks, and grappling.

Kickboxing is a lighter, more “picturesque” form of martial arts. Practitioners use fists, shins, elbows, and knees to strike opponents. Kickboxing practitioners tend to be very muscular and lean.

MMA fighters, often referred to as “Mixed Martial Artists” or “Ultimate Fighters,” focus on the art of taking down their opponent. Meanwhile, kickboxers focus on strikes, with only a little grappling.

What Should You Choose?

Both kickboxing and MMA are excellent choices for adults who want to get fit and have fun at the same time. They involve many disciplines, but kickboxing is more acrobatic and artistic, while MMA is more intense and realistic.

The answer to that question is that it all depends on what you’re looking for. Kickboxing is not a bad choice if you want to get into the sport but are unsure if you want to participate in a full-blown, intense combat sport. If you’re looking for a more intense combat sport with punches, kicks, and grappling, then MMA is the right choice for you.


The two forms of martial arts are similar, but they are also very different. If you want to choose one over the other, consider your personal preferences and your goals for training. Both are great choices for people who want to get fit and have fun.

In case you want to learn MMA or kickboxing, we have a great selection of classes for both forms of martial arts in NYC, as well as other disciplines. Start a free trial with Pride Martial Arts Academy today!