September 6, 2022

How Good is Kick Boxing for Self Defense?

Kickboxing is one of the best martial arts you can learn, it has got both karate and boxing components. Though kickboxing is not as popular as MMA, BJJ, and Muay Thai, people are still interested in this martial art. 

One of the most debated questions about kickboxing is, How good is kickboxing for self-defense? Or can kickboxing defend you? Though kickboxing might not be as good as Muay Thai and MMA for self-defense, it still can be a proper self-defense training. 

Every individual has their view, and we can’t argue about it. Some say it’s good, and some say it’s not so great. It won’t be a smart move to conclude without doing proper research and trying out for yourself. 

As per experts, any form of training that can defend you is good for self-defense. Whether it’s kickboxing or any other form of training, if it could help you fight back and protect yourself, it’s a good self-defense training.  

If you are like the rest of the people who go by the wind, you’ll tell me kickboxing is not suitable for self-defense. But if you watch some kickboxing tournaments and analyze, you will understand how good kickboxing is for self-defense.

Every martial arts institute in the world has a reason for its existence. If some people are enrolling for kickboxing, there must be a good reason. Self-defense doesn’t have to be only about escaping your opponent strikes. It’s about fighting back and keeping yourself safe as much as you can. 

Rear view of woman practicing kick boxing

How Is Kickboxing Good for Self-Defense? 

First thing first, to be a good fighter, you need to have fighting experiences. For example, if you have trained alone at home, you are confident about the moves you learn. But if you have done no sparring session and have experienced no fighting, you might not be able to defend yourself. 

No matter what, every martial arts training institute will teach you some self-defense techniques for sure. But it’s up to you to use them. And not every fighting scene is the same. Even an expert level martial artist can be knocked down by a gang of street fighters. 

Kickboxing can be excellent self-defense training if you train for a longer time. Here are more points that will prove kickboxing is not useless as most people think. 

1. Kicks 

The foundation of kickboxing is kicks and punches. Kickboxing training involves kicks and lots of kicks. What can be more damaging than a fast and strong kick? Kick is one of the best defensive techniques everybody uses. 

Have you ever been in a fight or seen some street fights? What did you notice? The kicks, the punches, and the wrestling moves. If you are a kickboxer and if you happen to get into a fight. Imagine how your one kick can neutralize your opponent.

You don’t have to defend yourself with regular self-defense techniques, one kick in the right place is enough to finish the fight. Do you still think kickboxing is not good enough for self-defense training? How about punches?

2. Punches 

Kickboxing also involves lots of punching. 80% of your kickboxing training will be only boxing and kicking. In less than a year, your hands will turn as strong as the iron. Do you think your opponent will be able to sustain the punches? We don’t think so. 

Have you watched kickboxing or MMA sports? If you are a fan of martial arts sports, you won’t say kicking and boxing are not great self-defense martial arts. You know how sometimes one perfect punch can bring down a person. Even a professional fighter can be knocked down with a punch, let alone the untrained street fighters. 

Do you still think punches are not good for self-defense? Kickboxing self-defense techniques you see on TV might not look that effective. In any case, you won’t be using that technique in the street fight. Your punch and kick will be the first to take charge.

3. Distancing 

Distancing is an art, and not everybody can learn it. Kickboxing teaches you how to maintain distance. Distancing is the ability to judge the distance between you and your opponent. 

There are three types of distancing:

  • Full distance – Its a range between you and the opponent where only your fully extended leg can reach. In this distance, a fighter can perform round kicks, flying kicks, and jaw kicks. 
  • Half distance – It’s a distance at which you can strike with fully extended arms. 
  • Close distance – This range is best for uppercuts and hooks. 

When you learn about the accuracy of distance, you can defend yourself and strike your opponents with the deadliest moves

4. Feinting 

You’ll find feinting in almost all martial arts techniques. Kickboxing takes this technique to the next level. If you have watched a kickboxing tournament, you know how the score works. 

Fighters use feinting techniques to score more points. This is one of the best methods to score more points. And this technique can also be one of the best self-defense techniques. 

How does Feinting work? The basic of feinting is drawing your opponent’s attention to one or more moves and striking them with unexpected moves. 

5. Timing 

As you keep reading the article, you may have noticed that I have mentioned a lot about offensive moves instead of defensive moves. Is this article not about self-defense? 

Yes, this article is about self-defense. But it would help if you understood that one couldn’t defend only by defensive techniques. You have to use both defensive and offensive techniques equally. 

It’s like a chess game. Only trying to save your king won’t help you to win the game. You have to attack and strike your opponent when needed.  

So, where were we? We were talking about timing. Timing is critical in every martial art or sport. Sometimes one second is a matter of life and death. Kickboxing teaches you how to maintain time and use it to your advantage. Timing is all about speed, a sense of distance and direction. 

When you have the right timing, don’t you think you can defend yourself? 

6. Combat Experience

As you know, kickboxing is a combat sport. You learn a lot about combat, and most of the practice is with real people. This one quality makes kicking a proper self-defense training. 

There is a considerable difference between kicking a punching bag and kicking a moving person. In real-life situations, you won’t be dealing with standstill people. You’ll be dealing with an aggressive streetfighter.

Don’t expect your opponent to stand still and accept your punches and kicks. Your opponent will be moving at a fast speed, and you can only defend yourself if you have enough combat experience. 

7. Defensive Memory muscles

When you are into kickboxing, expect to train one technique 1000 times. Your trainer will ask you to keep making the same moves over again and again until you master it. 

So, what are the advantages of this on self-defense? Your trainer will undoubtedly train you for some particular types of attacks. If you happen to be in such kinds of attacks, you will defend yourself without even thinking about it. Most of the time, our mind stops working in a street fight. In such a situation, your muscle memory can save you.

8. You Learn quicker

Compared to all the other martial arts, kickboxing is easier to learn. It’s better to learn something than nothing. Who knows it could save your life someday? Sometimes the word martial art is enough to end the fight. Not everybody messes with a martial artist. 

These are some reasons why kickboxing is a good self-defense training, but don’t confuse kickboxing for cardio kickboxing. Cardio kickboxing is way different from kickboxing. 

Cardio kickboxing is a full body aerobic exercise with boxing and some martial arts moves. 


Self-defense is all about developing surrounding awareness, being mentally prepared, fit enough to fight, and knowing some effective defense techniques. Kickboxing has all these qualities. 

You never know how effective training is unless you try it for yourself. It’s best to conclude after experiencing for yourself instead of listening to the mass majority. 

Kickboxing schools are also getting popular, like any other martial art. There must be a reason why kickboxing is getting popular, and we will leave it upto you. You are the one who wants to learn, and you know the reason why you want to learn.

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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