The Development of Western Boxing Vs. Martial Arts that include Kicks

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by DukeIsh, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. DukeIsh White Belt

    DukeIsh
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    I am curious to know why western boxing developed without kicks, while nearly all other martial arts include kicking of some sort. Is it cultural, practical-based, environmental?

    Any input would be appreciated, even just a nod in the right direction.
     
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  2. Darwinist Super Simian

    Darwinist
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    How far back are you thinking of? Victorian/Enlightenment era bare-knucle boxing? Medieval fighting techniques? Ancient Greece?
     
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  3. DukeIsh White Belt

    DukeIsh
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    As far back as it goes, I guess. The most likely scenarios might include
    1. Kicks simply never developed in whatever particular area advanced western boxing.
    2. Kicks existed originally, but were removed from it as part of regulation
    3. Kicks existed originally, but were not incorporated well, and fell by the wayside.

    There are probably thousands most possible variations, including the grey areas between these three. But, to answer you question, any time-period would be interesting. For sport, Victorian-era is probably most relevant. But, for fighting systems, for the purpose of real combat, the Ancient Greece to medieval Europe is probably most interesting.
     
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  4. vicious Orange Belt

    vicious
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    Even when they had Pankration they had matches where only fists were allowed. I guess there's something alluring about confining two men to only their hands while they beat the hell out of each other.
     
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  5. singdawg Orange Belt

    singdawg
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    this takes alot of explination about human history, but well, humans have fought for a very very long time. For the most part, humans were nomadic and didn't live in the same place, hunting and gathering. There were many many conflicts during these times, as conflict is usually about self interest. In these types of societies might ruled over right, and the mightier would grow mightier unless conquered by someone stronger yet. This lead to conflicts evolution between at first, small groups of people attacking (usually 1 person defending and 1 attacker) anyway they could. If outnumbered greatly, then most were doomed. Eventually people begin to group together in bigger and bigger numbers until they form cities, the city offers a measure of protection in trade with an individual following the societies laws. These cities were still attacked and fell, giving way to empires, empires grew so strong that wars against other empires become useless endevours in which both groups of people fail, peace begins to be the common goal, and here we are in modern time.

    very condensed and all, and I know you are thinking "what the fuck does this gotta do with anything"

    so, people who evolved their fighting skills for war began to become a little more obscure in necessity, and developped even stronger. Wars were still fought, but people who had immense skill developed were sequestered in order to continue developing martial skill and teaching it. These people lived instead of perishing needlessly

    well, soon after cities began forming, people realized that to prove themselves they couldn't simply kill their opponents anymore and had to defeat them on peaceful ground, debates conquered moral and philosohphical problems, while sports evolved to destroy pent up human energy. We have this need for engaging in something competative.
    So, sports begin.

    the most natural human sport is fighting. It requires little to no equipment and can be done easily.

    In ancient greece, and continuing at this time stitll, boxing, wrestling and full contact pankration were three seperate sports. so one of the major goals was to ensure relative safety , altho usually these sports were brutal and have only recently developed relatively good safety measures.

    Boxing allowed only for striking with the hands, as the kicks were seen as somewhat unsafe and they wanted to limit their resources to simply hand techniques as they saw it as a skill in itself to only use their hands.
    wrestling developed without strikes.
    and mma events were still practiced.

    Eventually, some groups of pracicioners got way better than others and their influence has spread around the world, their techniques gather together slowly but surely, and mma utilizing many many techniques has finally begun to take real shape.

    rather than individual arts such as kung fu, tkd, hapkido, karate or traditional jiu jitsu, among thousands of other arts, people are looking for the most realistic form of self defense as well as the most realistic form of fighting sport.

    thus, while some people still practice individual arts, which some focus on only one or two aspects of combat, others have begun to see combat, and thus sport, as a no holds bar contest in which you can do anything if you learn it.
    Knees, elbows, kicks, striking, clinch work, takedowns, grappling ect, ect all begin to evolve into one.



    i know this is a litttle muddled and all.
    but, I just wanted to show that the evolution of combat is a long process and is continually ongoing, we are at a point in time which is really good for us, as quicker access to knowledge is allowing us greater improvment in our self defense.

    boxing is without kicks as they want to focus exclusively on striking with the fist in order to show dominance through that aspect of combat.
    other arts chose to elevate other aspects, some choose takedowns, others choose pins, others choose kicking, others choose grappling, boxing chose to elevate punching as very important.
     
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  6. Sohei Too swole to control

    Sohei
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    Asian unarmed combat arts developed directly form their sword and weapon based martial arts, which included kicks in addition to sword/spear/halberd work. In many traditional Asian arts you can see this in the fact that the only hand techniques they use are called "sword hand", the knife hand in karate which originally was called tegatana which literally means "hand sword".

    Western boxing was developed from English boxing that started in the 17th century that developed wholly as a sport and not an actual combat art or means of self-defense, and as such, actions that werent boxing, i.e. kicking, grappling, biting, etc. were considered 'dirty', 'ungentlemanly', and unsportsmanlike.

    And generally, Europeans are more upper-body oriented with regards to strength and physical action whereas in Asia where people are generally smaller they see the hips and lower body as the seat of strength.
     
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  7. Snubnoze707 มวยไทย

    Snubnoze707
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    That's a pretty good question. My best guess would have to do with westerners typically being larger in size than people from asian countries making kicking more difficult and less instinctive. At the same time tho, Savat did develop out of the streets with an emphasis on kicking. Its hard to say.
     
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  8. Sohei Too swole to control

    Sohei
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    Savate had Asian influence. It was supposedly developed by French sailors who observed/studied Asian martial arts.
     
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  9. DukeIsh White Belt

    DukeIsh
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    Interesting answers all around. Thanks guys.

    It's noteworthy, singdawg, that you seemed to approach the question from a more anthropological/sociological angle than I. I started thinking about this in terms of language, or terms. For example, if we turned on the TV and saw two western boxers fighting, we say, "oh, boxing."

    If two Chinese men turn on the TV and see a Kung Fu match, they say, "oh, boxing."

    Two Thai men say, "Oh, Thai Boxing."

    If you see what I mean. It is the same sport. The same spirit, at least, but with different rules on the use of limbs.

    So, as you said, Singdawg, "boxing is without kicks as they want to focus exclusively on striking with the fist in order to show dominance through that aspect of combat."

    That is really where my question begins. Why was it preferred to show dominance through only the use of fists.

    As Sohei said, "Western boxing was developed from English boxing that started in the 17th century that developed wholly as a sport and not an actual combat art or means of self-defense, and as such, actions that werent boxing, i.e. kicking, grappling, biting, etc. were considered 'dirty', 'ungentlemanly', and unsportsmanlike."

    So, why was kicking considered dirty and unsportsmanlike in European style boxing, when it so many other places it was not.

    Forgive me if this stops making sense, I have been drinking.
     
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  10. singdawg Orange Belt

    singdawg
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    I chose my angle to show how fighting evolves, I find boxing alone to be a wasted sport. I see a load of people believing that in order to be great at self defense you just need to be a great boxer. Sure you'll be alot better at fist fighting someone if you are a great boxer, but come on, whose going to attack someone with just their fist? Me, if someone attacks me with their fists held high as if they only want to punch me, im either going to nut shot them or or take them down. A boxer isn't worth much mounted.

    I think this about any of the restrictive forms of combat tho. I mean, sure i'll box, or kickbox, or thai box, or wrestle/judo from standing, or wrestle/jiu jitsu from the ground, if I must, but i'd rather be training realistic mma techniques.

    Its EXTREMELY hard to prepare to anything like realistic combat, but its nothing at all like boxing or jiu jitsu from the knees.

    good for preparing certain parts of your skill level, bad for being your only skill.

    I don't really know why people are so much more into punching than all other forms of combat, striking might seem like a big part of fighting, and it is, but its far from the dominant part.
     
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  11. jlagman Duty Belt and Suspenders

    jlagman
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    *Reads post and uncovers an excuse to berate and lambaste the sport of boxing*





    So much for being impractical.
    :rolleyes:
     
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  12. mepersoner Purple Belt

    mepersoner
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    You forgot one.

     
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  13. Mooney Blue Belt

    Mooney
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    id go with this
     
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  14. Too Defensive** Banned

    Too Defensive**
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    Id like to see more head movement from him
     
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  15. Too Defensive** Banned

    Too Defensive**
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    Its culture. Why do Asians take there shoes off before going in a house? Why do some consider pork to be dirty? Why are Latins very family oriented?
     
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  16. singdawg Orange Belt

    singdawg
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    ? when did I say impractical.. It's extremely practical. But your examples are kinda biased.

    Both guys in the video are fighting people with little to no training, and they get what they deserve. But, put someone who has trained 5 years of boxing against someone who has trained 5 years of bjj and boxing, then the odds are a little different.

    Not to mention, none of the attackers gang up, use weapons or kick.

    I'm not berating the skill of boxing, only the sport.
     
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  17. Too Defensive** Banned

    Too Defensive**
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    The average attacker is going to be about as skilled as those two idiots in the clip, or they will flail their fists wildley with no technique. Anyone who has been training for a decent lenghth of time should be able to disable the average joe. The clip is a real life situation biased or no.


    Have you ever read the Anarchists Cook Book? It talks about the different ways of taking people out with your hands, and it also states that Westerners have this facination with punching people in the jaw. Its in our culture. Its like the Jaw is the ultimate target area. Look at the Old Western Movies. When the Cowboys get in to fights, everyone is hitting eachother with haymakers in the face, and then its lights out.

    The average guy on the street gets agitated, what does he do? he puts his hands up and is aiming for the other guy's face. No one thinks to use knife hands, or kicks to knee caps and the like.
     
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  18. ambertch Purple Belt

    ambertch
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    I think the reasons are both cultural and practical

    Cultural: I've gotten a lot of this from talking to older boxing coaches - guys either in their 60s, 70s, or my own coach who is in his 40s but came from a very old school background. All these guys, even though some train MMA fighters, have expressed disgust at "a grown man lifting his feet to kick." Statements like "it may be ok for a woman to kick, but a man only lifts his foot to show disrespect."

    The 52 blocks documentary ("Breaking the glass") has interesting take on this: In the interviews, many of the older 52 blocks practitioners bemoan gang violence today, that people are shooting and stabbing eachother. They all talk about "good old days" where people would fight with only their fists and be "honorable." The old guys all talked about how fighting was a show, fighting in front of a crowd and trying to be flashy, etc. etc.


    Practical: Let's not forget westerners come from a colder environment where they wore more clothing, heavier boots, etc. making it both harder to kick and harder to get up if one fell down. In Thailand people basically walk around naked. So that being said, if you were in those shoes (literally, haha) you guys would use Muay Thai in a street confrontation? I might teep and clinch and knee, but other than that I sure as hell wouldn't - you see how often people fall down in either MMA or kickboxing from missing kicks? I wouldn't want to fall down at all! Also if I were facing multiple attackers like the boxer in one of those youtube videos, I think I'd be more mobile using my boxing and sticking out that jab, dancing and dancing - kicks and even throwing some knees would really hinder my mobility.

    Hell, in Thailand it was so hot people didn't even wear armor when they fought in wars back in the day!

    Anyways that's all speculation, I've never fought outside the ring so I won't make these kinds of assumptions. The cultural reasons definitely make a lot of sense to me though.
     
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  19. jlagman Duty Belt and Suspenders

    jlagman
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    Really, let's check again shall we?

    :rolleyes:

    Again, the importance of "just punching" is grossly underestimated; punches have a great balance between range, speed, power, and simplicity; proper punching does not compromise your base like kicking does and doesn't require super close quarters like other techniques like kneeing and elbowing.

    I think a lot of people see it as basic arithmetic when it really isn't, "Since fists are only two of eight 'weapons,' punchers must be at a huge disadvantage to someone who has the other 3/4's of the arsenal, right?" Wrong, even in most combat sports which permit mixed strikes, punches are still the most frequently thrown strikes, and account for the highest percentage of knockouts, and at the very least, punches set up other strikes.
     
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  20. Inquisitus Blue Belt

    Inquisitus
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    Guns.

    The development and use of the firearm made the use of hand weapons obsolete. There really was no point to man to man combat once guns came around.

    There was no pressure on Westerners to develop empty handed combat to a higher level because the people who had the time & money trained in sword or bought guns.

    This was not so much the case in the East. Handguns would not have been common so it would have been sword. Swords would've been outlawed or restricted during peacetime so knives, sticks, and empty handed arts would've been the preferred weapon for self defense.

    I think hand to hand combat with kicks and punches really developed fairly recently. It would not have made military sense to develop your punching & kicking against armored opponents. Wrestling and grappling would've been better developed because they are useful as training and as an adjunct to weapons use.

    Keep in mind, karate is not really Japanese and was not adopted by the Samurai. The Samurai's empty hand art would've been jujutsu. There may have been some strikes, but not as extensive as Karate. Karate is more in the Chinese vein of civilian fighting
     
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