Although the true roots of kickboxing date back to Asia 2,000 years ago, modern competitive kickboxing actually started in the 1970s, when American karate experts arranged competitions that allowed full-contact kicks and punches that had been banned in karate.
Because of health and safety concerns, padding and protective clothing and safety rules were introduced into the sport over the years, which led to the various forms of competitive kickboxing practiced in the United States today. The forms differ in the techniques used and the amount of physical contact that is allowed between the competitors.
Currently, one popular form of kickboxing is known as aerobic or cardiovascular (cardio) kickboxing, which combines elements of boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to provide overall physical conditioning and toning. Unlike other types of kickboxing, cardio kickboxing does not involve physical contact between competitors — it’s a cardiovascular workout that’s done because of its many benefits to the body.