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What Makes Dutch Kickboxing Different?

Last Updated: 07.08.20


If you’re into combat sports, there might have been various options you’ve already tried by now, and if you haven’t discovered Dutch kickboxing yet, it’s never too late to give it a shot. However, you might not want to start reading a century punching bags review yet, as you still need to know what this sport is all about before you start training. So, here are some basic facts about Dutch kickboxing and what makes this sport different.


What is Dutch kickboxing? 

Dutch kickboxing is a combat sport that relies on a combination of moves inspired by the Western-style and heavy low kicks. This sport also allows those who practice it to use head kicks. Moreover, they can also use their knees to strike the opponent.

In Dutch kickboxing, push kicks and clinch fighting are not forbidden. Nonetheless, they are rarely present, and therefore, we can’t really say that these moves characterize Dutch kickboxing. 

Another peculiar aspect of this sport is that during professional competitions such as K1, there are some strict limitations. Participants are not allowed to use any elbow strikes. The same applies to Glory competitions. This might seem a little bit strange because when you first take up this sport, you are allowed to use elbow kicks during your training.

Additionally, in professional competitions, participants are not encouraged to use dumps and sweeps, and doing this would not help them boost their score.

The typical position of the elbows in Dutch kickboxing is glued to the body. This position helps practitioners defend themselves better against kicks and punches while maintaining their equilibrium.

Dutch kickboxers normally block kicks by using both of their arms and they simultaneously rotate their body before attacking. For experienced practitioners, the attack is usually based on heavy punches that are launched with strength and rapidity, allowing the opponent little time to fight back.

This kickboxing style uses a side-on stance that allows the person to reduce their exposure to the attack. Nonetheless, this stance is not quite as side-on as the one used in Western boxing, but it is also far from the square stance used in Muay Thai. In conclusion, you can imagine it as a combination between the Western-style and the Muay Thai stance.

As you can see, this combat sport enables you to use a wide range of moves. According to most opinions, this is quite a complex boxing style that relies on precision and a strict technique.

In general, Dutch kickboxing is considered an aggressive fighting style that involves heavy punches and kicks. The main focus is using heavy hands as this sport derives from the Western boxing technique, the low kicks are also heavy.

The origins of Dutch kickboxing

As you might assume, Dutch kickboxing does have something to do with the Netherlands as it is the boxing style used in this country. However, at their root, martial arts originated from Asia where they have been practiced for centuries.

There are numerous Asian combat styles and many of them are nowadays practiced worldwide. Karate is one of the best examples. In fact, Japanese Karate and the kickboxing style that originated in this country are the basis of what is now known as Dutch kickboxing. One particular fighting technique that inspired Dutch kickboxing is the Kyokushin style. 

The Dutch have a long tradition of practicing martial arts. In the ‘70s, they first encountered kickboxing, and those who grew fond of this sport started practicing the Japanese kickboxing style.

In 1976, there was already a national Kickboxing Association in the Netherlands. Those who are passionate about kickboxing competitions and know a thing or two about this sport’s history might be familiar with some big industry names that come from the Netherlands.

A few examples of famous Dutch kickboxers are Ramon Dekkers, Alistair Overeem, Nieky Holzkien, or Ernesto Hoost.


Dutch kickboxing training

If you want to take up Dutch kickboxing, you need to be ready for intensive training. This sport is demanding, but it can also be an exciting new experience. During training, Dutch kickboxing relies a lot on partner drills. You have to stay focused both on your partner’s moves and punches and on avoiding them, while also finding the right moment to fight back.

The typical punching sequence gradually increases in intensity and it culminates with a heavy low kick. This type of combat sport can help you sharpen your capacity to react quickly and also your ability to punch effectively, as you will get a lot of drills to help you perfect your art.  

How is Dutch kickboxing different from Muay Thai?

Dutch kickboxing and Muay Thai are often confused and frequently compared. Let’s see what makes these two sports different.

According to most opinions and based on practical experience, someone who is well-trained at Dutch kickboxing could very well compete with another person who has the same abilities in Muay Thai.

Dutch kickboxing is based on a technically complex game that is taught gradually. Someone who trains regularly can develop a very efficient fighting style that will allow them to defeat their opponent while still preserving their energy. 

Also, since heavy kicks and head kicks are allowed in Dutch kickboxing, there are multiple chances to successfully compete against a Muay Thai professional while aiming for one of their vulnerable points. One of the differences between these two combat sports is technique. 

Some of the moves that are allowed in Muay Thai include elbow kicks, knee strikes, and, of course, kicks. Muay Thai, which is quite a popular combat sport, also has a different type of score. Due to the system this sport relies on in determining the winner, there is less emphasis on technique compared to Dutch kickboxing.

Those who practice Muay Thai rely heavily on using knee strikes and kicks while paying less attention to punching. However, Muay Thai does focus on moves that involve the upper part of the body too, namely, elbow kicks and clinch fighting, which are not used in Dutch kickboxing.

Moreover, in this sport, the opponents use a hips square stance which allows them to attack and to protect themselves on both sides. Another particular stance refers to the elbows that are extended laterally in order to help them achieve better protection against clinching. 

Unlike Dutch kickboxing, which relies on heavy punches and kicks, in Muay Thai you get a lot of focus on clinching, and many practitioners rely on this technique during training and competition. Also, in Muay Thai, there is great emphasis on using all the limbs, alternating between elbows, knees, or clinging.

A particular aspect that describes the Muay Thai stance is the fact that the person typically keeps their back rounded and a little bit hunched which allows them to avoid getting hurt in the clinch.

When it comes to the origins of the two sports, we already mentioned that Dutch kickboxing actually originates from Japanese kickboxing. Muay Thai, on the other hand, is related to other Asian martial arts which originated in different countries. It finds its roots in the Cambodian kickboxing style called Kun Khmer and the martial art style used in Myanmar (Burma), which is called Lethwei.

When it comes to the similarities these two sports share, there are plenty of aspects we can refer to. First of all, both of them rely on powerful strikes. Secondly, they both allow the use of various types of moves, without limitation to the sole use of the arms.

While Dutch kickboxers use their arms to defend themselves, Muay Thai practitioners usually rely on the shins for defense as they block the kicks this way.   

All in all, if you are wondering what you should choose between Muay Thai and Dutch kickboxing, you should study their technique before making up your mind. One thing is for sure, however, in both sports, you would get intense training that will work all the muscles in your body while improving your agility, strength, and reflex.

You can gain physical benefits from both these sports, and now that you know what distinguishes each one of them, it is only a matter of personal choice whether you opt for one or the other.

Dutch kickboxing implies a unique fighting style that is much appreciated on the martial arts scene. If you are into combat sports and you are used to intense gym training, this might be the next challenge you were looking for. 



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