Kung Fu to Kickboxing | 5 Reasons Why it’s a Excellent Transition

Transitioning From Kung Fu to Kickboxing

Before making a transition into Kickboxing, I was in Kung Fu martial arts. After years of training in Kung Fu, I decided to make a move of wanting to learn a new striking style. It was a change for me when I made the transition.

But what I learned from Kung fu had a few similarities. So there were some techniques I could still apply towards Kickboxing. The similarities that Kickboxing and Kung Fu have are some of the kicking techniques. 

The punching techniques, however, are different from each other. But the concepts of using the hips to apply power into your strikes still apply. The use of knees is both similar and different as well. These two styles are still very different from each other. 

But in my opinion, I felt transitioning from Kung fu to Kickboxing was a good change for me. Ever since making the change, I felt like a whole new martial artist. With this being a positive experience, I want to talk about why the transition was an excellent experience.

5 Reasons Why Transitioning From Kung Fu to Kickboxing is a Good Change

Kung Fu to Kickboxing | Shin Conditioning

1. Shins Become Conditioned

When I made the transition, I noticed that my kicks weren’t as strong as I thought. Back when I learned Kung Fu, what I did not do enough of was kicking conditioning. The reason why is because Kung Fu heavily focuses on practicing forms rather than repping out and kicking punching bags.

In Kickboxing, I did kicking conditioning drills every week. The types of kicking conditioning we would do is:

  • Repping out roundhouse kicks kicking Thai Pads
  • Performing power kicks on kick shields
  • Performing power kicks & kickboxing punch to kick combos on punching bags

The more I did these, the stronger my kicks felt. I can even feel my shins getting stronger too & that it doesn’t hurt as much when kicking bags.

2. Stronger Lead Kicks

In Kickboxing, it has allowed me to practice kicking more with my lead leg. My lead is considered my weaker and not so dominant leg when it comes to kicking. When I was in Kung Fu, I never really got the chance to practice as many kicks with my lead. I mostly practiced kicks that consisted of using my rear leg instead, which is also known as my dominant side. 

Since I was more familiar with kicking with my dominant side, I felt one dimensional when it came to kicking in Kickboxing. To eliminate the feeling of being one dimensional, I had to strengthen my lead kicks

To do that, I kept on practicing kicks such as:

  • Lead Switch Kicks
  • Lead Low Roundhouse Kick
  • Lead Body Roundhouse Kick
  • Lead High Roundhouse Kick
  • Lead Teep Kick

Over time, I was able to develop more power in my lead kicks. The impact of my lead kicks today is now the same as my rear kicks. With the increase in power, it gave me more confidence in performing it. A development of this kick is considered a tool to add to my overall striking. 

Now that I can kick with both legs, I have the option of using either my left or right leg during practice and sparring sessions.

Kung Fu to Kickboxing | Sharp Punching Techniques

3. Sharper Punching Techniques

Since Kung Fu heavily focuses on practicing forms, the punches that I learned are different comparing to Kickboxing. Therefore, the punching techniques I had to learn were considered new to me.

So the punching techniques I had to learn were:

  • Jab 
  • Cross 
  • Hooks 
  • Uppercuts 

These were punches that I struggled with adjusting to at first. But for every Kickboxing class, these basic punching techniques are what the instructor teaches. So, I had the opportunity to practice them a lot. 

Over time, I felt more confident in using my hands during technique and sparring sessions. Now that I know both the Kung Fu and Kickboxing style of punching, I feel like I have more tools of what to use when it comes to defending myself.

Kung Fu to Kickboxing | Checking

4. Better Leg Checking Defense

The defense that I learned of defending kicks from Kung Fu is so different. Most of the techniques to defend kicks in Kung Fu is illegal. Therefore, it is prohibited to use for kickboxing rules. I realized the kicking defense in Kung Fu is more meant for self-defense scenarios.

Learning to check kicks in Kickboxing is meant for preparing for competition based type of rules, as well as for self-defense scenarios. When it came to learning how to check kicks I was not good at it at first. 

I remember when I did my first kickboxing sparring, I just kept getting leg kicked by everyone in the class. I couldn’t even check a single one of them. Defending them was something I wasn’t familiar with since I was still in the mindset of wanting to use Kung Fu techniques. 

It took a while to adjust, but eventually, I managed to get better at checking kicks with my shin.


5. Develop More Power Using Your Knees

When I was in Kung Fu, there were kneeing techniques involved. The kneeing techniques are somewhat similar to Kickboxing, but I feel that the Kickboxing style has more power. With this type of power, the impact of knees in Kickboxing is more effective compared to the Kung Fu way. 

But since I learned about knowing how to generate more power into both my hips & knees, I find that I can use it in the Kung Fu style.


As you can see, Kung Fu & Kickboxing are 2 combat styles that are different from each other. However, both disciplines also share some of the same techniques, which makes the change in styles a little less difficult. 

Once you make the transition from Kung Fu to Kickboxing, the change of learning new techniques from a different style will help add more tools to your skills.

If you have any questions about why going from Kung Fu to Kickboxing is a good transition, please leave a comment or send a message.


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