Amature Boxing, Kickboxing

Got this thought from another thread. How many of you guys who fight in MMA's have or do compete in at least amature boxing or kickboxing?

Just wondering as i think it would be fair to say most Australia MMA's fighters seem to come from grappling backgrounds. Wouldn't fighting in the odd amature boxing or kickboxing (which is apparantly very safe, don't need many weeks training) really help a grapplers fight game in MMA's?

I would say that most MMA fighters have a 'recent' background in grappling, but almost all have some stand-up training in their past. You've only got to look at how long grappling has been popular in this country, compared to Karate/TKD/Kickboxing/KungFu, to imagine that most have done some standup before trying grappling.

I would also say that TRAINING in boxing or kickboxing, before competing in 'C class Shooto' or the like, would be preferable to actually competing in these events (boxing) with respect to helping a grapplers MMA fight game. The added variables in MMA allow for the fighter to be of a lower level in some of the areas, as they can use other strengths to make up for their shortcomings. In boxing, if your hands are sloppy, you get knocked out. Not too many other options...

When I first considered MMA, I suffered from the 'typical' grappler mindset of, 'my BJJ will save me - no matter what'.

I had done some Kung-Fu and Mauy Thai years earlier and though my striking and takedowns were really average, I assumed my groundfighting would make up for it.

Luckily, in my first 2 matches, I was right and I didn't get caught standing and finished quickly on the ground.

I remember watching the tape of my first match and cringing in shame at my terrible boxing. Then after losing on Spartan 5, decided my Boxing and Wrestling needed a LOT of work to be competitive.

I think you should be just about ready to compete in Amateur Boxing, Wrestling and BJJ respectively, all at once, before considering stepping into serious MMA (A or B class rules).

Of the 3, Boxing seems the most challenging in terms of competition requirements, but this is probably just my perception as a grappler, a boxer might disagree?


Good thread. As a coach I make it a point to put guys who are keen to compete in MMA in any event available for amateurs whether it be boxing, kickboxing, grappling or amateur shoot fighting as the experience will help shake the nerves and control the adrenaline a little more when they step up to more higher profile shows. Give it a go!

Cadmus would it be fair to say if you had a guy very very good with his hands and maybe even feet who is very good at advoiding takedowns (most BJJ classes i have been to do very limited takedowns and most normally start on their knees while grappling) couldn't a C Class fight turn into a boxing match??? Only difference in boxing you wear 10 or 12oz gloves and in C Class fights i gather you wear grappling gloves! Ohh by the way in amature boxing you fight the same time but you get a break every 2 mins compared with 3 mins in C Class and in amature boxing if you get hit 5 or 6 times without throwing anything back the ref will put a standing 8 count on you!!!

Now i'm not saying boxing is safer than MMA just trying to show you that the guys who have only done maily grappling it might be a big deal to them to fight C Class and if they think they need more than a couple of weeks to get ready then maybe they do. Not trying to put anyone of competing just sick of the coments like "i would have competed hung over" ect.

Thanks Kezza, it has to be good experiance for your guys to have a few amature boxing fights under their belts. I think it also help just fighting in a ring compared to alot of people train with out a ring and once you get in a ring at fight time it can be very scary. Just thought as everyone seems to be X training in MMA today it would be a good experiance for the guys to also have a go at boxing. I know amature boxing is held every 3 to 4 weeks here in Victoria so it would be good experiance for guys who only get to fight MMA 2 to 4 times a year to fill in the year and gain some experiance.

I think proberly the same as most hear who would proberly say its easy to train in MMA but its a different story to competing well the same goes with boxing training, i think.

Keats, I would think that would be very fair to say! I certainly wasn't trying to recommend against competing in boxing or kickboxing events, as I totally agree with Kerry in saying that any competition helps a fighter to get used to and control the nerves. All I was trying to say was that training is needed first! If a BJJ blue belt has never done any standup, then I would suggest he TRAIN in boxing or kickboxing before going and competing in them, or he could get really hurt.

The guys you seem to be talking about (very good boxers or kickboxers) sound better suited to 'B class Shooto' or full MMA rules ('A' or 'B' Spartan), as opposed to 'C class' or amateur shoot events. In my opinion, as soon as the rules allow full head contact, the skill level required to enter shoots up enormously, and this would preclude any '2-week notice' entrants.

I guess I am coming from the experience of the old Rings amateur shoot events, and the amateur tournaments run in Toowoomba by Joe Perry and Peter Davis. In these events, no head contact is allowed at all, and with these rules it's hard to get badly hurt.

I truly believe there needs to be more 'no head contact' shoot style events to give fighters a gradual step up. It was these rules that allowed me to overcome my fear of getting punched in the head, by getting in the ring and competing under rules that gradually changed as I got more confident and experienced. If 'C class Shooto' allows head shots, then perhaps there needs to be a 'D class' as well. For these events, then '2 weeks notice' could often be all that is required...

cadmus, I ddin't know Joe/Peter's event's precluded head contact? Based on that alone, I should probably re-think my attitude to Shooto 'C' class.

WW, shooting in any event is a lottery. For a double leg you're still open to knee's/punches on the way in as you're not 'grounded' until you touch a knee down which (in my case) occurs about the same time my shoulder contacts their hips, up till that point I am 'standing' and so it is legal to get hit.

Single legs offer more versatility, that said, a lot of the time you only 'gound' for a second or so and then stand again once you have the leg secured, still open for head punches (doubt you'll get KO'ed when your opponent is defending a takedown though).



cadmus is right you do not get really hurt in no head contact matchs. but on saying that i have had my nose broken(brisbane tournament, spining back fist). Been choked unconcious(should have tapped my fault) and still have a nice lump on my shin from december last year in toowoomba amatuer shootfighting tournament. but i would jump straight back in and do it again.

Anyone contemplating MMA events should have a substantial length of time training behind them in at least one particular disipline. Pre fight training should then comprise of cardio training for match day, and to cross train in areas where they don't usually train.

How long each fighter needs to acheive this is too subjective to have a "blanket opinion" for MMA!

I said I would fight C class on the 2 weeks notice given for the December event (subsequently cancelled) and I know that I have heaps more cross training to go before I should go to B class. But I have been training in both Shootfighting and BJJ for 2 solid years with a high work rate. I do not know where each of the forum brothers looking to make their debut comes from training wise, or what they want to achieve. Me, I want to learn, push myself beyond my comfort zones and truly test my limits. C, B, or A class is how I want to find out!

Good luck to everyone, whether or not you guys make an MMA event or not!


There is some great point there guys. Sorry if i misunderstood a few points a couple you made (as it looks like i did). Wouldn't D Class almost be No Gi comp or did you mean with striking to the body also?

I put my name down for the B Class fights and got told i should fight C Class, so i'm trying pretty hard to get a fair few guys together to compete if the January one happens. Should be a good day out if all works out.

Why wouldn't Australias top MMA fighters fight in a few Amature boxing or kickboxing fights to learn a few more skills and to keep active?
How often do top fighters fight overseas in the US ect?
Seems like our fighters only fight up to 4 times a year and just thought they could rack up more experiance by combining a few sports.

Keats, yes, I was talking about strikes to the body. Allowing knees, leg kicks etc. gives standup fighters a few more options in what is mostly geared towards grapplers, but really doesn't seem to get to the point where people get hurt (you can punch to the body all day, and it will generally get you nowhere in these tournaments).

And many MMA fighters do actually try their hand at kickboxing, to 'learn a few more skills and to keep active', and win or lose they always get something out of it (even if it's just a sore head!).

The main thing with the 'top' guys, I think, is that while they may not actually be having kickboxing or boxing matches on events, they are training like boxers/kickboxers in the gym, with the heavy sparring etc., and often find this is enough to fill the gap between MMA bouts. Depends on the fighter, though, obviously.

WhiteWhale said "nah cause you can just repeatley shoot in C Class and they have to stop punching, you shoot 15 times, u gonna get one of em"

Just read the rules and they say "Fouls are as follows a0 Illegal attacks (vi) blows to the opponent in groud position (definition of ground position is where more than three limbs, either knees and or hands touch the mat, or the back or abdomen touches the mat) so the way i read it is if your on your arse your not grounded and to me when you shoot to take an opponent down basically until that opponet has been brought down your not grounded as you would have to do a 1 handed shoot and he the other hand and your knees on the mat before the opponet has to stop punching, kicking or kneeing you.

Is this the way you all read it also?

What about the bit where it says "definition of grounded position is where more than three limbs, either knees and or hands touch the mat"?

Thats word for word from the rules JD sent me, i take it you need 3 limbs touching the matt to be classed as grounded, not sure why i think that its just what i read. ;)

WhiteWhale, not saying your wrong but how do you get one knee can be on the ground and then your classed as grounded?

Go the low single then.

The new updated Shooto rules give a revised definition of the ground position.

"...ground position means the state where any area of the fighter's body besides the bottom of the foot touches the ground continuously..."

the key word is continuously. A moments contact with the knee in a shoot or hand on the ground posting quickly is not ground position.

At a rules meeting before a Vale Tudo Japan Open, Eric Paulson amused us all with his correct interpretation of the then rules and demonstrated dragging one hand on the ground around the ring constituted ground position.

Shooto rules and scoring in C-Class promote active fighting and control. If you can control an opponent on the ground it means you are in a superior position to inflict damage to your opponent.

Somebody asked about scoring, the answer is as follows.

Each round is scored by the 10 point must system by the two judges ringside. The referee awards points for throws, controls and catch positions (near submissions) at the end of the contest the chairman adds the judges scores and the referees points to get a total.

eg Standing striking 10-9, 10-9, grappling points 5-7

total 10+10+5 = 25 9+9+7 = 25 Draw

Thanks for clearing that up Polydamas.

AvA, i don't think the ref would let anyone get their face caved in in an amature event. And if your worried just walk around the ring with your toes pointed on one foot so you can continuosly drag the top of your foot on the mat. ;)

No head contact at all (including kicks) really does take a lot of the worry completely out of it, and encourage more people to get in and have a go. It makes it a lot easier to justify entering to the wife and family too... ;-)

Thats true cadmus or you can do what i'm doing and not tell her. Tell her your just going to watch and then if you get a black eye tell her that they were short so you thought you would help out. :)

Have a go at it WhiteWhale and make sure you are the fight before me. I think if you get subbed easy and are embarressed it will only be for a few minutes until i take the embarrassing title off you! :)