Do you want to know what it takes to become a professional kickboxing athlete?
If you want to pursue kicking professionally, you will have to get expert training at a dojo, club or gym.
After a month of training, you should start fighting at amateur kickboxing tournaments. These tournaments serve as a platform for you to practice your kickboxing skills and test your fitness. They also help you with understanding the rules. There is usually a tournament every one or two months. Your coach should be knowledgeable and be in touch with local promoters and other clubs.
Winners and Learners
Although people who fight in these tournaments obviously want to win, winning should not be your main objective at these kickboxing tournaments. The real objectives are learning from watching other fighters and getting to practice your own fighting techniques, seeing what works for you and what does not. This is where you develop your own style and find your own flare. Because fighters are matched based on weight and not on experience, be warned that you might fight a pro fighter. Have no fear because fights with experienced athletes will give you good learning experiences. To be the best, you have to go against the best. If one of the more seasoned fighters beat you, be grateful to them for giving you a good fight. A boxer athlete once told me that a good loss is better than a bad win. You are better off losing to a champion than winning to someone at your level of skill or lower.
Sometimes, winning means more to people than gaining valuable lessons. However, medals mean very little if you get them easy. The real winners are the ones who exert themselves, putting up fights good enough to have bruises and sore bones, proving that it was not easy.
Regulation! Regulation! Regulation!
You have to pay a small annual fighter registration fee that goes to your local kickboxing regulatory board.
Here are a few world regulatory boards. You can find your local boards from there.
- World Association of Kickboxing Organizations
- WAKO Team USA
- WAKO EUROPE
- Glory Kickboxing
- British Kickboxing Counsil
- World Kickboxing Federation
- World Martial Arts Committee (WMAC)
- South African Kickboxing Association
- K-1 Kickboxing South Africa
Now, Go and Be a Champion!
Now after getting beat up a few times at those amateur tournaments and learning to let go of the fear of pain, you should register to do a few pro-am fights and see where you want to take your career.
In my opinion, professional fighting is not very appealing. Once money becomes the objective, fighters cease to be athletes and join the realms of the entertainment industry. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you want to scrape by and be happy making a few bucks here and there, win or lose to entertain the crowds, or whether you would rather strive to be the best athlete in kickboxing and make history.