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To become a professional kickboxer you need to combine martial art skills with the discipline of day to day training. Kickboxing combines Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, grappling, Tae Kwon Do, boxing and American kickboxing. Kickboxing transformed from Muay Thai -- a martial art form warriors practiced to protect nobility -- to a competitive sport. Competitive kickboxing began in the 1970s, when American kickboxers began to arrange tournaments for full contact fighting. Prior to the 1970s full contact fighting was banned, according to Teens Health. There are several kickboxing tournaments and associations where professional kickboxers now compete for titles.
Get in shape. Kickboxing is a highly aerobic sport that involves endurance, strength training and strategy. A professional kickboxer can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour kickboxing, according to NutriStrategy. Training to become a professional kickboxer involves doing regular exercises such as jumping jacks and pushups, as well as martial art movements such as knee strikes, round house kicks and kick blocks, punches, wood breaking and sparring. It is also very important to stretch and drink plenty of water before, during and after training so as not to straining your muscles, says Brooks Mason, a hall of fame trainer for the IKF. All fighters are required to have a physical before tournaments
Join a class and association. To make sure you are getting the right training it is best to join a professional kickboxing association where you can meet instructors that will give you the proper training you need to win competitions. While the International Kickboxing Foundation is the largest kickboxing association, there are also several others, including the World Kickboxing Association, The National Association of Kickboxing, International Sport Kickboxing Association, Kickboxing Martial Arts Association and World Karate and Kickboxing Association. These associations can also recommend gyms that you should join for your training.
Learn the rules. It is important to know the rules before stepping into the ring so you do not hurt yourself or anyone else seriously. Kickboxers compete as amateurs and professionals. Those that do not fight according to the regulations of the tournament will face suspensions or fines. Various competitions will have different number of rounds and time lengths for the rounds. For instance, The World Title has 12 rounds and each round lasts for two minutes each, while the State or Regional Title has seven rounds with rounds lasting for two minutes each, according to the IKF website.
Win prizes. You don’t become a professional kickboxer to lose. Enter competitions through your association and train to win belts and cash prizes which can amount to $1,000 or more.
Maria McCarron has been covering Wall Street and merger and acquisitions since 2006. She's been published in "The Deal," "The Financial Times" and online at TheStreet. McCarron studied journalism at Boston University and holds a Master of Arts and Letters from Drew University.