Kickboxing Combinations and How to Train

You want to learn some kickboxing combinations then you have come to the right place. It does not matter if you are in a street fight, sparring session or just doing some training these combinations we will show you work anytime.

Punching and kicking combinations vary depending on your opponent. You may want to throw a jab, rear cross then hook punch but your opponent moves and the hook punch is not an option. Just know when you train by doing combination drills it is to help with muscle memory.

Your body remembers techniques if you do enough drills and practice. This is to help your reaction time so if someone tries to punch you in the face you just react without thinking about it. You dodge the punch then come back with jab and rear cross to their face.

We want to stress when you train you need to train like you are in a real fight. Going through the motions is not going to help you at all. If you want to do kickboxing combinations just to get into shape it still makes sense to make it real. This could help you one day if you or your family is ever attacked.

What are the main punches in kickboxing?

Here are the punches you will need to know when training in kickboxing.

  • Jab which is the most important punch to learn because it sets up many of your other punches. The jab is the closest hand to the opponent when in a fighting stance.
  • Rear cross is the power punch and it is your hand furthest from the opponent when you are in a fighting stance.
  • Hook punch left and right are devastating when used correctly. Many kick-boxers, MMA fighters and boxers get knocked out with this punch. You can use either hand and you throw the punch in a hook trajectory aiming for the opponents chin.
  • Upper cut you can use either hand with this powerful strike. Mike Tyson used this punch all the time to knock people out in the boxing ring. It works because people tend to drop their head when tired or by mistake.

What are the main kicks in kickboxing?

We put a list of kicks to know when doing kickboxing for exercise, self-defense or when sparring.

  • Front kick is when you just kick straight into your opponent with the leg closes to opponent. You can also use the rear foot to do this kick.
  • Teap kick is similar to a front kick but better. It is used by Muay Thai practitioners.
  • Side kick is when you throw a kick at an opponent’s chest or head with your body and foot to the side, hence side kick.
  • Back kick is just kicking an opponent when they are behind you. You need to hit them with the ball of the foot.
  • Roundhouse kick is where you use this kick to the head or ribs. Muay Thai roundhouse kick is one of the most powerful. I know because the guys in my MMA gym use it all the time.

A few other techniques we like to use in kickboxing

  • Elbow strikes used in Muay Thai
  • Knee strikes used in Muay Thai

Combinations for kickboxing

1st Combo

  • Teap kick to stop opponents advancement
  • Jab right when your foot lands from teap kick
  • Rear cross is thrown right after the jab lands

2nd Combo

  • Muay Thai kick to the thigh of the leg
  • Jab to the face
  • Hook punch using rear hand

3rd Combo

  • Jab to the face
  • Rear cross the face
  • Hook punch to the chin
  • Roundhouse kick rear leg to head or ribs

4th Combo

  • Double jab to the face
  • Rear cross to the solar plexus
  • Lead leg round house or Muay Thai kick to head or ribs
  • Elbow strike
  • Clasp opponent around neck and knee them in the groin (if self-defense) if not aim for head or chest

5th Combo

  • Front kick to chest or stomach
  • Rear cross to face
  • Double jab to face
  • Roundhouse kick to head or ribs

Changing up combinations to make your own

You can change up any type of combination you want it just has to make sense. In a street fight or a tournament for kickboxing opponents do all sorts of different combinations and techniques. You have to do the same.

What works is to punch high and the kick or punch low. You want to change angles and alter your combos so you may punch high then kick low with then throwing another punch high again. Changing things up makes it hard for the opponent to know what you are doing.

Throwing the same combinations all the time makes it easy for someone to mount a defense.

Fakes or feints

You can also work on faking someone out by throwing a punch but not all the way. Then if the react to it you can throw a rear cross or hook punch. They will be focused on the lead jab feint and not see the rear cross coming.

You have to practice this to be good but when fighting at the gym I had my sparring partner do that to me and I fell for it.

You may be asking why Kickboxing is good for you

First thing is any exercise will be good for you since we all mostly live a sedentary life..

Second thing is you can learn how to fight back in case you are ever attacked.

Third because it is way better to kick ass in person than to just watch it on TV.

Body punches

We have body shots in our combinations so you need to use them. People always want to knock people out so they always aim for the chin or head. You can really do some damage if you go for the ribs, solar plexus or stomach. Especially, self-defense situations where you need to get away so hitting them in the gut may be enough to drop them.

Breaking ribs in the tough man contest why you should punch or kick the ribs

My roommate and I in college entered the Tough Man contest in our local hometown. Our friends knew we trained in boxing and martial arts so they talked us into doing it. I had martial art skills plus boxing but my roommate only knew boxing. These Tough Man contests were interesting back in the nineties because no one kicked it was usually all throwing hay maker punches. Here is how the matches were set up.

The rules were:

  • You can kick from waist up
  • We did have head gear
  • We did wear shin guards
  • Regulation boxing gloves
  • Mouth piece

Rounds and divisions

  • 1 Minute rounds
  • 1 minute rest
  • 3 rounds
  • 188 pounds and down was light weight
  • 189 on up was heavy weight

The first night you were usually matched up with someone close to your weight.

Unfortunately I was not because I weighed 150 lbs. and my opponent was 188 lbs. lucky me. This 188 pound fighter was picked to win the whole contest because his boxing skills were very good.

My roommate went earlier in the night and he won his match.

Finally near the end they called my name and the 188 pound beast in our division. My corner guys knew the guy I was fighting because he trains at the gym they coach. They said do not get hit with his hook punch because if he lands it on my chin I will get knocked out.

1st Round

I lost on points and his boxing was way better than mine. I was 21 years old and he was 33 years old so he had at least 10 more years of additional training on me. He did land the hook punch every time I threw the jab. My jab was not powerful so he just took it and would throw the more powerful hook to my head. I knew I had to change something and so I tried to throw a few roundhouse kicks to his ribs but he made sure he kept his elbows low enough so I did not hit his ribs.

2nd Round

The second round I was not sure what to do and when I looked across the ring he was in a traditional boxing stance. He kept his arms to his side protecting his ribs from the roundhouse kick. He made one fatal mistake he left the center line wide open to a front kick or side kick. He came right after me knowing his boxing skills were better and right when he got to me I unleashed a side kick to his ribs. My opponent jumped back and did not like that kick to the chest at all. Round two ended but he had scored enough to make it 2 rounds to my 0.

3rd Round

He did not want to get close to me after that kick so we kind of danced around the ring for a minute throwing a few punches until the bell rang. He won the fight on points so that means he had to come back the next night to fight.

The next night

I came back to watch my roommate who had advanced. The guy I fought showed up and he came up to me to say hi. I told him he has to win it all since he beat me. He told me that he was thinking of going to the hospital because his ribs were really hurting him. I told him that I did kick him really hard so they were probably bruised.

He fought his first match and won it pretty easily.

The next match was my roommate so I let Brian know to hit him in the ribs because they were bruised. Brian did just that and the guy threw in the towel and went to the hospital. Brian won the Tough Man contest that year and we found out later that I broke 3 of that guys rib with that one kick.

The point is you don’t have to aim for the head all the time mix up the combinations. Hit the body, head and legs when in a fight or sparring. I know in some sparring situations there are rules you need to follow so you may not be able to hit certain areas. Just follow the rules when at a tournament.


We walked you through how to mix up combinations when hitting a heavy bag or having a partner with focus mitts. The more you train the more natural the combinations will come to you. You will start automatically reacting to whatever is thrown at you and you should be able to counter with combinations. Make sure you train like you are really fighting an opponent. Move around the heavy bag or have the person holding the focus mitts move so you have to move to throw punches and kicks. Just standing and hitting with your combinations is not the best way to train. Move around like you would in a real fight.



Another article you may be interested in.

Weakest Parts of the Body to Punch for Maximum Damage


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