Modern kickboxing split off from Karate (see below). Nevertheless, there have been attempts to merge some European kickboxing organizations back into a single overall Karate structure. For more, please read this section on French Full Contact Karate.
History of Kickboxing
According to the World Kickboxing Association. "Many laymen are under the impression that modern day kickboxing originated in Thailand, Japan or elsewhere in the Far East, in fact, the real origins of the sport are revealed by the real name by which is was known, full contact karate. During the mid-seventies various American tournament karate practitioners became frustrated with the limitations of the then rather primitive competitive scoring system. They wanted to find a system within which they could apply kicks and punches to the knockout. Full contact karate was born. Early bouts were fought on open matted areas just as ordinary karate matches were. Later events were staged in regular size boxing rings. These early tournaments produced kickboxing’s first stars, Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace, Benny Urquidez and Jeff Smith. Later the Americans really wanted to test their mettle and sent teams of kickboxers to Japan under the banner of the WKA (World Kickboxing Association). From this point kickboxing developed in to a true international sport."