Boxing VS Martial Arts (What Are The Differences?)

Last Updated on October 2, 2021 by

Boxing is a stricter sport in terms of rules and it only focuses on punching the face and the front of the upper body of your opponent to gain some points. In boxing, you’re not allowed to make certain contacts with your opponent. Martial Arts, however, is an ideal sport for professional fighting with punches and kicks flying at a quick speed. If you’re new to these two different art forms, you might wonder what are the differences and similarities between them. After extensive research, we’ve composed the major differences between boxing and martial arts. Let’s check it out! 

History Of Boxing 

History Of Boxing 

Historically, boxing dates as far back as 3,000 BC among ancient Egyptians where it was cherished and viewed as an intriguing sport. Back then, there were no official rules to regulate the sport. It was just a sport that involves two people throwing punches and jabs. We can also date the game back to the ancient Romans when the very first boxer was introduced by the Olympics in 1904. Ever since, boxing as a sport has been thriving exponentially in various countries in the world today, with boxers now fighting to win high-priced title games. Millions of fans around the world watch fights on TV or even travel abroad to watch live fights of their favorites.  

History Of Martial Arts 

History Of Martial Arts 

Historically, martial arts dates back to ancient China and Greece. The ancient Olympic Games all had boxing, pankration, and wrestling. Nonetheless, the modern-day martial arts of today originated in 527 A.D in Indian, despise its rich history in China and Greece. Martial arts were practiced as a codified system and tradition to preserve a nation’s intangible cultural heritage. Back then, the Five Animal Styles of Shaolin were known to be the 18 Buddhist Fists. These fighting techniques were facilitated by the Indian monk Ta Mo. People who also practiced martial arts do so for self-defense, spiritual, mental, and physical development, entertainment, and law & military applications. Some aged examples of martial arts include karate, kung-fu, and Hwa rang do. In our world today, ancient myths and historical revolutions have really influence martial arts. Unfortunately, it is a little hard to track the development of martial art. But the truth remains that it has been practiced all around the world today. 

Differences Between Boxing And Martial Arts 

Now, let’s go into details about the differences between these two combat forms. 

Number Of Rounds

In boxing, there’s a total of 12 rounds in which each round lasts only 3 minutes. However, winners of fights can be determined on or before the 12th round. If a fighter is knocked or deemed unable to continue the fight, the winner will be decided before the 12th round. If the fight continues to the 12th round without any knockout, then points accumulated will be used to determine the winner. However, martial arts has a total of 3 rounds of which each round lasts five minutes. A fight can also be won if either if the fighter is knocked out or deemed unfit to continue. Besides, points are also used at the end of the last round to determine the winner. Lastly, a fighter can also win the fight if his opponent submits or surrender. 

Fighting Gloves 

The fighting gloves used for fighting in both spots are another major difference. The fighting gloves used in boxing is slightly heavier than the one used in martial arts. Most of the gloves used in martial arts are more flexible, weighing only 0.1kg. These gloves are designed to expose fingers which helps fighters to accomplish specific strikes, submissions, and chokes. Boxing gloves, on the other hand, weigh around 0.3 to 0.5kg which is considered slightly heavier. It protects the fighter’s fingers when throwing punching instead of exposing it like the martial arts gloves. 

Boxing Ring & Martial Arts Octagon 

The fighting cage of the two sports is quite different in size and shape. Boxing rings are normally built with a distance between 16 to 20 feet between the ropes and 2 feet outside. The surface from the ground is about 3 to 4 feet and it is normally covered with about 1 inch of padded layers on stretched canvas. However, most martial arts octagons are 750 square feet, measuring about 6 feet in height with a 4 feet circumference. Boxing rings are designed with corners that allow fighters to trap in their opponents. These corners are also used technically by some boxers to dodge or deflect punches or any attack using the advantage of the ropes on the ring. Martial arts octagons aren’t constructed that way. 


One thing spectacular about martial arts is that you can fight with almost all of your body parts. It is more like a street fight where you can kick, punch, pin, and do a lot of things to knock off your opponents at a rapid speed. While it might look like you’re allowed to do anything to bring down your opponent, there are still things that are not permitted in the game. The martial arts rulebook is strict and fighters must follow and stick to it. Boxing is quite stricter in terms of what you’re allowed to do during a fight. A fighter can get easily disqualified if he doesn’t follow fighting rules. Boxing only allows fighters to punch the face and the front of the upper body of your opponent to gain some points. You’re not allowed to make certain contacts with your opponent. 


Boxers wear loose-fitting shorts and shoes with a regulated size and weight for gloves. During practices, boxers use headgear to reduce the impact of punches and jabs. However, Martial arts fighters don’t wear gloves and they also fight with bare feet. You’ll always see them in a coat and trousers.


What Is The Difference Between Combat Sports And Martial Arts?

A combat sport is a competitive contact sport involving one-on-one combat between two fighters. It includes Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Sumo, Muay Thai, and other varieties of indigenous martial arts. The only thing with combat sports is that they can’t be used for fierce combat, self-defense, or even street fighting. 

Is Boxing The Strongest Martial Art?

Yes! Boxing is a classic form of one-on-one combat that has been around for thousands of years. Boxing requires you to throw hooks, jabs and crosses with a limited hitting area which helps to get you ready for any real-life self-defense situations.

Can A Boxer Beat An MMA Fighter?

Boxers don’t get paired up or fight in the same cage with MMA fighters, so it is hard to tell if a boxer would beat an MMA fighter or vice versa. MMA fighters would still have an advantage since they have little boxing experience through striking. But most boxers don’t have any experience of Muay Thai, karate, or even Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So, an MMA fighter still has a little chance against a boxer in a cage. 

Final Words 

The differences between these two combat sport are evident. Deciding which is better depends on your preferences. Martial arts is the best option for people who wants to watch two people fight with brutes in a cage. However, the unsurpassed technical fighting skills of boxing make it ideal for people who love to see punches and jabs flying around. We’ve come to the final chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know the differences between boxing and martial arts. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

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