KO Kickboxing - K1 Style - London

History of K1 Style low-kick kickboxing

Karate has its roots in the mid to late 19th century, encompassing many different styles, when master after master took an original style and converted it to new style with a new name. Popular styles of Karate included Kyokushin, Shotokan, Shukokai, Goju Ryu, Wado-Ryu, though most styles are actually derived from the Okinawan Islands and both Shotokan and Shorin Ryu (themselves derived from Chinese Martial arts). Kickboxing began its early days derived from Kyokushin, and the early founders were Tatsuo Yamada and Osamu Noguchi, who were interested in full contact Karate matches, which at the time was unheard of and frowned upon amongst the various Karate grandmasters. After early bouts became popular Kickboxing took off in Japan and by the early 1970's several events were on Japanese TV every week, with bouts in nearly every weight category.

So started a golden age of kick-boxing in Japan. Tadashi Sawamura, Toshio Fujiwara, Mitsuo Shima, Noboru Osawa and Raymond Edler were popular champions of this time, fighting under the All Japan Kickboxing Association (AJKA). Popular throughout the 1970's Japanese kickboxing declined after 1980 due to a fall in television audiences.

In 1993, Kazuyoshi Ishii founded K1 and had the first K1 Grand Prix, himself a founder of his own style based on Kyokushin. K1 was to be an event open to the world, to attract the best kick-boxers from the US, UK, Thailand, Holland, Japan and France under a common set of rules. Early stars of K1 included Ernesto Hoost, Maurice Smith, Peter Aerts, Andy Hug, Rick Roufus and Branco Cikatic.

Later fighters included names such as Jerome Le Banner, Matt Skelton (UK Heavyweight boxer and Muay Thai enthusiast) and Mirko CroCop. A new weight division of 70kg was introduced known as K1 Max. Bukaw Por Pramuk, Yodsenklai, John Wayne Parr, Masato, Andy Sower and others brought an interesting dimension to knockdown karate/kickboxing.

KO Gym began life in the 1970's during the boom in Japanese kickboxing. There remain many different organisations promoting many different rules of kickboxing which K1 is merely the biggest show piece.



Your champion trainers

High quality champion trainers

Head Coach Terry Butwell
and Striking Coach Simon Batty (Coached numerous World Champion, European Champion, UK Champion Kickboxers and MMA Fighters), Abdul Yassine (British Kickboxing Champion with over 5 years coaching experience with KO Gym), Martin Goik (Polish National Champion, UKMF Champion - 67kg), and Coach Bambamas Kasparas (Baltic Muay Thai Champion - 75kg).


Intro Level

This level is suitable for complete beginners or people with little experience of kickboxing. Students are taught basic striking techniques such as boxing, knees and kicks. All classes are taught in a safe and friendly environment.


Vist the Intro page


General Level

You are comfortable shadow boxing, know how to hold pads and you are comfortable working with a partner. Fitness and flexibility have improved so now it's time to move up a level.


Vist the General page


Intermediate level

With solid core shape and balance you can demonstrate all kickboxing concepts. Knowing many combinations and techniques you are also competent sparring and many want to fight.


Vist the Intermediate page



IKF logo






A proud history

bill judd


KO Kickboxing is part of the KO Gym group founded 1976. The KO Gym group produce World Champions in Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai, using a trusted format of specialised classes taught to similar level groups and a commitment to technical training combined with cutting edge conditioning and fitness training.

Muay Thai & MMA



Don't forget our other KO Gym locations, KO Muay Thai and KO MMA. For top quality Muay Thai training go to KO Muay Thai. If you prefer ground and pound MMA go to KO MMA.


Map to the gym

Find us on Facebook


Arches Boxing

logo l orig


We share our location with Arches Boxing Gym, a white collar, amateur and professional boxing gym. If you want to improve your boxing skills why not visit the Arches Boxing website today.

Get in touch

 Tel: 020 7265 9693 or 079 5657 8449


E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.