Kickboxing is a group of stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate mixed with boxing, with Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Savate also having some influence. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defence, general fitness, or as a contact sport
As its name suggests, kickboxing is a striking style that incorporates punches and kicks. In reality, it is an umbrella term for a wide range of combat and martial arts styles.
The essence of kickboxing is that it is a stand-up fighting style. This is to say that it focuses on striking and there is no ground fighting involved. The range of techniques depends on the individual type of kickboxing style. Other than standard punching techniques similar to western boxing, kickboxing techniques typically include kicks and knee strikes. Some kickboxing styles involve elbow strikes, some grappling and even headbutts.
Modern kickboxing sports as seen on K-1, Glory or One Championship adopt a very similar set of rules allowing punches, kicks, with limited grappling/clinching.