Combining a cerebral sport in the form “chess” along with a physical one in the form of “boxing” is a unique Northwest European martial art form known as Chess Boxing. This “hybrid” combat form is said to have originated from Netherlands, and developed by a Dutch performance artist named Lepe Rubingh. Apparently, it was created to be used as a performing art but instead was rapidly converted into a competitive sport. Furthermore, in this combat style the fighter alternates between a game of chess, and a boxing bout.
a. History/origin of the Chess Boxing:
According to the cultural history of Netherlands, this form of combat was first developed by a Dutch performance artist named Lepe Rubingh. Apparently, Rubingh wanted to create a form of a sport that fused elements belonging to chess as well as boxing. This idea of combining both chess and boxing was acquired from a French comic titled “Froid Équateur” written by Enki Bilal. However, according to the book the fighters complete a boxing bout before playing chess, which Lepe felt was not a practical way of using this combat form. In response, he then ensured that a game of chess and a boxing bout was alternatively used, and recreated this form of combat sport which was eventually named “Chess Boxing”. Furthermore, the first official chess boxing tournament was organized in Germany, Berlin in the year 2003. In addition, it was on October 1st 2005 that the first “European Chess Boxing Championship” was held in Berlin, Germany.
b. Weapon used in Chess Boxing:
Since “striking” technique (mainly punching) is mostly used in chess boxing it is the “hand” of the fighter that serves as a weapon.
c. Technique involved in Chess Boxing and training availability:
In terms of technique, a fighter in this combat style mainly makes use of “striking” in the form of “punching” to overcome an opponent. Furthermore, in this combat form a fighter can achieve victory either through a “knockout” or via a “checkmate”. In addition, in case of a draw the fighter who has acquired maximum points in “boxing” is declared to be the winner in this combat style. As for training centers/schools, there are a few available around the world for those interested in learning this “hybrid” martial art form.