One of the worst misconception in CMA is that CMA sparring and fighting needs to look different than [fill in any other art or combat sport]. What works looks surprisingly very similar – and what does not work looks very different.
Guess what – one of the frequently used idioms for martial arts was Kyun Seut, lit. “Art of the Fist”, or Kyun Faat, “Fist Methods”, i.e. “boxing” or “pugilism”.
Another old idiom for martial arts was Kyun Geuk, lit. “Fists & Legs” – basically kickboxing, just the other way round, “boxkicking”. Of course CMA cover also other modes of attack, such as elbow strikes, palm strikes, finger pokes, throws, grabs, joint locks, weapons, etc., but the message is clear – punching and kicking – “boxing” or “boxkicking” – is the foundation.
So – any time I hear “it is just kickboxing”, I wanna punch or kick the guy.