Muay Thai vs other martial arts. Pros and cons of each style.


Muay Thai vs other stand up martial arts: which one is the most effective?


The most popular stand up striking styles originates from different parts of the World, which includes:

  • Kung Fu: "two stand-up fighting styles that derived from similar cultures. Both of them utilize kicks and punches while Thai boxing also makes use of knees and elbows" [read Kung Fu versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Boxing: "you can combine those two styles for your benefit. Muay Thai and Boxing are complementary fighting styles and mixing them will help you to become a complete fighter" [read Boxing versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Taekwondo: "TDK and Muaythai represent different training and fighting philosophy. Kata versus full contact sparring. 4 limbs vs the art of 8 limbs. Let's get into it" [read Taekwondo versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Kickboxing: "some people consider Muay Thai and kickboxing to be the same - or a very similar - martial art. Nothing can be further from the truth. I will explain to you why" [read Kickboxing versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Karate: "the most popular martial art versus one of the toughest stand-up fighting styles. Karate is very diverse and consists of many different styles that vary in effectiveness. I will take a look at some of them and compare them to Thai Boxing step by step." [read Karate versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Dutch style Kickboxing: "Dutch kickboxing relies on powerful Western-style boxing combined with heavy low kicks. Muay Thai doesn't have such a good boxing techniques due to a different scoring system which rewards kicks, elbows, and knee strikes much more than punches. But it holds an advantage when it comes to utilizing elbows and clinch fighting" [read Dutch style Kickboxing full post]
  • Sanda: "Sanda is a hybrid martial art based on Kung Fu with elements of kickboxing and wrestling. Muay Thai, on the other hand, is based on a traditional set of techniques with a heavy influence on Western boxing. Let us take a look at what makes each respective style unique" [read Sanda versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Krav Maga: "Krav Maga vs Muay Thai: cons and pros of each style. Krav Maga is an Israeli military hand to hand combat fighting system. It is a mixed martial art based mostly on Boxing, Karate and Wrestling with some new elements" [read Krav Maga versus Muay Thai full post]
  • Capoeira: "When it comes to martial arts I have always divided them into two major categories: the effective ones and the less effective ones. Some styles that are just a pleasure to watch. Capoeira is one of them" [read Capoeira versus Muay Thai full post]

  • And a grappling style like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: "Both systems are used in MMA and they complement each other rather than compete." [read BJJ versus Muay Thai full post]

Read more to learn how different fighting styles perform against Muay Thai.


Most of them, with few some notable exceptions, originates from Asia. The ones that I listed are all stand up fighting styles with a different level of effectiveness. But there are other combat sports that are not based around stand up striking like BJJ - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - and wrestling. I will also compare them to Muay Thai and demonstrate how mixing them with Thai boxing will produce a more complimentary martial art.

The biggest distinction between Muay Thai and aforementioned martial arts is that Thai boxing is built around 8 points of contact: punches, elbows, kicks and knees instead of 2 for Boxing or 4 for Kickboxing, Taekwondo or Karate. This is a very important difference since knees and elbows are one of the toughest parts of a human body and it is very little that can break when hit.

Muaythai also implements clinch techniques which not only allows the fighter to control the opponent in stand up but also helps him to initiate a devastating knee and elbow strikes.


Muay Thai vs Boxing. Cons and pros of each style:


Muay Thai and boxing are somewhat complimentary since many of western Thai boxing schools implement traditional boxing techniques into a standard Muay Thai training. I have been training in one of those gyms and I have to admit that western boxing is more effective, especially for Europeans and Americans, than traditional Thai punching techniques. It's just more powerful and explosive than Muay Thai boxing based on straight arm jabs and crosses. Click on this link to read more about it

One thing that Muay Thai and Western boxing have in common is that training and learning are implemented into sparring sessions. You have to face a challenging opponent and adjust your approach and techniques to be able to withstand a real fight. That doesn't apply to Karate or Taekwondo, where students are more preoccupied on repeating same patterns and polishing particular moves on their own. Click on this link to read more about it

One of the best indicators of what works and what doesn't are MMA competitions.
Useful techniques are used more often and the less effective ones are being discarded. So what is the state of MMA today? What styles are the most dominant in cage fighting? It all boils down to BJJ and Wrestling for grappling techniques, Boxing and Muay Thai for stand up striking and Thai Boxing + Wrestling for a clinch game.

There are some exceptions of course. One of them is Cung Le, who is a Taekwondo striker and a successful mixed martial artist that doesn't utilize wrestling skills. I remember his fight with Ken Shamrock, a very skilled wrestler, in which he broke Ken's arm with his powerful TDK kicks. He was a powerful kicker and one those fighters who prefer to keep their opponents on distance. That said, if he utilized more wrestling skills in the cage he would be a complete fighter. Click on this link to read more about it



Muay Thai vs Kickboxing - a powerful leg kicks:



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