Sanda vs Muay Thai: strong and weak points of each style
Sanda, also known as Chinese boxing, 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 and which one provides fighters with a better set of skills for a stand-up fighting.
Sanda [Sanshou] is not a very popular sport outside of China; not many trains this martial art which means that there is a small pool of talents and low competition in the ring. This situation doesn't help to train top fighters that could successfully compete with the best mixed martial artists in MMA formula or Muay Thai fighters and Kickboxers under K1/Glory ruleset. This is the major weakness of Sanshou. Not the set of techniques or training methods but a lack of following and competition makes Sanda weaker than some other martial arts like Muay Thai or Kickboxing.
Muay Thai has a very tough and rigoristic selection process so becoming a professional champion means a lot. And those who reached the top are one of the toughest stand-up strikers in the world.Read Muay Thai in MMA to learn more about it.
Another reason of a low popularity of Sanda, which also applies to Muay Thai to some extent, may be the ruleset. Each big formula like UFC, Strikeforce, K1/Glory has it's own ruleset that favor some martial arts over the others. Muay Thai blends well into K1 formula and it has also formed a sizeable pool of stand up strikers in the UFC and Strikeforce. Sanda, on the other hand, doesn't seem to blend well in any of those formulas. Some rules, like pushing the other fighter out of the ring for points, doesn't benefit skills that may be useful in any major martial arts promotion.
Take a look at Muay Thai vs other martial arts (Karate, Kung Fu, Capoeira and more) post.