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 set of traditional Muay Boran techniques with a heavy influence on Western boxing.
Let's take a look at what makes each of those respective styles unique. And which one provides fighters with a better set of skills for stand-up fighting?
Sanda (Sanshou) is not a very popular sport outside of China. Not many people train this martial art around the world. That means competition level is low and there is a small pool of talents to choose from.
This situation isn't very helpful in training pro fighters that could successfully compete in the ring. The level of training doesn't allow most of them to compete with the best in MMA formula or K1/Glory ruleset.
This is, in my opinion, the major weakness of Sanshou. It is not a set of fighting techniques or training methods that stop the expansion of Sanda. It is a lack of following and top-level competition that makes Sanda weaker than Muay Thai or Dutch Kickboxing.
Muay Thai has a very tough and competitive selection process so becoming a professional MT 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 for low popularity of Sanda may be the ruleset. Each big formula like UFC, Strikeforce, K1/Glory has its own ruleset that favors some martial arts over the others.
This also applies to Muay Thai to some extent with its scoring system. Muay Thai, however, blends well into the K1/Glory formula. And with added takedown defense techniques it also formed a sizeable pool of stand up strikers and champions in MMA competitions.
Sanda, on the other hand, doesn't seem to blend well in those formulas. Rules, like pushing the other fighter out of the ring for getting extra points, don't benefit developing skills that may be effective in MMA.
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