Muay Thai is a martial art from Thailand. It is also commonly called “Muay Thai” and “Spinning Stick Martial Arts”. Like boxing it is a full-body contact sport that requires simultaneous movements of the upper and lower body, with the main striking techniques performed in the legs. This makes it different from most sports in the way that it is played. Muay Thai is also played as a soloist and a team sport. Though Muay Thai is sometimes referred to as “Mixed Martial Arts”, this term is sometimes used to describe it as being a Martial Art that includes elements from many other Martial Arts.
Muay Thai is a martial arts discipline that has grown in popularity over the years. Many people around the world enjoy watching Muay Thai. Muay Thai is so popular that it has inspired many movies and television shows, and even a version of “Macho Muay Thai” has been made, which is very popular in Thailand. So, what are the differences between Muay Thai and Kickboxing?
Muay Thai is a bare-fisted, roundhouse style of martial arts. It combines striking with top and bottom kicks, knee strikes, elbows, shrimps, jabs, and punches. Muay Thai is a complete combat sport, where the fighter exchanges points for knockouts. Though it uses many of the same techniques as other combative sports like Muay Thai, there are some distinct differences that make the sport distinct.
One difference is in the striking techniques. Muay Thai uses a combination of kicks and knees, called “spinning hooks”, while kickboxing uses mostly free-weights and high impact elbows and punches. Another difference is in the footwork. While most combative require at least some use of the legs, Muay Thai fighters frequently dangle from one leg to the other, and rely almost exclusively on the shin, using the entire body as a source of power.
An interesting variation on the spinning hook is the spin-around hook. In a spin-around hook, fighter steps to an angle past his opponents, then swings his elbows in a circular motion back and forth. The purpose of this is to throw his opponents off-balance and open them up for a barrage of follow-up attacks. The spinning kicks often cause opponents to flinch, allowing the Muay Thai fighter to elbow them again, landing some brutal kicks.
Muay Thai is a close, kinetic combat sport, and fighters train all year long. The strikes, although fast and brutal, are not meant to hurt their opponents too severely, or to leave them vulnerable to more pain or injury. Instead, full-contact fighters spend long, skilled minutes honing their techniques and perfecting their strategy. They work on chaining punches and kicks, on preparing themselves for all situations, and on using every part of their body to throw their opponents off balance and to spring them when they are on the ground. The full-contact nature of muay Thai fights lends them to a degree of unpredictability, and the ability to adjust quickly to new circumstances makes them exciting to watch.
Muay Thai, by contrast, is primarily a striking system. It employs a mixture of elbows, knees, punches, and kicks to beat opponents to a pulp. Muay Thai can be characterized as a hybrid of other martial arts like karate and judo, but it is still different enough to be a unique martial art. Striking is just one component of a three-pronged attack that also includes wrestling and climbing on top of the opponent. While Muay Thai is the pure grappling art, it is also capable of applying many other tactics to quickly end a fight.
Unlike Muay Thai, however, kickboxing is a striking system that involves blocking, parrying, and elbow and knee locking. It usually begins with a few throws, such as a spinning back kick or a spinning flying knee, which enable the fighter to catch his opponent off guard and to bring him to the mat. From there, many different techniques can be used to try to end the fight. Blockage and parrying allow fighters to stay out of the direct path of the strike they are receiving, while elbow and knee locks try to wrap up the opponents for extra damage. Although Muay Thai fighters spend more time in the ring practicing striking techniques, it is generally shorter in duration than kickboxing, and the moves are more open in this style.