muay Thai vs kickboxing

Although both Muay Thai and kickboxing have witnessed a noteworthy surge in terms of popularity in the past couple of years, these two combat sports are different in many aspects including techniques, kicking styles etc. To an outsider, these two might seem really alike, when in reality, they have more differences than similarities.

So before you go on to compare them, make sure you consider these differences. To help you get a better look at the differences, we have made a curated list of sections displaying different sets of similarities and differences that make these two sports popular. Keep reading to find out more!

Similarities Of Muay Thai and Kickboxing:

Muay Thai and Kickboxing share a lot of similarities as well. Apart from being prominent forms of martial arts, Muay Thai and Kickboxing constitute several similarities in terms of objective, strategy, footwork, and many other defense techniques. One can easily find the resemblance in the techniques used in both these sports.

The fundamentals are shockingly similar in certain cases, e.g like Muay Thai’s powerful leg kicks, Kickboxing also includes kicks and punches as a significant part of the training process. Both of these sports predominantly focus on offense, rather than defense by putting the maximum stress on footwork, punches, and blows. 

Muay Thai vs Kickboxing Differences

 Muay Thai and Kickboxing

Now that we have already focused a bit on similarities, let us discuss more what sets these two apart. From the following list of points, you will be able to introduce yourself to the main differences between Muay Thai and Kickboxing. 

1. Known to be Thai Kickboxing, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. This combat sport is also known as the art of eight limbs because of its use of elbows, knees, shins, and fists apart from the other four limbs.

In this form, one needs to use his hands as a sword, forearms to act as armor to block attacks, elbow as a hammer, and knees and legs as an axe to knock down an opponent. Even though Muay Thai constitutes plenty of defense techniques, it mainly focuses on offense.

This is an aggressive form of martial status its whole body as a weapon. One of the most important moves of this sport is its powerful leg kicks that are thrown in such a way that they would damage the muscles of the opponent’s calves. 

2. Now Kickboxing is quite distinguishable from Muay Thai. Kickboxing mainly focuses on pure boxing and puts more emphasis on footwork. Even though Kickboxing also incorporates leg kicks and powerful punches, it stresses more on the movement of the legs in a strategic way. One of the most important fundamentals of kickboxing is its proper head movement. 

3. Now, when you take a closer at these sports, you will realize that Kickboxers utilize a volume of combos but Muay Thai fighters make use of a timed single weapon. Kickboxers focus more on perfect angles and footwork to set up an attack, whereas Muay Thai fighters prefer aggressive forward-motion counter-attacks.

4. The most prominent difference between these two is that Muay Thai is an eight-point striking system that makes use of elbows and knees to throw kicks and punches, whilst Kickboxing is a four-point striking system that focuses only on punches and kicks. 

5. Also, Muay Thai fighters tend to throw kicks using the middle portion of their shin while Kickboxers can pull off a range of kicks using their foot, lower shin and middle portion of the shin.

Rules of Muay Thai:

muay Thai vs kickboxing

If you want to know more about the differences between Muay Thai and Kickboxing, then apparently the best way to do so is by taking a closer look at the rules of these sports. 

Grab a quick look at the rules of Muay Thai described below!

  • The ring area of Muay Thai matches is as follows: 6.1m * 6.1m * 7.3m *7.3m
  • Competitors must be at least 15 in order to compete in professional matches and should not be more than 5 pounds.
  • Before every match, each boxer should pay tribute to the heritage of Thailand by completing the ritual dance.
  • The fighters must shake their hands before the match and should also agree to compete in accordance with the rules and regulations. They must show sportsmanship in the best way possible.
  • Muay Thai fight consists of 5 rounds of 3 minutes each. It also has a two-minute rest period between each round.
  • Once one fighter has knocked out an opponent, the referee stops the fight and deems the other fighter unfit to carry on with the fight. This is when the referee declares the winner.
  • If the points of the fighters are equal, the match will be taken as a draw one.

Rules of kickboxing:

muay Thai vs kickboxing

To help you understand better, we have also prepared a list of rules of Kickboxing. You will now be able to point out the differences between the two.

  • Matches should take place in a boxing ring.
  • One fighter should always compete with a fighter of the same weight category in order to conduct a fair fight.
  • The number of rounds depends on the experience of the fighter and the rounds usually last for 3 minutes with a 1-minute break between each round.
  • If it is a championship fight, then there are usually 12 rounds, each of 3 minutes.
  • In order to knock an opponent out, one fighter must only use punches and kicks to the body and head.
  • If none of the fighters has managed to knock their opponent out, then the match will be evaluated based on the points scored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What’s better Muay Thai or kickboxing?

Ans. Muay Thai is almost the same as kickboxing except for a few differences in the techniques and defense mechanisms. Both these combat sports are immensely loved and honored by sports enthusiasts all over the world.

Q2. What’s the difference between kickboxing and Muay Thai kickboxing?

Ans. There is a range of differences between Kickboxing and Muay Thai including fighting styles, rules, duration of the match, and defense tactics. Also, Muay Thai is an eight-point striking system while Kickboxing is a four-point striking system.

Q3. Can a Muay Thai fighter fight in kickboxing?

Ans. Muay Thai fighters can be a great fit for kickboxing due to a range of similarities between these two sports.

Q4. Is Muay Thai dangerous? 

Ans. Muay Thai is known to be an aggressive form of martial art and is somewhat dangerous for children. One must learn this under professional supervision. 

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