A lot of people think Muay Thai and Kickboxing are the same, which is not true. They do have some similarities but there are some major differences between these two martial arts. If you’re looking to learn one of these martial arts then first you need to know what Muay Thai and Kickboxing actually are.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai, as its name suggests, originates in Thailand and dates back over a thousand years. The techniques used in Muay Thai have their roots in Muay Boran, a form of ancient boxing taught to soldiers so they could fight when disarmed. Muay Thai grew as a sport and a form of combat. There is evidence suggesting that Muay Thai competitions have been taking place for hundreds of years. Thai citizens and soldiers alike learned this ancient martial art for self-defense.
It was during the late 18th and 19th century that Muay Thai was modernized in the ways in which it was taught and how the competitions took place.
What Is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing brings us to the 20th century, during the 1960s and 1970s. It was during this time that kickboxing was first developed. It is more of a western term used for combat styles such as Muay Thai, Karate and Kyokushin.
The people of the Indochinese region call it full-contact karate, kickboxing evolved from Japanese martial artists learning the ways of Muay Thai and related systems in the 1960s.
Differences between Muay Thai & Kickboxing
- Muay Thai fighters can use both their elbows, knees, feet and fists. Kickboxers only use fists and feet.
- When it comes to clinching and grappling during a fight, Muay Thai fighters are allowed to grapple their opponents for close combat knee and elbow strikes. Kickboxers are not allowed to grapple their rivals and any clinching will be broken up by the referee.
- In Muay Thai, fighters are allowed kicks to the legs, essentially anywhere below the waist with the exception of the groin region. Kickboxers are not typically allowed to strike below the waist, though it can change depending on style and Country.
- Muay Thai fights start out slow as both fighters get the feel of each other, building up momentum with each passing round. In kickboxing, both fighters start out strong, trying to go for a KO as early in the fight as possible.
- Muay Thai fighters perform rituals, prayers and ceremonial dances before a fight. They wear armbands, boxing gloves and shorts during a fight. Kickboxers have different variations depending on the region from where they come from.
Both Muay Thai and Kickboxing are great martial arts, deserving respect. Fighters of both disciplines train hard to compete in their tournaments as both are full-contact martial arts. These require the utmost focus and commitment from their practitioner as only the best get to compete for glory and honor.