Difference Between MMA and Muay Thai

Difference Between MMA and Muay Thai

Developed decades ago, the ancient Thai martial arts, Muay Thai, is long known for its power, utmost efficiency within simplicity and now one of the most well-known and practiced martial arts in the world. Muay Thai is not only known as Thailand’s original fighting moves, but also an art. The “Art of Eight Limbs” beautifully utilizes body gestures into a symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with grace. Muay Thai also ensures that practitioners are using all the body parts as weapons within the punching or kicking range. Trained to use their fists like western boxers, Thai boxers also rely on their bone-crushing kicks and techniques that are considered as Muay Thai signature. The combination of knee and elbow makes the sport deadly dangerous.

On the other hand, MMA or Mixed Martial Arts is one of the fastest-growing full-contact sports at a global level. MMA fighters are allowed to use striking as well as grappling techniques both on and off the ground. To earn your spot as a champion, a Mixed Martial Arts fighter requires intelligence, strength, and toughness, both mentally and physically. It takes months of training and preparation for a fighter to get ready for a fight. However, MMA is banned in certain countries because of its main issue, ‘freedom’. The main issue with MMA is its style. The point is fighters have too much freedom. Certainly, there are rules, but MMA fighters usually have much more liberty in their fights. According to statistics, the injury rate in MMA is around 100% higher than other professional boxing and other martial arts. 

When it comes to modern Muay Thai and MMA, the main difference is that Muay Thai does not include grappling, submissions, and striking on the ground. In the old days when gloves were not used in Muay Thai, fighters used to fight bare-handed. In those days grappling moves on the ground were also permitted. A modern MMA fighter trains not only on Muay Thai but also in other forms of combat sports like wrestling, boxing, and Jui Jitsu. Having trained in different striking arts makes a fighter an all-around fighter who can adapt in different situations and against different styles of fighters.


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