Muay Thai vs Kickboxing
We know about boxing, and we also know about martial arts like karate. There are some combat sports developed on the basis of boxing and martial arts that include features of both and make heavy use of punching and kicking. Kickboxing is a popular combat sport that originated in Japan in 60s’, and became extremely popular in the western world a decade later. There is another combat sport similar to kickboxing known as Muay Thai that has originated from Thailand, and is in fact, the national sport of Thailand. Despite similarities, there are many differences between Muay Thai and kickboxing that will be highlighted in this article.
Muay Thai is also referred to as both science and art of eight limbs as it makes extensive use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes to provide eight striking points to a player. If you recall, there are just two points of contact in boxing (hands) and four points of contact in other martial arts (hands and legs). On the other hand, Japanese kickboxing is a hybrid contact sport that has developed as late as 1960. If we look in a narrow sense, kickboxing is a separate combat sport that is more or less same as American kickboxing, but in a wider sense, it includes all other combat sports that allow the use of both hands and legs such as Muay Thai, Indian Boxing, and many other such sports. Unlike wrestling where players grapple with each other, in both Muay Thai and kickboxing, there is no grappling and both are out and out striking arts.
Every country in Asia has its own style of boxing and Muay Thai is nothing but the national style of boxing in Thailand. It is not an organized sport, but rather a deadly form of combat that allows punching and kicking. It is important to note that Muay Thai is limited to Thailand only, and is not followed in any other country in Asia.
Kickboxing originated in Japan but was popularized in the western world by Bruce Lee. In comparison to Muay Thai, which is an ancient combat sport, kickboxing is only about half a century old combat sport. Kickboxing is very popular in US, and many competitions are held across the country, while people have only watched videos of Muay Thai on You Tube. Though they look similar, it is wrong to think that kickboxing is a watered down version of Muay Thai.
There are differences in Muay Thai and kickboxing as they have different rules and movements. Even techniques used for striking the opponent are quite different in the two combat sports. Whereas in Muay Thai, a player freely buses his knees and elbows to strike the opponent, in kickboxing these points of contact are considered illegal. There is the famous Thai clinch in Muay Thai, which is absent in kickboxing. This is a move that brings the opponent within the reach of knees of a player. Spinning back fists that are made use of heavily in Muay Thai are banned in kickboxing.
What is the difference between Muay Thai and Kickboxing?
· Muay Thai is an ancient combat sport and is the national sport of Thailand, whereas kickboxing is relatively new sport that originated in Japan in 60’s and reached west a decade later where it was popularized by Bruce Lee.
· Muay Thai is called art of eight limbs, whereas in kickboxing only four points of contact are allowed.
· Muay Thai is more attacking than kickboxing.
· Muay Thai is only played in Thailand, whereas kickboxing has become an international combat sport.
· There are different rules and movements in both sports.