Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing from Thailand and has made its way throughout the world. Referred to “The Art of Eight Limbs” this martial art uses eight points of contact to strike the opponent– Fists, feet (shins), elbows and knees! Western style boxing uses fists, and kick boxing only use fists and feet! The differences in a match-up are quite extraordinary. Muay Thai is known as one of the top martial arts for its brutal strength, you may hear a comparison between a kick and getting hit with a baseball bat! No wonder why this martial art has swept the world.

Kickboxing VS Muay Thai

The popular term kickboxing is usually referring to North American kickboxing and was developed in the seventies.  Japanese martial artists were studying Muay Thai and called their version full-contact karate, and North American kickboxing grew from this form of martial Arts.

To make it a little clearer – Muay Thai > Full-Contact Karate > Kickboxing.

The major differences

1 Muay Thai uses eight points of contact to strike the opponent (fist, feet/shins, knees, and elbows), whereas kickboxing only uses four (fist and feet, left and right).

2 Kicks below the waist are not allowed in kickboxing but are allowed in Muay Thai -of course the delicates (groin area) is off limits!

3 Clinching which if you are not familiar with looks like hugging. In boxing and kickboxing, when a fighter is tired or is in a difficult position, or trying to reset his or her position – the fighter will attempt to hold on to the other fighter. This is allowed but is quickly broken up by the referee to continue the action in the fight. In Muay Thai, good luck, because clinching is allowed but with a twist. When you clinch in Muay Thai, knees and elbows can come striking at you.

Muay Thai was developed from a combat self-defence. So although both are sports now, kickboxing was developed to be a sport and not a form of self-defence. During a North American kickboxing match, knees or elbows, kicks below the waist, and striking while in a clinch – will most likely result in disqualification.

The differences are quite obvious when you know what you are looking for, but without knowing the differences it’s pretty easy to confuse the two. Each sport has its unique characteristics and its own fan base. The more you practice Muay Thai and the more you learn from your instructors and online resources, like this page, the more you will know and be able to point out the differences with ease.

Muay Thai Lifestyle

It’s tough to find martial arts clothing, especially Muay Thai! There are limited locations where items can be purchased. Muay Thai Lifestyle is part of the lifestyle collection at Mixed Martial Arts Lifestyle.

A wide range of designs are available at two locations:


Muay Thai on The Human Weapon

Muay Thai on Fight Quest