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MUAY THAI VS BJJ
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MUAY THAI VS BJJ

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Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are like two halves to a whole, especially when you look at Mixed Martial Arts. Some of the best MMA fighters in the world have significant skills in both Muay Thai and BJJ. Comparing them individually is exceptionally hard, it's like comparing kickboxing and jiu jitsu, one is pure striking and the other is ground fighting. Both styles have significant strengths and weaknesses, as the contest between the two is usually ferocious. 

Rafael Cordeiro is one of the premier Muay Thai Coaches in the world.  Now you can learn the fundamentals directly from the best!

bjj vs muay thai

Muay Thai is commonly referred to as Thai Boxing, and is well known for its eight limb striking system. Muay Thai utilises punches, kicks, knees and elbows to knock out their opponents. Muay Thai fighters are traditionally built extremely tough as they use rigorous methods to toughen their bodies. Thai boxing and jiu jitsu share some similarities, as they are both known for their mental toughness and fortitude within their respective sport. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the most highly complex Martial Arts to learn, with a high volume of techniques in its arsenal. The art of BJJ consists of a series of high calibre movements that are designed to get an opponent to the ground and control them. The end game in BJJ is all about the submissions, as they use choke holds and leverage based joint locks. 

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THE ORIGIN OF MUAY THAI KICKBOXING 

Muay Thai kickboxing has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the 13th century. The history 

can be traced back to the Sukhothai dynasty of Thailand, as the records show in Thai folklore. The first Thai army was built out of necessity to defend the kingdom of Sukhothai. Soldiers were gathered and taught both armed and unarmed combat techniques called Muay Boran. The difference between Muay Thai and Muay Boran is that Muay Boran was designed for war conflict, as it utilises strikes to joints and to the back of the head. Over some significant time, Muay Boran evolved past its use for war and defense, as the Martial Art paved the way for Muay Thai to be born.

During the next few centuries Thailand suffered at the hands of many wars with neighboring kingdoms and tribes. The art of Muay Thai became the primary self defense and a way of life for the people of Siam, which is what Thailand used to be called. Thailand history is full of heroic acts like the great Nai Khanom Tom, which was during the Ayutthaya period in the 14th century. The story is about how Nai Khanom Tom defeated 9 savage Burmese fighters in a row while he was imprisoned after the Siam kingdom was under a heavy siege. The historical event is now folklore as the day is widely celebrated as Muay Thai day which happens every year on March the 17th.

During the Rattanakosin Kingdom period in the 18th century, Muay Thai formally became a national sport where many different rules and regulations were introduced. As the art progressed over the years, Muay Thai has become one of the most admired combat sports in the world. Modern Muay Thai uses components of traditional boxing with the use of boxing gloves. The techniques are derived from the ancient form of Muay Boran, where the brutal style of knees and elbows are a huge draw card in the sport.

THE ORIGIN OF BJJ

There is a significant history surrounding the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. BJJ began from Kokudan Judo that was practised by the famous Jigoro Kano in Japan in the late 1800's. One of Jigoro's most exceptional students, Mitsuyo Maeda travelled to Brazil, in order to spread this incredible Martial Art with the people. Maeda had already become friends with Gastao Gracie, a prominent businessman in Brazil. Gastao would introduce his son Carlos Gracie to Mitsuyo Maeda, after Carlos watched a seminar at a busy theatre in Brazil. Carlos became one of Maeda's students, as he learnt the ideologies of the Japanese legend. Carlos would spend a few years mastering his craft in Kokudan Judo.

Carlos passed on the knowledge to Helio Gracie, who struggled to execute some of the Judo throws. Helio was a smaller and lighter man compared to his brother Carlos, so Helio began to develop his own style of submission fighting. His style involved a series of chokes and leverage based joint locks that he designed to work on bigger and stronger opponents. Helio started teaching his Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques to his sons, and as Rorion and Rixon became well versed in the complicated movements, they endured many challenges on the streets of Brazil. One of the most famous battles happened on the beach between Hugo Duarte and Rixon Gracie as they tested which style was better between luta livre vs bjj, the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu won the fight as Rixon demoralised his opponent in a flawless victory.

Helio would then entrust his son Rorion to market Gracie Jiu Jitsu to the United States of America. Rorion was the only Gracie that could speak fluent English, so he journeyed with his brothers and his father to America. Rorion was already managing Rixon Gracie through all of his fame in Japan as he headlined against Japan's best catch wrestlers. However as Rixon's popularity grew so did Rorion's paranoia, as he feared he was losing control of his Rixon. Rorion was in charge of all the finances involved with Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and as his greed grew stronger so did Rixon's resentment of Rorion. The early UFC was a contest to see which Martial Art was the best and Rorion decided to use Royce Gracie instead of Rixon. Royce was more nervous leading into the event so he asked his brother Rixon to train him for the fight. Rixon accepted under the promise of some of his match payments, and after Royce won Rorion did not pay up. After the second time this happened Rixon was at the end of his tether, and decided to leave Rorion and start his own academy which led to the birth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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THE COMPARISON OF MUAY THAI VS BJJ  

Muay Thai and BJJ are completely different Martial Arts, comparing them is like comparing the difference between krav maga and jiu jitsu, one is a brutal striking art as the other is predominantly a ground fighting art. BJJ utilises a combination of Judo and Wrestling techniques to secure takedowns on their opponents. Once the fight has hit the ground BJJ uses a succession of transitions and control positions to advance into a submission. Muay Thai is all about the knockout, as the age old Martial Art uses a sequence of clinching techniques in order to execute strikes like punches, kicks, elbows and knees. This brutal combination of high calibre striking and mental fortitude is one of the premier Martial Arts across the globe.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters are not allowed to strike their opponents in any way, as their art is purely grappling based. They utilise a chain of concurrent movements with their upper and lower body to attain advantageous positions. The positions are then consolidated in order to achieve highly advanced submissions like choke holds and joint locks. In the Muay Thai game, a fighter will use mental toughness and exceptional closing distance skills to set up a Muay Thai clinch, which is also known as a necktie. Once the fighter has a secure grip on the neck they will bombard their opponents with heavy knees and elbows.

WHICH MARTIAL ART HOLDS UP BETTER IN TRAINING

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an expansive complexity of movements to learn during its training regimes. The great aspect about BJJ is how diverse an academy can be, there are usually many members that will help a student grasp the underlying principles in the art. Training in BJJ is highly energetic and involves a student to use all of their muscles, meaning it can be one of the best full body workouts there are. BJJ will help with dexterity, agility, flexibility and body conditioning. The most important aspect is how it teaches students to make the right decisions while they are under extreme duress, this is how BJJ has become one of the best self defense Martial Arts on the planet.

Muay Thai is a very different Martial Art, but in terms of training it does share a similarity with BJJ. In Muay Thai a fighter will go through extensive full contact training, meaning just like BJJ the Muay Thai style also uses high pressure situations for their students to learn from. Muay Thai will also utilise heavy body conditioning by kicking and punching pads day by day, this is how a student hardens their shins, knees, elbows and fists. Muay Thai is highly energetic as most practitioners will go through extensive workout routines that involve running, skipping, shadow sparring, high intensity full contact sparring, pad work and muscle building. Muay Thai training is extremely deadly and basically par for par with BJJ in how they condition for their respective Martial Arts.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MUAY THAI AND BJJ

The differences between these two high level Martial Arts are massive, as one is a ground fighting art while the other relies on striking as its main focus. BJJ is systematic with its core principles of movement, as it looks to control an opponent comprehensively. Muay Thai also uses a systematic approach within its arsenal, except the goal is to knock out an opponent.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a stringent set of rules to follow, like the kinds of submissions they are allowed to execute. In most BJJ divisions there are illegal moves like; twisting leg locks, neck cranks, slamming an opponent and knee reaping, which will be met with a disqualification if a competitor uses them. There is also a points system in place where a competitor will receive points for certain control positions like mount, back control, knee on belly, takedown, sweeping and passing the guard. In Muay Thai there are also rules of engagement like no head buts, groin shots or eye gouges. Muay Thai uses clinching techniques to hold an opponent in order to land knees and elbows, they also utilise punches and kicks including jumping attacks. The scoring system in Muay Thai is unlike boxing or MMA where a fighter is scored out of ten each round, instead they utilise a more overall scoring system so if a fighter has narrowly won the first four rounds then the other fighter can still win the fight in the final round by points. 

BJJ has a highly complicated belt ranking system that includes five major belts, white, blue, purple, brown and black, each belt is awarded four stripes over time before the next belt can be awarded. There are also belts above the level of black, like the coral and the red belt, but they are highly elusive. In BJJ it is all about a slow progression of skills as there is no testing involved with moving up the ranks. In most cases it can take ten to fifteen years to earn a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Muay Thai has no ranking system as the only accolades a fighter can receive are championship belts or trophies. Muay Thai fighters do wear praciats or prajeads which is purely a symbolic armband to represent Muay Thai's traditions.

Both Martial Arts wear different uniforms, just like Jiu Jitsu vs MMA, where MMA fighters wear shorts just like Muay Thai fighters. A Muay Thai fighter will also wear gloves to protect their hands. In No Gi BJJ competitors can wear compression pants, shorts and a rashguard. The most traditional form for BJJ is to wear the Gi uniform, as it serves as a tool for students to use. All Gi uniforms are tied together with a belt ranking, and is comprehensively strong so students can grip fight and utilise lapel or collar chokes. 

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jiu jitsu vs muay thai

WHO WINS BETWEEN MUAY THAI AND JIU JITSU

This is an incredibly tough one to call as both styles have incredible advantages. If the fight can be taken to the ground, then BJJ wins every time. The problem is how to get a Muay Thai fighter to the ground as they specialise in striking techniques and clinching strategies. BJJ does not utilise any striking, so it is completely out of its depth in terms of the stand up game. Even though BJJ has good Wrestling and Judo, it is hard to believe it could out fight the might of Muay Thai Kickboxing. Muay Thai fighters are incredibly conditioned, and their clinching ability just might be enough to win the fight. The only problem for Muay Thai is if they do hit the ground then it's over. It seems like it could be a little bit of a stalemate, or a case of BJJ will win on the ground and Muay Thai will win on the feet. Overall BJJ has a more effective chance in the all round aspect due to their experience on the feet, compared to Muay Thai which has a considerable inability to match it on the ground.

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