Muay Thai or Boxing – Which is Better?

Growing up, every single one of us has wrestled with our siblings, friends, and cousins. The fight necessitated emotions, strength, aggression and usually ended with tears but that didn’t stop us from willing to fight again and to get another chance to overpower our opponents.

Kids possessing this urge tend to be more hyperactive and they consider learning some form of martial arts as they grow up.

Martial arts have been around for a very long time which has systematized traditions practiced for various reasons involving self-defense, law enforcement, and military applications, mental and spiritual development.

We also have different numbers of sports for competitions and entertainment purposes.

These arts have played an important part in the lives of countless people, regardless of their age. It develops focus, discipline and widely improves physical and mental strength which is beneficial in countless ways.

Many have made the practice of martial arts a way of life. Now, these reasons will vary from person to person.

Some people want to be able to defend themselves, some want to be a professional fighter, a couple of them would learn martial arts to get hold of their lives in a much-clarified way whereas the rest just want to learn a new skill.

Whatever the reason, learning these arts signifies a lot of positive alpha qualities which for some are a must-have.

Since there are a number of different martial arts, with each of them involving a different set of skills and techniques, it usually becomes pretty difficult to answer this simple question.

Comparing two martial arts is stupid and is the equivalent of comparing apples to oranges. The same can’t be said for Muay Thai and Boxing though.

Each skill focuses on different techniques if you’re aware of the pros and cons that come along with each of these martial arts, it’ll surely become a lot easier for you to decide where you’re willing to head.

With that being said, it’s important to note that each martial art is designed to serve any particular purpose and usually the pro martial artists don’t limit themselves to one style.


See also: Best Muay Thai Shin Guards

Muay Thai or Boxing – The Difference

Our aim is to clarify each of these styles, to signify their benefits and to talk about the scenarios where they shine the most.

Your elbows, knees, fists and your feet come into play during Muay Thai as the art of the eight limbs is very intricate and raveled. Whereas boxing concentrates on your hands and your target area.

However, the lack of head movement in Muay Thai could be deadly which is very important in boxing because you’re easier to hit when you’re stationary.

The differences outweigh the similarities which can be a good or a bad thing. A Muay Thai fighter is great at keeping his opponent at bay however a boxer can be very deadly with the punches and Muay Thai fighter will never be able to parallel that force.

A boxer has all the time in the world to focus on his footwork, defense while landing those punches whereas a Muay Thai fighter will have a huge advantage in a clinch style situation that cannot be overcome by a boxer.

And as a boxer focuses mainly on the hands, leg kicks can be tricky to counter. Both of the fighting styles have their flaws but they have their strengths too which, if easily used can offer a tough time to the person opposite to you.

Self Defense

Training of any martial arts in a real-life situation is better than standing still and not putting up a fight, as there’s no such thing as “something for nothing”.

Although to give one skill significance over the other would be unfair because there you simply cannot say that Muay Thai is better than Boxing or vice versa.

Although it can be said that if you only had one option to choose from for self-defense, boxing would be the go-to choice as it will get you to defensive competence faster in most situations, as you focus on timing and movement.

Boxing is a quick fix and not a permanent solution whereas Muay Thai will teach you how to read your opponent who can to your surprise kick competently.

The possibility of you running into a fight where the opponent can use his legs considerably well is quite low but with Muay Thai training you will know more about the clinch and you can ground the person while keeping your rival at a distance.

Boxing is a better skill overall to be good at, but the way a Muay Thai asserts dominance by effectively making use of all his striking points just landing punches might not be enough.

See also: Best Muay Thai Gloves

Difficulty Level

As you’re only concentrating on your hands, for the most part, boxing is considerably much easier and quicker to learn. Throw in a bit of footwork and cardiovascular training for quick movements to avoid punches.

Whereas Muay Thai utilizes different parts of your limbs which in theory takes more time to learn as you’re focusing on eight limbs instead of four.

Learning to strike is one thing but being able to defend yourself against these attacks is equally important. Muay Thai also calls in a more well-thought strategy and a deep presence of mind to bring down your opponent which can take a lot of time to get good at.

The clinching technique taught in Muay Thai training is of vital importance and can take a significant amount of time to master.

Your dedication and your focus solely define how long would it take you to learn. However, on average, you can master the basics of Muay Thai in a year and you can become an expert in two, whereas it takes about six months to be proficient at boxing.

Intentions to be fit. Which one should I go for?

Fitness is essential for a healthy life, and we are talking about learning martial arts, every single training that you take are going to be great for your overall fitness no matter the differences as your fitness would determine your ability to learn that particular skill.

Your efforts will improve your techniques while building up your stamina. Both of the arts build up cardiovascular strength and harden your body.

Your goal, however, should be to concentrate on learning the various techniques as they will gradually improve blood circulation, muscle strength and condition your body.

A fight between a professional Muay Thai Fighter and a Boxer

muay thai kick

Given that a Muay Thai fighter has an arsenal of weapons and tactics, he will be victorious against a boxer. So a Thai boxer will probably start with a low kick then go to the clinch.

The Thais are the best in the world with clinches and therefore they always have the best odds of beating a boxer as that’s where you should go to get the job done.

It’s the opposite with a wrestler of course – you stay long. Nine out of 10 boxers are useless at the short game – just in boxing terms – and when they come up against a short game machine like a good Thai pro, it’s all over.

Boxers have a better chance at heavyweight matches as the punches are going to be much more dangerous at that level. Whereas in lightweight matches the Thai boxer will easily take the belt home.

The best option for you

Well, you have skimmed it down to only two options. Now the question you have to answer is which style suits your personality. Would you just punch your way out of a problem or would add other parts of your body in the mix.

Both arts have a different set of rules which define the defensive techniques they will be able to use in a match. Changing levels in Muay Thai by slipping punches or rolling away is rarely seen as you run the risk of getting pounded by the knee in the face.

Evasive footwork is also quite absent in Thai boxing match as you that sheds your chances of defending or striking a blow.

Whereas you would exchange punches in a boxing fight while dancing around the ring and dodging the opponent’s blows and slipping out of the corner.

Hence, why choosing a style comes down to your personal preference and what parts you intend to focus on.

They both have their strengths and weaknesses, Muay Thai being hard to learn but having significant importance when mastering, whereas boxing is a quick and easy way to aver your presence in a dominating fashion.


Both have different focus points and your preferred fighting style defines your choice whether you would be in close quarters or do a leg sweep from a distance.