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Bokator Vs Muay Thai: What's better?

Bokator Vs Muay Thai: What's better?

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One thing we are always being asked is to compare the effectiveness between two different martial arts, and today we're going to be comparing Bokator Vs Muay Thai. In this article we'll compare Bokator & Muay Thai and decide which one is more effective. The answer to this question isn't going to be easy to find, but we'll delve into all areas of the different sports to find the answer!

Muay Thai is a martial art which has always been looked at as one of the deadliest striking art forms on the planet. It's a martial art which allows the use of all limbs and focuses on powerful strikes and perfected techniques with an element of grappling, that is called clinching.

Bokator is an ancient battlefield martial art used by ancient Khmer military groups. It is one of the oldest existing fighting systems that was originated in Cambodia.

Both martial arts offer a lot of similarities and it's likely that they often competed on the ancient battlefields as the origins of the arts come from close to each other.

What is Bokator?

Bokator is a martial art them stems from ancient Cambodia which was nearly eradicated during the Khmer Rouge genocide. It is believed to have originated over 1700 years ago on the ancient battlefields of the Khmer Empire and translates to "to pound a lion".

The martial art is unique in that every single part of the body can be used as a weapon. Reflecting the fighting styles of animals, moves have names such as horse, dragon, eagle and crocodile.

What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai, also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs”, is a traditional Martial Art that originated in Thailand all the way back in the 18th century. A lot of people generally refer to it as Thai Boxing.

Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs”, because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”. This is of course opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing. A practitioner of Muay Thai is known as a nak muay.

What are the differences between Bokator & Muay Thai?

There are a lot of similarities between the martial arts of Bokator and Muay Thai, however the main difference between the two is that Bokator is a strict system based martial art whereas Muay Thai isn't.

In Bokator, like most traditional martial arts, there are belts, and you learn movements, forms, and techniques in order. It also includes the use of weapons, including the double stick, double swords, long staff and scarf.

Whilst Muay Thai includes an element of grappling with the clinch, Bokator has a more heavy wrestling approach in the way of Khmer traditional wrestling. In Bokator fighting, fights can take place on the ground and endings can happen by way of submission or chokes. In Muay Thai the focus is purely on standup fighting.

Due to not having a fixed fighting system, Muay Thai offers more variety and fighting styles allowing fighters to be more creative in their own approach. You'll often see Muay Thai fighters who specialise in their respective strengths, such as good knee fighters, good boxers and so on.

Is Bokator or Muay Thai more effective for self defence?

The age old question of which martial art is the most effective is something that we'll probably never be able to settle, however we're going to try and answer this for Bokator Vs Muay Thai.

We would say that Muay Thai is the more effective self defence due to the fact that it does allow you to work outside of a strict system. Muay Thai will allow you to create your own form of self defence that can be used effectively within a situation where you need to defend yourself.

However, both martial arts are extremely effective and as with any fight, anything can happen when a Bokator Vs Muay Thai fight happens.


The question of what will win between Bokator Vs Muay Thai is something that people will keep asking themselves, as after all, who doesn't want to know who'd win between the best striking and best grappling martial arts.

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1 Comment

David Holmberg
David Holmberg
May 13

Muay Thai is not even an old art in Thailand, it's a new one. You would have to trace it back to Muay, and then Muay Boran or "Muay Thai Boran". There are hundreds of years of history behind both Muay and Bokator as well as Silat.

Here is a piece of history... All of it came from India. As far as tracing back which was first in southeast Asia, good luck with that.

As far as Bokator vs Muay fighting, Bokator by a long shot. Any art that is grappling strong will be both with good stand-up fighters will be the stronger art. What does make Muay Thai very effective, is that the technique is very limited, which is…


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