Can you train both Boxing and Muay Thai? The Do's and Don'ts!
Updated: Aug 16
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One question we often get asked is, can you train both Boxing and Muay Thai at the same time? The answer is, yes of course you can. There are pros and cons to training Muay Thai and Boxing and in this article we go into more detail about these.
Find the balance between your martial arts training and your personal life can be different. This can become increasingly difficult as you begin to add more martial arts in, such as training Muay Thai and Boxing at thew same time.
What are the differences between boxing and Muay Thai?
Although they are both striking martial arts, there are several differences in Muay Thai and Boxing.
The primary difference between Boxing and Muay Thai is that in boxing, you can only strike with your hands. In Muay Thai, you can strike with the legs, knees, elbows and fists.
There are also several other differences that you may only start to notice once you have become more versed in each martial art. The stances, fight pace and hand position are both extremely different.
In boxing, the stance is side on, whereas in Muay Thai fighters will stand squared on. Boxers will also keep their feet slightly wider apart, whereas Muay Thai fighters will keep their feet to being shoulder width apart.
The Muay Thai stance is forward facing with the hands held high around head height. The forearms and hips should be forward facing towards the opponent to offer maximum efficiency when attacking and defending with both legs.
The boxing stance is more side on, with the hips turned outwards. This is to allow the opponent the smallest possible target.
The pro's of training boxing and Muay Thai at the same time
When thinking of training both Boxing and Muay Thai at the same time, we have to think about the pro's, and how this can be a benefit to your martial arts journey.
One of the major benefits of training boxing and Muay Thai at the same time is that you will expand your martial arts knowledge much further than if you were to just be training one. By training both boxing and Muay Thai, you'll be able to learn skills in each sport which may be transferable to the other. This can help you to have an advantage over people who are too one dimensional in their respected martial art.
The cons of training boxing and Muay Thai at the same time
When trying to train boxing and Muay Thai at the same time, there are several things that we need to consider in terms of how this may negatively effect your training.
The biggest con of training both boxing and Muay Thai at the same time is that you'll only be putting limited time into each martial art. This will limit your ability to maximise your skills in each sport, and if fighting under the specific rules you'll likely struggle against a fighter who has honed their skills more to their specific sport.
The second biggest problem is that they are both extremely different. Learning Muay Thai will not improve your boxing, and learning boxing will not help your kicks in Muay Thai - it'll likely do the opposite.
Is Muay Thai or boxing better for self defence?
Situations whereby you need to use a martial art as self defence are always different, and it depends on that situation as to what the best form of self defense is.
Many would consider Muay Thai as the better form of self defence due to the added strikes and the increased possibilities in which you can attack and defend. You'll also have grappling skills which you'll be able to use to defend yourself at close quarters.
Boxing is still an extremely useful and effective form of self defence, the ability to punch correctly, defend and move efficiently is vital in a street fight. One well placed punch is enough to end most street fights quickly.
Which is easier to learn, boxing or Muay Thai?
Due to the reduced striking components, we believe that boxing is easier to learn than Muay Thai. You should be able to understand the basic arts of punching, head movement and footwork in the first couple months of your training in boxing.
If you were to be training Muay Thai, you'd also need to learn how to use your kicks, knees, elbows and the clinch, as well as being able to successfully defend these maneuvers. Due to the added capabilities of Muay Thai, it will take longer to grasp the basics.
Is Muay Thai or boxing better for fitness?
Both Muay Thai and boxing are brilliant for fitness and increasing your cardiovascular strength.
If your looking to train in Muay Thai or boxing simply for the fitness, then either will work perfectly for you. Both will provide a great aerobic and anaerobic workout. Your stamina and conditioning will get to a much higher level than before you trained.
How to incorporate both boxing and Muay Thai training into your lifestyle
The biggest challenge when thinking about training both boxing and Muay Thai will be finding the correct balance between both martial arts.
You'll need to find the right balance between your classes. Try and ensure you split these evenly. So if you train 4 times per week, make sure 2 of them are boxing focused sessions and 2 of them are Muay Thai focused sessions.
Make sure that you explain to your training partners that you do practice in both martial arts. You'll need to find the balance between both to find the correct stance, movement and striking pattern. If your training partners or coaches are unaware that you train boxing and Muay Thai, they may force you to change your style towards one martial art. This will only impact your performance and progress in the other martial art.
If your fighting in a specific style, then we recommend changing your full focus to this sport. There is no benefit to training Muay Thai if you have a boxing fight upcoming and vice versa.
Frequently asked questions
How many times per week should I train if I do boxing and Muay Thai?
If you are training both boxing and Muay Thai, we recommend making sure that you train at least 4 times per week. 2 sessions should be boxing focused, and the other two Muay Thai focused.
Is a boxing stance good for Muay Thai?
A boxing stance is not good for Muay Thai. Standing side on in Muay Thai will leave you open to leg kicks and leave you unable to check them correctly. You'll also be easier to sweep.
Should I train Muay Thai if I fight in boxing?
You should not train in Muay Thai if you are fighting in boxing. Both sports are different, and require different styles. Your time is best focused solely on the sport that you are fighting in.
Learning one martial art is a long and difficult journey. Trying to learn and master two is probably a little step too far!
We recommend focusing solely on the sport which you prefer. This will allow you to master your craft and maximise your potential.