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Combat Sambo Vs Muay Thai: Which is more effective?

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One thing we often get asked is to compare the effectiveness between different martial arts. In this article, we are going to compare Combat Sambo & 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!


Combat Sambo is a martial art which has grown in popularity in recent years due to the dominant performances UFC fighters such as Khabib Nurmagomedov have been putting on. Khabib Nurmagomedov is a Sambo master having had won multiple Sambo world championships.


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.


Both martial arts offer various different advantages and allow fighters to work in different ranges with different techniques.


What is Combat Sambo?


Combat Sambo is a martial art that originated in Russia. Sambo combines the ground fighting and grappling aspects of judo and wrestling, such as throws and submission holds, with the use of standing fighting techniques such as punching, kicking, knee strikes, and elbow strikes. Sambo was originally developed for military use in the Soviet-era however the fighting style has now developed into a competitive sport.


Common strikes in Combat Sambo include groin strikes, kicks, punches, head butting, and the use of elbows and knees, in addition to grappling. Combat sambo is similar to modern MMA. In competitive Sport Sambo, chokes, twisting leg locks, like the heel hook, and neck cranks are banned.


Sambo has yet to become an official Olympic sport, despite ongoing impassioned efforts by the sambo community and strong support from Russian President Vladimir Putin, an Honorary President of FIAS.


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 Combat Sambo & Muay Thai?


The main difference between Combat Sambo and Muay Thai is that Combat Sambo is more focused towards grappling whereas Muay Thai is more focused too striking. Although both martial arts do include an element of both.


Another major difference is also that Combat Sambo uses ground fighting too, whereas Muay Thai is strictly a stand-up martial art.


Is Combat Sambo or Muay Thai more effective for self defence?


Many would argue that Combat Sambo could be the more effective martial art for self defence due to its wider range of use-cases and the fact that it teaches you more grappling moves.


Both martial arts are extremely effective and both were created for military close combat.


Frequently asked questions


Are Muay Thai fighters fit?


Muay Thai fighters are extremely fit. Muay Thai is a high intensity sport which will boost your cardiovascular system. Muay Thai fighters will also run often to help ensure that they are boosting their fitness to improve their performance when they fight.


Will Muay Thai make me bulky?


Muay Thai is a very competitive sport, its training makes it one of the most intense and engaging workouts there is. Muay Thai combines strength and conditioning as well as cardiovascular endurance in their training, which makes it a great workout to remove excess fat and gain leaner muscle mass.


A person would typically burn 1000 calories in a training session, which would typically last for an hour or two. This means that Muay Thai should not make you bulky, but should help to loose weight and gain lean muscle.


Can you learn Muay Thai in 6 months?


The speed that you'll be able to progress your Muay Thai skills does depend on the commitment that you show to the sport. If you are consistently missing classes, not listening to your trainers and only being half committed to your training then you'll likely progress slowly and never really get good at Muay Thai.


Within 6-months of training you should have built a good foundation of skills however you will still be extremely early in your Muay Thai journey.


Is flexibility important for Muay Thai?


Flexibility is a major part of Muay Thai, improved flexibility will help you to kick quicker and more powerful. It'll also benefit you when your throwing head kicks.


Why not try Yoga to help increase your flexibility?


How much weight should I cut during fight week?


During your fight week weight cut, you shouldn't look to cut anymore than 10% of your body weight. To ensure your safety when cutting weight, we recommend not cutting anymore than 8% during fight week.


Ensure that you train hard and watch your diet during your fight camp to ensure that you don't leave too much weight to cut during fight week.


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