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Muay Thai Vs Jiu Jitsu: What's Better?

When it comes to martial arts, the debate on which style is better is an age-old one. Two of the most popular and effective styles are Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Both have their unique strengths and techniques that have helped fighters achieve success in various combat sports. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu, their key differences, and what makes each one stand out. So, if you're considering which style to pursue, read on to find out which one might be the right fit for you.

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.

Now, Muay Thai is a stand-up striking sport where two competitors throw punches, elbows, kicks and knees at each other. A key difference between Muay Thai and many other stand-up combat sports is its emphasis on traditional elements such as the pre-fight dance ritual known as Wai Kru Ram Muay, the head dress (Mongkon) and the Sarama music that accompanies each fight.

What is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu, also known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Brazil in the early 20th century. It is a form of grappling that focuses on taking down an opponent, controlling them on the ground, and submitting them with various joint locks and chokes.

BJJ is based on the principles of leverage and technique, allowing practitioners to overcome stronger opponents by using proper body mechanics and submission holds. It is a highly effective self-defense system that has gained widespread popularity in recent years, with many professional MMA fighters incorporating BJJ into their training.

Jiu Jitsu is also known for its focus on mental and physical discipline, with practitioners often emphasizing the importance of patience, persistence, and humility in their training. Many BJJ schools and academies also promote a strong sense of community, with students often forming close bonds and supporting each other in their martial arts journeys.

What are the differences between Muay Thai & Jiu Jitsu?

Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu are two completely different martial arts styles that have distinct techniques and strategies. While both are effective in their own ways, they differ significantly in terms of their approach to combat.

Muay Thai, also known as "The Art of Eight Limbs," is a striking-based martial art that utilizes punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Its techniques are primarily aimed at striking the opponent from a standing position. Muay Thai practitioners are known for their high level of physical conditioning and their ability to deliver powerful strikes with precision.

Jiu Jitsu, on the other hand, is a grappling-based martial art that emphasizes ground fighting techniques such as joint locks and chokes. Unlike Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu practitioners aim to take the fight to the ground where they can use their techniques to control their opponent and submit them. Jiu Jitsu is also known for its focus on technique and leverage rather than brute strength, making it an effective martial art for individuals of all sizes and strengths.

In terms of their fighting styles, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu are almost completely opposite. Muay Thai emphasizes standing strikes, while Jiu Jitsu is focused on ground fighting. While both martial arts are effective in their own ways, choosing between them depends on an individual's preferences and goals.

Is Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu more effective for self defence

Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu are two martial arts that are often considered effective for self-defense situations. However, they have different approaches to combat and may have varying levels of effectiveness in certain situations.

Muay Thai is known for its striking techniques, which involve using punches, kicks, elbows, and knees to strike an opponent. It is often used in stand-up fighting situations and can be effective in keeping an attacker at a distance. Muay Thai training also includes clinching techniques that allow a practitioner to control their opponent and deliver devastating knee and elbow strikes.

Jiu Jitsu, on the other hand, is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on ground fighting and submission techniques. It is designed to enable a smaller, weaker person to defend themselves against a larger opponent by using leverage and joint locks to immobilize or submit them.

Both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu have their strengths and weaknesses in self-defense situations. Muay Thai can be effective in situations where a person needs to defend themselves while standing up, while Jiu Jitsu is ideal for situations where the fight goes to the ground. Ultimately, the effectiveness of either martial art for self-defense depends on the specific circumstances of the situation, as well as the skill and training of the practitioner.

Muay Thai vs Jiu Jitsu: Which Offers the Best Workout?

Muay Thai, being a striking-based martial art, focuses on developing explosive power, speed, and agility. The training involves a lot of high-intensity workouts such as bag work, pad work, and sparring, which helps in improving cardiovascular fitness and overall body strength. In addition, Muay Thai also involves a lot of footwork and movement drills, which help in improving balance and coordination. The training can be quite intense and can help burn a lot of calories, making it a great option for those looking to lose weight or tone their muscles.

On the other hand, Jiu Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that involves a lot of ground work and submissions. The training involves a lot of strength training exercises such as lifting, pulling, and pushing, which helps in building functional strength and muscle endurance. In addition, Jiu Jitsu also involves a lot of bodyweight exercises such as bridging and shrimping, which help in improving core stability and flexibility. The training can be quite challenging and can help in burning calories, but it may not be as effective as Muay Thai when it comes to weight loss or toning.

Overall, both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu offer great workouts and can help in improving overall fitness and health. However, the choice between the two would depend on individual preferences and fitness goals.

Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu: Which is More Popular?

Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu are both popular martial arts with their own unique fan base. Muay Thai is particularly popular in Thailand and has gained a lot of followers worldwide in recent years, while Jiu Jitsu has a strong following in Brazil and other parts of the world.

Muay Thai is a popular choice for those who are interested in stand-up striking, and many people enjoy the physical challenge of the sport. Jiu Jitsu, on the other hand, is popular among those who are interested in ground grappling and submission techniques.

When it comes to popularity, it really depends on the location and culture. In Thailand, Muay Thai is deeply ingrained in the culture and is widely practiced, while Jiu Jitsu may not have the same level of recognition. Conversely, in Brazil, Jiu Jitsu is a widely recognized martial art and is practiced by many people, while Muay Thai may not be as well-known.

Overall, both martial arts have their own unique benefits and popularity in different regions. It's important to consider your personal preferences and goals when choosing which martial art to pursue.


In conclusion, it's difficult to say which martial art is better between Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu because they both have their strengths and weaknesses. Muay Thai is an excellent striking art that can help you develop explosive power, speed, and endurance. On the other hand, Jiu Jitsu is an effective grappling art that can help you defend yourself against a larger opponent and submit them through joint locks or chokes. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal goals and preferences when choosing which martial art to learn. If you're interested in stand-up fighting, Muay Thai may be the way to go, but if you prefer ground fighting, Jiu Jitsu might be a better fit. Whatever you choose, both arts require dedication, hard work, and practice to master.

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