Different Muay Thai styles?

Hey all, I'm not sure how to ask this so I will just say it. At my school Ive noticed that we integrate a lot of Boxing and we also use the 8 limbs knees,elbows etc..but after watching different more traditional schools and how they train there is more emphasis on what seems to be well "traditional Muay Thai".There focus mitt and Thai pad hitting drills where really vicious and again seemed more traditional thanks please discuss and feel free to mention how I'm rambling and not making sense.


Thanks Onescoup, now what makes the styles diffeternt?

even within a "Traditional Muay Thai" style, you'll have differences.....different strategies, strengths, slightly different technique delivery will differ, not only camp to camp, but fighter to fighter.

an Example-Sityodtong, circa 1994. 2 of their top guys were Chatchai Paiseethong and Nuathronee wor Taweekiat. Chatchai was a very slick, quick elusive technical stylist. Nuathronee was a more aggressive, walk up, give and take fighter. Same camp. Different way of getting the job done.

Anuwat, all hands.

Also, besides the different styles of fighting (different strategies employed in the ring), there are different styles to the actual training and conditining.

To me, that is where the TRUE differences really are. There are VAST differences between the Thai, Dutch/European, and North American training & conditioning regimens. One very notable difference is in the intensity of their sparring.

The Thai's sparring a very fluid affair, but typically done at about 1/2 to 3/4 speed with very light contact. The reason for this is because the Thai's fight so often that they simply cannot afford to risk injury by sparring hard. Missing a single fight puts a serious dent in the fighter and the gym's income.

I'm not as familiar with Dutch/European sparring intensity, but from what I've seen its noticably more intense. Typically though, Dutch/European fighters aren't relying on fighting as their sole source of income, unlike their Thai brethren. So they are naturally able to go harder and it not be as detrimental to their ability to put food on the table.

In North America, the sparring is often quite intense. In the greater scheme of things, there are very few North American fighters who support themselves as fighters, so naturally they have the luxury of intense sparring sessions.

In the old days of Siam, styles of "Muay" were very much regionalized. Some villages, towns were very inaccesible due to the geography of the country allowing styles to develop without much outside influences. Th differences varied in stance, tools, mentality and customs - as much as local dialects.

However nowadays with the old arts having evolved into a sport, each camp instructor might have a certain flavour but it's the job of the instructors to bring the best out of each fighter according to their attributes.

I don't think it's a case of going to one camp in a certain province and becoming phenomenally strong in the clinch, then going to another to learn how to crack through a coconut with elbows.

Definite differences between Europe and Thailand, possibly due to the mentality and way the sport has evolved in each continent. In Thailand, from a bare knuckle martial art and in Europe from a SE Asian sport. Perhaps that's why there's less emphasis on boxing in Thailand (they were less likely to throw multiple punch combinations without gloves) whereas in Europe it was learned as a sport without reference to the bare knuckle aspect.

From my own observations, in Europe we were pretty much programmed to use combinations, to wind up for powershots using left/right, high/low movements. In Thailand, I learned that it's very much about flow.

But ultimately, I feel that everyone has their own distict style which evolves with the fighter's own experences.

I bet the Dutch style of sparring has a lot to do with the Kyokushin Karate infuence in their version of Thaiboxing.

Kyokushin well is known for their brutal sparring/body conditioning.

All really good answers, and I think Harry has it right as far as everyone developing there own style. I guess I just like the smoother approach that the traditional Muay Thai schools ive seen. My instructor studied under the Mjolnir Gym in Holland and with Master Chai Sirasute. Those are his influences and like everyone above mentioned I imagine he has added his own 2 cents worth. Thanks again all

Just in response to the less emphasis on multiple punch combos without gloves, but from what I've seen of lethwei/ burmese boxing matches, they punch alot? Is this a modern development of lethwei? I saw the old 1970s (was is that old?) from Phil Dunlap's site and it looks like they do alot of punching back then as well.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/QcbFdNS_Zqg&quot;&gt;&lt;/param&gt;&lt;param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param></object>

Interesting background stuff guys - thanks.

I've noticed that there now seems to be a need to classify and categorize Muay into either Dutch/Euro or Thai style, particularly by our American brothers who until very recently haven't had as much exposure to Muay Thai as Europe.

It reminds me a bit of the early UFC's where everyone was required to fight under the distinct banner of a system/style.

I definitely concur with Khun Kao in that the differences in Muay between Westerners and Thais is a result of training methods and culture.

It's almost impossible to realistically replicate full Thai style training outside of SE Asia. That is, being brought up training full time, twice a day with a dedicated trainer, surrounded by like-minded professional fighters fighting for an income for their families. This method of training without question produces very capable fighters to say the least.

In an attempt to compete with Thai fighters, Westerners have had to be more scientific in their approach to training, having fewer but intense training sessions. Better diet and nutrition, use of modern gym equipment, superior health and medical care...and cooler weather!!! We've learned to effectively use combination striking to try and counter the naturally instinctive style of the Thais.

Even Thai instructors teaching outside of Thailand have had to modify their teaching and training methods to cater to the western lifestyle/culture.

I do believe that with more and more westerners training and fighting in Thailand that training methods, skills and perhaps styles will be closer to being on par with the Thais. For example, you can see these days that there are a lot of British camps training in Thailand regularly, absorbing a lot of the Thai fight culture and methods. They don't seem to have the need to label themselves as a Euro/Dutch/Brit school, merely as a Muay Thai camp. No doubt they adapt their methods to the Brit lifstyle/culture.

I don't believe it's really as simple as lumping a style into a single specific category. Ultimately, it all falls under the Muay Thai umbrella but almost all westerners have to learn Muay Thai in a manner which is different to a Thai fighters'. So I'm really not sure if a person can truly identify a "style" learned outside of Thailand as being Dutch style, or French, British, Japanese etc. To me, it's foreign or Thai because all foreigners train similarly compared to the Thai way and styles vary from school to school and individual to individual.

So heres a good couple of questions, what does Fairtex teach? The true Thai style or Dutch/European?
and what do all of you train in your individual schools? Like I mentioned earlier we have a big dutch influence but today I was training some stuff Master Chai Sirasute showed my instructor. Thanks foe all the good replies

Like others have said, every camp will have a different style and even within camps different trainers will have different styles and techniques they prefer. And they will teach their fighters whatever techniques they feel best suit them.

Overall I think the Thais have the best idea about sparring. At Sityodtong we go pretty much full speed with light to moderate contact most of the time, unless someone is getting ready for a fight. You simply cannot spar MT full on too often without ending up with lots of long-term injuries. Plus light sparring makes your technique a lot better and smoother.

Muay chalat vs. muay ba. I'd rather be smooth and technical (chalat) than rely on power and aggression (ba).

"Perhaps that's why there's less emphasis on boxing in Thailand (they were less likely to throw multiple punch combinations without gloves) whereas in Europe it was learned as a sport without reference to the bare knuckle aspect."

Maybe, but dont forget that punches dont score alot of points in Thailand. I could knock u around the ring all round with punches and if you land a kneck kick at the end of the round, it could be a toss up as to who won.

Same, Same, But Different.

lol. Are you channeling Kru Toy?

Where have you been man? You haven't been at Sityodtong is awhile...