What's so special about muay thai?

Hi, guys. Not trolling here, but I honestly want to know.

What's so special about muay thai, as opposed to other kickboxing or boxing arts? Is it just that muay thai works harder? Is it just the round kicks? Honestly, sometimes I feel people say "Oh, if you want good standup it has to be muay thai" just because they think it's the in thing.

I've only seen a few clips here and there and I wasn't seeing anyone that worked harder than a boxer or with more devastating technique than a kickboxer or savateur. Perhaps you can direct me to some web sites?


Their are a bunch of other videos at http://www.mikemiles.com/video.html

Because it covers every possible range of standup as extensively or more than any other art.

Thanks for the feedback. Couple of questions:

1) I can't get any of the Mike Miles videos to work. Am I doing something wrong?

2) Any good web sites for San Shou? What's special about it, I thought it was simply kung fu at full contact. Am I way wrong?

3) One Scoup, what's the difference between FC kickboxing and muay thai?

4) Bad Boy: what are the ranges of stand-up? I'm assuming they are kicking, punching, clinching? Doesn't boxing cover punching better and grappling arts cover clinching better? Again, not trolling, just asking.

And the point about MT being the most popular among NHB fighters - well, that's my question: why is that? Is it mostly a popularity thing?

Just honestly want to know so I can appreciate muay thai.

Hey! Found some video. Check this out:


Muay Thai's strenghts and what have made it special in the past;1. A tradition dedicated to producing well conditioned and well experienced fighters. Professional camps set up where fighters start young and train very hard. They start fighting young, gaining big records in short times, Thais have records with HUNDREDS of fights by the time they are in 20's. Experience means a lot in a fight.2. A format which is very open, but not totally open. As far is striking goes, pretty much the whole range of things are legal. Thus, when compared to something like Karate, TKD or American kickboxing, where those guys are clueless about clinchig, elbows, knees, and low kicks, BAD NEWS FOR THEM. As for San Shou/San Da, basicly it is Chinese martial art technique trained in a modern way. ie we focus on what will work, not chi blasts and pulling your heart out. We train with equipment for resistance, we train drills with partners, we spar full contact. Many of your questions can be answered by visitingKing of San Da: USA site

Thanks. So, basically, you're saying MT works harder and is lead by professionals, that there's little "recreational" atmosphere. I have to question this, though: do you really think "Karate, TKD or American kickboxing" is "clueless about clinchig, elbows, knees, and low kicks."

I don't "think" Karate, TKD and American kicobinxg is clueless about clinching, elbows, knees and low kicks...I KNOW

How do you know?


Granted, not *ALL* Karate, TKD, and American Kickboxing is clueless about clinchwork, knees, elbows, and low kicks. But to be honest, most are. How does Dave-lkfmdc (and the rest of us) know? Because we see and experience this day in and day out.

Many of us started training in the above mentioned arts. I started training in Karate and Ninjitsu before discovering Muay Thai. Dave-lkfmdc started in TKD.

Plus, Dave is a gym operator AND fight promotor. He sees this in practice ALL THE TIME! I am a Muay Thai instructor and coach. I see people come into my class from other arts ALL THE TIME who fit the above mold. And I also quite frequently see it at the fight events that I participate in.

Both Dave-lkfmdc and I are aware that there are some schools out there that do train their students to use those techniques in a practical and efficient manner, but those schools are the exception to the rule, NOT the norm.

Khun Kao

Cool. Like I said, I'm not trying to troll, I really do want to be educated. I'm not making any decisions for myself, I just want to be able to appreciate MT for what it is.

Glad you jumped in, KK. Can you elaborate on why your art is so special? Like I said, I'm open to whatever you tell me, although I hope you don't mind if I ask questions like the above.

Well, mostly everyone has really already stated what I would tell you.

1. Muay Thai is one of the most inclusive stand-up fighting styles. As mentioned, it has something for fighting at every range.

2. Muay Thai is the ORIGINAL sport of Kickboxing. Muay Thai became an OFFICIAL & SANCTIONED RING SPORT in 1930. Don't misunderstand, there are many arts that are older than Muay Thai that have Ring Adaptations, but Muay Thai was the first of these arts to actually create an official & sanctioned ring sport out of their art.

3. Because of Muay Thai's 70+ years as an official ring sport, it has really streamlined the art to the techniques that are the most effective for use in the ring. Mind you, this statement must be taken with a grain of salt, because MT has streamlined to the techniques that are most effective to use under MT rules. But with that having been said, MT has refined its attacks and defense into a highly effective sport fighting system. Is MT the absolute best? No. Not in all areas. But the bottom line is that Muay Thai is a PROVEN art with lots to offer.

FOOTNOTE to #3: Though I don't actually train in or study San Shou or San Da, I'm a fan of these arts because it is an effective fighting system. The Chinese Kickboxing systems key weakness is the lack of competition and experience in the ring that MT has. But I honestly believe that the Chinese Kickboxing systems will begin to take hold in MMA. It is just a matter of referring back to my statement in #3 regarding MT being a PROVEN system. San Shou/San Da just hasn't existed in Ring Adaptation long enough. There is a lack of knowledge, a lack of training, and lack of competition. People like David Ross (lkfmdc), BadBrad (I think he competes in San Shou, right?), and Rahsaan Kimbrow (DaRealSunTzu) and his coach Julio are working towards changing that.


4. One of the other things that really sets Muay Thai apart from other ring sports is the TRADITION it brings to the ring. To my knowledge, no other version of Kickboxing brings its ancient traditions with it to the ring as Muay Thai competitors do. There are many ceremonies, customs, and rituals involved in Muay Thai fighting. Even though many people consider Muay Thai fighting and training to be a modern, contemporary fighting system, it is actually more correctly labeled a "Traditional Martial Art". It has not abandoned its roots for the sake of a sport. Rather, the sport has embraced all of Muay Thai's traditions.

5. Muay Thai's training regimine is LEGENDARY! Despite what we may see locally, it has been said if Muay Thai in Thailand that there is no such thing as a fat Thai boxer. Thai training is FUCKING HARDCORE! Two 3+ hour workouts a day, 6 days a week. Thai fighters begin training as young as 6 to 7 years old and can begin fighting in their very early teens. Dave (lkfmdc) correctly points out that it is quite common for Thai fighters to have hundreds of fights on their resume. He also correctly pointed out that there just is no substituting for that kind of ring experience. Being in the ring is second nature for Thai fighters.


Master Kumron "K" Vaitayanonta is my instructor. He fought 75 times professionally. This is actually considered to be a low number of fights for a Thai. He began training when he was 9 years old, and retired from the ring when he was either 22 or 23. Though 75 fights is considered a low # for Thai's, 75 pro fights is a WHOLE FUCKING LOT OF FIGHTS compared to most other ring sports.

Master Bumrong "Danny" Prawatsrichai is my current coach and teaching partner. He fought over 300 professional fights and is a former Lumpinee Stadium Champ. He began training when he was 8 years old and fought up until he was in his late 30's.

These are both guys that when you speak to them about their fighting experience, they will kind of gloss over many of the details. They remember exceptional events or fights in their past, but things like their exact record, number of KO's, etc usually are referred to in passing "Oh, I had about this many fights.", or "I KO'ed approximately this many fighters." Think about it, after so many fights, those details become really unimportant!

I went with Master Danny down to King of the Ring VI in VA Beach last month. Just seeing the ring got Danny all excited. He was just staring at the ring and mused that he was getting all worked up just looking at it, and wondered aloud whether he could find an opponent his own age to fight that night....

I'm not really sure how well this answers your questions. But it is a brief look into the world of Muay Thai, and a little into the mind of a Thai boxer.

Khun Kao

Actually, it answers my question(s) very well!

By No. 2 above do you mean besides western boxing? That is, among the standup styles of Asia, MT is the first to create a ring sport out of the art and preserve the art in the sport?

Another question: do you worry that there will ever be MT "mcdojos" in the states that degrade the representation of the art? Especially with its presence in mma?

Well, yeah, besides Boxing.

I'm also talking about ring sports of the modern era, because Boxing and Pankration existed 1000's of years ago as Gladiator sports.

As far as MT "McDojo's", I'm not really worried about it. Bottom line is its already happening, though not to the extent it has happened with other arts. If there is a dollar to be made off of martial arts training, there will be "McDojo's".

I just make sure that what I'm offering remains as true to the spirit of Muay Thai as I can make it.

Khun Kao

That's cool. Are you worried at all that people blabber "muay that muai thai" without really understanding what it is?

By the way! This was linked from lkmfdc's link above:



Just been to www.cungle.com. This Cung Le guy is the shiznit!

Well, thats one of the main reasons why I post so much about Muay Thai on internet martial arts boards like this. I'm trying to educate the public about Muay Thai. The more people understand the art, the better for us in the long run. It will help generate interest in the sport, and help dispel false notions or beliefs.

"They kick trees!" LOL

Khun Kao

As far as McDojos go, in the realm of Muay Thai
schools available in the US there are McDojos,
and not cardio kickboxing.

The JKD world has its share of these schools that
offer what they call thai boxing, but its taught mostly
(note I said mostly) without sparring, and the
emphasis is not of fight effectiveness, but on
stringing together techniques into drills, much like
the kali classes taught by these same schools.

And yes, I am talking about schools that are
affiliated with the Thai Boxing Association. I do not
want to take anything away from Chai Sirisute
because he has done an enormous amount to
popularize and spread Muay Thai, but what I see
taught at these JKD schools is not Muay Thai. It is
some of the techniques of Muay Thai done in
various drills.

I suppose this has value as part of a JKD
cirriculum, but it is not Muay Thai. You can kick
pads all day, but until you kick an opponent's thigh
in real sparring conditions, or have your own thigh
kicked, I don't believe that you are doing Muay Thai.

Khun Kao, I saw the posts on Mousel's forum
about the lack of fighting experience of Chai's
instructors. I don't know if anyone ever mentioned
the way they teach as a problem.

To me the lack of fighting experience of the
instructors is not as important as the lack of
fighting experience of the students. I don't think
that simply learning some techniques and then
doing 8-count, 15-count, whatever-count
combination drills with those techniques is real
Muay Thai.

Again, I mean no disrespect to anyone, particularly
not Chai Sirisute, from what I have seen, the
people in TBA schools are not by any means
hardcore. Which is fine if they don't want to be. But
if all you ever do is throw the ball around, hit a few
pop flies and field ground balls; you aint really
playing baseball and you shouldn't tell people that
you are.

Sorry for the long rant,


One striking art i think that can contribute to mma is bando. Okay for those of you who dont know, muay thai comes from Thailand and bando comes Myanmar. The countries share a border and have a very bloody history with many wars. Because of this their respective martial arts are very similar.

In bando headbutts are allowed, and the other main difference is that in bando they do not use boxing gloves. This means that there is a difference in the tactics and that there are more throws. (Many of these techniques left muay thai when boxing gloves were introduced altho im sure that some ppl still know them) Because of this i think that bando would work very well in MMA. However it is hard to find a good instructor in bando, unlike Muay Thai.