Thai Boxing Vs MMA – Which Is Better?
Anyone, who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last 15 years, knows just what an impact that MMA, or mixed martial arts, has made on the public. Promotions all over the world have taken the various degrees of martial arts and combined them into a competitive combat sport that tends to become its own specific hybrid once one steps foot inside the cage. But because MMA is a mix of multiple martial art and wrestling forms, does that mean that it encompasses Thai boxing as well? Or does Thai remain something unto itself and altogether different, like kickboxing of the 80’s and 90’s or boxing of past and present? To answer that question, one would have to look at the two side by side.
First of all, Thai boxing is a combat practice built more on the basis of kicks and strikes than anything else. Thai boxing match-ups can be quite violent and hard hitting, and it is not uncommon for a fighter to use more than just the feet and hands in delivering destructive blows. Considered a self defense practice like any other combat sport, this one relies some on the human chess factor, but mostly on the “best defense is a good offense” mentality. Thai boxing is a respected sport in its native country of Thailand as well as other countries throughout the East, and has been making the jump over to the Western part of the globe.
MMA, on the other hand, focuses more on the human chess aspects by forming a vast conglomeration of attack and defense methods. A mixed martial artist could be a good wrestler and a terrible striker. He could be a good striker and a lousy submissions specialist. He could even be good at submissions but poor at wrestling. The variety of fighting forms you’ll see in MMA is part of the reason why it has made such global impact. In the US, the leader is the Ultimate Fighting Championships, though there are other promotions that draw eyes such as Bellator Fighting Championships and Strikeforce (a subsidiary of UFC since 2011).
MMA is more commercially exposed and better marketed than Thai boxing as well meaning that more and more individuals, who may have gone in to Thai boxing, are finding they can embrace the attack and defense method while competing in a cage instead of a ring.
If you are thinking about taking up one of these forms of self defense, then first ask yourself whether it is a recreational goal or a professional one. The training a competitive fighter goes through must be full time and focused. Recreational practices can be beneficial to wellness without getting quite as involved.