What is the difference between Muay Thai and Kickboxing?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
First of all, let me be clear…both are sports, not Martial Arts. However, both are direct descendants of martial arts. Muay Thai from Muay Boran, a martial art from Thailand that was developed for battlefield tactics in the event a soldiers weapon was lost. While Kickboxing could be from many different punching and kicking martial art, the most popular modern day being kyokushin karate. Kyokushin is a hard art and self defense that has influenced both European and Brazilian Muay Thai and Kickboxing fighters, commonly the root of these strikers due to introduction to children at a young age.
So, that explains a bit about the source difference between kickboxing and Muay Thai.
Now, more relevant are the techniques
Finally, THE most relevant difference is rules. In American style Kickboxing like Chuck Norris in the 80’s. Silk pants, booties to protect their footsies and enough chest hair to weave an Indian rug was obviously present in place of a chest protector. (yes, i am joking.kinda) This was also common in Dutch kickboxing up until the popularity of K-1 (if you are not familiar with K-1, find a rock right now and smack yourself upside the head…then google it.haha) In K-1, the pants and foot pads came off and the fighters looked more like Thai Boxers, with some pretty big differences. 1, there is no clinch in K-1 Kickboxing (K-1 also has its own set of rules although the most common style has kyokushin roots) and there are no elbows! These are 2 VERY big differences!
So, with that in mind, it’s really easy to explain the difference in styles.
However, the World is FULL of kickboxing styles, some more similar than others! So in the interest of simplicity and time, I will address 2 styles of kickboxing, American Kickboxing and K