Originally Posted by Yeti
Awesome thread, what sets Muay Thai apart from other kick boxing disciplines?
Generally speaking, Muay Thai is set apart from other Kick Boxing disciplines from by utilizing the full 8-point striking system (punches, kicks, knees and elbows), and emphasizing fighting in a clinch. Most western styles of Kick Boxing only allow a 4-point striking system (punches and kicks), and use the clinch only as a way to tie up the opponent in hopes for a break and reset in the action. Not only is the Muay Thai competitor needing to address the added weapons of elbows and knees, but they must be competent in the clinch as the fight will not be stopped once the opponents enter the clinch unless there is a period of inactivity.
Currently there are 3 predominant styles of "Kick Boxing" amongst active competitors and this is how they differ:
"Western" Style Kick Boxing
- This is actually a modern form of full-contact Karate matches
- Utilizes only the 4-point striking system (punches and kicks)
- No throws or takedowns are allowed
- A Clinch causes a reset in the fighters position
- Traditional Kick Boxing as taught by practitioners in Thailand
- Utilizes the full 8-point striking system (punches, kicks, elbows and knees)
- Only "Sweep" style throws and unbalancing pushes are allowed (like kicking an opponent's supporting leg while they are kicking, catching a kick and throwing it aside to unbalance the opponent, etc.)
- A Clinch situation continues with the fighters using suitable attacks and will only reset the fight if a period of inactivity occurs
- A modern system based off of full-contact Chinese Boxing
- Utilizes a 6-point striking system (no elbows)
- Full throws and takedowns are allowed
- A Clinch situation continues with the fighters using suitable attacks and throws, and will only reset the fight if a period of inactivity occurs
For those who are wondering, K-1 uses a hybrid of western and Muay Thai techniques. It utilizes a 6-point striking system, no throws are allowed, and only allows a limited clinch situation (no neck clinches, and positions are quickly reset regardless of fighter activity).