Muay Thai has been popular for ages, and the hype is nowhere dead. But presently, Sanda is also gaining more and more attention. Are you also in a dilemma regarding Chinese boxing vs Muay Thai- which one to choose?
Both forms of Martial Arts have their pros and fields of expertise that make them ideal in specific scenarios. But when comparing the two in terms of effectiveness, you need to consider a lot of things.
So, without any further ado, let’s break into the details of Chinese vs. Muay Thai- the more effective one!
Where is Muay Thai From- The Origin
Coming into existence during the warring era of the Siam Kingdom, Muay Thai is one of the most prominent and effective martial arts styles.
The golden age of Muay Thai was during the era of King Chulalongkorn. It is also known as the art of eight limbs, as it allows the usage of only eight body parts in its techniques. A Muay Thai fighter or practitioner is a NAK MUAY.
Related: Art of 9 Limbs
Where is Sanda From- The Origin
Chinese boxing is a hybrid of Kung Fu along with elements of boxing. The word itself means free fighting.
The Chinese boxing academy training is more based on techniques and throws that aren’t used in MMA or are not allowed. Among all the Chinese boxing styles, the significance of takedown remains central as that is the only technique you can use in professional fighting tournaments.
Difference between Boxing and Muay Thai
In order to figure out the more effective one between Muay Thai and Chinese Boxing, it is essential to shedding light on the difference between the two.
So, here we are going to discuss a detailed comparison between Muay Thai and Sanda Boxing in terms of:
- History/ Development
- Types of equipment
After reading the given points of comparison, you will be clear on whether Muay Thai is more effective or Chinese boxing.
So, let’s move into the details!
Chinese Boxing vs Muay Thai- The Tradition and Development
One of the significant differences between Muay Thai and Sanda boxing is their history and origin of development.
Muay Thai came from Muay Boran, the ancient boxing. It has influenced Siam warriors in its techniques, and that is why it has the most weapons and unarmed fighting style among all the martial art forms.
Many fighters have been practicing Muay Thai with the help of Muay Thai punching bags as well.
However, it has a major impact on the Western boxing style too. For example, it has a proper gear, judge, and scoring system followed by appropriate rules and regulations and timed matches.
In contrast to it, the Chinese boxing style, there is a significant influence of Chinese boxing styles such as Kung Fu and kickboxing.
Just like Muay Thai, Sanda came into existence in the 1920s. However, it came into existence by the Chinese Military and was used to train their unarmed military forces.
Chinese Boxing vs Muay Thai- The Techniques and Stances
To a beginner or an untrained eye, the techniques used in Muay Thai and Dutch kickboxing appear to be the same. However, that is not the case.
There are obvious differences between the two forms of Martial Arts in terms of usage of techniques and style.
A few differences in techniques of the two forms are:
There is the usage of standard punches like straight punch, back punch, uppercut, and body punches in both boxing styles.
However, the Muay Thai punches are stronger due to less padding or no protective gloves. The punch of bare knuckles is far stronger than with gloves on.
Moreover, the signature punch of Sanda, the spinning back fist, is not included in the punches list of Muay Thai.
The kicks used in Muay Thai are very different from those practiced in Sanda.
But again, the intensity of Kicks used in Muay Thai is more than those used in Chinese boxing.
For example, the roundhouse kick, the most intense kick throughout the martial arts, is the signature kick of Muay Thai style.
But unfortunately, there is no usage of it in Sanda. In fact, in it, all the light kicks are present in its training, like sweep kick and sidekick.
Therefore, people rely on Muay Thai training rather than Chinese training when participating in national and international sports.
As mentioned previously, the takedown of Chinese boxing is what makes them known and effective.
The takedown of Sanda has influenced Shuai Jiao, who focuses more on grappling and throwing.
Surprisingly, the takedowns involved in Chinese boxing are more brutal, effective, and more in number compared to the ones used in Muay Thai.
It focuses on outer reaping techniques, which are not even allowed in Muay Thai boxing. For example, the use of calf to reap away your opponent or the hip throws are not allowed in Muay Thai.
However, using them along with single, double, and triple leg extensions allows Chinese boxing to be effective in the fight.
Techniques of both Muay Thai and Sanda are head to head in a competition with each other.
But since more versatile techniques and throws are present in the training session of the art of eight limbs, a Chinese boxing fighter can’t stand for much time in front of a Muay Thai practitioner.
Rules and Regulations
Another factor that distinguishes between Muay Thai and boxing is their rules and regulations, majorly on the basis of
- Standard rules
- Permitted techniques
Although the rules of both Muay Thai and Chinese Boxing are almost similar, here are a few terms in which they differ
Muay Thai and Chinese Boxing differ in terms of the presence and absence of a ring.
The tournaments of Muay Thai take place in a ring similar to those in western and Dutch kickboxing. However, in Chinese boxing, the competition takes place at a heightened place called Leitai. It is 80cm in height, 8cm in width, and 8cm in length.
2. Protective Headgear and Head Shields
In Muay Thai boxing, practitioners normally use gum guards and groin guards. However, in Chinese boxing, different rules of sets are present with slight variations according to the governing body.
3. Techniques Allowed Or Permitted
Moreover, the two forms of Martial Arts also differ in the techniques and stances allowed.
- Time Of Clinch
The clinching time in Sanda is only 5 seconds before executing any throw. However, in Muay Thai, clinch fighting is a major tactic used.
- Limited Throws
In Muay Thai, there are only a limited number of throws and takedowns. In contrast to it, there are a lot more variations practiced in Sanda.
The Popularity of Muay Thai can be well judged by considering the fact that it is a combat sport that is included in Olympics. Moreover, MMA fighters practice Muay Thai in their core training too.
However, Chinese boxing is not so famous. It is only known in China. However, practitioners from Russia, Turkey, and Iran come to China to participate in tournaments.
For Muay Thai heavy bag workout, we used a longer bag as compared to the heavy bags used by a Chinese boxer. The boxing bags for Chinese are comparatively much smaller since the last part of the body you can hit is the lower torso.
So, you can practice Chinese boxing on Muay Thai heavy bag, but not the other way around.
Chinese Martial Arts vs MMA Fighter
When comparing head-on-head a practitioner of Sanda boxing with an MMA fighter who practices Muay Thai, there is an obvious win-win situation for Muay Thai fighters due to their grip on more techniques.
They know how to clinch and how to decrease the distance using kicks and throws, which a Chinese boxer is unaware of.
Chinese Boxing vs Muay Thai- Which One is More Effective for Self Defense
When considering real-life situations like being stuck in a fight, where you need to apply tricks for self-defense, Muay Thai is far more effective than Chinese boxing.
In real-life situations, you don’t have to follow any rules. You are just aiming to protect yourself.
So, the Chinese boxing style can’t work there since you have fewer tricks and stances To rely on. If you limit self-defense to boxing only, you are missing nearly 80 percent of the arsenal.
In Muay Thai, you learn to strike with knees, punches, and elbows. You learn grappling. In short, it is best for hand-to-hand self-defense.
So, it’s better to learn Muay Thai for self-defense.
Chinese Boxing vs Muay Thai- Which One is Harder On Body
Muay Thai is harder on the body as compared to Chinese kickboxing as you hit or throw punches without using padded gloves.
As a result, it permanently damages your joints, knees, and even the cartilage of your hips and ankles.
Apart from that, in both Muay Thai and Chinese boxing, the opponent aims at hitting the head. So, there are chances of severe head injuries.
Is Muay Thai Hard to Learn Or Boxing?
Both forms of Martial Arts are difficult to learn in their respective ways. Boxing is harder to learn as you need to perfect how to use your hands for striking.
But in Muay Thai, you need to be even more attentive and alert. The training has more impact on your body. You learn to throw punches and elbow throws bare knuckles.
Yes, in Muay Thai, there are some stages in which you aren’t allowed to wear hand gloves for protection. So, there are far more devastating effects.
However, in Muay Thai, it is the impact on the body that is difficult to absorb, and not the training.
The training of Muay Thai is less technical, as the main focus is only on the difficult blocking strikes.
But in Chinese boxing, you use more evasion techniques like technical footwork, the movement of hands and head, and effective distance management.
Chinese boxing vs Muay Thai- The Injury Rate
Surprisingly, the injury rates of practitioners of Chinese boxing and Muay Thai are totally different from what we thought.
Where Muay Thai is more complex and involves difficult moves, its injury rate is far less than that of Chinese boxing. The injury rate of Muay Thai is only 7 percent, while that of Chinese boxing is 68 percent.
Chinese Boxing vs Muay Thai-Better for Street Fight
In a street fight, you don’t have to follow or fight under some set rules and regulations. For example, in most cases, you are stuck between a group of people.
In such cases, you can’t rely on a few kicks and punches. You need to have a firm grip on various tricky kicks that you can easily apply or execute in any situation.
Therefore, it is wise enough to learn Muay Thai techniques for applying in street fights.
Conclusion-One Last Word!
There is no second thought that both forms of Martial arts are very effective and useful. Each has its own pros that make them ideal in either situation.
However, if you are concerned with Chinese boxing vs Muay Thai- which one is more effective, no one can beat Muay Thai. Apart from techniques and stances, the Muay Thai fighters follow a proper Muay Thai diet too to gain maximum benefit and become as strong as possible.
And with this, our promise of making you up with details of the two martial arts comes to an end.
Now it’s up to you which one you want to learn!
Chris Bent is a professional MMA Trainer who has expertise in both Martial Arts and Karate and he loves to teach Men, Women and Kids.