Difference Between Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do

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    Martial arts includes a variety of fighting techniques. Two of the most practiced martial arts techniques would be Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do. These two are completely different in terms of style and approach in attack. Muay Thai is a sport that originated from Thailand. It made use of a stand-up striking that involves clinching techniques. It is the same with the form styles of the Indochinese, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. As a matter of fact, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. The origin of its name came from the Sanskrit “mavya” and the “Tai” from “Thai.” In translation, it is the “Art of Eight Limbs.” It is also coined as the “Science of Eight Limbs.” A fighter would have to use several punches, kicks, and elbow and knee strikes. All in all, a fighter has to hit the eight points of contact. There’s more to the fist punch and feet kicks. A fighter of Muay Thai is called a nak muay. Taek Won Do is a natural sport of South Korea. One would have to strike or break with a fist. It is the art of the foot and fist. One has to perfect the art of kicking and punching.

    Both have different histories to share, too. Muay Thai is a combination of several regional muays. It involves Muay Chaiya, Muay Tarsao, Muay Korat, Muay Jearng and Muay Boran. Muay Boran was believed to be used by Siamese soldiers after they lost their weapons in the battle. In the long run, the Muay Boran had been used as a practical fighting approach. Eventually, muay became a sport used to entertain spectators. Muay Thai is even held in most local festivals and celebrations. As for Tae Kwon Do, it is considered as the oldest Korean martial art. It was created by three Korean Kingdoms, namely, Goguryeo, Silla, and Baekje. This martial art technique was used to train young men for unarmed combat technique. It helped develop speed, strength, agility, and survival skills. Those young men that were trained were called Hwarang. They were the new special warrior corps. In 1959, the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association was created to help unify and create a single Tae Kwon Do teaching approach. There are only two martial arts that have been included in the Olympic Games, and one would be Tae Kwon Do.

    Muay Thai’s technique is divided into two types, namely, Mae Mai and Luk Mai. In this technique, two opponents have to exchange blows with one another. One has to punch in a long circular strike with a straight arm. He has to hit and land with the heel of the palm. To avoid the attacker’s head, one has to strike from below or the knees. The elbow can hit horizontally, diagonally upwards, uppercut, downward, or backward-spinning. It can be the finishing move to cut the eyebrow of the opponent. The fighter can kick in two ways. It can be through a foot jab or a method of kicking upwards like the shape of a triangle making its way under the arm and ribs. Tae Kwon Do’s focus is the kicking techniques. The key is to use the leg as the strongest and longest weapon for a martial artist. Tae Kwon Do will have to be done with bare feet although there are special training shoes available. Aside from kicks, a person has to perfect his stance. He should be able to do an attention stance by standing upright with the legs side by side. The hand attacks must be perfected too. It could be the closed hand strike and the open hand approach. Hand strikes should be fast so it can leave an opponent stunned and won’t he be able to defend himself.


    1. Muay Thai originated from Thailand while Tae Kwon Do started from South Korea.
    2. Both sports are culturally inclined.
    3. Tae Kwon Do focuses on the kicking techniques while Muay Thai centers on exchanging blows with one another.

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