Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Muay Thai: Which One is For You?

Martial arts are an excellent form of physical and mental exercise. Practicing martial arts is a great way to build physical strength and stamina while simultaneously building mental discipline, focus, and confidence. Two highly popular forms of this practice are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay thai.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

            Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a combat art that is focused on grappling and bringing your opponent to the ground. Rather than focus on strike-based combat like kicking or punching, BJJ is based on the idea that one can gain a dominant position over their opponent through use of joint locks, choke holds, and the use of leverage and body mass to redirect an opponent’s motion. Rather than pummeling an opponent into submission, a BJJ practitioner focuses on ground fighting. Once an opponent has been taken to ground with a tackle or a sweep, the BJJ fighter will grapple with them until the opponent is physically restrained and has no option but to surrender or submit.

Unique Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The first benefit of learning jiu jitsu is that it is a reliable form of real-world combat art. When you learn jiu jitsu, you will begin by learning the basic maneuvers such as guards, full mounts, and side mounts. These techniques are potentially useful in the unlikely event that you ever find yourself in a real fight. Many physical altercations end on the ground, where opponents end up grappling for a dominant position. This is the main crux of BJJ! Someone skilled in jiu jitsu has an excellent chance of grappling an opponent, even a larger opponent, to the ground and into submission.

Apart from learning applicable combat skills, BJJ is a phenomenal physical workout. When you take jiu jitsu classes, you will spend your time practicing combat techniques with other students. These techniques provide an excellent physical workout, and because they focus on real motions, they work muscle groups that traditional workouts may miss. Not only will you get a great muscle workout when you learn jiu jitsu, you will also get a solid cardio workout. This combination makes BJJ one of the best ways to get exercise and to learn applicable fighting techniques.

Muay Thai

            While Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling art, Muay Thai focuses more on striking your opponents. It is sometimes referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” as it focuses on using all available body surfaces to strike one’s opponent, not just one’s fists or feet. A Muay Thai fighter will use their fists plus elbows, knees, and shins to strike at their opponent. Traditional fist-punching motions such as jabs and haymakers are used in Muay Thai but tend not to be the main focus of the combat, as these actions may leave a combatant open to a counterstrike from their opponent’s knees, elbows, or feet.

Muay Thai fighters use their elbows extensively during combat. Elbow strikes, blocks, thrusts, and slashes can be devastatingly effective, especially at close range. Use of the elbow often incorporates use of the shoulders and hips to bring more rotational force into the strike; indeed, elbow strikes are considered one of the more dangerous moves in Muay Thai. They do, however, leave fighters open to knee strikes or foot strikes that can push them off-balance.

Unique Benefits of Muay Thai

            Muay Thai is a form of fighting that is designed to be straightforward and effective. Learning Muay Thai is a fantastic way to get in shape. Training for Muay Thai is an intensive process that involves cardio exercise as well as strength-building and a focus on body mechanics and coordination. This mixed training helps you burn fat and build strength. Not only is Muay Thai good for your body, it is good for your mind. Muay Thai training can be highly demanding physically, and it requires a certain degree of mental toughness to push one’s body in the way that Muay Thai training does. When you decide to learn Muay Thai, you can expect to be challenged in new ways that will benefit you both in terms of your physical and mental health.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay thai: Benefits of Combined Training

            BJJ and Muay Thai are very different combat arts. As we’ve learned, one focuses on grappling and ground combat while the other focuses on standing strikes with the hands, knees, elbows, shins, and feet. Doesn’t this difference make it hard to train both?

            On the contrary! Because these arts are so different from one another, they complement each other perfectly. For instance, if one was trying to learn Muay Thai and Taekwondo, it would be easy to mistakenly mix forms or strikes, or to make other mistakes. Similar errors could be made if one was to mix BJJ training with another martial art.

Braziliain Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai are a perfect training combination whether you are looking to become a well-rounded MMA fighter or just seeking physical conditioning and the capability to defend yourself. Muay Thai, a standing and striking sport designed to bring an opponent to the ground, combines perfectly with jiu jitsu: one could knock an attacker to the ground and grapple them into submission with little difficulty.But couldn’t you just use BJJ to defend yourself? Does Muay Thai add value to your self defense? The answer is that Muay Thai absolutely complements BJJ. When you learn jiu jitsu, you learn grappling and domination techniques, but you don’t really learn anything about taking or delivering strikes. You might be an expert at grappling someone into a hold, but that does you little good when they punch you in the face. On the other hand, learning Muay Thai will teach you how to effectively block strikes as well as how to deliver them effectively to bring an opponent to ground – which is where your BJJ skills will come into play. Indeed, it seems that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai are perfect complements to one another. If you want to get in shape, learn to defend yourself, or even pursue MMA fighting as a hobby, learning these two martial arts together is one of the best ways you can get started.