From Muay Thai to Boxing, Here’s a Primer on Which Martial Art Is Best for You


Clear your mind, Grasshopper.

Find out which combat discipline is right for you. Here is a quick primer on the basic genres of martial arts.

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Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA for short, is a full-contact mash-up of a number of different types of techniques—Muay Thai, kickboxing, wrestling, boxing, judo, karate, jiu-jitsu, and taekwondo. This style makes it perfect for any guy that has a short attention span, since they can easily work on a different skill set—grappling, striking, takedown—every single day. This style will get you fighting like Conor McGregor in no time.

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Muay Thai

The older, more kick-ass (pardon the pun) ancestor of the kickboxing we’re familiar with—thanks, Bloodsport and Idris Elba—Muay Thai allows fighters to hit with their knees and elbows, plus it incorporates upright grappling called “clinching.” With its small formalities—the bow to your trainer, the prefight wai khru, which is a ceremonial dance, the master-servant relationship between trainer and student—Muay Thai is great for guys who are looking for something more spiritual than the usual boxing workout.

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This is the fastest-paced of the disciplines—and, with no kicking, it makes it the easiest to learn. That’s why “type A personalities seem to do best with boxing,” says Ryan George, a New York-based personal trainer who also teaches Muay Thai at Coban’s Muay Thai Camp ( “Some people just want to get in there and punch the shit out of something.” 

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