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Is Western Boxing Good For Muay Thai?


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Hi everyone. What do you think about dedicating a part of the training to western boxing? When I train on my own muay thai skills on the heavy bag I always split every type of shot. For example I do 20 minutes only roundhouse kicks, 20 minutes teeps, 20 minutes knees and elbows. I prefer to do like that due to a better focus on every single shot. I think Boxing is usually underrated and undertrained in muay thai. So do you think that making some boxing lessons would be good? Of course you can't do everything you do in a boxing fight like weaving, but I think punches would become better right?

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I've been wondering about this... I feel like my boxing skills are pretty weak so would like to do more boxing, but as I already struggle keeping my stance wide and have been working on this a lot I'm worried that i would let it slip...

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Western boxing has been influencing Muay Thai from the modern beginning. We tend to think of Muay Thai as "pure", but the very first permanent ring in Bangkok in the early 1900s featured western boxing, and there has been western boxing in Rajadamnern and Lumpinee stadia from the start. They are of course two different arts, but Thais don't seem to see them as contradictory. Samart Payakaroon, who some consider the best Muay Thai fighter of recent eras, was also a WBC boxing champion.

But there are schools and styles of boxing, and some may be less conducive to Muay Thai than others.

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Hi everyone. What do you think about dedicating a part of the training to western boxing? When I train on my own muay thai skills on the heavy bag I always split every type of shot. For example I do 20 minutes only roundhouse kicks, 20 minutes teeps, 20 minutes knees and elbows. I prefer to do like that due to a better focus on every single shot. I think Boxing is usually underrated and undertrained in muay thai. So do you think that making some boxing lessons would be good? Of course you can't do everything you do in a boxing fight like weaving, but I think punches would become better right?

I've done some boxing training and it has always been beneficial for me. There are some major differences between western boxing and Muay Thai, but it's mainly in hip position and the boxer's "crouch" versus the Muay Thai "c" shape. You can't check kicks with your legs from a full-boxer position and you can't sit down in your punches the same way boxers do when you're in a Muay Thai stance. But as long as you can figure out how to switch between them for what you're working on, it should all be very good.

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The ranges and timing for hands change when used in the two arts! 

Knowing when you're vulnerable to being kicked is an important step to learning how to punch in kb/mt. Even the great Sagat was often disrupted when he goes into punching mode -- of course though, he was facing some of the greatest kickers in history. 

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The ranges and timing for hands change when used in the two arts! 

Knowing when you're vulnerable to being kicked is an important step to learning how to punch in kb/mt. Even the great Sagat was often disrupted when he goes into punching mode -- of course though, he was facing some of the greatest kickers in history.

 

Thanks everyone for replies!!

 

My boxing coach don't know anything about muay thai but he was a great boxing champ, soo technichal... he saw Giorgio Petrosyan fighting and told that when he wants to do a boxing action he becomes a perfect boxer, his elbows protect his body, legs are bent (or flexed, I don't know the right term lol) and he moves like a boxer... of course in k1/kickboxing you don't get kneed or elbowed as much as in Muay Thai but do you think he's right? So if you want to do a boxing action you have to change your style temporarily?

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his elbows protect his body, legs are bent (or flexed, I don't know the right term lol)...

 

This is a major difference between western boxing habits, and Muay Thai (at least the Muay Thai of Thailand). In boxing it is very common to protect the body with the elbows and forearms. You aren't protecting against elbows at closer range so your guard can be lower, for one thing, and a crouch can be advantageous in boxing for many reasons, both offensively and defensively. Lots of westerns come to Thailand and favor this habit. But in Muay Thai the body is mostly protected directly by the knees and shins, and the guard stays higher. It's a very different defensive posture.

This is related to some degree also to the hips. One of the biggest challenges I think for a westerner in Thailand is learning how to push the hips forward as part of defensive maneuvers, especially, at closer range. This goes against a lot of western instincts which basically are inclined to pull the groin back (to safety) and to hunch. It can make a bad habit in Muay Thai. One of the concerns of training boxing is getting comfortable with an ass-back defense.

There is a lot of variation in Muay Thai styles, so this isn't universal, but one of the biggest hurdles westerns have in Thailand is the orientation of the hips in both defense and attack. Thais learn early on that pushing the hips forward can be very advantageous and safe. Adding to the western bias towards the hunch is that Greco-Roman wrestling also can favor hip-back, ass-out positions (very different than most Thai clinch positions) so with western boxing and wrestling combined the tendency of the ass-back can get in the way of a lot of Thai Muay Thai techniques, at least at introductory levels. You need to be able to toggle the hips, out and in - you see Saenchai humorously do this in fights, and be prepared to use your shins defensively.

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A bit late to this, but my coach definitely tries to add a large part of western boxing to our training sessions every now and then, specifically with boxing combos and head movement as well as when working with angles. He says that the very traditional Thai style is to just stand directly in front of each other and sort of just trade back and forth rather than trying to cut and make angles.

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Thanks everyone for replies!!

 

My boxing coach don't know anything about muay thai but he was a great boxing champ, soo technichal... he saw Giorgio Petrosyan fighting and told that when he wants to do a boxing action he becomes a perfect boxer, his elbows protect his body, legs are bent (or flexed, I don't know the right term lol) and he moves like a boxer... of course in k1/kickboxing you don't get kneed or elbowed as much as in Muay Thai but do you think he's right? So if you want to do a boxing action you have to change your style temporarily?

you don't need to change it, it's just that you get advantages and disadvantages when you change it. 

The stance to punch combinations optimally is different from the stance to punch optimally combined with kicks and defending kicks. 

 

Petrosyan is a bit different as he's a southpaw so he can get away with a longer stance more so than someone who stands orthodox. 

 

Masato is another great example, soundedly outboxed Buakaw in their second fight, but also ate a lot of low kicks. It's often a trade off that some are willing to take. 

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A bit late to this, but my coach definitely tries to add a large part of western boxing to our training sessions every now and then, specifically with boxing combos and head movement as well as when working with angles. He says that the very traditional Thai style is to just stand directly in front of each other and sort of just trade back and forth rather than trying to cut and make angles.

I love this about Muay Thai in Thailand - like fighting fish. Float, float, float, explosion of movement and then float, float float. So beautiful. My first ever teacher, who is Thai, wanted me to be very agile and hop around a lot, mostly because I'm small but also some older styles sometimes have more movement like this (SOME); but I really love this stand-in-your-space aesthetic. It's the baddest-ass pissing contest in the world!

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  • 4 years later...

I've wondered about the angles v derning into them too. Thanks for the fighting fish comparison. Would you suggest that for clinchers? Or is some circling around ok?

And what are your thoughts on weaving and slipping punches. Im afraid of hook knee combo and the 12 rear head kick happening. Like justin gaethje v dustin porier fight. There are some ppl that are encouraging head movement in mma. 

In the vid he talks about the punch and knee happening on the same beat. And that it's easy to avoid. He also shows some film study of fighters using head movement a lot in fights. I'm still not convinced entirely cuz of feints. I'd appreciate all advice on this.

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