4- I AM CONFUSED: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MUAY THAI, KICKBOXING, TAE-KWON- DO, TAE-BO AND THAI BOX?
Kickboxing is a modern contact sport from the early 60s, a mix of western boxing with karate-type kicks above the waist only using safety pads (American style kickboxing) or with low kicks, without safety pads (European and Japanese style kickboxing).
Tae-Kwon-Do is a Korean martial art and an Olympic Sport with lots of high kicks, specially spinning and jumping kicks.
Tae-Bo is an even more recent American creation, mixing Tae-Kwon-Do type kicks, western boxing punches and up-beat music for a purely fitness workout!
Thai-Box is a mix of some very basic “Thai” boxing moves with “ western boxing”, and dance music, again mostly for an aerobic-type fitness workout! Not sure who created it!
Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) has nothing to do with the above mentioned “kick-punch” workouts and martial arts.
Real Muay Thai is a powerful yet beautiful and ancient martial art and an exciting full contact sport, which originated in Thailand centuries ago!
Muay Thai uses the strongest bones of the human body: the fists, elbows, knees, and shins effectively for defense and/or offense!
Traditionally, for self-defense purposes or in times of war, any part of the opponent or enemy’s body was and still is a fair target! But for a safe competition and the true spirit of sport, there are rules! However, whether for sport or for self-defense, real Muay Thai is deeply rooted in ancient Thai traditions and Thai Buddhism! Among other things, before a bout, all fighters must perform a traditional, sacred dance of respect to honor teachers and past masters and show loyalty to their school and prevent fighters and their opponents form serious injury!
As with other traditional martial arts, real Muay Thai is not only about becoming stronger or a champion…but also becoming a wiser and a better person.
Due to its effectiveness and popularity many people including other martial arts instructors are adding some of the basic Muay Thai techniques and training methods to their own styles and fitness workout routines! But in real Muay Thai there are many levels of techniques, from basic to advanced and later to traditional ancient Thai boxing (Muay Boran) techniques, without gloves!
Muay Thai is a complex and much more complete system of boxing than most people imagine. One has to be patient and perseverant to go through all the levels of learning and to truly understand its inner beauty and power.
By learning real, authentic Muay Thai, you’ll not only get in great shape, but you’ll also learn a useful skill, improve your confidence and start a new journey of discovery!
Nowadays, just like western boxing, anyone can learn Muay Thai and practice it safely for self-defense, fitness or for competition (amateur and professional).
How far you want to go is up to you!