Muay Thai vs BJJ

Muay Thai vs BJJ: Which One Is Better?

Should you start Muay Thai or Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Comparing Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not simple since they are so far off from each other. Both of them are one of the best options for what they do; Muay Thai at stand-up fighting, and BJJ in ground fighting.

But which one is better and which one should you choose?

In this post, we go through the differences between these two amazing martial arts and help you to decide, which one to choose. If I were to pick, I would do both, but if you only have time for one, I hope this post helps you to decide.

Let’s get started!

BJJ vs Muay Thai

BJJ and Muay Thai are two very different martial arts, so straight up comparing them is somewhat difficult. Both of them are one of the best martial arts in their own fields. Here are some key differences between the two:

  1. Focus
    • BJJ is primarily a grappling martial art that emphasizes techniques for taking opponents down to the ground and controlling them through submissions and positional dominance.
    • Muay Thai, on the other hand, is primarily a striking martial art that emphasizes punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to attack opponents from a standing position.
  2. Range
    • BJJ is effective at close range and on the ground, where practitioners can use their grappling skills to control and submit their opponents.
    • Muay Thai is effective at medium to close range, where practitioners can use their strikes and clinch work to damage opponents and set up takedowns.
  3. Training
    • BJJ training often involves sparring and rolling with partners to develop technical skills and timing.
    • Muay Thai training often involves pad work, bag work, and sparring to develop power, speed, and conditioning.
  4. Competition
    • BJJ competitions typically take place on a mat and involve grappling with an opponent to earn points or submit them.
    • Muay Thai competitions typically take place in a ring and involve striking with an opponent to earn points or knock them out.

Ultimately, which martial art is “better” depends on your personal goals, preferences, and circumstances.

If you’re interested in ground fighting and grappling, BJJ may be a better fit for you.

If you’re interested in striking and self-defense, Muay Thai may be a better fit. Both martial arts have their own unique benefits and can be effective in their own ways.

Is Muay Thai better than BJJ?

It’s not really appropriate to say whether Muay Thai is “better” than BJJ, as they are two very different martial arts with their own strengths and weaknesses. Both Muay Thai and BJJ have their own unique techniques, training methods, and strategies.

Muay Thai is a striking martial art that focuses on using punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to attack opponents from a standing position. It is often used in MMA and is known for its powerful strikes, effective clinch work, and conditioning.

BJJ, on the other hand, is a grappling martial art that focuses on taking an opponent to the ground and controlling them through techniques like joint locks and chokes. It is also used in MMA and is known for its effective ground fighting techniques and ability to neutralize an opponent’s strength.

Which is harder Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai?

According to my research, it takes somewhere around 5 to 15 years to become a professional in Muay Thai. However, since Muay Thai does not use the belt system as BJJ does, it is difficult to compare these two.

In BJJ, it takes on average 10 years to get the black belt. That would mean it is more difficult to master BJJ if it takes 5 years to become an expert in Muay Thai.

However, due to the complexity of Muay Thai and the lack of a belt system, I highly doubt anyone would really master Muay Thai in that amount of time.

Both of these martial arts require extreme physical and mental toughness to become experts. They are also really different, focusing on different aspects of fighting.

Therefore, I would say this one is a tie. BJJ and Muay Thai are both very difficult and time-consuming martial arts to master. If you just want to get a black belt as fast as possible, choose something faster like Karate.

Is Muay Thai or BJJ better for self-defense?

When it comes to self-defense and street fights, Muay Thai might be the better option, due to the ability to keep your distance from your opponent or opponents. However, it is not always that simple. BJJ brings that sweet ground-fighting aspect to the table, that Muay Thai is lacking.

If you only had to do one, I would still go with Muay Thai. Even though BJJ is great at keeping people still, using BJJ against more than one opponent will be really difficult.

Having multiple opponents is not ideal for any martial art, but Muay Thai helps you to keep your distance easier than BJJ.

Also, since BJJ focuses on taking the fights to the ground, that is not an ideal place in the streets. You might get your back seriously injured if you have to fight against the hard ground.

Which one should you choose: Muay Thai or BJJ?

Back to the original question of which you should start practicing, Muay Thai or Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

There is no simple answer, but a few questions you should answer.

First of all, do you prefer more striking, kicking, and straightforward martial art? That is what Muay Thai brings to the table.

The downside is that Muay Thai can be physically really challenging, especially if you are sparring a lot. The risk of getting a black eye to work the next day might be significantly higher, compared to BJJ.

BJJ on the other hand is in my opinion a more gentle option. Even though it has its own set of risks of getting an elbow to the face or breaking a finger, it might be more unlikely, depending on your training style.

On top of that, one thing to consider is the availability of BJJ and Muay Thai gyms where you live. That can be a big factor if there are limited martial art training places around you.

Read also: How to choose the best BJJ gym?

The question really is, do you prefer to kick and punch, or choke people out?

Final thoughts

In conclusion, BJJ and Muay Thai are both really effective martial arts, and one of the best options in each category.

Muay Thai is considered to be one of the best stand-up martial arts, whereas BJJ is one of the best grappling ones.

No matter which one you choose, I’m sure you will get a lot out of it.

I hope this was helpful, good luck with your training journey!

About The Author