While Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai share common goals of defense and mastery, they’ve got just as many similarities as sparring partners with contrasting personalities.
With each being uniquely different and special in its own way, we here at felt Rogue felt it pertinent to dissect each and discuss key differences and commonalities.
What is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-Jitsu or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts and combat sports that focuses specifically on ground fighting and submission/joint holds that leverage angles, timing and pressure. This is unique to other forms of martial arts in that you’re not focusing on punching, striking or kicking, but rather getting your opponent to the ground and pinning him.
What makes Jiu-Jitsu appealing for many people is that physique isn’t always a component, which is why smaller and weaker fighters can defend themselves and take advantage with grappling and ground control to force the opponent to the floor.
When you’re ready for competition, scoring can be a bit difficult to grasp, but once you know the position or maneuver, it is easy to identify and add up the points. The six main techniques and their point values are:
- Takedown2 points
- Sweep2 points
- Knee to stomach2 points
- Guard passing3 points
- Mounting4 points
- Back grab/control4 points
Jiu-Jitsu is excellent in a number of different respects including, gaining a whole new group of friends and expanding your situational awareness. This is a great group of enthusiasts, who like you are looking to grow. And, as you participate in formal and informal matches, you can learn the art of anticipating opponents' attack moves as well as planning and executing your own.
What is Muay Thai?
Sometimes referred to as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is a stand-up form of combat sport where striking your opponent by any means possible is required. Whether you’re using your elbows, knees, feet or fists, making strong contact is the name of the game.
For those that are thinking that this is an expanded version of kickboxing, you’re mostly correct, however, when you understand that it is known as the ‘art of the 8 limbs’ you can see how much more of your body is involved and the disciple it takes to not only plant a strike but also defend yourself. This is especially important when one of the means by which you win is a knockout of your opponent.
Scoring is very different in Muay Thai than in any other martial arts as a person is judged on their techniques, offensive and defensive capabilities in each round. Judges give 10 points to the fighter they thought dominated the round, and then give 9, 8 or 7 points to the other fighter depending on their execution. If both do very well, 10 points can be awarded to both. There are a total of 5 rounds, 3 minutes per round with 2-minute breaks in between.
Things that judges are looking for in each round include:
- Effective strikes
- Ring control or dominance
If you watch a few fights you’ll get the jist of it really quickly and see when an opponent loses his balance, is forced to back away or you see a kick or punch that lands without any defense, that unsteady fighter is not going to score too well in that round.
What makes Muay Thai so difficult is the fact that it is a whole-body sport which requires extreme workouts and practices. Get ready to embrace the mantra of “No pain, no gain!” as you learn more about yourself and your own capabilities.
Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai
As mentioned above, there are several benefits that come with learning either or both performances. These can range from becoming part of a new community as you’re practicing and participating in matches, as well as broadening your grasp at new techniques of fighting.
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