PUNCHES IN MUAY THAI and BOXING, the differences
by Alex Vidoni
Often students get confused about punching techniques, especially when they train in both disciplines or they had previous coaches who adopted a western boxing style in their way to teach muay thai.
Western boxing is totally different to fighting Thai. Stance, hand position and body movement, all changes. As a result, punching mechanics change significantly too.
Below is a link of a Seminar of one of the best Muay Thai coaches from a gym in Bangkok. Their fight style is caracterised by very strong boxing but, as you will notice from the video, the difference between the traditional western boxing and the Thai style of punching is quite noticable. Here below are the main differences:
-Punches most of the times are very long in the first place. Traditional boxing often uses short and compact punching combos while in muay thai when the two fighters are close to each other, it’s more effective to get into the clinch or use elbow techniques.
-Very little foot pivoting, even with the hooks.
-Turning the knuckles inward for hooks while traditional boxing often has knuckled in vertical position.
-In western boxing having an active head movent is fundamental to avoid getting hit, for muay thai fighters it can be dangerous to have too much upper body movement, not only because you can run into knees etc but also weakens your defence against kicks.
In saying all this we have to understand that this is just a general idea.
There are exceptions obviously. A lot of boxers, especially in modern boxing, use long punches and long guard too while some of the thai boxers adopt a more compact western style of punching.