T Nation

Muay Thai vs. Tae Kwon Do


I am currently doing jiu jitsu, i have been for about 6 months now. great sport. love it. i am looking into either muay thai or taekwondo. Which do you guys think would benefit me more and is more practical.


For what purpose?

If you're looking to get into competitive TKD, compete in the olympics, or just develop great flexibility in your hips, then TKD is the way to go.

If you're looking to get into MMA, kickboxing/k-1, or be able to defend yourself, I'd say that Muay Thai is generally the better option.


I'm bias....obviously

But like Sentoguy explained...its all about what you're looking to accomplish with it.

Explore both and see what you like best and fits your need. But never, never......NEVER, ever, ever, ever spawn or participate in a discussion about which is superior. They are both awesome in their awesomeness.


Most TKD sucks as a martial art. Most schools market crap to parents as a way to make kids feel good about themselves. They invented the McDojo. Most schools don't spar at any reasonable level of realism or intensity (rotfl at Olympic TKD rules). I could go on. Some people find it fun and they do develop great flexibility.

Muay Thai. Well, MT is everything TKD is not.

It's just reality -- don't buy into this nonjudgmental crap.

There are exceptions, like anything, but TKD mostly sucks.


TKD is mostly taught/built around being a sport. It only works efficiently if the other person is going to fight the same style.

Muay Thai is much more practical in an actual no-rules fight or MMA fight.


I think the best example of a Muay Thai MMA fighter was Vanderei Silva.

I recommend taking TKD just because I have not seen any good MMA fighters who take TKD.

Just like Machida elevated karate, you too can elevate TKD.



TKD was not built on being a sport, it was built on being a form of self-defense. You should try both styles out and see which one you like best. Each has it's own great advantages.


Anderson Silva studied TKD I believe.


Cung Le?


Cung Le mainly used (uses I guess) that spinning back kick though. He's not really into the head kick flashy stuff.


isn't that a tkd kick




Hmm...I don't know about Wanderlei...I've never seen his "style" as Muay Thai except for clinch knees. Of course nobody has a pure,traditional Muay Thai style in MMA....only aspects from it.

Anderson and Wanderlei have adapted aspects of Muay Thai very well for MMA....as well as Thiago Alves. As for someone that uses a more traditional Thai stance,movement,etc in MMA...I would go with Donald Cerrone.


Also...I'm sure there are some MMA fighters who at one time where heavy into TKD....and use some aspects. But the closest I've every seen to anyone with a heavy TKD base in anything close to MMA was the "Turkish Samurai" Yilmaz in K-1.


He did sanshou but his throws are from his Greco Roman base and his kicks are from TKD where he has a black belt.


I see this posted relatively often and I feel the need to correct it. Yes, Cung Le originally obtained a black belt in TKD (like thousands of other kids), but his hybrid wrestling/striking style is primarily San Shou. He uses a squared stance and a modified sidekick (no jump or shuffle), neither of which are found in TKD. It's true that he does add in several TKD components, but he's not a good representative of a TKD fighter.

I train with several former members of the US Sanshou team (which Cung Le was part of). I've also trained with several of Cung Le's past opponents. The type of training they do is not similar to TKD and is more similar to Muay Thai than anything else.


I don't think anybody meant he was a pure TKD guy just that you can see flashed of it in his fighting and that he's probably the best representative of TKD in mma.


Anyone here doing Krav Maga? I've been doing it for few months and from a self-defense / real world fight scenario I don't think anything stands up to it.


Hi I'm a TKD blackbelt and train MMA, BJJ and TKD.

Go to the Muay Thai place. Seriously.


Thank you everyone for the input. Carlos why the Muay Thai place?