Be it Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai, both are fighting styles popularly used in MMA. Muay Thai is among the most effective stand-up striking martial art, whereas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is the most dominant grappling martial art.
Jiu-jitsu and muay both complement each other when fighting, but many differences exist. So, Jiu-Jitsu vs Muay Thai, which one is better for self-defense?
Muay Thai is known as the most effective stand-up striking martial art, whereas Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is the most effective grappling martial art. Muay Thai is more effective in situations where you have a smaller, weaker, and heavier opponent (Or even multiple opponents). You don’t want to exchange strikes with a bigger, stronger opponent in street fights without a referee.
These two may not be the martial arts in the world but are popularly used. However, many people think that if they complement each other, there may be similarities, but many things will get clear once you understand the differences.
A Brief Overview of Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (in Portuguese: jiu-jitsu Brasileiro), also often referred to as BJJ) is a martial art and a sport based on ground fighting, grappling, and submission holds.
BJJ focuses on controlling your opponents to gain a dominant position and using several specialized techniques to push the opponents into submission via joint locks or chokeholds.
A Brief Overview Of Muay Thai
Originated from Thailand, Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย) is generally considered the most aggressive striking style worldwide. It is a full-contact discipline known as the “art of eight limbs” and relies heavily on fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
Muay Thai is highly effective in a street fight situation. With its devastating kicks against an opponent, Muay Thai can be potentially life-threatening.
Differences Between Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai
- BJJ is a ground-fighting grappling sport that focuses on locks, chokes, and holds, whereas Muay Thai is a striking stand-up sport that uses punches, knees, kicks, elbows, and clinching.
- Jiu-jitsu and muay Thai may have two of the most popular martial arts globally, but they have many differences. It falls under the same category but can be used for different purposes.
- Jiu-jitsu is mainly used to knock out the opponent by tapping out. It is a grappling technique in the aspect of fighting. Jiu-jitsu is used to let the guard down of your opponent and make sure that they give up.
- Jiu-jitsu is a form of martial arts, but there is no actual tactic that one can decide to use beforehand. It depends on the athlete to wait for the right moment, dive with all the grappling, and bring the opponent down.
- On the other hand, Muay Thai is a striking technique that originated in Thailand. Unlike Jiu-jitsu, in Muay Thai, the main objective is to knock your opponent. In Muay Thai, you can use elbows, kicks, and knees to bring the opponent down.
How Can Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai Be Used Together?
A fighter can use Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai in a fight to bring his opponent down. But there is a time when you can only use one of them. This is because so many fighters use a combination of these to use against the opponent.
Most fighters first use Muay Thai to confuse the opponent with all the kicks. Then, with all the striking going on, it takes a minute for the opponent to get everything back on track. And this one minute is enough for any professional fighter to grab the opponent and put him down.
The training of any martial arts requires a person to be patient and focus on the opponent’s movements. Learn all the techniques but use them when you see the right moment. For example, using Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu through the competition without a game plan would be useless.
Other than MMA, these martial arts forms can be used for various purposes. For example, many people learn Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai for fitness and self-defense. Therefore, many people get confused about which one they should learn.
Jiu-Jitsu vs. Muay Thai: Which One Is Better for Fitness?
Muay Thai is great for fitness because you move your whole body when striking. It will also push you past your limits mentally and physically. On the other hand, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also improvises fitness, particularly during roll sessions; however, with Jiu-Jitsu, you need a stronger partner to get an intense workout.
Every martial art exists for some purpose. Martial art’s goal was never to use it for fighting but mainly for its health benefits and fitness gains. Yes, undoubtedly, you can use martial arts for fighting purposes, but if you are not a professional fighter there, it is still vital to learn.
If you are a fitness freak and always looking to improve yourself in every way possible, you work on martial arts. Bodybuilding and yoga may help you but to an extent. But after that, you need some traditional methods that have been followed for centuries.
Many people get confused about learning Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai to improve their fitness and body. However, Muay Thai is the best option among these two for fitness purposes. No doubt, Jiu-Jitsu is also good, but Muay Thai has its benefits for fitness learning.
Benefits Of Muay Thai For Fitness
Getting trained for Muay Thai for fitness has some remarkable benefits that you can enjoy. Make sure to understand each benefit to know how you will improve your fitness by Muay Thai. Mentioned below is a list of benefits.
- Better body balance
- Improved power
- Advanced cardiovascular endurance
- Keeps you lean
- Better standing-based approach
- An efficient method to lose weight and burn weight
- Improves flexibility and core
If you are a fitness freak, you would know the importance and impact these benefits can have on your fitness. Your body and Muay Thai provide strength to your spirit and mind.
Pros Of Learning BJJ
There are many pros you can enjoy by learning Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense. Mentioned below is a list that can help you understand better.
- It helps learn the target’s movements.
- Provides efficiency is fighting
- It helps improve strength and focus
- Let’s you work on muscular endurance
- You need power for self-defense
- It helps you use your body and power as leverage against others
- Perfect for a street fight
- It helps neutralize your opponent
- Easily overcome the threat of a bigger opponent
Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai: Which One Is Better For Self-Defense
If your opponent is a better kicker and puncher, one good shot and you go down. BJJ is one of the best empty-hand self-defense martial arts because it assumes that your aggressor on the street is bigger, stronger, and heavier than you are.
Even though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is effective, it might not always be in self-defense. Furthermore, Brazilian jiu-jitsu takedowns can be risky when a concrete floor is involved for you and your attacker. If he lands wrong on concrete, there is a real chance you could hurt yourself and your opponent. Overall, Muay Thai guys are hazardous; don’t mess with them.
In addition, most real-life fights happen standing making Muay Thai the best choice for self-defense. Because Muay Thai practitioners use “the art of eight limbs”, Muay Thai is extremely effective for competition and self-defense.
For self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu is the perfect option to consider. One can use Jiu-Jitsu may be a close combat tactic, but that is the best one you can use for self-defense. For self-defense, rather than fighting the threat with kicks and elbows, it is a better option to bring it down.
You never know what type of weapon the other person may have. Therefore, if you consider Muay Thai for self-defense, you need to be at a certain distance for kicks and other hits. And the other person can take advantage of this distance and seriously hurt you.
It would be better to use Jiu-Jitsu, grab the opponent and bring him down. Then, once the threat is down, you can take the weapons and do what would be necessary.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai?
Learning the history and fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai can take you up to 6 months. And then comes the advanced training and the time of that depends on the person. A dedicated and passionate person can be trained in a year, and for some, it can take up to many years.
Skills like Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu require a person to be consistent and dedicated to art. You can’t learn it properly if you aren’t consistent or serious about it.
These skills also require you to be patient and be in the right mental state, which can affect that a lot. So it wouldn’t want you to be in depression or any other stress during your training.
Before your training, it is essential to be aware of the history of Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. With history comes the fundamentals that one should be aware of and understand properly. Without grasping the fundamentals, you won’t be able to gain proper knowledge.
Therefore, you need to be having a diehard passion for martial arts to be successful.
Is Muay Thai Good In a Street Fight?
Muay Thai is highly effective in MMA, where fighting comes the closest to a real street fight. Muay Thai practitioners use punches and kicks but also the elbows and knees to hurt an opponent.
Muay Thai teaches you how to use eight limbs to defeat your opponent. Even though Muay Thai training is demanding and challenging, it will equip you with the necessary skills to need to succeed in a street fight.
Muay Thai is great for MMA and street fights as it teaches you a fundamental striking with the ability to strike from a far distance. In addition, Muay Thai improves physical and mental strength and will transform you into a lethal weapon.
Because most street fights start standing, Muay Thai is more effective than Jiu-Jitsu. However, in Jiu-Jitsu, you can control a bigger opponent once the fight gets to the ground.
Muay Thai will teach you patience and endurance, which are essential during street fights. Muay Thai mostly focuses on waiting for the right moment to attack, which can prove crucial in a tight spot.
The downside of Muay Thai’s self-defense is that it doesn’t include ground movements, which can be tricky in an actual fight.
Tips For Choosing Between Muay Thai and BJJ
- Evaluate your goals and pick the one that will help you reach your goals. If your goal is to be in shape and stay fit, avoid a gym that focuses exclusively on competition training.
- What are your strengths? If you have a Judo background, BJJ will be great for you. And if you have an experience in boxing, Muay Thai will prove complementary and easier for you.
- Start with a trial class. Most gyms offer free trial classes for beginners. Attend both training and see which one feels right to you.
Which Is Harder, Muay Thai or BJJ?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the easier martial art to learn, particularly for self-defense purposes, as it contains self-defense techniques for standing up and standing on the ground. Generally, the self-defense techniques taught in Muay Thai are for stand-up only.
No doubt, martial art is the best way to learn self-defense in recent times. However, you have to be always prepared and train harder, as you never know when a threat may approach. At this time, there are many techniques to learn for self-defense that might confuse you.
Most people are aware of Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai due to their use in MMA. Therefore, many people consider learning these two forms for self-defense, but one of them has higher benefits than the other.
This was the complete guide on Jiu-Jitsu vs. Muay Thai. We hope you have gained an immense knowledge of the differences between these two forms of martial arts that you can use anytime.
I suggest you try both a month to discover which fits you best, depending on the instructor, practitioners, environment, and schedule.