Another battle of “Which Martial Art is Better.” If only simple questions could be solved with simple answers. However, this can’t easily be solved with a simple answer because both styles are effective in their own ways. Everyone in the Martial Arts world knows that Muay Thai is great for striking and clinching, while also being aware of how dominating Jiu Jitsu is on the ground.
So the main question is.. Which style is more effective? Muay Thai Or Jiu Jitsu? Luckily for you, we’re going to take an in-depth look at both Martial Arts and try to decide which one is better. Remember, this article isn’t to steer you away from Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu, however it’s useful to see the advantages and disadvantages of both martial arts.
Both of these Martial Arts are great for self-defense and real-life situations like street fights. However what about for MMA and professional cage fighting? Many MMA fighters specialize in a specific Martial Art, however they really need to know both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to become a well-rounded fighter. I believe both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu have their pros and cons, so let’s talk about them..
Muay Thai Vs Jiu Jitsu
Ahh.. The old “Muay Thai Vs Jiu Jitsu” debate.. This battle has been going on ever since fighters stepped foot in the octagon. Not only the physical battle of Muay Thai vs Jiu Jitsu fighters, but also the battle of words “which one is better?” For the record, I believe both are completely necessary for fighters who want to be well-rounded. However, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu styles.
Muay Thai is useful because it’s a fighting style that is deadly on the feet. Every fight starts standing up (well mostly every fight), which means someone who is proficient in Muay Thai has the advantage right away. The best Muay Thai fighters in MMA are able to use the benefit of range and separation from their opponents. Throwing kicks can be very effective for Muay Thai fighters, especially against Boxers. However, throwing kicks against someone who is a Jiu Jitsu fighter is dangerous because it gives them the opportunity to take you down.
Jiu Jitsu is useful because it gives you a superior grappling ability, which makes you a very dangerous fighter if the fight ends up on the ground. Almost all fights end up on the ground at some point believe it or not, so having good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a huge advantage in most cases. Many Jiu Jitsu specialists in the UFC are able to have basic striking and still win tons of fights because of their amazing BJJ. The disadvantages of Jiu Jitsu aren’t many however you should have some solid striking, your Jiu Jitsu training is useless if you get knocked out standing up.
Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu for Self-Defense?
Both are super useful for self-defense style situations. However, I will say that with Jiu Jitsu you’re able to control a bigger opponent if the fight does get to the ground. Muay Thai has many self-defense advantages as well, knowing how to teep (front kick) your opponent correctly to keep them at bay and out of striking range is a useful skill to have. Remember, almost every fight starts standing so Muay Thai is much more useful right off the bat.
Muay Thai is great for self-defense because most people can’t take one powerful leg-kick, let alone a head kick. Using your range to teep and leg-kick your opponent will be a powerful indicator that tells them you aren’t someone to be messed with. Muay Thai fighters have the ability to end a fight from the start because of their deadly striking.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is great for self-defense because you can safely submit your opponent with something like a “rear naked choke” which won’t cause any long-term effect to them (useful for random street/bar fights). You won’t want to go to jail from killing someone in the street (even if you feel the situation was justified), and with BJJ training you’re able to safely submit your opponent/attacker.
Which Martial Art is Better for Self-Defense? Tied
Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu: What’s Easier to Learn?
I mean if we’re being honest on this one, neither are “easy” Martial Arts to learn. Muay Thai was my first Martial Art ever, and boy let me tell you it was a painful process. I wish someone told me what to expect from your first Muay Thai class because I walked out of the gym with some bruised shins. I guess I’m slightly biased on this one because I wrestled in high school and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu just came naturally to me.
Muay Thai involves the use of striking through all 8 limbs (kicks, elbows, knees, and punches). This type of striking is very advanced and takes a long time to learn, let alone master. Not only do you need to learn how to properly move and throw these strikes, but you also have to learn to defend against these same complicated strikes! Have you ever checked a low-kick by the way? Ouch.. Muay Thai clinching is also another important aspect of training that takes a very long time to understand as well.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a nightmare to learn because you have to defend against someone trying to either break your limbs or choke you unconscious. The first year of my Jiu Jitsu training I was constantly defending off my back against opponents who felt like gorillas on the ground. However, I will say that almost anyone can get good at Jiu Jitsu, IF you stay with it. Many of you will quit the moment you get a blue belt, well it was nice knowing you..
Which Martial Art is Easier to Learn? Neither.. literally pick your poison on this one.
Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu: What’s Better for Fitness?
I’m someone who believes all Martial Arts are great for fitness, MMA is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape. There have been many times where I trained either Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had to crawl out of the gym (that’s how tired I was). It really depends how hard you train and what you want from both of these amazing Martial Arts. Both Muay Thai and BJJ have the ability to push you past your limits and test your will as a fighter, mentally and physically.
Muay Thai is great for fitness because you’re moving your entire body when striking. Have you ever clinched a heavy bag and repeatedly thrown knees at it? If not, I highly recommend trying to do it about 50 times in a row, you’ll thank me later. There are so many great Muay Thai heavy bag workouts to choose from and the best part? You can do it all by yourself! Muay Thai is something you can train alone, just pretend the heavy bag is your ex-girlfriends new boyfriend or the boss you hate.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is absolutely amazing for fitness, especially during those long live roll sessions in a gym full of killers. After a few five minute live rolls I’m completely exhausted, Jiu Jitsu makes you feel like you’re fighting for your life (you technically are). The only real downside to Jiu Jitsu is that you need a partner to get this type of intense workout, however there are still ways to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at home.
Which Martial Art is Better for Fitness? Both.. Muay Thai when training alone, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a partner.
Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu: What’s Better for MMA?
It’s very hard to compare two different fighting styles when talking about MMA. The truth is, to be a well-rounded mixed martial artist, a fighter should be proficient in both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. I actually talk about this subject in-depth in our best fighting style for MMA article. Even Conor McGregor (who is known for his phenomenal Boxing), has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Vice versa, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters such as Brian Ortega, also have great boxing and Muay Thai technique. This just goes to show that the best MMA fighters are well rounded in Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, and Boxing.
Muay Thai is great for MMA because it teaches you all types of fundamental striking. The most important (in my opinion) thing that Muay Thai teaches you is how to use your range to your advantage. Being able to strike from a far distance is a huge advantage for MMA fighters to use. Fighters such as Anderson Silva and Max Holloway are masters at using their reach and length to their advantage in the octagon.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is great for MMA because it gives you the ability to end the fight in all sorts of positions. BJJ gives fighters the ability to end a fight off their back (triangle choke), and many different types of lethal submissions from all types of positions. Brian Ortega is an MMA fighter with great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he’s known for his amazing guillotine choke, which he normally executes from a standing position!
Which Martial Art is Better for MMA? Both.. The best MMA fighters are well rounded in various types of Martial Arts.
Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu: Which Should I Learn First?
Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are different styles of martial arts, so when it comes to learning, the question isn’t necessarily about which style is better for fighting. Martial arts is about learning traditional values and finding yourself, not only as a fighter but also as a person. For Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu, it really depends which martial art appeals to you personally. Do you want to focus on striking, or do you want to focus on grappling?
If your ultimate goal is to become a professional MMA fighter, then my honest opinion is to train both simultaneously. This way you will have knowledge of a solid striking fundamental, paired with grappling skills in case a fight ever goes to the ground. Perhaps neither of these martial arts appeal to you, in that case, I highly suggest you check out our article on “Which Martial Art Should I Learn First?” I believe you can’t go wrong with either Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu, you really just need to follow your heart and give martial arts a try. It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to start martial arts!