Muay Thai Kicks vs Taekwondo Kicks: Know The Difference

(Last Updated On: August 2, 2019)

Individuals who plan to get into the groove of a combat martial arts style are known to get confused on what to pick between learning Muay Thai kicks vs Taekwondo kicks.  Considered as two of the most kicking martial art sports on the face of the planet, it leaves no doubt that Muay Thai has always been considered the more brutal and more lethal of the two.  Here are their most glaring differences:

Muay Thai Kicks

As mentioned, Muay Thai kicks are considered more brutal and, in a way, more lethal than any other martial arts kicking style because of one thing– the shins!  Instead of using the foot like in Taekwondo, Muay Thai kicks make good use of the shins when landing a blow to an opponent.  Nay Muays (Muay Thai fighters) are heavily trained to make good use of this particular leg part to employ massive power when doing both offensive and defensive techniques during a fight.

Muay Thai kicks, when trained and done accordingly, are known to deliver the most devastating blows.  They are widely used in a fight.  This is part of the reason why many Westerners often refer to Muay Thai as more of a Thai kickboxing than a type of boxing form.  Heavy kicking figters like Yodsanklai, Jongsanan, Samkor Kiatmontep, Singdam O Aukritt, Buakaw Banchamek, and Sakmongkol, are just some of those who often bring inspirations to trainees and newbies in the Muay Thai kicking department.

Some of the known kicking techniques used in Muay Thai like the ones below can be done in combination with other tactics and limbs to produce lethal blows to an opponent:

  • Teep or push kick
  • Round kick
  •  Axe kick
  • Diagonal kick
  • Roundhouse kick
  • Side Kick
  • Etc.

Taekwondo Kicks

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Not to be left out, Korean-based kickboxing, Taekwondo, is not called the “art of kicking and punching” for nothing.  Known as a popular self-defense tactic, this combat sport is quite “mild” compared to Muay Thai in terms of ferocity and power.  But like Muay Thai, Taekwondo also has some brutal kicks that can deliver a knockout.  Think about a 360 or 540 spin kick or a skipping back kick that delivers around 600 kg of concentrated force to an opponent.

But while Taekwondo kicks may be deemed as lethal as Muay Thai, delivering them often present risks.  For one, it is prone to making fighters go off-balance and open for a counter.  Low kicks are also not allowed in official Taekwondo tournaments and usually not heavily practiced during training.  Unlike Muay Thai, this discipline also does not allow brutal combinations with kicks, such as clinching with elbows and knee strikes.  Taekwondo, though lethal in its own right, can be considered as something “milder” than Muay Thai.

Which Works Best For You?

Choosing between training for Muay Thai kicks vs Taekwondo kicks is a matter of personal preference.  Of the two disciplines, however it is easy to take notice that Muay Thai fights require more ferocity, power, and stamina than that of Taekwondo.  So see clearly the purpose of your training.  If you want to unleash your feral power within, go for Muay Thai.