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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Vs Muay Thai – Which Is Better For You?

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | 0 comments

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai are two of the most popular martial arts in the world.

Both styles have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, making them suitable for different purposes.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (comes from the Japanese word “gentle”) is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on submissions and ground fighting.

It’s often used in mixed martial arts competition, as it’s effective against larger and stronger opponents.

Muay Thai is a stand-up striking art that emphasizes kicks, punches, and elbow strikes. It’s often used in self-defense situations, as it’s very effective against unarmed opponents.

Both Muay Thai and BJJ have a lot to offer practitioners of all levels.

However, they’re not interchangeable – each style has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re trying to decide which one to study, it’s important to consider your goals and objectives so you can choose the right style for you.

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast the two styles so you can decide which one is right for you.

Brief Overview Of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Vs Muay Thai

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is both a martial art and combat sport that originated in Brazil in the early 20th century. It is derived from the Japanese martial art of Judo, which was brought to Brazil by Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judo master.

BJJ focuses on ground combat, and it is known for its effectiveness in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition.

Learn more about it here.

Muay Thai is a traditional Thai striking martial art and sport that originated in Thailand centuries ago. It is known for its use of stand-up striking, as well as grappling, knees, and elbows and set rounds.

It has been adapted for use in MMA competition, and it is widely considered to be one of the most effective striking disciplines in the sport.

history of Muay Thai

Brief History Of Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.

This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on shins is known as “the art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knees. A practitioner of this fascinating sport is known as a Nak Muay.

Thai boxing originated in the 16th century as a form of close-combat military training. It soon became a popular spectator sport, with the first professional fight taking place in 1921.

The sport was codified in 1935 with rules that are still used today and it later became an official event at the Bangkok SEA Games in 1959. Muay Thai has continued to evolve, with international competitions held throughout the world.

It is sometimes called “the art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knees – making full use of both upper and lower body for a complete fight experience.

Differences Between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu And Muay Thai

Differences Between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu And Muay Thai

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai are two very popular martial arts. They both have their own unique styles and benefits.

Here are some of the differences between these two martial arts:


There are many aspects to training in either discipline, but there are some key differences.

BJJ focuses more on ground fighting and submissions, while Muay Thai focuses on stand-up striking with fists, elbows, knees, and shins.

It also has a much more structured belt system than Muay Thai.

BJJ students can advance from white to black belt, while in Muay Thai there is no formal belt system. These difference in training methodologies can be attributed to the different origins of the two disciplines.

BJJ was developed by the Gracie family in Brazil in the early 20th century as a self-defense system that favored submission over strikes.

Muay Thai, on the other hand, is a much older discipline that originated in Thailand as a form of military training.

Because of its origins as a military discipline, this martial art places a greater emphasis on stand-up fighting than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu does where you don’t eve need to wear gloves.

different techniques in martial arts


Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing. The stand-up striking and clinching techniques are similar to those found in western boxing, kickboxing as well as mixed martial arts (MMA) which incorporates different fighting styles such as punches, kicks, elbows and knees.

BJJ is a ground combat sport that focuses on the ground game. The objective is to gain a dominant position and then force the opponent to submit using various joint locks or chokeholds.

A BJJ fighter makes use of leverage and body positioning to achieve this.

Both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are effective martial arts styles, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. Muay Thai is the better art for stand-up fighting, while BJJ is superior for ground fighting compared to other martial arts.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a dominant grappling martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting and submission.

It focuses on the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage and most notably, taking the fight to the ground.

BJJ is sometimes referred to as Gracie Jiu Jitsu, after one of the art’s early pioneers, Carlos Gracie.

Muay Thai is a striking martial art that uses punching, kicking, elbows and knees in addition to grappling and clinching.

It is also known as “the art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knees – hence eight “points of contact” – as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (fists, feet) used in most other stand-up fighting arts.

While it has become increasingly popular in recent years as a stand-alone martial art, it also forms an important part of the curriculum in many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academies.

Which Is Better For Self-Defense

In a street fight, the knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai would both be effective. However, each art has its own strengths and weaknesses that would need to be taken into account.

Muay Thai is a striking art that originates from The Land Of Smiles. It is known for its brutality and effectiveness in the ring. Muay Thai fighters make use of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to inflict damage on their opponents.

Training also focuses on conditioning the body to take hard hits and delivering powerful strikes of one’s own.

jiu jitsu blue belt

BJJ is a grappling art that originated in Brazil. It focuses on taking an opponent to the ground and then submitting them with a chokehold or joint lock.

BJJ training teaches students how to control an opponent on the ground and how to use an opponent’s weight and momentum against them.

Muay Thai would have the advantage in a stand-up fight due to the effectiveness of its standing position.

However, BJJ would have the advantage if the fight went to the ground. There is no telling what will happen in street fights, so it is important to be prepared for both situations.

conditioning in martial arts

Which Is Better For Conditioning

So you want to get in shape, and you’re considering taking up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) or Muay Thai.

But which one is better for conditioning?

There is no easy answer to this question, as both are excellent workout options that can help you get in great shape. However, there are some key differences between these two combat sports that may make one more suitable for your goals than the other.

Muay Thai is generally considered to be a more cardio-intensive workout than BJJ, meaning that it may be better for those who are looking to lose weight or improve their cardiovascular health.

Moreover, it involves a lot of striking with the hands and feet, which can be a great way to build strength and power.

BJJ, on the other hand, is often viewed as a more strength- and technique-based sport. It can be an excellent workout for those looking to build muscle and improve their overall strength and power.

Additionally, BJJ training typically includes a lot of grappling and ground work, which can be beneficial for developing balance and coordination.

So which one is better for conditioning? Ultimately, the best way to find out is to try both and see which one you enjoy more and feel gets you better results.

strategy in martial arts

Different Mental Benefits Of Muay Thai And BJJ

Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are two different martial arts that offer different benefits to practitioners.

Muay Thai is a more striking-based art, while Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses more on grappling and ground fighting. Both art forms have their own unique set of benefits that can help practitioners in different ways.

Muay Thai is often lauded for its focus on developing strong striking technique. This can be beneficial for those who want to learn how to properly defend themselves in a standing altercation.

In addition, the speed and power that is developed through Muay Thai training can also help give practitioners an edge in other areas of their lives.

The discipline and focus required to excel in Muay Thai can also help practitioners in other areas of their lives, such as work or school.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, on the other hand, is often praised for its focus on developing a strong ground game.

This can be beneficial for those who find themselves in situations where they are unable to stand or where they are outnumbered by opponents. In addition, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner will often have a better understanding of how to properly control and submit an opponent once the fight has gone to the ground.

The mental benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are often said to be even more profound than those of Muay Thai, as the art form requires a great deal of patience, discipline, and strategic thinking.

A Muay Thai fighter

Different Competitive Scens For Muay Thai And BJJ

Muay Thai and BJJ are both incredibly popular martial arts. They both have a rich history and tradition, and they both have a large and passionate following of fans and practitioners. But which one is better?

The answer to this question is not simple, as there are many different factors to consider.

Let’s take a look at the different competitive scenes for Muay Thai and BJJ to see which one is more suitable for your goals.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a sport that is contested in several different ways. There are professional leagues such as the Lumpinee Stadium championship in Bangkok, as well as international organizations such as the World Muay Thai Council.

There are also many amateur Muay Thai tournaments held around the world, such as the IAMTF World Championships and the IFMA Muay Thai World Championships.

These tournaments are open to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements, so they provide an opportunity for up-and-coming Muay Thai practitioners to compete against some of the best in the world.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

BJJ is most commonly contested in submission only format, with events such as the IBJJF No-Gi World Championships and ADCC being some of the most prestigious in the sport.

However, there are also traditional Jiu Jitsu tournaments such as the Pan American Championships, where points are awarded for takedowns, sweeps, and positional advantages.

So, which one is better?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in competing in a more traditional martial arts competition, then learning Muay Thai is probably a better option.

However, if you’re looking for a challenge that will test your grappling skills, then the Brazilian Martial Art of Jitsu is probably a better choice. A good rule of thumb is trying different styles of combat sports as possible.

Muay Thai Vs BJJ – Different Health Benefits

Different martial arts disciplines offer different health benefits. If you’re trying to decide between Muay Thai and BJJ, it’s important to understand the different benefits each discipline offers.

Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing that emphasizes stand-up striking, along with some clinching techniques. Muay Thai is an excellent cardio workout, and can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

Muay Thai is also great for developing strength and power in your legs, hips, and core. In addition, Muay Thai training can help improve your balance and coordination.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of grappling that emphasizes ground techniques. It is an excellent workout for your entire body, but is particularly notable for its benefits to your core muscles.

In addition, BJJ training can help improve your flexibility and joint mobility. It is also an excellent way to relieve stress and improve your mental well-being.

So if you train Muay Thai already, you might get great benefits when you master the basics of ground submission. Training both styles can make you a dangerous MMA fighter.

jiu jitsu in the ultimate fighting championship

How Did BJJ Become Popular In The UFC?

Popularized in the early 1990s by the Gracie family, who founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), BJJ was one of its primary fighting styles.

In the UFC, BJJ practitioners such as Royce Gracie and Rodrigo Gracie achieved success by using the techniques of BJJ to submit their opponents.

This demonstrated the effectiveness of BJJ in real-world self-defense situations and helped to make it one of the most popular martial arts in the world.

A Well-Rounded Fighter

MMA fighters who are famous for using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu often have a well-rounded combat style. This allows them to be dangerous in many different situations, whether they are on the ground or standing up.

Fighters who use BJJ often rely on their grappling skills to control and submit their opponents. While many MMA fighters started their careers in other martial arts, they have found that this ground combat style is an essential part of MMA.

Some of the most famous MMA fighters who use BJJ include Georges St-Pierre, Demian Maia, Ronaldo Souza, and Anderson Silva.

Anderson Silva is now a permanent fixture in the UFC as he holds the longest title reign in the company’s history.

Muay Thai and BJJ conclusion


After comparing and contrasting the two martial arts, it is clear that they are both effective in their own ways.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a great choice for someone looking to get in shape and learn self-defense, while Muay Thai is a better option for someone who wants to compete in martial arts competitions.

If you want to start your journey in unarmed combat, BJJ might be the first martial art for you to learn.


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