Muay Thai, like any sport, has a variety of styles represented by its fighters. All Muay Thai athletes begin by learning the basics of the sport, including strikes, footwork, head movement, and understanding the ruleset.
Once an athlete has adequately mastered the rules, it becomes time to play with the rules to create individual fighting styles. After all, Muay Thai is an art form, as well, and as such, each athlete will invent their personalized way of presenting their Muay Thai.
There are several distinct styles in Muay Thai. If you haven’t quite figured out how you like to fight, this list might help you find a direction for experimenting and exploring as you train. Your experience and personality will weigh heavily into your chosen fight style.
Furthermore, there is no rule that says you can’t play with a couple of different styles, either. Not sure which style is right for you? Continue reading to figure out where to start.
1) Muay Femur
Muay Femur fighters are known for their smarts. Their fight IQ tends to be relatively high, and they utilize their intelligence to fight smarter, not harder. This type of fighter tends to pick their shots wisely. They tend to avoid throwing punches for the sake of throwing punches, keeping themselves safe from unnecessary risk. After all, their intelligence guides them to land shots based on wisdom.
Muay Femur fighters are excellent at taking advantage of fighters who more brashly “rush in.” Throwing the right strikes at the right times will generate higher scoring, and a Muay Femur fighter will certainly leverage their knowledge to capitalize on that fact.
Is Muay Femur For You?
If you tend to be a thinker, are happy being patient, and want to bring your knowledge and chess-like skills to your Muay Thai game, the Muay Femur style is for you. This style will allow you to wait patiently for your opponent’s mistakes, avoid taking on too much damage, and rack up the points as you land key shots to your opponent’s body.
2) Muay Mat
Muay Mat fighters are marked by their aggressive, forward-driving nature, and their instinct to always look for the knockout. They tend to be heavy punchers, utilizing their hands as their primary, favored weapon. This style tends to be less about picking your shots and more about landing as many hard shots as possible.
Stepping into a match with a Muay Mat fighter will ensure quick, explosive action in the ring. While these fighters may not utilize their fight IQ in the same way as a Muay Femur fighter, they make up for it in brute aggression.
Is Muay Mat For You?
If you find that you are often pressuring forward toward your opponent, prefer throwing heavy punches, and don’t mind taking some solid shots in return, this style may be one for you to consider. For those with a more aggressive nature, the Muay Mat style of fighting is a natural fit to your already programmed instincts, and an excellent way for you to express yourself in Muay Thai.
3) Muay Khao
Muay Khao fighters are known for their incredibly effective, powerful, and plentiful knees. These fighters are adept at landing knees, both inside and outside of the clinch. They may use punches to set up their knees or utilize a highly skilled clinch game to get on the inside to land a string of powerful knees to their opponent’s body. Either way, if you are fighting a Muay Khao-styled fighter, be prepared for knees.
Muay Khao tends to be a very dominating style, and one that crowds seem to really enjoy. These fighters capitalize on exhausting their opponents through the use of their many knees, all while causing damage to the body, as well.
Is Muay Khao For You?
If you tend to find yourself snatching up and dominating in the clinch, this style might be one for you to explore. Your existing clinch game is the perfect set-up to land a succession of knees while fighting, and chances are that you will begin to find your knees outside of the clinch, too. The next time you step into a match, be sure to experiment with Muay Khao, using your knees to dominate the ring.
4) Muay Tae
Muay Tae fighters are easily noted for their love for kicking. These fighters will wear their opponents down by throwing solid, heavy shots at their opponents. Because these fighters prefer kicking, you will often see them staying on the outside of the range, making it difficult for a fighter who favors punches or knees to cut the distance and land any significant strikes on them.
While these fighters are happy to land a kick anywhere on the body, they are often looking to capitalize on opportunities to throw a kick to the head for a knockout.
Is Muay Tae For You?
If you find that you prefer to hang back on the outside of your range, this style may be a good fit for you. It allows you to keep some distance from your opponent, while still maintaining range for solid kicks.
If you find yourself looking primarily for opportunities to kick your opponent, this style sets you up quite nicely to accomplish that. If you think this style might be a good fit, be sure to give it a try next time you step into the ring.
5) Muay Sok
Muay Sok fighters are bearers of brutal elbows. These fighters like to capitalize on being on the inside and are always looking for opportunities to land powerful elbows on their opponent. They often look for their chance between their opponent’s punches to find space to slide in a quick elbow.
These fighters are aggressive and dangerous and are excellent counter fighters. The agility when throwing strikes keeps the pace of the match running at a high volume and intensity, providing lots of excitement for spectators.
Is Muay Sok For You?
If you love to fight on the inside, are okay with taking risks, and prefer your elbows as your weapon of choice, this style will be a great fit for your Muay Thai game.
Choosing Your Muay Thai Style
No matter how you like to fight or your personality, there is bound to be a fighting style that fits you well. Further, there is no rule that you can only master one style. Exploring and understanding each distinct style, whether you prefer it or not, will make you a better all-round Muay Thai fighter.
The next time you step into a match, be sure to work and explore one of the styles that you think might best fit you personally. Figure out how it can enhance your game as a Muay Thai fighter, and figure out how to exploit the styles of your competitors.
There is a style for everyone. Don’t forget, however, that Muay Thai is a martial art, and that you should use it to express yourself in an artistic way. Never feel bound by any one particular style, and always feel free to add your own flair.
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