Muay Thai or BJJ: Ultimate Guide for Beginner [2021]

Muay Thai and Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu are both the two types of MMA. Nowadays, people are more into physical activities and trying to learn something that will reflect their bodies.

If you look at the muay Thai it is more like boxing, and there are more hands and power involved in it, but on the other side, there is BJJ which is more into ground techniques, grappling, and locks are involved.

Both sports have different kinds of training, techniques and also different effect on your body. We are not here to compare these two, but we’ll tell you about both of them so you can select them according to your interest.

History of BJJ

One of the most popular types of Mix martial arts is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu nowadays, but I am curious where it all started so, let’s find out. If we go back, it all started in early 1900 when Mitsudo Maeda moved to Brazil to promote his teacher’s Kano Jiu-Jitsu, where he started to show his Jiu-jitsu skills in a circus.

The son of a very popular politician Gastao Gracie got interested in Jiu-Jitsu and started learning it from Maeda with some other Brazilians who were just fifteen years old. The name of that boy was Carlos Gracie. He was one of the first students who learned jiu-jitsu in Brazil.

Carlos teaches these Jiu-Jitsu techniques to his brother Helio that then they try to add some techniques and versions into it that was the birth of Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu. It was the version of Jiu-jitsu which is for the weak person, and it needs technical skill then the physical strength.

The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu got very popular when the son of Helio won the UFC championship in 1993, which was participated by the top-notch athletes of every MMA type. After that tournament, the name Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was introduced for the Kano’s Jiu-Jitsu. There was a huge boom in the number of people who started learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

History of Muay Thai

The history of Muay Thai is quite interesting. It is used by the Thai army when the soldier is unarmed in ancient times. Muay Thai is also called the art of eight limbs because there are 8 points of contact in this fighting style.

The one thing that is like in Muay Thai is when they respect their teachers and make some moves that are called RAM-Y.

It is the national sport of Thailand back so; it is played under various rules, but back in the time, it is used to kill your enemy without any weapons so, you can say that it is a very deadly kind of game.

In the late 20th century the Muay Thai become popular in the whole country. It was learned for self-defense and fighting without any weapons, and kill your opponents.

In Muay Thai, there are grappling, lock techniques, and punching on the head is involved. In ancient times, the soldiers and leaders needed to learn Muay Thai because it is said that mauy Thai improves their capabilities.

When we went into history, we found out that king Naresuan, who helped free the country from the Burmese army, was a muay Thai fighter.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the type of Mix Martial arts that is very popular among people nowadays. The people learn it so they can defend themself and gain their unique fitness goals. The BJJ is the kind of sport where a person’s size doesn’t matter, and you can beat the bigger and even heavy person with your techniques.

  • It is perfect for a person who doesn’t have any experience.
  • Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu helps you to maintain your fitness goals.
  • You will find the passionate lover of this martial arts type in every corner of the world.
  • When you are going to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you’ll find out that there are multiple techniques that you can’t even count will learn.
  • A newbie can learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and become the Brazilian expert without having any trouble.
  • If you are learning to be the master, make sure to have 8 to 10 years because you can black belt after 8 to 10 years. Ninety percent of the trainee can’t reach the black belt because they can’t wait for ten years.
  • Many fake Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experts want your money, and they can’t even know Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So, make sure you select someone after a good research.
  • There are only grappling and lock techniques in the BJJ; you can’t learn the striking fighting techniques.


Muay Thai

It is a very interesting type of Mix Martial arts; it is also called the fighting with the art or science of 8 limbs, and that is because there are eight contacts of the body involved in the battle of Muay Thai.

Muay Thai is also the national sport of Thailand, and it is also very similar to boxing, and some people called this Thai sport form of boxing. The world knows about this martial in the 70s and 80s because Muay Thai fought and international MMA events where they defeated all other martial arts types so that people make curious that what is this new thing.

  • Muay Thai is another form of MMA which is learned for self-defense by people.
  • Every level of people is welcome here means if you are a newbie or having a little bit of experience, you can learn Muay Thai.
  • If you are a person who wants to be fit with some different fighting skills, Muay Thai is for you.
  • You can use eight limbs in Muay Thia’s fighting, Right Elbow, Left Elbow, Right Knee, Left Knee, Right Kick, Left Kicks, Right punches, and left punches.
  • It makes your body flexible more than anything because it involves more mobility in the fighting.
  • In BJJ, you can’t learn the striking techniques, but in Muay Thai, there are many striking moves and techniques.
  • There are no locking or grappling techniques that you can use over your opponents.
  • The Muay Thai fighters are not very good at defending the stance takedowns, and they have to work hard on their stance to cover this weakness.
  • There are many striking techniques in muay Thai, but they also teach how you can bear the heavy strikes on your body that means you may have some injuries or marks of bruises or heavy punching on your body.
  • There are not too many techniques in Muay Thai.


BJJ vs. Muay Thai

1: Fighting Rules BJJ

There are four factors on which the match of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is organized.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Weight
  • Levels

Three ways to win the match of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

First way

Some legal submissions are allowed according to the athlete’s belt levels, so; if you submit your opponent according to them, you won the competition.

Second way

There are some rules that the international Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sets, and if your opponent doesn’t follow them, he’ll be disqualified, and you’ll win the competition.

Third way

There are some points in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition like if you hit your opponent on the belly with your knee or takedown or sweep, you’ll get two points.

For guard pass, you got three points, and for mount or back mount, you got 4 points. At the end of the match, all the points are counted, and the person who has more points wins the fight.

Fighting Rules Muay Thai

There are 18 different weight categories according to which the fights are organized, and the matches of the muay Thai can be for three to five minutes round, and every round has a break of 2 minutes so the fighters can rest.

There are four ways to win the fight of the muay Thai

First way

The first way is the very hard way; if you hit your competitor that hard that he becomes unconscious, then you are the winner.

Second way

If your opponent is injured so badly that he doesn’t have the power to defend himself, then it does matter he is unconscious or not; you technically the winner of the fight.

Third way

Judges are monitoring the match attentively and when after all rounds, both competitors are conscious, then the role of judges comes into play, and they decided who the winner is.

Fourth way

This way is in every other MMA type that if one of the competitors doesn’t follow the muay Thai rules, he’ll be disqualified, and the other will be declared the winner.

2: Clothing BJJ

If you are going to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you need two clothes: kimono and the other without kimono. Kimono is the loose traditional Japanese dress which you have seen in many Japanese movies. In the Brazilian language, they called this gi or no-gi.


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a specific type of kimono is used; the design is the same as the Japanese national dress, but the material is a bit thick and long-lasting, making it different from the traditional Japanese clothing.

You can use the rash guard, which protects your skin from all allergies, a mouth guard that protect your teeth, and your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt.


The other clothing that is very commonly used in the BJJ, and if you don’t want to use kimono, you can go with the simple MMA shorts, rash guards, and mouth guards for your protection.

Muay Thai Clothing

If you start as the Muay Thai trainer, you don’t need to wear that traditional Kimono dress, but you can wear Shorts.

The first thing you should buy is gloves because gloves are essential and helpful in your training sessions and fights. Try to buy the ones which are specially made for the muay Thai.

Then you should go for the rash guards and mouth guards that will protect your teeth and skin. One more thing you should buy is the hand wraps you need to wear to protect your wrist and hands.

3: Ranking and belt system BJJ

The medal that shows that how experienced you are in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is demonstrated by the belt. If you have a black belt, you are considered the master, and the newbie who is just starting learning has the white belts.

To reach the black belt, you need to have 8 to 10 years of experience and hard work; then, you might be eligible for the black belt.

These are some belts that are granted to you when you started learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

When you start learning, you have granted the white belt; the white belt is for beginners who don’t have any level.

When you at least learned for two years and you are above 16 years of age, then you have been granted the blue belt.

After that, you need to train hard for more than 1.5 years to get to the next level on which the purple belt is granted.

When you work one year harder after the purple belt, you reach the brown belt, and this is the level where most people got tired and quit.

But the ones who are passionate train for more than 8 to 12 years very hard and they reach the mastery of the BJJ and get the black belt.

Muay Thai ranking system

There are two types of Muay Thai: one is traditional, and the other is modern. We’ll tell you about both ranking systems so, if you are a follower of conventional or modern, you get your answer.


There is no specific ranking system in traditional muay Thai. Kru (the teacher who trains the muay Thai) chooses the person according to his performance and grants him the bracelet or armband, which shows that he is an experienced player.

There is no color belt system in traditional muay Thai.


In modern muay Thai, there are some ranking systems that the world Thai boxing association made for the athletes. The beginner person who starts learning has been granted the white belt, the same as the BJJ.

These are the colors of belts granted to the muay Thai player after white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, brown, black, black and white, black and red, black and silver, and the last one is black and gold.

Cost and Classes BJJ

If you are going to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it might cost you 200$ if you are in the United States, including all the gym facilities.

The average class of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is 2 to 3 hours long, divided into three different parts.

In the first 30 minutes of your class, you have to do the warm-up and drills like the front drill and back drills.

Then for the next one hour, you have to practice the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fro daily.

Then for the next 30 minutes, you have to do the sparring, and in sparring, only locks are allowed. No striking is allowed in the sparring, and your every round should not more than five minutes.

Muay Thai

If you want to learn muay Thai, then you should have at least 180$ if you are in the United States of America. It will include all the classes and the gym too which in my view affordable for everyone in the USA.

The classes of muay Thai last for 1 hour to 1.5 hours, and it is divided into six parts, and this is how your first class plan will be:

For the first 20 minutes, you might be doing the jumping ropes, jogging, and other things you can do in the warm-up.

Then for the 10 minutes, you’ll be doing shadow boxing and work on your footwork with just simple combinations.

You’ll do partner drills for the next 20 minutes and apply the beginner’s technique that you have learned.

Then for the 20 minutes, you’ll practice the bag’s techniques, and your every round would be three minutes.

Then for 20 minutes, do sparring that with all protection gears. These drills will improve your techniques.

Then for the last 10 minutes, take breaths and do full deep stretching.

Muay Thai vs. BJJ: Which one is better?

I think it is the silly question of which one of these is best because they are the top-notch types in the Mix Martial arts that are loved by millions, and many aspire to learn these skills.

But they both are very different like in Brazilain jiu-jitsu, ground grappling techniques are involved, and in muay Thai is the stand striking like boxing so, we cannot tell which one is better, but we’ll tell you what’s the difference between them so, you can choose according to your requirements.


If we go into the history of any Mix martial arts, then we’ll find out that most of them are for self-defense and utilize your body’s power when you don’t have any weapon. The purpose of these two muay Thai and BJJ was the same.

You can use these skills to attack the enemy when you are unarmed facing the attacker, but these can also be excellent self-defense techniques that you’ll learn after mastering these skills.

There is more chance of injury when you are doing muay Thai, and if you get a strike, it is hard to come back in the game. On the other hand, there is less chance of injuries in the BJJ because it is all ground techniques, and you got a chance to end the game by locking or choking the opponent.

Research conducted in 1988 states that 90 percent of physical fights ended up on the ground that means there is a clear role of the ground in every fight, but some people rejected it that time by saying that this is a fake report from the Gracie family.

But later on, the study was proved right, so; we can say that BJJ is more effective when it comes to self-defense due to its more ground techniques than muay Thai.


There is some fitness role in every sport where physical activity is involved; the same goes for the BJJ and muay Thai; there are many fitness benefits of these two sports. If you have seen BJJ or Muay Thai athletes, you might have noticed that the people who are into BJJ are bulky while the people in muay Thai are slim and smart.

The muay Thai focuses more on stamina and endurance related to your cardiovascular health, while the BJJ is more focused on your muscles, power and strength so, they got bulky.

If you want to learn techniques, like power, and get bulky, you should go for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but if you want to improve your cardiovascular health and stamina, then go for the muay Thai it would be best for you.


The most commonly asked question is which one is the most popular sport globally, and we can’t go in the world and ask everybody one by one, but there is another way. We can analyze the internet searches and know which one is more popular.

If we go to the Google trend, which is the most popular search tool owned by Google and compare muay Thai and BJJ. We were shocked to see the results that BJJ is more popular than muay Thai in the United States of America.

But if we go worldwide, then the muay Thai is beating the BJJ, which means that BJJ is more prevalent in America, but globally, muay Thai is more popular.

Why is BJJ more prevalent in the USA than the muay Thai? Then there might be these factors.

The first UFC tournament won by Royce Gracie he beat all athletes which are from the different types of Mix martial arts. According to a report, many BJJ training schools were opened in the USA for 20 years.

The past decade is known for the rise of all types of Mix Martial arts types so, you can say that might be a reason for the popularity, and the fact is that the BJJ is more prevalent in California than Brazil.


Many people want to train their kids in self-defense techniques so they’ll be more confident when they are adults, so both BJJ and muay Thai are best for self-defense, but they ask which one is better.

If we talk about the kids, then BJJ is better and way better than muay Thai because it involves more ground techniques. And there are more opportunities for your kids in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu if you are in America because there are many local and international organizations that organize tournaments for the kids to get more exposure to global events.

So, if you want to select for your kids, go for the BJJ.

Krav Maga vs. Muay Thai

The krav maga is a mix of judo, wrestling, boxing, karate, and wrestling techniques. It is a unique form of fighting techniques that we can’t add under the Mix Martial arts umbrella. It is a specialized fighting program that is used by the Israeli forces for fighting. It was created by Imi Lichtenfeld, who was a Hungarian-born martial artist.

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, and it has a very remarkable history. In ancient times, the military forces used this to defend themselves when they were unarmed against their enemy.



Muay Thai is one of the most popular MMA types in the world. It is also called the science of eight lambs because it involves eight contact points of the human body. It involves the entire human body and very suitable for defense techniques, and it has also punching and kicking techniques which are very similar to boxing.

The Krav maga is not a very old type of mix martial arts, but we can’t even add it as a type of mix martial arts. It has the techniques created from rendering Judo, Boxing, and other types of MMA. It is used by the Israeli forces for self-defense techniques and to face brutal attacks.


All types of Mix Martial Arts are created for self-defense purposes, and the same goes for these two. The techniques we learn in muay Thai are self-defense techniques, and it teaches you how you can use your body against the most brutal attacks of the opponents.

The Krav maga is also used for self-defense techniques, and a person learns how he can strike on the most vulnerable parts of the person and defeat him.


The person who learns the muay Thai has to compete with the muay Thai athletes in different competitions and tournaments. There is a proper belt system that shows the players’ experience, and there is a match according to your gender weight and experience.

But the Krav maga is learned by the forces that have to face the person who is trying to kill him, and there is no restriction of age or gender when it comes to krav maga, and you can meet the condition in which you have to fight with the girl or maybe heavy person than you.

The result of the muay Thai fight is winning or losing, and in some extreme conditions, there are some cases of severe injuries, but when it comes to Krav maga, there are high chances of severe injuries and maybe death.

Muay Thai vs. kickboxing

These are the two most similar Martial arts types, and most people think they are the same, but there is a little bit of difference between these two, which we’ll explain here.

The first difference between kickboxing and muay Thai is straightforward to find out, and you’ll notice it at once when you see both types of athletes. The muay Thai is called the science of eight limbs due to its eight striking points, while kickboxing has four strike points.

The muay Thai techniques athletes have been taught to wait for the opportunity and then attack when the opportunity arrived, while kickboxing is not about the weight of your opponent to make a mistake but to attack the opponent so he doesn’t even think to attack.

The other big difference between muay Thai and kickboxing is that muay Thai is way more dangerous than kickboxing, and there is more health risks involved if you are a muay Thai athlete. The fights of muay Thai are bloody, and you see someone with blood from the nose or scared eye after the match. The fight of the muay Thai is mostly ended when there is someone unconscious.

The rules of both games are different from each other; in muay Thai, you cannot hit your component under the waist area, while in kickboxing, you are allowed to kick anywhere to your part without any fear. But they are not allowed to hit under the waist completely.

So, these are the main differences between these two martial arts types. And when we see the most popular one between these two, we find out that these are the most searched type is muay Thai in the world so, no doubt that the muay Thai is very much popular in the world.


After reading this article, you might be clear about these things: the difference between the muay Thai and Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu. We have explained the differences, and if you are going to learn self-defense, you should go for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

If you want your body to be slim and smart, you should select the muay Thai, and if you want your muscles to be bulky, you should go for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

But if we ask us, we would recommend you to learn both of them because there are some pros and cons in both of the MMA types so, when you go for both, you’ll become the expert of both types BJJ and muay Thai.


What will get you more shredded muay Thai or BJJ?
If you want to try the type of martial art that will make your body muscular and shredded, you should go for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because it gives you the power and makes you more muscular so you can perform the locks and grappling techniques better. The muay Thai is more for the person who wanted to be slimmer.
Which is easier to learn BJJ or muay Thai?
In our view, there is nothing easy in this world if you are passionate about something you’ll find out that thing very easily. But when we talk about self-defense, we have to speak to many trainees who have learned BJJ and muay, Thai, both so, according to them, the BJJ is very easy to learn compared to the muay Thai.
What is better for self-defence, BJJ or muay Thai?
These both types are developed for self-defense techniques, and they are best for self-defense; however, if you are going to start learning, you should go for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because it has more ground techniques which is suitable if you have any bigger competitor because you can catch him with some great grappling techniques and lock strategies, but in muay Thai, it is not possible, and if one time someone hit you it will end for you.
What builds confidence, BJJ or muay Thai?
The BJJ and muay Thai both affect your body and shape your body in the best condition so, these both are the best for confidence-boosting because when you do physical activities, it directly affects your brain and enhances your mood. Your insecurities are gone, and you feel more confident than ever before, so, according to us, both are the best for boosting your confidence.
How much does muay Thai classes cost?
If you are in the United States of America, you will find the classes of muay Thai within the 200$ and all gym equipment and classes are included in it. The same amount goes for BJJ learners. The amount is pretty less, and a person living in America can afford it easily.

Leave a Comment