Kickboxing vs. Muay Thai Kickboxing

Kickboxing both provides you with a powerful workout and a well of effective self-defense moves and strategies.

But at McMahon Training Center in Fort Collins, we offer our Muay Thai Kickboxing program, which differs from traditional kickboxing techniques. Learn more about how Muay Thai kickboxing differs below. If you want to learn for yourself, become part of our program and uncover your self-confidence through Muay Thai!

The Difference Between Kickboxing and Muay Thai Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a hybrid Japanese martial art that has been around since the 1960s. To give us kickboxing as we know it today, different fighting techniques from Karate, boxing, and Muay Thai were combined. Kickboxing then gained in popularity with practitioners in the United States emerging, so the first World Championship for kickboxing was held in 1974.

Now, there are many different styles of kickboxing, including:

  • American kickboxing
  • Dutch kickboxing
  • Muay Thai
  • K1/GLORY kickboxing
  • Chinese kickboxing (San Chou)

So if we want to go back to the roots, we can take a look at the martial arts practice of Muay Thai. Muay Thai Kickboxing was developed in Thailand by the Siamese army during the middle ages. For them, this form of kickboxing was used as a form of hand-to-hand combat. Now, in addition to providing you with self-defense strategies, Muay Thai Kickboxing is also a powerful way to stay in shape.

So what are the differences between Muay Thai Kickboxing and kickboxing?


Kickboxing involves the use of hands and kicks in something called a full-contact setting using a 4-point striking system that involves punches and kicks. Muay Thai, on the other hand, uses an 8-point striking system that uses punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.

The 4-point system in kickboxing makes it more of a boxing-based sport in which active hands and volume combos are more utilized. But in Muay Thai, the fight is more focused on timing and powerful counters.


Have you ever turned on a kickboxing match on TV? Do you notice any music playing in the background? While kickboxing has become a popular sport in America and a great way to work out, Muay Thai is a rhythmic art. During a Muay Thai fight, “Ram Muay” or “round music” is played and the fighter’s rhythm is usually in sync to that song.


As we’ve already mentioned, the practice and tradition of Muay Thai dates back much further than modern forms of kickboxing. This brings a deep, cultural element to the practice of Muay Thai. Muay Thai fighters usually wear a head piece called a mongkon which is meant to bring the fighters luck and protection during their fight. These traditions are still used and taught about in Muay Thai programs while other forms of kickboxing have moved away from those early traditions.

Join Our Muay Thai Kickboxing Program

Ready to learn Muay Thai kickboxing? We have broken our Muay Thai Kickboxing program into three classes to best provide training for every student, ranging from novice to advanced.

Become part of this traditional martial arts community, and learn about this amazing form of martial arts while also finding a great way to get your cardio workout! Sign up now at McMahon Training Center in Fort Collins.