Capoeira vs Muay Thai: which style is better in a real fight?

Capoeira vs Muay Thai: which martial art works better in real combat?

In general, we can divide martial arts into two major groups: those that perform well in a real fight and those that do not.

Let's check to which category Capoeira belongs.

Capoeira vs Muay Thai: pros and cons of each fighting style

Capoeira vs Muay Thai: which one is more effective in a real fight?

I had the pleasure to spar with a French Capoeira practitioner once and it was a great experience. Capoeira's moves are smooth and interesting to watch.
It is also full-on unconventional and unorthodox moves. Some, like cartwheel kick, were even borrowed by Muay Thai.

Capoeira's movement is very distractive and I think that's where the biggest strength of this style lies. Being able to distract and fool your opponent counts as an advantage.

That said, I was focused and able to control the fight most of the time. I could also enforce my own fighting pace on my opponent. He didn't have many tools to defend himself against my constant pressure.

I think Capoeira lacks a few basic moves to be more effective. I would like to take a closer look at some of them:

  • Capoeira kicks are powerful. Some of the Capoeira kicks are very dynamic and got a lot of power, and furthermore, the strike angles are unorthodox so they got the potential to surprise the opponent.
    In Muay Thai kicks are equally strong but also more direct and faster.
  • The main defensive move in Capoeira is evasion. Once caught in the corner or forced to fight in a short distance Capoeirista is almost defenseless.

    Muay Thai defense is based on blocks, deflections, and explosive counter-attacks. It is easy for a Thai Boxer to defend himself even with his back against the ropes.
  • Another important thing is body conditioning. Capoeira will keep you fit and flexible but there are just a few martial arts that are as demanding as Thai boxing is.

    Proper Muay Thai training prepares you to be "ring ready". It conditions your body to be able to deal with a great amount of physical punishment in the ring.

  • And the last point that I would like to make is how each style performs in MMA. Which style is more dominant in the octagon? Honestly, I don't know any top-level fighter utilizing the Capoeira style in any major MMA promotion.

    I think Anderson Silva may be the only one. But he is also an avid Muay Thai practitioner. He has a Capoeira yellow rope but most of the strikes he utilizes in the octagon are based on Muay Thai.

    When it comes to Muay Thai, most fighters utilize it as their main stand-up striking style.

Capoeira vs Muay Thai: a summary

Both styles are stand-up striking martial arts but they represent a different philosophies of fighting.
Both are explosive and interesting to watch.

Capoeira will provide you with gymnastic abilities and flexibility but it teaches you very effective fighting skills.
Muay Thai, on the other hand, is a complete and "ring-ready" combat system.

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