Training Two Striking Styles (Muay Thai + Karate)
I've been training karate for just over three years. The karate I train is decent for karate (we do continuous sparring in class, full contact to the body, but only touch to the head, and we spend a lot of time punching pads). Also, we're actively encouraged to cross train.
I already cross train BJJ. I'm still a newbie at that because my financial situation means that I can't train as often as I'd like. Next month I should be much better off financially, and I'm thinking of adding Muay Thai to my list, since it's at the same gym as the BJJ and a lot of the guys there do it as a warmup. They've been suggesting I try it for a while. I didn't want to do so when I knew that I wouldn't be able to train regularly, but now I'm tempted.
I have three reasons for wanting to try MT:
- I have a habit of leaning in / dropping my guard to protect my body in karate, and because we don't really punch each other in the head I'm not learning otherwise.
- While the sparring we do in class is continuous, the sparring in competitions is point sparring. I don't have the speed for that - I was hoping MT would "loosen me up", help me think in combos, and help me get speed for karate.
- The elbows, knees, and less stretched out movements look far more practical and really appeal to me.
If I started going, I'd want to keep doing karate too. I'm only a 1st Kyu in my karate style (I'll be taking my 1st Dan test in November). I don't want to be one of those brown belts that "could have been a black belt", so I plan on working at karate until I pass. Even after passing, I still intend to keep training for the kata because I think they're a lot of fun. I like the social environment of the class, and I like the performance aspect.
I'd be interested in hearing from people who have trained two striking styles at once. Will MT benefit my karate in the ways that I hope it will? Is it possible to un-learn certain habits (such as the long karate stance, and the chamber by your belt?)? If you can "un-learn" them, can you switch them back on when practicing forms?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
When you block bodyshots in karate, how do you do it?
You chamber at your belt? What Karate style are you learning?
OK, I trained Kyokushin karate and now I'm currently training Muay thai
I see a big problem in your plan, after you learn the proper thai stance, how to keep your hands up, how to lowkick people and much much more, you will go back to karate class where you can't keep your hands up or do a proper thai stance
Unless your instructor would allow some kickboxer while the rest keep using the traditional stance.
Is this how you fight kumite?
What is going to be your training schedule?
Thanks for the responses.
Permalost - we use a fairly traditional long stance, and would block a body shot with a down block or an inside block - basically the moves you see in karate kata. I have an annoying reflex to want to do the full movement (inside block starting with your thumb towards your belt, rotating your arm as you perform the block), so I pull my hand down to be ready to block.
RurikGreenwulf - I'm doing a form of Shukokai. The way we're taught you chamber at your belt while you're a Kyu grade. Apparently it's a teaching thing to make sure you get used to the required hand rotation, hip movement, etc. You can use a higher chamber when you are a Dan grade, but you still have the chamber hand back by your site instead of a more, er... boxer-like stance.
That video isn't working very well for me, but from the 30 seconds I saw before it froze, it looks similar-ish. To give a bit more of a detailed description, we wear gloves (but not shin/foot guards). We do full contact to the body, but only touch to the face. Sweeps are allowed (but we stop as soon as the other person hits the mat). Leg kicks are forbidden. When you get a good sparring partner, our sparing is "alive" within that ruleset, but I feel like I'm not getting faster and I'm not learning to protect my head, which is why I want to train something else.
If I did do both, my schedule would be something like this:
Monday - 1hr Muay Thai, 2 hrs BJJ
Wednesday - 1hr Karate
Friday - 2hrs Karate
Saturday - 3hrs of general training at the Muay Thai / BJJ gym
Did you quit Kyokushin, or does your instructor let you keep training with your own "twist" to the stances?
Would you be corrected for using a more Thai style stance? Or for using more boxing/thai boxing style punches? If so, and you really want to stick with the Karate you are currently doing, I would think avoiding Muay Thai in order to not form what your style would call bad habits is probably wiser.
On the other hand, Muay Thai is one of the most effective striking styles around because of their willingness to use whatever works. So if your intent is just to get better at all around fighting, I would do Muay Thai and see if you enjoy it and see what you can pull from both striking styles that works for you. Or drop the Karate in favor of Muay Thai.
But it is of course up to you.
Thanks for the thoughts, Krijgsman.
Originally Posted by Krijgsman
My organization is split between hyper-traditional people who obsess over the way every movement is performed, and people who are more sport focused who are just interested in whether or not you can make things work. I could get away with the Muay Thai stance in sparring (one of our more successful guys reverts to his boxing background for sparring), but would still have to do things "properly" in forms, etc.
I was hoping to hear from people that had successfully compartmentalized two different striking styles, but it looks like that was wishful thinking!
It sounds like I should wait until after November, take my Dan grade test, hope I pass, and then start training Muay Thai. I want to get better at fighting, but I don't want to drop Karate now and be one of those brown belts that "could have been a black belt if I'd stuck with it a few more months". If Muay Thai clicks in my brain I don't think I'd drop karate completely, but I might drop it back to once a week for the social experience and the fun of learning some new kata.
This sounds problematic if you learn to fight where face punching is allowed.
Originally Posted by etali
I did Kyokushin and Muay thai at the same time but I finally dropped Kyokushin to do Muay thai and BJJ
I had no problems in Kyokushin as the stance is pretty similar to the thai stance
Now my advice would be: Get the Black belt then move onto BJJ and Muay thai the karate style you practice is too different from Muay thai to have a good crosstraining.
Even with the similarities of Kyokushin and Muay thai because there are no face punching in Kyokushin I still drop my hands sometimes (and get punched)
Now a little story your karate style is extremely similar to my cousin's style
Here is a video of him challenging a Muay thai and MMA practitioner, I now train there LOLZ
On the video description you will find his Facebook Page, you can ask for advice there or insult him, His English is better than mine also.
Last edited by RurikGreenwulf; 9/04/2013 6:25pm at .
You can fight two different styles. even within the one arts I have played with different styles of guard and movement.
You are supposed to be versitile.
well I did traditional karate for a while- we sparred american kickboxing style. As far as I know in boxing,thai boxing, and kyokushin you have your elbows in and just pivot your hips to blow with tip of your elbow. so thats what I did.
Originally Posted by Permalost
Its at least a perception by some that outside of kyokushin(no face shots) that punching to the body is kind of dangerous. I know in kk they do it alot and without gloves it is very devastating. Personally though with gloves I have trouble finding the liver. Its alot easier for me to drop someone with a liver kick. less risky aswell.
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