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  1. #1

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    Aug 2010
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    What is better for a beginner: Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

    I've been spending a lot of time searching for schools within my city, and found two very reputable ones. One school teaches BJJ exclusively, and is tied to Gracie Barra. The other school teaches Muay Thai, and the head instructor has had a black belt since 2001.

    About me: I'm 5'8. I weigh in at a pathetic 130 pounds. With that being said, most of my friends, let alone people in general, are bigger than me. My reason for wanting to learn a self-defense/martial art is to 1. Defend my friends and family, and 2. Defend myself. I am not planning on practicing martial arts for sport. All I want out of it is the knowledge of self-defense. Before BJJ and Muay Thai, I wanted to do Krav Maga because it's the ideal martial art for my intentions. However, there is no Krav Maga school in my city.

    Anyways. here is why I am having troubles deciding:

    Muay Thai is a very solid striking art. I've seen the bone crushing techniques and what experienced people training under this art are capable of. Compared to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I think it has the bigger advantage in street fight defense. With my strategy being to get out of the fight ASAP, I will want to try my best to avoid the ground at all times.

    "But you stupid noob, most fights end up on the ground!"

    Yeah, I know.

    It sucks, because I can only practice one of these arts for now (not both). If I do Muay Thai, and I get taken down from behind, or even face-to-face against an assailant/punk for whatever reason, there's a chance that I might be screwed because I wouldn't know what to do on the ground. Knowing BJJ would be very effective in that situation, because if I ever was taken down to the ground, I would be able to defend myself a lot more efficiently.

    However, considering it's a street fight, I want to avoid going to the ground. The only time I would ever see myself putting a guy in a triangle choke is if it's strictly him vs. me. If I was to apply a submission on someone in a 2-on-1 situation, I would be screwed unless the guy in the submission loses consciousness or gets a limb broken in like 2 seconds, because it doesn't take long for his buddy to stomp my throat.

    With that being said, I want to apologize if I come off as a person who loves picking fights. I actually don't, and I've never been in a serious fight in my whole life. I'm happy to say I am a good (verbal) communicator and I have an easy time talking myself and others out of things, which is why I've never been in a serious fight (serious fight meaning, the other guy wanted to really hurt me). I know that the best way to 'win' a street fight is to never be in one. However this world is not perfect, and there may come a time where I must use my knowledge and technique to defend myself, and more importantly, my friends and family. If ever confronted, of course I will try to avoid a fight, but if something is not resolved, I will NOT hesitate to beat the hell out of them if it means protecting the people I care about.

    Summary: If I do Muay Thai, I won't have any ground game. If I do BJJ, I won't be that good of a striker in the event that I must ironically avoid going to the ground. Muay Thai and BJJ. Both are amazing arts, and I take nothing away from them. My intentions of comparing them is NOT to determine which art is "better" (again, both are great), but to determine which style is better suited for me.

    Styles don't beat people, people beat people. That's true, but I sure as hell do need a place to start.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    New York
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    Prying Mantis Kung-f, SBD
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    A black belt in Muay Thai?

    Well, the simplest answer is to try classes from both and see which one you have more fun doing and practice that. Then later on when you have the time, incorporate the other style (Or a similar one) into your training regimen.

    No martial art is going to prepare you for everything that could happen to you in the street. Still, if you get decent training you'll be more physically fit and will have better odds of surviving a situation which you don't train for.

  3. #3
    Soldiermedic's Avatar
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    bjj/judo
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    First of all, I'm a little concerned that you said the head instructor at the muay thai place has his black belt. There are usually no belts in muay thai. It might come from some other style though. You should be looking at their fight teams wins and losses as a good judge for what kind of place it is.

    Really, you should check out both places, and pick the one that you think will interest you more. The most important thing is to keep you motivated to train, otherwise you will get lackadaisical and quit.

    No offense, but you sound like you're kinda young, and possibly still in high school? If your high school offers it, why not join the wrestling team? You could then use it to supplement your muay thai, or compliment your bjj? Also, if you live in an area that has both bjj and kickboxing, you probably have a judo school in your area, it might be cheaper, and you learn some awesome throws and takedowns along with chokes and jointlocks.

  4. #4
    ChenPengFi's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Hawai'i
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    Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    +1 on MT BB?
    ...along with HS wrestling etc.
    No Judo available?
    It sounds like you have your mind set on the MT.
    That said i suggest the BJJ, it will be easier to pick up the MT later, imo.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by soldiermedic25 View Post
    First of all, I'm a little concerned that you said the head instructor at the muay thai place has his black belt. There are usually no belts in muay thai. It might come from some other style though. You should be looking at their fight teams wins and losses as a good judge for what kind of place it is.

    Really, you should check out both places, and pick the one that you think will interest you more. The most important thing is to keep you motivated to train, otherwise you will get lackadaisical and quit.

    No offense, but you sound like you're kinda young, and possibly still in high school? If your high school offers it, why not join the wrestling team? You could then use it to supplement your muay thai, or compliment your bjj? Also, if you live in an area that has both bjj and kickboxing, you probably have a judo school in your area, it might be cheaper, and you learn some awesome throws and takedowns along with chokes and jointlocks.
    http://www.bdbma.com/kick_instructors.htm

    He is described as a "Black Belt Muay Thai Instructor".

    Checking out both places sounds like a good idea though. Your guess is pretty close, by the way. I just graduated from high school a couple of months ago. My school did offer wrestling, but this at a point where I wasn't interested or motivated at all. It was only recently that I started getting interested in martial arts.

    And I don't want to sound like a noob, but if your reasoning behind learning judo is for its throws, takedowns, chokes and jointlocks, then should I not learn BJJ over it considering it's similar and what I narrowed it down to anyways? I'm honestly just wondering though, I don't mean to come off as stubborn or anything. It may be cheaper, but I'm willing to pay around a hundred a month because it's a decent price that I can afford, because fortunately I have a job.

    Thanks to you and everyone for their replies btw, I appreciate your time.

  6. #6
    Soldiermedic's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by No7oriouSx View Post
    http://www.bdbma.com/kick_instructors.htm

    He is described as a "Black Belt Muay Thai Instructor".

    Checking out both places sounds like a good idea though. Your guess is pretty close, by the way. I just graduated from high school a couple of months ago. My school did offer wrestling, but this at a point where I wasn't interested or motivated at all. It was only recently that I started getting interested in martial arts.

    And I don't want to sound like a noob, but if your reasoning behind learning judo is for its throws, takedowns, chokes and jointlocks, then should I not learn BJJ over it considering it's similar and what I narrowed it down to anyways? I'm honestly just wondering though, I don't mean to come off as stubborn or anything. It may be cheaper, but I'm willing to pay around a hundred a month because it's a decent price that I can afford, because fortunately I have a job.

    Thanks to you and everyone for their replies btw, I appreciate your time.
    It does depend on the teacher, but some bjj schools dont focus a lot on throws or takedowns, they focus more on the submissions and sweeps. Judo(again this depends on the school) is a much more explosive art and it starts standing and doesn't have to focus on working from the ground.

    I apologize for thinking you were still in high school btw.

  7. #7

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    Jul 2010
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    Sydney Australia
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    Muay Thai & Bjj
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hi.Gotta say I feel for ya having to choose.I'm blessed to be able to train both styles in the one club,& although MT is my first love , I personally feel that it is my fledgling Bjj skills that would save my ass if things went pear shaped in the real world.It's Bjj that will give you the tools to get back up off of the ground which for me is the most important thing.Like yourself I'm around 5'11 & only weigh 66kgs,(& no amount of weight training & magic powders has changed that) & the majority of my class mates weigh in around 80kgs & up.In a takedown situation I ALWAYS LOSE,so train hard learning my sweeps above all else.I don't find Bjj as much fun as MT, ( Hey,tell me kicking someone in the face isn't fun!!) & my classmates are so damn fast & technical that Bjj is grueling at best.That being said,I know that if I can keep trained grapplers from messing me up,no drunken retard stands much of a chance.MT on the other hand gives you one important tool (in my mind) that I have yet to find in any of the RBSD that I have toyed with.The ability to keep functioning when you've just been smashed.All of the Krav type stuff I have tried fails to do one thing.THEY DONT HIT YOU.Lots of clinchy,face lock stuff that works when you are face on,but what about the real danger of being blindsided & not realising 'till you're on the ground being stomped?.MT definitely gives you the ability to take pain & keep moving,very important.Again,I feel for you having to choose one or the other,but either way you won't be disappointed.Good luck.

  8. #8
    patfromlogan's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    Hilo Island of Hawaii
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    Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The best answer I read was go out and see what is FUN for you. The atmosphere of the school and personality of the teacher is very important.

    Both are fine for sd. Kick boxing might have an edge for multi, true, but...

    Years ago one of Varga's New Mexico friends was hassled by some drunk frat clowns (he never said, but I assumed it was because of his non-white ethnicity) and he double legged and dropped the first guy who went for him. He made the mistake of going down with the clown and got up in a hurry expecting to be jumped. Everyone was backing away freaking out, though, because clown #1 was laying KO'd with a pool of blood under his head. Turned out none of the clowns had spent time doing breakfalls! So BJJ worked great against a group. Can you imagine any punks wanting to get it on if you do an arm bar, after you've snapped the first guys elbow and he's screaming?
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez

  9. #9
    battlefields's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    BJJ/ MMA/ MT
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    +1 for fug's anecdote.

    When you are confident that you can survive (and eventually be dominant) on the ground, you'll have less fear about being sent there. Your punches with zero technique become offensive, balls to the wall, I don't give a ****, I'm coming at you whether you drop me or not so bring it bitches kind of punches and therefore become that much more dangerous.

    But I loved training Muay Thai when I was younger, so I understand it is a hard decision. Although, I am still a little concerned about the black belt Muay Thai instructor.

    Also, fun.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Sydney Australia
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    253
    Style
    Muay Thai & Bjj
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The school I train at ( Spma ) uses a shirt ranking system,ie Black Shirt, & Singlet ranking is common,but not belts.****,if my classmates wore belts sparring standup,it'd just give me something else to aim for.:icon_joke

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