Is Muay Thai More Dangerous Than Other Forms of Kickboxing?

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If you don’t know much about Muay Thai, it’s easy to assume that this form of kickboxing is inherently more dangerous than other types of martial arts. After all, Muay Thai participants are allowed to use a much broader range of moves than athletes in other forms of boxing. While athletes who participate in French or American kickboxing, for example, are only allowed to use their feet and hands, Muay Thai boxers are allowed to their elbows and knees, and they have a much broader range of striking, movement, and blocking capabilities.

In light of this, it makes sense to assume that Muay Thai should be more dangerous that other types of kickboxing. But in fact, it’s not as simple as this.

Yes, there are risks associated with Muay Thai, but these risks only apply to fighters who are lazy in their moves or who are just not very well trained. If you follow all your lessons to the letter and keep in good shape, the risks don’t really become a factor. Specifically, it’s well known that Muay Thai fighters commonly experience bone problems later in life, especially in the shins. Ironically, these shin injuries come not from being punched or kicked but rather from the act of kicking. In the end, if you use the proper kicking techniques, the damage will be minimized.

Plus, the people who are at risk of injury in Muay Thai are generally the young, hardcore fighters who fight as if they’re invincible. If you’re involved in an adult-level Muay Thai class mainly for fun, exercise, and self-defense, you’re obviously not going to be put into any situations in which you might get seriously hurt. There will be some sparring, but everyone will be well padded, and the impact will be undamaging.

When it comes to kids’ participation in Muay Thai, there may be reason to worry, but only because the quality of Muay Thai lessons varies greatly. If you sign your child up with a Muay Thai teacher who has been working with kids a long time and is committed to keeping kids safe, then you can feel confident in signing your child up. But if the classes seem to place an emphasis on maximum toughness and preparing kids for competitive fighting, then the program might not be the best choice. The training in this case is likely to be intensive and risky.

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