CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   CrossPit (
-   -   krav maga or muay thai? (

John Edmondson 10-14-2007 01:37 AM

krav maga or muay thai?
Sorry to be somewhat redundant considering a fairly recent thread, but I too am considering taking up a martial art, for fun and for "just in case." I am most interested in krav maga and muay thai, though what I know about them comes largely from what I've seen on TV. Can anyone recommend one over the other, maybe some pros and cons of each? I am 5'11, 170#. I also have a short (about a year, no fights) history in boxing. Thanks in advance.

Jason Lopez-Ota 10-14-2007 01:49 AM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
Here is a quote from BrentW a Krav Maga instructor on the forum. Krav Maga is for real life. Muay Thai is for sport.

"At the Force Training Division we have a ton of thank you letters from military personnel and law enforcement officers that have used not only our handgun and rifle defenses but also stick and knife. To my knowledge I haven't heard of a case where the gun defense failed. Keep in mind that there are a lot of factors and it is very high risk and it requires significant training.
That being said - We have even had call from someone who learned the gun from the front defense by learning it from the videos and he snatched the weapon right out of the assailant's hand."

Jason Lopez-Ota 10-14-2007 03:31 AM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
Don't assume you really know anything about the art from what you've seen on TV either. TV barely scratched the surface.

Travis Hall 10-14-2007 06:53 AM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
I agree there are many important differences between sport based and reality based martial arts.

I think another consideration should be the instructors. The fact that KravMaga is a great reality based system means nothing if the instructor is not passionate and able to convey information.

Muai Thai, because it has full contact sparring and uses many differnent ranges can definitly be useful in a reality context.

To repeat myself, I would also look at the instructors, because often they make the difference in how fast you learn and develop.


Jonas Cronfeld 10-14-2007 09:29 AM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
I read about krav maga and it sounded really cool. I took some classes but i didn't like it much. There was way to much over-and-over patterns to learn for my taste, and to little actual fighting. Earlier I've trained JKD and Vale Tudo - I liked both of them much more than Krav Maga. There was much more aliveness sparring. It could be different in other gyms, I don't know.

Andrew Thompson 10-14-2007 12:35 PM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?

Originally Posted by Travis Hall (Post 204373)

To repeat myself, I would also look at the instructors, because often they make the difference in how fast you learn and develop.


This is absolutely the most important thing! You can go to ten different Muay Thai schools, and have ten completely different experiences. It is all about the instructor's teaching ability and style. The same goes for any martial system.

A good teacher has passion and drive that is infectious. They have the communication skills to transfer what they know, into what you are able to do.

As far as the systems in question. It is all about your goals.

I see Krav Maga like GPP (General Physical Preparation) and Muay Thai as SST (Sport Specific Training).

Krav Maga is like CrossFit (GPP) in that you train many different areas. In CF ( as you know) we train gymnastics, weightlifting, sprinting, etc.. In Krav Maga you will train hands, kicks, elbows, knees, chokes, bear hugs, weapon defense, ground defense, stress drills, fatigue drills, aggression drills, multiple attacker drills, you can do sparring if your school offers a fight class, etc..Can it translate to "real life" ? Absolutely. There are many success stories about real life situations.

Muay Thai is like focusing on only weightlifting, or only gymnastics, or only sprinting (SST). You will get very good at the eight weapons of hands, elbows, knees, and feet. You will train one-on-one for a ring sport. You will train mental and physical toughness.

A huge factor in being successful in a real life encounter is mindset. You have to be aggressive, have quick decisive actions, and control the adrenal dump. Doing some training in adrenaline stress scenario training is outstanding for this.

Again, I think that it comes down to goals.

Krav Maga, with a great instructor, will have you good at a wide variety of abilities. It will be fun, dynamic, always different, and a hell of a workout. (In the interest of full disclosure I teach Krav Maga. We use Tabata intervals in class amongst other dynamic fast paced drills. :evilsmile ) The emphasis on Krav Maga is definitely self defense.

Muay Thai, with with a great instructor, will give you a great stand up game. It will forge physical and mental toughness. It will be dynamic and fun. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have trained in Muay Thai and absolutely loved it. I have not coached Muay Thai.)

Go check out a few training facilities. Try some classes and see what feels right. Look to see how the students interact with each other.

Once you make a decision, train hard and have fun. The combat arts can have a huge impact on your life, there is nothing like it...kind of like CrossFit!

John Edmondson 10-14-2007 05:36 PM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
Awesome info guys. Thanks so much for shedding a little light.

Chad Lott 10-15-2007 12:25 PM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
I say it all depends on the gyms available in your area. I train Muay Thai at the Fairtex in San Francisco and love it. I haven't learned gun disarms and whatnot, but I think I'd do okay in a scuffle. Good people and good trainers make all the difference.

I checked the Krav Maga joint out in town too. It really came down to schedule. Fairtex had more classes available at the times I needed them.

One thing I've noticed (and this is highly subjective) is that when people are training for "th3 Str33t" they seem like they're having a little less fun. This weird paranoia vibe takes over sometimes. Probably not everywhere.

Personally, I'm into having fun and using that hard won Crossfit GPP in a competitive environment.

Jason Lopez-Ota 10-15-2007 04:25 PM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
Remember Alex Gong was shot at close range. Nothing says you can't do both either. But if you live in a place where you are 100% sure that you won't be attacked, don't bother.

Rob Harris 10-24-2007 10:59 AM

Re: krav maga or muay thai?
Gracie Jiu Jitsu FTW IMO.


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.