I've been practising Muay Thai for about 8 months now, I really like the sport and I plan to continue practising it. Later on I would like to add some ground skills and move on to MMA. My ultimate goal is to eventually become a well rounded fighter, adapted to various situations, not a Muay Thai pro. Muay Thai IMHO has a significant value as a striking base, and definitely is my favourite so far, however it lacks grappling skills and I would like to transition to MMA and Krav Maga eventually.

I took boxing for 3 months now in my Uni, and I noticed that I improved my hand skills tremendously, learned the technique how to strike properly.

Would a time period in boxing help me build a solid hand striking base before returning to Muay Thai? If yes, then long would you recommend me to take boxing?

Also, I noticed that I learn well when it's one skill at a time. I started in an MMA group, and felt like they were teaching everything at once and I learned nothing. I moved to Muay Thai to concentrate at striking and noticed that I am learning well. When I took boxing for a few months, the group consisted of beginners, and the coach taught every move from scratch focusing on technique, it filled a lot of gaps in hand technique for me.

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    Do you want to be good at Muay Thai, boxing, and grappling individually, in and of themselves? Or are you training in those things just because you believe it will help you in your ultimate goal of doing MMA? Because, the answer to that question is needed before advising you. Feb 18, 2017 at 23:56
  • @SteveWeigand Yo are absolutely right, I updated the question.
    – Dean
    Feb 19, 2017 at 16:28
  • I edited your question quiet heavily. Hopefully, it makes it an easier read and better structured. Let me know if I have changed things too drastically for you… Feb 21, 2017 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


I recommend avoiding learning skills that overlap heavily until you've mastered one. In your case, muay thai and boxing both teach punches, and if you pick up habits from boxing they may get you in trouble later when you're fighting under muay thai or MMA rules. When you box you learn to defend against another boxer, but the defensive habits you form may leave you very vulnerable to the extra attacks in muay thai, such as elbows, knees and kicks. For example, boxing teaches you to lean the upper body various directions to dodge and counter, but this may limit the mobility you need both to utilise the wider range of follow up attacks allowed you in muay thai, as well as compromising your footwork and ability to dodge or block. Leaning towards either leg makes it harder to lift to jam a low kick, or to attack with that leg.

  • The boxing school where I trained teaches to dodge not by leaning with the upper body, but by using the legs. No leaning back as well, the trainer teaches to jump back with your entire body. They put a lot of emphasis on footwork as well, constant movement and not staying stationary. The bad habit of leaning with the upper body is actually something I picked from Muay Thai in my gym.
    – Dean
    Feb 28, 2017 at 15:53
  • @Dean: yikes! Maybe the real problem is whether your muay thai instructors know what they're doing?
    – Tony D
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:15

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