Muay Thai, thaiboxing, Hapkido, Cuong Nhu

THAI KICKBOXING / Thaiboxing (Thailand) Muay Thai

Muay Thai, the most popular spectator sport in Thailand, is also sometimes called "the science of eight limbs" because practitioners use hands, elbows, knees, and feet to strike with.

Though modern rules were introduced in the 1970s which require participants to wear padded gloves similar to those in boxing, the legs are still bare and thus the primary offensive weapon of the Muay Thai artist is the shin kick.

Basic strategy involves kicking the opponent repeatedly in the thighs to decrease their ability to move quickly or deliver kicks of their own, then getting in close to strike the head with the elbows and knees- attacks that few can perform as devastatingly as the Muay Thai practitioners.

The Thai Kickboxer is known for being able to take incredible amounts of punishment since strikes are aimed at any part of the body.

As a means of self defence Muay Thai, with its heavy use of knees and elbows, will enable a practitioner to use striking techniques at very close ranges where grappling techniques usually dominate.

Similar Styles:

Lethwei (Burmese Boxing) - Sport from Burma (now Myanmar) which emphasises attacks to the head.

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Hapkido practitioner becomes skilled in numerous kicks, punches, and blocks.

From Aiki-Jujitsu (the predecessor of Aikido) it gets most of its grappling techniques. Thus, the Hapkido practitioner spends an equal amount of time learning techniques such as throws and joint locks.

The benefit of studying Hapkido versus studying one striking style and one grappling style is that the practitioner learns to use the two approaches to compliment one another. For example, a Hapkido artist might use a punch to distract her opponent while a difficult throw is set up. Conversely, a Hapkido artist might spin or off-balance his opponent to decrease their ability to defend against a kick.

Along these same lines, the Hapkido artist learns to counter in the opposite manner of an attack, thus confusing the enemy. As such, linear attacks are countered with a circular technique and circular attacks are countered with a linear technique.

Hapkido artists also learn vital targets and pressure points in order to immobilise their attacker as quickly as possible. Similar Styles: Combat Hapkido - Very similar to traditional Hapkido, this modern version uses Muay Thai striking techniques instead of getting its strikes from Tae Kyon (see Muay Thai under kickboxing styles).

Cuong Nhu - A Vietnamese style which incorporates both Karate and Aikido. Kajukenbo - Named after the five styles which were combined to create it: Karate (ka), Judo and Jujitsu (ju), Kenpo (ken), and Chinese Boxing (bo).

Cuong Nhu:

Cuong Nhu was founded in 1965 by Grandmaster Ngo Dong.

Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts Association is a federally recognized non-profit educational organization. Cuong Nhu is a martial art that blends the basic elements of a number of different styles.

Cuong Nhu has its roots in Shotokan Karate and combines aspects of Aikido, Judo, Wing Chun, Vovinam, Tai Chi Chuan, and Boxing. It is this blending of hard and soft styles from which Cuong Nhu (pronounced Kung New) derives its name, which is Vietnamese for Hard (Cuong) - Soft (Nhu).

Cuong Nhu was brought to the United States in 1971, when Grandmaster Ngo Dong came to the University of Florida to earn his Ph.D. While there he founded the Cuong Nhu Karate Club. This club quickly grew into the largest intramural club on campus, with over two hundred students participating.

Another school, the Center, was then established in Gainesville to serve people of all ages outside the university community. Many of the early students from these schools went on to establish their own Cuong Nhu dojos after leaving Gainesville, thus spreading the style all over the United States and around the world.

Grandmaster Ngo Dong was succeeded by his son, Grandmaster Quynh Ngo as the Head of Cuong Nhu Oriental Martial Arts.


Tae Kwon Do utilises a larger number of hand positions for its hand strikes than most martial arts, but is primarily known for its vast catalogue of different kicks, many of them aimed at the head (such high kicks are not very common in other styles of martial art).

Thus, flexibility, balance, and leg strength are important, especially for spinning, jumping, or flying kicks. However, the development of these traits is part of Tae Kwon Do training and the beginning student is started off with much simpler kicks. Though throwing and takedowns are taught in some schools, traditional Tae Kwon Do uses virtually no grappling techniques and as its name suggests is very much centred around superior punching and kicking ability. As is to be expected of a striking style, Tae Kwon Do uses blocks as its primary defensive technique.

Similar Styles: Hwa Rang Do - Developed 1800 years ago as part of the physical and spiritual development of the royal youth of Silla, one of the three kingdoms which combined to form Korea, Hwa Rang Do is the original Korean fighting art. It was eventually outlawed and driven underground and has only been available publicly since 1960. Includes a fair amount of grappling techniques.

Soo Bahk Do - The modern version of Subak, the style from which Tae Kwon Do originated.

Tang Soo Do - A style composed of approximately two-thirds Subak and one-third Wushu, from which it derives its more circular movements. See Soo Bahk Do and Wushu.