Most individuals get stuck in choosing either Muay Thai or Goju Ryu karate. Perhaps, no one wants to be weak and wants to train in fighting styles that have no benefit to them.

However, the challenge is knowing which exactly to choose between Muay Thai and Goju Ryu karate. Is Muay Thai better than Goju Ryu karate?

Both Muay Thai and Goju Ryu karate are forms of martial arts. Choosing either one of these two fighting styles needs you to understand their basics.

Indeed, each of these fighting styles is unique and has an intended purpose. There are those individuals who intend to combine both Muay Thai and Goju Ryu karate which is not bad.

But before you make a move to train, understand what each style focuses on.

What Goju Ryu karate focuses on

Goju Ryu karate lays its focus on close-range fighting. It is characterized mainly by a fighter being able to perform skills such as trapping and grabbing attacks.

Such techniques lead to joint locks, throws, and even strikes. Notably, it is a fighting style that is physically demanding each moment.

Although Goju Ryu karate has traits of precise and narrow movements, it is a unique combat art with hard-soft fighting styles.

Practitioners of Goju Ryu karate need to master all the moves for effectiveness in real life.

What Muay Thai focuses on

The basics of Muay Thai focus on defending and attacking skills. In other words, the main focus of this martial art is to protect from physical harm from the opponent and, at the same time inflicting pain on the opponent.

This kind of martial art was originally associated with military warfare. The Muay Thai fighter can use the body parts like knee and elbow while performing push kicks to strike and disarm the opponent.

One more important thing you need to know about Muay Thai is that fighters are not allowed to perform ground fights.

In other words, this martial art is a stand-up fighting style. It consists of eight limbs( fighting steps) while combining boxing and kicking to weaken the opponent.

Differences between Muay Thai and Goju Ryu

Muay Thai and Gujo karate are martial arts popular across Asia and other parts of the world.

  • Muay Thai has been practiced in Thailand since ancient times and incorporated boxing and karate elements. It utilizes kicks, clinch techniques, punches, and elbows to make it the most versatile martial art.
  • Goju Ryu karate, on the other hand, is a traditional Okinawan karate style that blends a combination of both soft and complex techniques.
  • Its principles emanate from a popular martial art book used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries. Goju Ryu integrates both linear and circular movements into its curriculum, blending both close-hand punches and brutal striking attacks like kicks.
  • Although the two techniques feature similar aspects, they have some critical differences.
  • Goju Ryu karate is one of the popular karate martial arts, while Muay Thai is one of the most arduous stand-up combat techniques.
  • The techniques are based on various training philosophies; while Muay Thai focuses on technical sparring, Goju Ryu karate puts more emphasis on forms or katas.
  • In Goju Ryu, practitioners aim and land their fists on the opponent’s face, while in Muay Thai, practitioners punch like they want to make a hole in their face.
  • The kicks are thrown like the practitioners would like to cut the opponent’s body to two; hence in this way, practitioners put more power on their strikes.
  • While Muay Thai is more Unified, Goju Ryu comprises diverse styles whose effectiveness also differs.
  • Goju Ryu, in most cases, does not allow head punches; hence its fighters are open to head kicks. On the other hand, Muay Thai does not restrict head punches; hence it could be dangerous for Goju Ryu to fight a Thai.
  • Straight leg kicks in Goju Ryu are quicker and faster than Muay kicks. On the other hand, Muay Thai kicks are often delivered with shins instead of sweeps.
  • In Goju Ryu, karate stances are narrow, so its practitioners are more vulnerable to leg sweeps than Muay Thai practitioners.
  • Recovering from strikes in Goju Ryu is easier than in muay Thai.
  • Muay Thai is aggressive, and most people find it dangerous. On the other hand, Goju Ryu emphasizes light contact, speed, and defeating the opponent with technique and not power as it is in muay Thai.

Similarities between Goju Ryu and Muay Thai

  • Both Goju Ryu karate and Muay Thai are combat-striking techniques.
  • Both rarely use grapples and takedowns and emphasize on feet instead of the ground.
  • They both originate from ancient Asia, so some life philosophies and training principles are similar.

What to choose?

Muay Thai and Goju Ryu karate are the two most popular and widely practiced martial arts worldwide.

They both feature unique weaknesses and strengths, so when it comes to deciding what to choose, it will depend on the practitioner’s goals and preferences.

Goju Ryu, just like other karate forms, mainly focuses on throws, grappling, and clinching.

So basically, the best martial art will depend on the practitioner’s desires and goals. Both martial arts forms have a long history of practitioners who were successful in both fields.

So, it will be up to the person to choose the martial art that best meets their needs. If you need a superior martial art for self-defense, Muay Thai might be the best for you as it offers a comprehensive set of tools and techniques for offense and defense.


Muay Thai and Goju Ryu karate are critical martial arts, although they differ in some areas of reality. Each martial art is unique and has a particular aim or focus.

Starting from attacking and defending through performing incredible skills, you can choose to learn any of these martial arts.

It, therefore, depends on your goals and why you need to learn a particular martial art, having so far been aware of the basics of each.

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