Muay Thai vs. tang soo do is a battle between powerful strikes and close-quarter evasion techniques. Which technique will triumph?

If you want to start your martial arts journey, it is only good to know about the different types of martial arts available.

Martial arts are flexible and fit most people’s lifestyles. There are a ton of ways to partake in the activity, as martial arts encompass a variety of styles.

Some of the most popular martial arts include Tang soo Do and Muay Thai. In this article, we shall see how the two compare.

What Does Tang Soo Do Entail?

Tang Soo Do is an ancient Korean martial art that is undertaken as a way of life. Although not so popular, it is similar to karate and Taekwondo.

It focuses on blocking an opponent’s attacks using open-handed techniques, then counterattacking using close-quarter combat techniques.

It revolves around the principle of using a circular motion for defense and landing disabling attacks on the opponent.

Tang Soo Do can be termed as a both offensive and defensive martial art.

Tang Soo Do employs breathing and the use of forms to demonstrate a variety of kicking techniques, build endurance, and enhance balance and coordination.

The forms are choreographed moves entailing kicks, strikes, and blocks.

Tang Soo Do does not encourage violence. Rather, as a philosophical art, it instills positive thinking and helps one to discover their potential so as to conduct a healthy, happier life.

What does Muay Thai Entail?

“Muay Thai” is the nickname for Thailand’s national martial art, renowned as Thai boxing. It is a modern combat sport that borrows heavily from its predecessor, Muay Boran.

However, deadly aspects used in Muay Boran, such as head and joint strikes, have been forbidden in Muay Thai.

Muay Thai is considered the art of 8 limbs, employing fists, elbows, knees, and shins. Attacking techniques in Muay Thai are characterized by elbow strikes, clinches, push kicks, kicks, and knee strikes.

Defense techniques encompass blocks, deflections, lean backs, dodges, deflections, and leg catches.

Both the attack and defense techniques are synchronized to ensure a flawless attack and counter strategy.

Muay Thai features choreographed drills that are instilled when training, such that they become second nature.

This activity ensures that the moves are executed in a fluid, graceful manner. As such, Muay Thai fighters are known to be aggressive, strong, and can take on any fight with ease.

Muay fighters are deadly and are allowed to use lethal force on their targets, to quickly eliminate them.

Differences between Tang Soo Do vs. Muay Thai

  • Muay Thai is a more aggressive martial art featuring hard-hitting strikes. Tang Soo Do is more defensive and uses more open-handed blocking techniques.
  • Muay Thai fighters are flexible and have a greater arsenal of moves, whereas Tang Soo Do practitioners are limited in their move sets.
  • Muay Thai does not restrict the use of deadly moves that would cause serious harm to the opponent.
  • Tang Soo Do is a way of life. As such, practitioners do not use any of the deadly techniques that may be deemed harmful to the opponent.
CategoryMuay ThaiTang Soo Do
FocusStriking (punches, kicks, knees, elbows)Striking and kicking, forms (patterns of movements)
TechniquesMore emphasis on kicks and knees, clinching, elbow strikesEmphasis on hand strikes, kicks, and blocks
CompetitionKnown for its use in competitive fighting such as MMA and kickboxingMore traditional and focused on individual forms and sparring
AttireFighters wear gloves, shorts, and sometimes shin guardsPractitioners wear a uniform called a dobok and belts indicating rank
PhilosophyEmphasis on “the art of eight limbs” and using the body’s natural weapons for self-defenseEmphasis on discipline, respect, and traditional martial arts values
TrainingFocuses on conditioning, strength training, and developing power and enduranceEmphasizes patterns and traditional techniques with a focus on precision and control


  • Both Tang Soo Do and Muay Thai focus on blocking and countering techniques.
  • Both are considered combat sports because they are competitive in nature.
  • Both are practiced as self-defense techniques to protect one from harm.

What to choose?

Muay Thai and Tang Soo Do are effective fighting styles in their own capacity. As such, what to choose depends on what you prefer.

Muay Thai favors those who want to compete in the ring and win. Tang soo do, on the other hand, is a more philosophical martial art that focuses on absolute defense and harmony.

Both martial arts are fun and exciting to learn, so Muay Thai can be a good option if you’re looking for a good workout routine that will keep you in shape.


Muay Thai and Tang Soo Do are different martial arts that can help you become a better fighter. Tang Soo Do uses open-hand techniques to block an opponent’s attacks.

The fighting style also employs hand strikes and close-quarter combat techniques to subdue opponents.

Muay Thai is aggressive and relies on hard-hitting techniques such as elbow and knee strikes, close-quarter kicks, push kicks, and clinches.

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