It’s a fairly common thing for Muay Thai practitioners to have a sense of superiority when it comes to other martial arts. There's a fair amount of reasoning behind this, due to Muay Thai’s practicality in the real world and how, nowadays, Muay Thai fighters usually beat other styles.
The downside to this mentality (aside from just being pretty lame and annoying) is that it makes a lot of people think that other martial arts, like Taekwondo, have nothing to offer.
This is nowhere near the case. Even if Taekwondo is not all well rounded and all-encompassing as Muay Thai, there are still a lot of things to learn from it, especially in its kicks.
(Side note: Why is Taekwondo considered a "traditional martial art" but Muay Thai isn’t? Muay Thai is older than Taekwondo and most Karate styles by literally every measurement! Rant over.)
We all know that the roundhouse kicks in Muay Thai and traditional martial arts like Taekwondo are very different. In Taekwondo, practitioners have a lot more control and rely on a quick snap to generate power. In Muay Thai, the baseball bat analogy is used a lot, as In Muay Thai you should swing your hips and legs all around to generate much more power than a roundhouse in Taekwondo or Karate.
The fact that that it doesn’t generate as much force doesn’t mean that the Taekwondo version isn't worth learning though. A lot of fighters learn both and use them in different situations.
For the sake of this piece, we are going to refer to the Taekwondo/Karate style kick as the round kick, as it is common to refer to it that way among people who use both, and the Muay Thai style of kick as the roundhouse kick.
1 BETTER HEADSHOTS
The speed of the round kick will force a very fast movement in the skull of your opponent, which is actually what causes someone to go unconscious. This means that not only is it easier to land a round kick, as well as safer (we are going to get into that), but it is also more likely to cause a KO than the roundhouse kick.
2 QUICKER BODY SHOTS
The nice thing about the liver is that it has a few similarities to the head, in that you don’t really need to hit it hard to cause a knockdown. The liver, if hit in the right way, even without a ton of power, will drop your opponent, maybe even for the full ten count.
The angle of the round kick can also help not only in making it harder to see and block, but also help it to land better, in order to maximize damage to the liver.
3 SAFER TO THROW
The thing about the round kick is that due to its chambering and the reliance on the snap rather than the swing, it makes it much less likely to be caught.
If your opponent does try to catch this kick, they will probably fail. Even if they are able to grab it, because of the re-chamber, you will already be in a better position to pull your leg out.
This all implies that your opponent is able to see your kick and attempt to catch it, which if you throw it with the right timing and speed, they may not even be able to block the round kick, even if you don’t set it up.
4 SCORES POINTS EASILY
Building off that last point a little, this kick's speed and generally safe nature will allow you to score more points, potentially winning you the round. This makes round kicks a really good option for those situations where you feel like you need to score just a few more points but full-on roundhouse kicks might take too much time or energy to throw.
This is perfect for those really close matches or rounds, where it could go either way.
Just make sure that these kicks while maybe not as powerful as others, are still landing solidly enough to make an impact for the judges to see.
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