Boxing vs. Other Combat Sports: Comparisons and Differences

Boxing vs. Other Combat Sports Comparisons and Differences

Combat sports have become an increasingly popular way for people to stay fit and learn self-defense techniques.

Boxing, a long-standing classic, has evolved over the years, paving the way for a variety of new combat sports.

Each discipline comes with its unique set of rules, techniques, and styles.

In this article, we'll dive into a comparison of boxing and other combat sports, highlighting the key differences that make each one distinct and captivating in its own right.

Boxing vs. MMA: Which is More Popular?

Boxing vs. MMA Which is More Popular 1

Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are two of the most popular combat sports. Boxing is a sport that involves using only your hands to punch your opponent, while MMA allows various techniques, such as:

  • grappling,
  • takedowns,
  • and striking with hands, feet, knees, and elbows.

MMA is more popular than boxing, as it is a more comprehensive combat sport and allows more techniques.

However, boxing still has a massive following, and many professional boxers have made their name in the sport.


One of the most significant differences between boxing and MMA is the striking. In boxing, fighters use only their fists to strike their opponents. In contrast, MMA fighters use a variety of striking techniques, including punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.

While this may seem like an advantage for MMA fighters, it also means they have to split their time between practicing multiple striking techniques, which can be challenging.

Ground game

Another significant difference is the ground game. In MMA, fighters can take the fight to the ground and use grappling techniques to submit their opponents.

In boxing, however, the fight always stays standing. This means boxers must focus solely on their footwork, head movement, and punching combinations.

Boxing vs. Muay Thai: What's the Difference?

Boxing vs. Muay Thai Whats the Difference 1

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that involves striking with fists, feet, elbows, and knees. Muay Thai fighters use a wide range of techniques that are not allowed in boxing, such as kicks, knees, and elbows.

In contrast, boxing focuses only on punching with the hands.

Muay Thai is known for its powerful kicks and devastating knee strikes, while boxing is known for its fast and precise punches.

Elbow and Knee Strikes

One of the most significant differences between boxing and Muay Thai is the use of elbow and knee strikes in the latter. Muay Thai fighters use a variety of techniques, including punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, to strike their opponents.

While this may seem like an advantage for Muay Thai fighters, it also means they have to split their training between multiple striking techniques.


Another significant difference is the clinch. In Muay Thai, fighters are allowed to clinch their opponents and use knee strikes to the body and head.

In boxing, however, clinching is not allowed, which means boxers must focus on their footwork and head movement to avoid getting caught by their opponents.

Boxing vs. Wrestling: Which is More Effective?

Boxing vs. Wrestling Which is More Effective 1

Boxing and wrestling have been around since ancient times, both serving as effective martial arts and popular combat sports, teaching a variety of techniques and skills.

Boxing is all about striking, with fighters relying solely on their hands, while wrestling involves a mix of leverage, pressure points, and momentum to take down and immobilize opponents.

When it comes to self-defense, boxing and wrestling are both practical and effective. Boxing might have the edge in street fights, where punches are often the go-to move.

Skilled boxers can land clean shots, and opponents usually need to endure these strikes to close the distance and grab onto them.

Meanwhile, experienced wrestlers can take someone down by just grabbing a part of their body or clothing.

Once they initiate a takedown, trip, or throw, even skilled boxers might struggle to respond effectively.

When it comes to popularity, boxing has a slight edge over wrestling, boasting higher average ratings and a broader global audience.

However, wrestling's influence is felt in other ways, such as its incorporation into various military training disciplines. Though boxing is simple and highly effective as a self-defense martial art, wrestling may have the upper hand overall.

Wrestlers are exceptional athletes—strong, explosive, and resilient. In a street fight or freestyle combat, they generally have better odds against a boxer, thanks to their superior athleticism, technique effectiveness, and body mechanics.

In this matchup, it's often easier for wrestlers to assert dominance than vice versa.

Boxing vs. Jiu-Jitsu: Which is More Technical?

Boxing vs. Jiu Jitsu Which is More Technical

Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu are as different as night and day when it comes to combat sports, each boasting distinct objectives and rules. While Boxing is a striking-based martial art that focuses on powerful punches, Jiu-Jitsu is all about grappling and intricate submission techniques.

When it comes to picking up a new sport, boxing may be the easier option, as it's pretty straightforward - you just need to use your hands to strike.

On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu is a fantastic choice for self-defense, providing you with an arsenal of techniques to protect yourself from attackers, especially if they're larger than you.

Fitness and Safety: Boxing for Beginners, Jiu-Jitsu for Protection

If you're a beginner looking to get in shape without risking injury, boxing might be the perfect fit. It's often considered a better option for those whose main goal is fitness.

Jiu-Jitsu, however, tends to be safer in the long run since you can tap out if you're in a tough spot and there's generally less wear and tear on your body than in boxing. With boxing, you're constantly taking hits to the head and body throughout the rounds.

Effectiveness in Combat: Jiu-Jitsu Shines, but Don't Underestimate Boxing

In terms of effectiveness, Jiu-Jitsu has demonstrated its superiority over boxing in MMA competition. Nevertheless, both sports can be lethal in the hands of a skilled practitioner.

Boxing is considered a "high variance" fighting style, meaning that even an untrained individual could potentially land a devastating blow. But when it comes to ground combat, a Jiu-Jitsu blue belt or higher will most likely dismantle their opponent with ease.

Boxing vs. Kickboxing: Which is More Versatile?

Boxing vs. Kickboxing Which is More Versatile 1

Kickboxing is a combat sport that combines elements of boxing and martial arts, such as karate and Muay Thai. Kickboxing allows the use of punches, kicks, and knee strikes.

Boxing, however, focuses only on punching techniques. Kickboxing is more versatile than boxing as it allows the use of various techniques from different martial arts.

Use of Legs

Kickboxing, as the name suggests, involves the use of kicks, as well as punches, to strike an opponent.

While this gives kickboxers more options when it comes to striking, it also means they have to split their training between punches and kicks, just like in MMA. In contrast, boxers can devote all their training time to perfecting their punching technique.

Scoring System

Another significant difference is the scoring system. In kickboxing, kicks are often scored higher than punches, which means kickboxers must focus on their kicking technique to score points.

In boxing, however, points are scored solely based on punches landed, which means boxers must focus on their punching accuracy and volume to win rounds.

Boxing vs. Krav Maga: Which is More Practical?

Boxing vs. Krav Maga Which is More Practical 1

Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed by the Israeli Defense Forces. Krav Maga emphasizes practical techniques that are easy to learn and effective in real-life situations.

Boxing, on the other hand, is a sport that has a set of rules and techniques that are not always applicable in self-defense situations. Krav Maga is more practical than boxing as it focuses on techniques that work in real-life situations.

In conclusion, each combat sport has its own unique set of rules, techniques, and styles.

Boxing is a popular combat sport that focuses on punching techniques, while other sports like MMA, Muay Thai, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Krav Maga have their own strengths and weaknesses.

When choosing a combat sport to participate in, it is essential to consider your goals, preferences, and interests. Regardless of the sport you choose, remember to always train safely and enjoy the sport.

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