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The Differences Between Dutch & Thai Style Muay Thai Kickboxing

By November 29, 2014 June 27th, 2018 No Comments

One of my beginner level students came up to me the other night after class and asked me about the style of Kickboxing we use/teach here at Ivey League MMA.

He wanted to know if it was more of the “Thai” style or was it more “Dutch” and so on.

That got me thinking, this would make for a really cool blog post. You know, gives me a chance to break down the different types of Kickboxing you’ll find throughout the world.

Okay let’s get rocking and rolling shall we.

Muay Thai Style Kickboxing, which is what we teach here at IL, pretty much falls into Two categories. Dutch and Thai style.

There’s people out there who claim to do other types of Kickboxing but that’s a bunch of baloney. It’s Dutch or Thai style, anything outside of that is just plan ol’ karate.

Surprising as it may be must people don’t know this about Kickboxing. When it comes to Kickboxing pracaticed at the elite level by pro fighters you can tell right away whether they use the Dutch system or stick more with the classic Thai style.

Thai and Dutch Styles Breakdown.

Okay so you’ve got what’s called the “Thai” style and also the “Dutch” style. As the names imply, the styles come from two different countries, Thailand and the Netherlands.

Now just to be clear, it’s still all Muay Thai. Kind of like how a hotdog at Wawa is different from a hotdog at 7-11, but in the end their both still hotdogs. Does that make sense? Cool.

Both styles of Muay Thai have strengths and weaknesses and both are good. For me I’ve always really liked training in both.

So what’s the difference between the two? In a nutshell the Thai’s tend to use a lot more kicks and clinching techniques whereas the Dutch fighters are much more Boxing and low kicks.

Again, the big differences with Thailand style Muay Thai is the use of more upper body (high) kicks, clinching and very little boxing (punching). With the the Dutch fighters you’ll see way more Boxing combinations and leg kicks.

Also, the stance tends to be a little different for each style. The Thai’s use a very upright stance, very much on the balls of their feet.

The Dutch fighters on the other hand keep the stance lower, with more bend in the knees and somewhat square with their opponents.

Which style is better to train in? Take your pick, both work and both are awesome. It really depends on what you like and how you like to fight.

Here in the USA we seem to favor the Thai style a bit more. At least that’s what you’ll see more of the better fighters using. That more upright stance with lots of kicks and such.

For me personally, I’m all about the Boxing. Because of that I’ve always leaned more towards the Dutch style and that’s pretty much what we teach here at Ivey League.

Also, since we do a lot of MMA training it makes sense to work more within the parameters of the Dutch system of Muay Thai Kick Boxing.

What’s funny is if you look at my Muay Thai Coach, Kru Jose Villarisco, he fights 100% the Thai style. Oh and He loves the pure Thai stuff.

With all the clinching, knees and elbows, he’s in haven with all that craziness. I will say this; Kru Jose is one of the few fighters I’ve worked with that can change back and forth between the Thai and Dutch style.

That’s not something you see every day. I can’t do that and I know not many others can either.

See what I mean though? You’ve got me and my coach, who both train in Muay Thai but at the same time we each prefer a different type of Muay Thai to use when we fight. Funny how it works out like that sometimes.

Okay look, I could go on and on with this subject but I’ve got crap to do today so I’ll make today’s lesson super easy.

Check out the videos posted below. Video # 1 features a Thai fighter using the classic style and the other showcases what the Dutch style is all about.

It’s good stuff trust me. Check them out. Feedback like always is welcomed.

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