Find everything about Muay Thai in one place

Muay Thai Facts

Muay Thai Vs Aikido: A Head-To-Head Comparison

muay thai vs aikido comparison
muay thai vs aikido

I think many readers will say that I am mixing apples and oranges. Super defensive against pressure martial art, offense vs defense, counters versus combos, and one-strike knockouts. But please, hit the brake!

Every martial art offers good and bad sides. Muay Thai vs Aikido comparison definitively makes sense. I am pretty confident there are so many good points for analysis, from stance to basic defensive moves and various footwork, transitions, and movement. Please keep reading, this is an intriguing topic!

What Makes Aikido So Unique?

Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It was derived from the ancient martial art Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu. The creator of the Japanese fighting style took part in the Ōmoto-kyō religion and created a new, defensive martial art with a very small number of offensive moves.

According to its creator Ueshiba, the ultimate goal of Aikido is “to disable the attacker and make him give up from the further attacks”. Masters of the Japanese defensive art are trying to “overcome oneself instead of cultivating violence and aggressiveness”.

The ultimate advantage of Aikido is the fact that it focuses on throws and joint locks. It means you are using the opponent’s strength against him. You don’t need Hulk’s power to submit or dominate a 300-pound attacker. Your arms are probably stronger than the bully’s hands or joints.

Aikido works against all kinds of weapons and attacks, but it is very hard to learn. Plus there is another problem – you might disable a beginner, but dealing with a master of tricky attacks or professional fighter might be a nightmare.

Which Are The Greatest Stance Differences?

Now I am starting with Muay Thai vs Aikido analysis. I told you everything about the Muay Thai stance. In Aikido, your stance is wider. Your knees are flexed more. It is an open-palm martial art, so you don’t clench your fists. Your leading leg and the heel or your rear leg are in the same line.

Your leading leg is rotated 90-degrees to the inside, while the weight is slightly shifted forward (don’t forget, in Muay Thai your weight is shifted on your rear foot).

The defensive nature of the Aikido stance helps you move sideways and counter your opponent easily. It is excellent for the defense, but it’d be hard to attack your foe as you’d need a lot of time to reach his head or belly. Muay Thai stance is way better for the offensive aspect of the game, but Aikido experts will defend easier.

Muay Thai Vs Aikido – Which One Is More Defensive?

Definitively Aikido, as there are very few offensive maneuvers. Thai fighters brawl, much forward, connect combos and try to knock out their opponents. The level of damage is critical in a Muay Thai bout.

Aikido is focused on defense and disabling your attacker with a throw or a joint lock. Aikido expert can counter you with an open palm strike to the sensitive areas of your body. Yet, its primary goal is to defend and assure the bully that his attacks are useless.

Muay Thai fighters usually check low kicks thanks to strong shins or cover up with elbows and forearms. Aikido masters tend to move from the line of the attack, change the angle and surprise the attacker with a lightning-fast counter. Their ultimate goal is to get the advantage from the attacker’s power by using his force against him.

Can You Use Aikido Moves On The Ground?

Oh, yeah! When you trip your opponent or control him via wrist lock, you can finish the fight by forcing him to surrender. You can even transition to a submission switch attempt.

Muay Thai vs Aikido comparison makes sense when it comes to ground fighting. Thai boxers might unload a barrage of fists, elbows, or even knees on a downed opponent and earn a victory via strikes. Aikido fighter will try to work on your arms and potentially force you to tap.

Muay Thai strikes are making a significant amount of damage thanks to repeated blows to the same spot. Aikido is based on controlling the wrist or the piece of clothes. The Japanese martial art might not be so effective against a sweaty opponent in shorts, but it works well against attackers in jackets or sweaters.

The biggest advantage of Muay Thai is elbows from the bottom, as Aikido masters rarely know to transition off their back. Thai fighters can cut you open with sharp strikes. The Japanese martial art is too much focused on wrist control – as soon as you set your joint-free, you can rain a barrage of heavy strikes.

Thai fighters can stand up and demolish the opponent via low kicks to the thigh, ribs, or even via soccer kicks. When you stand up, Aikido specialist can only get back on his feet, stand in his guard, and wait for your next attack.

What Are Muay Thai Vs Aikido Movement Differences?

Muay Thai is mostly focused on step-drag forward and backward. Aikido fighters are trying to stay away from the central line and to block only when it’s necessary. You will rarely see a master of a Japanese martial art taking part in a violent exchange or standing like a log.

Only very experienced Thai boxers circle their opponents and wait for counters. In Aikido, four out of five moves are defensive.

And one more difference – Aikido movements are very complicated. You need to make at least three or more steps before your opponent ends up on the floor.

Muay Thai moves are very simple, you don’t have to be an expert to master them. On the other hand, only Aikido experts move like cats.

Which One Is More Effective Inside The Ring?

I think Muay Thai vs Aikido comparison makes no sense here, as an average Joe might destroy the Aikido opponent with ease. Why? Well, number one – fighters are sweaty, and number two – the majority of bouts take place in shorts.

Aikido will work against weapons and blades, but only when the opponent wears clothes. Sweat leads to poor grip, so Aikido is pretty much bad for the ring.

muay thai in the ring

Yet, there are some techniques you can use. For example, Pancrase fighter Jason DeLucia defeated Trent Jenkins at UFC 1 via first-ever rear-naked choke.

But this guy also had a background in Kung Fu, Taekwondo, and BJJ, and created his version of “combat Aikido”. This new branch of Japanese martial art combines Judo throws, BJJ techniques, and some strikes with classic Aikido moves.

Three more fighters did the same. Dan “The Wolfman” Theodore is known for a unique grappling style, as he trained BJJ, Sambo, and wrestling alongside Aikido. This guy performed the first-ever wrist-roll in professional catch-wrestling combat.

Jay “The Prodigy” Dods is a former Bellator name known for “Tae Sabaki”, while Kathy Long, a master of Kung Fu, BJJ, Taekwondo, and Aikido showed some intriguing skills in two MMA battles.

But overall, Aikido is going to work only if you train another grappling or striking martial art. Muay Thai works way better inside the Octagon or ring, thanks to its brutal low kicks and elbows. Judges value damage, Thai boxing would win for sure. There’s a big problem – some Aikido maneuvers are prohibited in an MMA bout.

Which Martial Art Is Better For A Street Fight?

Well, this is a tough question. Thai fighter is equally dangerous inside the pocket and from long-range. There are so many options for Thai boxers in the street.

Aikido mostly doesn’t work against real masters of combos, as they rarely shoot in and close the distance. But when a cocky bully attacks the master of Japanese martial art, he’ll get his butt kicked for sure.

Catching and strikes to the stomach are “death sentences” against Aikido fighters. But they are very much vulnerable to low kicks, calf strikes, oblique kicks to the knees, head kicks, and all kinds of tricky punches and elbows. Don’t forget, you can’t catch an elbow, and flying knees are super-hard to defend!

Well, which one is better? I’d have to give a slight advantage to Aikido in close combat because weaker people can defuse bigger attackers thanks to dirty strikes. But I have no dilemma about long and mid-range attacks – Muay Thai offers way more options!

Aikido works better against all kinds of weapons. Thai fighters would have a hard time disarming the opponent or taking a knife away.


I hope you liked my Muay Thai vs Aikido comparison. The ancient Siamese martial art is better for damage and offense, and it can work well in the street. But Aikido is good for self-defense thanks to the focus on joint locks and throws.

The good side of Aikido is using the foe’s strength against him. Muay Thai offers a different philosophy, toe-to-toe fight, even against a bigger opponent. Aikido experts patiently wait for your attack and punish your mistakes. Which martial art is better for you and why? Please leave a comment!

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Deni

Picture of Deni


Hi, I started training Muay Thai back in 2016 and fell in love with it. So I decided to create this blog in the pursuit of this passion and share my experience with you.

Related Articles

muay thai vs savate

Muay Thai Vs Savate: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Hello again, I am here for the Muay Thai Vs Savate comparison. Before you start saying that I mixed apples and oranges, I must say that I understand your arguments. Different pieces of training equipment and rules are a perfect argument. But have you ever thought of the similarity between

Read More
muay thai vs jeet kune do

Muay Thai Vs Jeet Kune Do: A Head-To-Head Comparison

I am aware that many people are going to say “wait, stop mixing apples and oranges”. You’re trying to compare Bruce Lee’s kung fu with an ancient Siamese martial art? Well, my answer is “yes”, and I know what I’m doing. I have already compared the most popular sport from

Read More
muay thai vs pencak silat comparison

Muay Thai Vs Pencak Silat: A Head-To-Head Comparison

I’ve always been fascinated with the defensive aspect of Pencak Silat. The Indonesian martial art turns you into a real ninja. It was very useful before firearms, as Silat masters were trained to battle with and against all kinds of weapons. They would’ve had a solid chance of defending themselves

Read More
muay thai vs kenpo comparison

Muay Thai Vs Kenpo: A Head-To-Head Comparison

There are many great martial arts all around the globe, but I believe that a great Muay Thai fighter could piece up everybody on their feet. Street fights are stacked with cheap shots and hits to the weak areas of the body, but in the ring, Thai boxing gives you

Read More

Health habit

Download Your Free Printable Fitness and Nutrition Schedule!