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

muay thai vs capoeira comparison
muay thai vs capoeira

I’ve been a diehard Muay Thai addict for a long time, and comparing it to other martial arts is a real piece of cake for me. There were many great bouts between Thai boxing and different fighting styles.

Muay Thai Vs Capoeira makes no sense to more than 80 percent of the population, I could bet on it. But believe me, Capoeira is very deadly style if you meet a master. Those rhythmical moves can hurt the opponent badly. I will make a comparison between these two, in the first look, completely different fighting styles. Please read on to get to know the difference.

Which Stance Works Better?

Sorry but each one offers good and bad sides. I have already written an article about Muay Thai stance, but in Capoeira, fighters constantly move, or “dance”, switching legs all the time.

Capoeira’s stance is outstanding for footwork and movement, while the Muay Thai stanza helps you defend the most dangerous combos in the world. Toughness definitively goes in the favor of Thai boxing, but a Capoeira fighter can move like a cat. Yet, when the two meet inside the ring, limited space is going to work in the favor of the ancient Siamese martial art.

Muay Thai stance works better for the clinch and close-range exchanges, and potentially for mid-range fighting. But fighters trained in Capoeira are very lethal from long-range, despite their hands staying low.

Muay Thai Vs Capoeira – Which Martial Art Offers Stronger Strikes?

Muay Thai is known for lethal strikes from every single angle. Thai warrior is especially dangerous in the clinch, but long-range shots are powerful, too. Thai boxers are masters of level change combos and pressure, they can cut you off very easily. On the other side, Capoeira fighters are unpredictable from long-range, while close-range fighting might give them a hard time.

Thai boxing’s punches, elbows, and knees are more deadly, especially from close-range. But how about kicks? Which style is known for better one-kick knockout power? Take a look at this sports science video to reveal the secret. Capoeira’s strikes are very unorthodox. Protect yourself at all costs or you’ll get hurt badly!

Which Martial Art Is More Effective?

What do you think, which fighting style gets the advantage? Muay Thai vs Capoeira, which is your pick here? I say – Muay Thai, no doubt.

Even if you’re dealing with an opponent in a tight space, you’ll be able to land powerful knees and elbows. When the stronger guy tries to shoot in, a Thai warrior can easily counter with a sweep. Also, don’t forget about pummeling the opponent and finishing the bout via a violent barrage of knees or elbows.

Muay Thai will work better for a street fight. If you’re dealing with the opponent on a slippery surface, calisthenics moves are not going to work, but punches and elbows will. Capoeira could have the advantage of the open space on a sunny day. But what about rain, snow, drizzle? The attackers will usually press you and, in many cases, you won’t have the opportunity to fight from long range.

The power of Capoeira kicks inside the MMA ring is outstanding. The video below elaborates the previous sentence. The unorthodox style leads to a huge danger for someone who has never faced the master of Brazilian martial art. It is not easy to evade or block them.

Thai warriors are also known for lethal kicks and great shin conditioning. But Capoeira’s kicks are very dangerous too. Look at Marcus Lelo Aurelio, probably the most dangerous Capoeira striker who has ever stepped inside the MMA ring. His opponent was cornered after the first spinning heel kick attempt, but Lelo continued to spin and knocked him out cold.

Which One Offers Better Combos?

It’s another pretty much tricky question. So I will analyze a few aspects of fighting:

  • Level change – Muay Thai vs Capoeira – eastern martial art gets the advantage. Capoeira fighters tend to attack different areas of the foe’s body, but you’ll rarely see a body shot followed by a leg kick or a body strike followed by a head hit. On the other hand, Thai fighters can deliver, for example, jab-straight punch-body kick-outside low kick in one combo with ease.
  • Two strikes to the same area – well, it depends. When it comes to head strikes, Muay Thai shots are faster, no doubt, but Capoeira strikes will generate more power. Same with body strikes, Thai fighters can connect violent knees or punches faster. Leg strikes? Well, every single criterion goes in the favor of ancient Siamese martial art.
  • Ability to defend – well, it’s harder to defend Capoeira strikes. Experienced fighters will easily anticipate Muay Thai strike or combo and try to counter. Countering Capoeira strikes is very tricky, especially because the majority of dojos don’t do that in their training session. One point for the Brazilian martial art here.

I’d still vote for Muay Thai here, as it lets you attack from all angles. Capoeira fighters are mostly forced to fight from long-range. Ring or Octagon are limited with ropes or fences.

Is Muay Thai Better Than Capoeira For Defensive Aspect Of The Game?

Well, I will have to do a step-by-step comparison again. But I will pinpoint the most critical difference in the first place. Capoeira fighters mostly defend via footwork and moving away from the path of the incoming strike. Muay Thai fighters eat strikes, march forward, and mostly “eat a shot to land a shot”.

Now here’s the technical description:

  • Footwork – Capoeira fighters are masters of footwork and calisthenics, and you’ll have a hard time hitting them unless you master calf or leg kicks. Footwork is not too important in Muay Thai unless you’re a top-notch level fighter. Muay Thai vs Capoeira – one point for Brazil!
  • Covering up – clean win for Muay Thai, double pillars, and leading knee up leads to huge obstacles and problems for the opponent. Capoeira fighters rarely keep their hands up, they rather move their head or body from the line of the attack. Only Capoeira fighters who transition to MMA learn to cover up properly.
  • Angle change – Capoeira is mostly based around the central line, but Muay Thai is mostly the same. Only elite-level warriors move to the side well. The Brazilian martial art offers better long-range angle change, while Thai boxing works better for clinch and close distance angles.
  • Counterstrikes – Muay Thai fighters usually duck under the incoming punch or kick or block via shin, then land a powerful counter-shot. Yet, Capoeira fighters will try to counter you when you move towards them or move to the side and then try to counter you when you miss.

Which One Is More Entertaining To Watch?

Muay Thai is pretty much fun, spinning back elbows and other lovely clinch strikes are gonna leave you breathless.

Yet, Capoeira fighters get way more public attention. For example, UFC fighter Michel Pereira has way more fans than, for example, the all-time greatest featherweight UFC warrior Jose Aldo, who bases his game on dangerous low kicks, superb takedown defense, and wonderful level changes.

Capoeira fighters are super entertaining, they perform somersaults and other unorthodox moves that put the excitement to the next level. Also, their strikes are so unpredictable. It shocks the crowd, especially people who have never seen the beauty of the lovely Brazilian martial art before.

For example, Michel Pereira bases his game on calisthenics, extremely fast punches, superb footwork, and stunning use of the fence. Look at his fight against Kim-Dae Sung, his cage strikes and transitions were out of this world!

If you’re a fan of Tekken, take a look at the fight between Bruce Irvin (Muay Thai) and Eddy Gordo (Capoeira) and see why Capoeira offers more entertainment. Christie, Eddie’s sister, has the same moves as Eddy.

The newer versions of the game bring Fahkumram, also a Thai fighter, an even better version of the former Kazuya’s mercenary Bruce.


I hope you enjoyed my Muay Thai vs Capoeira analysis, but it’s time to wrap it up. Which style is better and why?

Thai boxing works better for MMA. It offers better takedown defense, an excellent clinch game, and the ability to eat numerous shots and continue marching forward. Muay Thai offers way more options in the street fight, plus it’s also better for close-range combat.

But when you’re attacked on the field, Capoeira might come in handy. Capoeira fighter is very dangerous when you let him swing from long-range, those kicks are so deadly. It also offers better footwork and movement, but its ultimate problem is huge vulnerability to low kicks and very poor takedown stuffing. I’d vote for Muay Thai – which is your pick?

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.

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