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Muay Thai Vs Wing Chun: A Head-To-Head Comparison

muay thai vs wing chun comparison
muay thai vs wing chun

The ancient Siamese martial art teaches you to land powerful blows with your knees, elbows, shins, and fists; favoring power over speed. But when it comes to Wing Chun, quickness and speed come first.

But if you think Muay Thai Vs Wing Chun comparison means the difference between Sagat and Ip-Man, I have to tell you that you’re making a big mistake! Both martial arts have positive and negative sides, and I will guide you through the differences between these two fighting styles.

Key Points Of Wing Chun

There are many styles of Wing Chun, but the most often ones are three empty hand forms:

  • Siu Nim Tau (Little Idea)
  • Chum Kiu (Seeking Bridge)
  • Biu Ji (Thrusting Fingers)

Two weapon forms:

  • Baat Jaam Dou
  • Luk Dim Bun Gwan

Wooden dummy form:

  • Muk Yan Jong

In Wing Chun, relaxation and performing techniques in a relaxed manner is the most important parameter. The specialist of this martial art keeps his muscles relaxed until his striking surface gets close enough to the target, then contracts the striking area to improve the power.

The trademark of Wing Chun is undoubtedly insane hand speed. Some experts can land more than 7 punches per second, which creates confusion for any kind of opponent.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever tried to parry Wing Chun expert’s punches and palm strikes? Well, my advice is – stay away from trying it, cause it is impossible!

If you plan to defeat the master of the ancient Chinese Kung Fu style, you’ll have to eat a lot of shots in a toe-to-toe clash. Their lightning-fast bombs are hard to defend.

wing chun dummy

Masters of Wing Chun usually train on dummies, which help them find the slightest holes in the opponent’s body. They are masters of level change.

For example, if you cover up, keeping your hands tucked against the elbows, Wing Chun expert will easily find a way to attack your kidneys or sternum. Their strikes sometimes come under an impossible angle, and the element of surprise will always work against you.

Wing Chun stance is kinda odd because arms are generally positioned across the vitals of the centerline, while hands are pretty high, sometimes at the level of your forehead, in a vertical “wu sau” position. It enables excellent blocking at a greater distance, which means the opponent will have a hard time getting in the clinch.

Wing Chun specialists shift and turn both on the heels and balls of the foot, depending on the position in the fight. It leads to a massive level of confusion in the enemy’s head because the masters of this Kung Fu form easily go around the attacker and end up on his back.

Unfortunately, there is not much kicking in Wing Chun, and, in most cases, everything is based around straight-line kicks to the legs and body.

Some styles of this martial art discourage experts from learning high kicks because it could lead to dangerous groin counters. Some styles allow spinning kicks, but legs never go wider than your shoulder-width (similar principle to Jeet Kune Do).

Frankly, the ultimate principle of Wing Chun is speed and counters. Even a black belt in some other martial art would have a hard time parrying lightning-fast strikes. For example, as soon as a Wing Chun fighter grabs your leg, he’ll try to go for a sweep and end up on top of you to finish the bout.

Muay Thai – Most Important Aspects

We’ve already discussed the key points of the ancient Siamese martial art in our Muay Thai Vs Taekwondo comparison, so we’ll only take a brief look.

Muay Thai favors power over speed and offense over defense. Only real experts of Muay Thai start slow and tend to counter the opponent’s strikes. The guard is high and the majority of fights end within distance, predominantly due to a fast start and fighting until the last dying breath.

Thai boxing’s fabulous clinch game is its trademark. A dangerous master of Siamese martial art can finish the master of every single martial art in close combat, especially if he establishes pummel position.

The most defensive aspect of the Muay Thai game is sweeps, which are mostly done when the opponent’s leg is grabbed, or when the two fight for the position (over-under, one under-hook in, or single-collar clinch).

Thai fighters are usually good when it comes to level change, but this is not a strict rule. For example, a fighter can master head strikes and clinch. Even if he completely stays away from kicks to the legs, he’ll still have decent chances to outwork the opponent or to finish the battle via stoppage.

Now it’s time for a detailed Muay Thai Vs Wing Chun analysis. The comparison of various aspects of the game will open up your eyes and show the positive and negative sides of these two martial arts.

Muay Thai Vs Wing Chun – Comparing Different Aspects Of The Game

Let’s look at this MMA fight between Li Zihao (Wing Chun expert) and Liu Wei (Muay Thai fighter). This bout will help you to understand the analysis of the different aspects of the game.

  • Stance

Wing Chun stance allows absorbing harder strikes, as it stops the attack at least 20-30 centimeters from your body. Muay Thai fighter blocks the incoming strike very close to the body, which leaves more chances to eat a shot, especially a powerhouse high kick.

  • Footwork and Movement

Wing Chun masters are better in this parameter. Good Muay Thai fighter will move well, but the weight in Wing Chun is shifted both to heels and balls of the foot (depends on the position), distributed equally between both legs, which leads to explosive movement in any direction and shorter reaction time.

Thai boxer’s weight is usually on the rear foot, which means the fighter does an additional weight shift to move, which means more time and sloppier step-drag forward or backward.

  • Strike Speed

Wing Chun definitively wins here. The masters train quick strikes on dummies. Also, this martial art is trained without gloves, which leads to a superb level change, impossible shots, and finding tiny open spaces. Even the best blocking expert in the world will have a hard time defending Wing Chun strikes.

  • Strike Power

One point for Muay Thai. Wing Chun strikes are very fast, but it leads to less power unless it is a counterstrike. When a Thai boxer kicks, knees, or punches, he puts his whole body into it. Thai boxers can make damage on blunt objects, which is another proof of power supreme.

  • Kicks

Muay Thai wins again. Wing Chun fighters kick well, but their strikes are very narrow. Head strikes are so rare. A Thai boxer can decapitate his foe if the shin lands to the chin, while a Wing Chun expert rarely sends to sleep with one kick.

  • Clinch
muay thai clinch

Kinda hard to compare, because Muay Thai fighters will pummel and try to finish the match via brutal knees and elbows, while Wing Chun expert tends to destroy his foe with the quickest level change ever seen. Thai strikers are harder and deadlier, so I’d favor Muay Thai here.

  • Sweeps

It is impossible to say which martial art looks better here. Wing Chun sweeps are very defensive and more entertaining to watch, while you can apply Thai sweeps as soon as you establish contact with the opponent.

Wing Chun masters will trip you in the split of a second, while Thai experts will make more damage to your legs and calves.

  • Street Fighting

Both styles are good, but I’d slightly favor Muay Thai. Thai boxing is powerful from close range and against close-combat bullies, while Wing Chun might not work properly if a bully wears a jacket or sweater. Yet, I believe both martial arts can help you defend from an untrained attacker.

On the other hand, Wing Chun master is always looking wider, so he should have a slight advantage in a 1 vs 2 or 1 vs 3 fight. But it’s all about a fighter.

  • Level Charge

Muay Thai fighters change all three levels, while Wing Chun experts are outstanding in body-head bombs. Very hard to compare.


Muay Thai vs Wing Chun comparison shows interesting results. Despite you’ll see Superman-speed strikes in the version of Chinese kung-fu, the Thai warrior will make more damage with one strike. Faster blow doesn’t have to be more deadly, but it’s definitively better for counters and interception of the attacker.

Wing Chun experts move like cats and block even the most powerful strikes with ease, but Muay Thai fighters are better at fighting toe-to-toe and eating endless strikes to the legs/body. Clinch and kick advantage goes to Thai boxing, while level change and sweeps can go either way.

What do you think, which fighting style is better and why? Please leave your comments below!

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by 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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