Judo and Muay Thai can be described as night and day when it comes to fighting styles, but combining a grappling and striking martial art could benefit your MMA training.
Judo and Muay Thai are a good combination, especially if you’re planning to learn MMA or self-defense. Judo will hone your flexibility, complimenting your hip-twisting ability when performing kicks. Learning both martial arts will also make you a more versatile martial artist.
To help you know more about using the Judo and Muay Thai combo, keep reading.
Table of Contents
Does Judo help with Muay Thai?
Judo helps Muay Thai when it comes to flexibility. Judo uses a lot of throws; within these throws, hip twisting is extensively used to take advantage of the opponent.
With a good hip twisting ability, your Muay Thai game will improve. Muay Thai needs a good hip twist to generate good torque on every kick you throw.
Arm grabs and a good clinch game can also be learned in Judo. This skill complements Muay Thai’s leg-tripping and body-throwing mechanics by applying new setup techniques.
In general, knowing more than one martial art is beneficial. This is because you can incorporate more basic fight fundamentals together.
As a result, you will have a better and broader view of things you can do in a fight.
Does Muay Thai help Judo?
Muay Thai has less impact on the Judo game because Judo doesn’t have strikes. But Judo can use the Muay Thai clinch during No-Gi Judo situations.
A Muay Thai clinch is a great alternative to the cloth grabbing of Judo. This can be used during real-life street fight situations where a Judoka is forced to adapt.
Tournament-wise, you can’t use any Muay Thai moves in Judo. But in the streets, a Judoka that knows how to strike is a walking weapon.
Benefits of Judo and Muay Thai
Judo focuses on close-quarter combat fighting style. It specializes in throws, joint locks, and choke holds. Judo is effective in a real-life fight because of its throws.
Being able to throw your opponent to the ground is a significant advantage because it will give you the chance to immobilize, preventing possible counter-attacks.
Muay Thai’s fighting style is more on the striking side. Muay Thai fighters use punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to damage their opponent.
Muay Thai allows clinching. In this position, fighters are allowed to strike. Leg-tripping is permitted in this martial art.
Throwing is also permitted in Muay Thai. When this happens, the fight will be reset to the feet.
Street fight-wise, the combo of Judo and Muay Thai is a killer. Being able to strike while at the same time throwing your opponent is a winning ticket for you.
Using Judo and Muay Thai for self-defense
Judo and Muay Thai are excellent for self-defense, especially when combined. This will help you be a versatile fighter because you’re not worried about where the fight will go.
Judo and Muay Thai a great self-defense combo because you can easily transition to the ground or on your feet anytime you want.
If the fight goes to the ground, it’ll not be a problem for you. You can bring out your inner Judoka and perform chokes, joint locks, and body pins to dominate your enemy.
You can also use your Muay Thai strikes on the ground since it’s a street fight. Landing several clean elbows and punches to the face is enough to make one person chicken out.
Engaging in a stand-up fight can be described as a walk in the park. You have a lot of weapons, such as your kicks and jabs, to maintain a reasonable distance from your opponent.
You can go to a Muay Thai clinch if you fight in a close-quarter combat situation. In that position, you can land multiple jaw-shattering knees and high elbows.
If you sense that clinching is too dangerous, you can lock an overhook and send your opponent flying over to the ground.
Training Judo and Muay Thai for MMA
Muay Thai and Judo are two of the many martial arts that make a great MMA fighter. It’ll be much better if combined with other practical martial arts such as BJJ and Boxing.
MMA is basically being able to strike your opponent while on the ground and having the ability to take your opponent down while striking. This can be done with Judo and Muay Thai.
Judo’s submission capability is excellent for MMA’s ground fighting. In fact, Judo submissions are the root of several BJJ submissions that we know today.
Many great MMA strikers, such as Jon Jones, Donald Cerrone, Anderson Silva, Valentina Schevchenko, and Jose Aldo, have used their Muay Thai background to wreak havoc inside the cage.
Best Judo and Muay Thai MMA fighters
Many MMA superstars that train Judo and Muay Thai have dominated the MMA world for years. Below are some of the best of the best you might know.
Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is probably the greatest UFC Light Heavyweight ever to step his foot inside the octagon.
Jones is known for his long leg and arm reach. He uses this to his advantage by landing elbows, knees, and other strikes from afar.
Bones is also famous for his Greco-roman wrestling. Jones mixes Judo with his wrestling making him a more dangerous fighter.
He’s good at utilizing arm grabs and throws. Jones also has several Kimura finishes under his record.
Valentina ‘Bullet’ Schevchengko is the current undisputed UFC women’s Flyweight queen as of September 2022. She has been dominating her division with pristine Muay Thai and Judo skills.
Valentina has a lot of knockout victories because of her high-level Muay Thai game. She slept Jessica Andrade, Jessica Eye, Lauren Murphy, and Kathlyn Chookagian.
She uses her Judo, along with her wrestling skills, to wear down her opponents. Valentina is great in lasting 5 championship rounds by just holding you down and throwing you.
DJ is loved by his fans because of his versatile and explosive fighting style. He can strike with, and you’re getting thrown down the next thing you know.
Johnson proved his dominance in Muay Thai when he fought Rodtang Jitmuangnon. He weathered Rodtang’s storm and slipped some Muay Thai combos of his own.
DJ defeated Rodtang via Rare Naked Chake in the 2nd round.
Vitor Belfort is a UFC legend that has fought in the Light Heavyweight division. He is known for his explosive striking and excellent ground control with his Judo background.
He has wins over several UFC superstars such as Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold, Anthony Johnson, and former Middleweight champ Rich Franklin.
Vitor has a great overall striking. Recently, Belfort stopped former Heavyweight Boxing champ Evander Holyfield, in under 2 minutes of the first round.
Yoshihiro Akiyama is a former UFC fighter and now a One Championship Lightweight star. He has a solid Judo background kept in his arsenal.
Akiyama’s Muay Thai game is also superb. This allowed him to destroy his rival Shinya Aoki in a grudge main event match.
Aoki is a notorious submission specialist. But with, Yoshihiro’s Judo allowed him to defend well against takedowns and possible submission attempts.
Yoshihiro is set to fight Phillipines’ MMA legend, Eduard Folayang, anytime soon. This fight will be a true test for Akiyama’s Muay Thai.