Muay Thai classes are a great cardio workout … but it’s NOT Cardio Kickboxing

When Cardio Kickboxing became a trending aerobic workout, it created some confusion about what Kickboxing and Muay Thai are all about. We’re going to explain the differences between Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Cardio Kickboxing in this article to clear up any confusion. At Plus One Defense Systems, we teach Muay Thai Kickboxing classes because they offer a wonderful balance of cardio, strength training, and practical skills that can be used for self defense or sport.

Part 1: Which came first?

The short answer is Muay Thai a.k.a. “Thai Boxing” a.k.a. “The Art of 8 Limbs.” 

Muay Thai is a combat sport with roots dating back to 18th century Thailand. We often call it “Muay Thai Kickboxing” in the United States but this is only because English-speakers generally already know of “boxing.” So the term “kickboxing” is tacked on to Muay Thai for convenience, but they are, in fact, different things.

“Kickboxing” is actually a broad term that encompasses multiple combat sports/systems which employ both hand and foot strikes and blocks. However, the term in the U.S. is often used to mean “American Kickboxing,” a sport that emerged in the 1970s.

Finally, some time in the 1990s, Cardio Kickboxing was introduced as an aerobic workout class. It was widely publicized on television and marketed to us as a workout that incorporated self-defense techniques. This lead to some degree of confusion. Cardio Kickboxing classes have a high cardio component through repeated motions which resemble kickboxing technique, but they aren’t executed the same way as they are in kickboxing as a sport or self-defense application. In fact, if used in a real fight in the ring or on the street, they could be dangerous because there is little to no emphasis on defense in Cardio Kickboxing.

Part 2: Looking for a cardio workout? Take a Muay Thai class.

We want to be clear about this: Muay Thai classes are an amazing cardio workout. We teach the original “art of 8 limbs” which employs strikes and blocks using your entire body. At the end of a class, you will have drilled practical techniques of self defense and exercises for 45 minutes. It’s not uncommon to finish up breathing hard, sweating, and most importantly, smiling. Why? Because you’re empowering yourself, increasing strength, and engaging with a team in a common goal.

Ready to try Muay Thai in West Hartford? Your first class is FREE.

Click here to sign up for your FREE Muay Thai intro class.

  • No obligation
  • Friendly staff and instructors
  • REAL Muay Thai Kickboxing
  • An incredible workout
  • Self-defense skills
  • Your membership entitles you to train in ANY martial art style we offer.