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postheadericon Michael Chafitz discusses Jeet-Kune-Do versus Muay-Thai

Michael Chafitz breaks down Muay-Thai and Jeet-Kune-Do.

Pompano Beach, Florida, April 23, 2022 — For many new and avid practitioners of martial arts, the initial decision about which expression, style, or practice to pursue is often based on training preferences, goals, and a general inclination toward one style. According to Michael Chafitz, the two types often compared are Muay-Thai and Jeet-Kune-Do.

While the comparison may seem natural at first, the underlying principles of both are different as well as the benefits a more casual practitioner may experience in terms of endurance training or self-defense.

The basics from Michael Chafitz

Michael Chafitz is experienced in multiple martial arts, including Muay-Thai and Jeet-Kune-Do, and has extended his experience into personal instruction in other areas of self-defense. Chafitz believes a firm overview of each discipline is essential for understanding mutual benefits and appeal, given their differences.

Muay-Thai overview

Muay-Thai is a martial art with a combat element that is often described as Thai boxing due to its similarities to western boxing “in the ring” and in terms of conditioning. In Muay-Thai matches, all limbs are used to complete strikes, and strikes earn points toward winning rounds. This means punches and kicks, as well as knees and elbow strikes, are permissible, Michael Chafitz explains. 

During a match, clean strikes — those not partially blocked or guarded against by an opponent — earn points unless they hit the glove, forearm, foot, or shin of an opponent. The fighter, or nak muay, with the most points wins the round, and ties are determined by assessing the power of strikes. 

Jett-Kune-Do 101

Bruce Lee consolidated his expression of martial arts into a style known as Jeet Kune Do, a practice first outlined in greater detail in 1971. This discipline keeps many of the techniques of martial arts without the rigid structure of more refined practices. It relies on useful techniques and strategic fighting focused on the anticipation and interception of the attacks of an opponent to provide for instinctual countering.

Despite it having a name, Lee hesitated to heavily codify Jett-Kune-Do as a method, Michael Chafitz reports.

Training preferences

For the fighter looking for strong conditioning drills and endurance training, the basics of Muay-Thai make it the natural option for getting started. Due to the wide range of strikes possible, training is very rigid and focused on repetitive actions to develop muscular endurance and strength as well as cardiovascular capacity. This is yet another way Muay-Thai compares to western Boxing. 

These skills can be picked up easily in a shorter amount of training sessions and then the hard work of refinement, building strength, and becoming competitive — if that is desired —begins.

This is not to say Jett-Kune-Do would not provide similar conditioning elements, but its incorporation of more traditional martial arts makes it a more studied offering less inclined to the fast-paced physical results Muay-Thai would provide.

Self-defense with each skill

Jett-Kune-Do can be more suited to a martial arts practitioner wanting to focus on elements of self-defense. Lee envisioned the practice as a way to shake off the limitations many martial arts can provide in actual self-defense and combat situations that are often random or dynamic. 

Intercepting the opponent is key, both in the area of technique and intent. A lack of defined form provides freedom in a variety of situations and lends a meditative element to the practice.