This Karate Sensei Filmed His Muay Thai Sparring Before and After a Year of Training

The martial arts karate and Muay Thai consist of differing fighting styles, and according to who you ask, have something of a long and storied rivalry. But YouTuber and karate instructor Sensei Seth believes that staying open to what different martial arts traditions practice can only be a good thing—even if you start out knowing nothing.

Back in late 2019, when he first started practicing Muay Thai, Seth filmed one of his earliest sparring sessions in order to see what kind of mistakes he was making. “Learning about what makes you kind of suck a little is what usually gets you to the point that takes you to the next step,” he says.

At the end of 2020, after just over a year of training, Seth recorded another sparring session to track his progress, and see how he has been able to incorporate what he’s learned into his fighting style.

“Being a karate fighter, I always thought I was good at countering,” he says. “However, one added variable can change everything. For me, it was leg kicks… Something Muay Thai immediately taught me is that one way to address the leg kicks is to attack the leg kicks.”

He also adjusted his form, going from making his body longer in the karate style to squaring his hips. “Square hips lead to more offensive possibilities like the backhand and the back leg,” he says. “Being able to back up and counter is always a plus, and I get to use my karate stuff.”

Ultimately, Seth realized there were multiple insights and techniques that he could use to complement his own training moving forward. “Combining the Muay Thai with my karate was like combining thunder and lightning,” he says. “What Muay Thai did for me in my striking was help me get to a point where every single thing that I wanted to touch or land could be consequential for my partner… I can switch back and forth, being defensive and offensive.”

“Overall, adding more things to your arsenal will always be an incredible path to take.”

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