When we associate a fighter from a particular country, we always have an expectation of how good they should be.
If you have ever played the video game Streetfighter 2, each character is from a different country who cleverly has a stereotype image. So, do certain countries teach more effectively in a certain way, or is it just a perception?
Sometimes referred to as “Thai boxing”, Muay Thai originated from Thailand so it would only make sense if they produced the best Muay Thai fighters.
Traced at least to the 16th century Siam kingdom, Muay Thai was originally called toi muay or mua. However, in British boxing was introduced into the curriculum of the Suan Kulap College, which gave rise to Muay Thai becoming increasingly popular in the West.
But, in other combat sports, what other countries produce the best fighters?
Kickboxing started in the U.S.A after it derived from sport Karate, but since its beginnings and now with the modern K-1 style of kickboxing, It seems the Dutch are leading the way and it is the home for kickboxing.
Why are Dutch Kickboxers so Good?
K-1 Kickboxing started in Japan as that is where the promotion K-1 Global was from, so in the 1970s, Dutchmen would fly to Japan with their boxing gloves to learn the Japanese style of kickboxing, which was a mix of Kyokushin karate and Muay Thai.
Read our article ‘What is K-1 kickboxing’ here.
One Championship suggests that the reason why Dutch kickboxers are so good is that:
‘Although they incorporate a lot of Muay Thai techniques into their skillset, they typically spar harder than the Thais. Thais call their sparring len cheng, or play sparring. But the Dutch prepare for their bouts with a little more oomph and aren’t afraid to turn things up.’
When the Dutch returned home, they began teaching what they learned in Japan. This style became very popular because unlike American kickboxing, they would incorporate technical kickboxing and punching drills to the legs and head strikes.
The Netherlands has become so popular with Kickboxing there are plenty of clubs to choose from and it is the home of the huge kickboxing promotion Enfusion.
Enfusion is Dutch kickboxing and mixed martial arts promotion company based in Alkmaar, Netherlands. If you are planning to fly to the Netherlands, Warrior Collective has written an article about the 10 best Dutch kickboxing clubs.
Check out Enfusion’s Top 10 Fastest Knockouts below:
It is said that the USA is hands down the best place for boxing as It has produced some of the best boxers in the world and It is the home to some of the most famous boxers like Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Deontay Wilder and many more. America has also held some of the biggest boxing events in history at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden in New York.
Check out the USA Muay Thai Federation for more info!
Dutch kickboxing vs Thai: Which is better?
This is something we are soon to see as Nieky Holzken (Dutch style kickboxer) will face off against John Wayne Par (Muay Thai) under Muay Thai rules.
Although Parr is a seasoned Muay Thai fighter with too many titles to list, Holzken has the ruleset to give him the edge as he believes that fighting in smaller gloves often gives him the edge in fights.
He suggests that:
“Because I know I’m a hard hitter, small gloves are a bonus point for me. I have trained in Thailand, I know their game but I have one big surprise and that’s my knockout power. When he comes for the elbows and he comes for the clinch he will get surprised, I promise that.”
Although Nieky Holzken has never fought John Wayne Par, they have both faced Buakaw Por Pramuk, Cosmo Alexandre, Marco Piqué, and Lamsongkram Chuwattana in the past.
Nieky Holzken believes that his gloves will not only give him the edge, but he suggests that:
“I think I hit harder. I think I have better eyes. I think I have good counters and defense, and I think I’m much, much better with my boxing (then John Wayne Par)’
There are quite a few differences between fighting styles in different countries. Although all of them produce great fighters, the popular belief is that the Dutch produce the best fighters in the world.
I guess we will see the outcome of this in the fight between The Dutch Nieky Holzken vs. The Australian John Wayne Par.