This may seem extremely random, but after switching over to muay thai after 12 years of a traditional martial arts I feel the need to analyze and catagorize the major differences between the two so as to not blend or mix by accident. The roundhouse kick is the first thing to catch my eye. I knew from watching mma and K1 that there were differences between a thai style of kicking and the japanese style. I never knew just how opposite they truley are. the Thai roundhouse is absolutely obsessed with power. Every little turn, anlge and detail is aimed at the development of maximum power. There is no cocking motion and no crisp snap to follow, just a violent hip torque and a hell of alot of power behind it. I respect the rib breaking power this type of kick brings, but that much power will, like everything else in this world, have a huge offseting factor. That factor is control, once you begin that kick you cannot stop it and you cannot contorl it. It becomes a juggurnaut that cannot be blocked but cannot be controlled either. The japanese style kick is on the other end of the spectrem. It trades power for control. Its chambering motion disguised it like all the other kicks and the quick snap and turning of the hip makes it very hard to see comming. It is very precise, fast, and easy to control but like the thai kick it has its downside. It lacks the power to smash through an opponents guard or break ribs with ease. If I must compare the kicks I would say the thai roundhouse is like a powerful looping hook that smashes through well pretty much everything and the japanese roundhouse is a quick jab. I may subscribe more to the japanese style of kickign siimply because i was raised that way but I feel that fighters should learn to use both. Kicking should not be thought of as simply one dimensional there are differnt kinds and different uses embrace it.