Bang Muay Thai: a new martial art style!

Bang Muay Thai was developed by Duane “Bang” Ludwig.

Duane is a retired professional kickboxer and MMA fighter, who now focuses on fight coaching.  He’s credited with one of the fastest knockout in UFC history against Jonathan Goulet in 6 seconds.

He first started Muay Thai when he was just 15 years old and turned professional in 2000.  After climbing the ranks, he defeated Thai fighter Malaipet and won the International Sports Karate Association World Title in 2004.

Duane then turned his attention to Mixed Martial Arts and was initially trained by Bas Rutten.

In 2003 and 2004, he was widely regarded as one of the top lightweights in the world following his victories over Jens Pulver and Genki Sudo.

Duane eventually retired in 2012  before becoming head coach  of ‘Team Alpha Male’ in California.  This club went on to produce a number of top fighters that have successfully competed in high profile MMA events.  

In 2014, Duane left ‘Team Alpha Make’ to grow his own gym – Bang Muay Thai.

What is Bang Muay Thai?

Bang Muay Thai is a hybrid fighting system that uses techniques from Muay Thai, Kyokushin Karate, Dutch Kickboxing, Boxing and Wrestling.  It was developed by Duane “Bang” Ludwig.



Duane developed the The Bang Muay Thai system (BMT) based on his both his fighting experience and from what he picked up from his coaches.

In particular, Bang Muay Thai is heavily influenced by the Dutch striking style of Bas Rutten, heavyweight UFC champion.  Duane earned his balck belt training under Bas

Duane’s skill as a coach obvious when you consider he has trained a number of UFC fighters including T J Dillashaw and Joseph Benavidez.

Who is Bang Muay Thai for?

Duane developed Bang Muay Thai as an effectivre fighting system suitable both for those wanting to test their mettle in an actual cage fight or those looking for realistic and complete self defense system.

All the flowery and aesthetically pleasing but completely ineffectual techniques in more traditional martial arts such as karate have been dropped.  Instead only those strikes and blocks  that have been tested in combat remain,

Gone too are the katas and forms that also feature in Eastern martial arts like Karate and Taekwondo.  

Whilst there is an emphasis on developing fighting skills there’s also an acknowledgement that many trainees will have no intention of ever stepping into a ring.  Most will be regular people with day jobs who can’t turn up to work with a black eye or other injury.

As Duane himself said in an interview with MMAjunkie:

“My goals are to help you get better, train safe and effectively,” Ludwig said. “So you can go to the cage, or go to your job, or go see your wife or kids. So, just to get them better and make sure they’re understanding martial arts. 

I’m actually teaching martial arts to not just fighters, right? (We’re) taking the traditional commercial model of taekwondo and karate and, instead of doing katas and forms, we’re just taking higher percentage drills and combinations that are actually effective in the cage or in the street.

But training in a safe, effective manner, so people can get better and not have a black eye when they leave the gym or the dojo or the academy, whatever you want to call it.”



Bang Muay Thai is therefore for anyone interested in learning an effective fighting system, both young and old.

How the Bang Muay Thai system works 

Duane was inspired by the Bas Rutten numbering system.

The idea is that specific combinations of strikes and kicks are assigned a particular number.  For instance, the number “4” refers to the sequence Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut.

These numbers can be be combined in different combinations to create a huge variety striking patterns.

This makes it very easy to build up the language of striking.  You begin by getting to know the striking combination associated with each number.  You then string these numbers together to form an extending striking sequence.

The method of training enables complicated striking combinations to be learned quickly and also enables different patterns of techniques to flow seamlessly together.


The belt system in Bang Muay Thai

In common with many martial arts, Bang Muay Thai has a belt system allowing fighters to measure and gauge their progress.

Related Article: Is Muay Thai good for beginners?

In Bang Muay Thai, the colours progress as follows:








What perhaps differentiates this fighting style from others is that instead of a canvas belt, you receive a coloured T-shirt when you grade.

There’s a significant emphasis on respect in this martial art with students bowing to show respect towards their instructor and more senior grades.


Related Reading:
Can Muay Thai be used in a street fight?
Can you use elbows in Muay Thai?
What moves are illegal in Muay Thai?
23 Muay Thai techniques -beginner and advanced [with GIFS!]

Muay Thai Weight Classes

Muay Lao vs Muay Thai: is there a difference?