Is Muay Thai Good For Self Defense? – The Truth About Muay Thai

Martial arts are an excellent practice that you can learn for yourself.

Not are the countless martial arts styles an excellent way to exercise and stay fit, but they are an excellent way of learning discipline, both when it comes to muscle and body control, as well as when training your mind in both fortitude and patience, essential skill s for pretty much anyone to learn.

Is Muay Thai Good For Self Defense?

Of course, one of the main reasons that people take up and learn a martial art is so that they can defend themselves should they need to.

Having several moves that you can use when someone attacks you is a reassuring option for many people who don’t want to have to carry a weapon.

This has also led to the online discussion about which martial arts are considered the best for this option.

Whilst there is unlikely to be a hard and clear answer any time soon on which of the most-practiced styles are the best for this, that doesn’t mean that there are no pros and cons to consider when looking for a dojo in your area. 

One of the martial art sports that many people are deciding to pick up in the last few years is Muay Thai.

Also known as the ‘art of eight limbs, this Thailand-native sport and martial art has been slowly growing in popularity abroad over the last few years, with more and more people becoming interested in learning this southeast Asian style of fighting.

But how effective of a self-defense art is it?

Well, that is what we are here to discuss in this guide! We are going to briefly explain what Muay Thai is, such as its history and main principles.

We will also cover what exactly Muay Thai is great for when it comes to self-defense, as well as some potential drawbacks that it has.

What Is Muay Thai?

As we mentioned earlier, Muay Thai is also known as the ‘art of eighth limbs’. This is because Muay Thai makes use of at least 8 points of contact, including fists, feet, elbows, and knees.

The combined uses of these in Muay Thai are what set it apart from many other variations of boxing, as Muay Thai is also known as ‘Thai Boxing’

The exact origins of Muay Thai are somewhat difficult to pinpoint, with a whole range of stories and theories benign given for why and how it became its distinct martial art.

Some sources claim that it was a fighting style that was taught to soldiers of Thailand in history in the event of invasion, whilst other sources claim that it was developed by groups of people that had moved from countries in the north such as China, and learned how to defend themselves and their lands.

Whatever the true origin, Muay Thai as its distinct fighting style started to gain popularity across both Thailand and the rest of the world in the latter part of the 20th century and 21st century, where the form was used by many native Thai people and western practitioners in kickboxing competitions under Muay Thai rules.

Its documented history might be short, but it is still a highly effective martial art all the same.

Pros Of Muay Thai For Self Defense

Pros Of Muay Thai For Self Defense

On the subject of that effectiveness, these are some of the many benefits that Muay Thai has as a self-defense martial art:

Wide Number Of Options

The eight points of contact that Muay Thai takes advantage of give a practitioner a wide range of options to defend themselves.

Being able to reliably hit your target with your foot, your fist, your elbow, or your knee, means that you are unlikely to be caught completely off guard.

In a street fight, or any other situation where you may attack by surprise, using pretty much any part of your body in a counterstrike is an incredibly useful tool and is also something that a potential attacker may not be prepared for.

Using an effective knee strike can stun or disable pretty much anyone who isn’t prepared for it.

Effective Against Multiple Attackers

Those multiple points of attack can come in extra handy if you find that you’re being attacked by more than one person as well.

Learning how to use Muay Thai means that you will be able to attack from more than one direction, as you can use your arms as well as your legs.

Being a style that uses all limbs, you will also be able to learn and use moves that mean that you limit how many people can attach to you at once, such as using your legs to keep one person away whilst combatting another with your hands.

A Proven Defense Form

Cons Of Muay Thai For Self Defense

A Fighting Style, More Than A Defense Style

Muay Thai was Generally developed as a martial art that was used against other trained or prepared opponents in a ring, rather than as a defensive fighting style against street fighters.

In a similar way that trained martial artists in a single discipline might struggle against Mixed Martial Art practitioners, you may find that your opponents don’t play by the same rules that you have otherwise been trained to fight against.

This doesn’t mean that it is useless, but that it will take a level of discipline and adaptability to change from fighting in the ring to in an alley.

No Ground-Fighting Techniques

Although Muay Thai is a style that is more than capable of fighting opponents that are stood up or in the air. You will have few to no techniques if you are pushed to the ground.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Muay Thai is a style of fighting that is more suited for practiced sparing and fighting, rather than on the street. Still, if you are cornered, you won’t be disappointed with what you have learned!

Christopher Anderson
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