A Complete Guide On Muay Thai Self Defense

muay thai self defense

Muay Thai is famously known as ‘the art of 8 limbs’. It involves punches, kicks, elbows and knees movements during the fight with the opponent. Muay Thai self defense requires practice, patience and dedication to become a master fighter. The features that makes Muay Thai stand out from other type of martial arts is the number of ways that you can wonderfully hit your opponents.

Muay Thai was developed hundreds of years ago and it is known for power, efficiency and simplicity of the moves. The fights movement in Muay Thai involves combination of punches, kicks like a symphony. The techniques are simple, straight forward and have an immense effect when executed from an ideal range. This makes it an easy yet effective self defense technique to learn.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have no choice other than sticking to self defense. Then Muay Thai is an ideal skill to learn for self defense. When considering other martial arts, Muay Thai techniques like kicks and punch have an ability to stun or takedown your attacker. When you train for Muay Thai consistently these skills becomes more natural for you to apply in a real combat scenario for self defense.

is muay thai good for self-defense

If you are wondering how effective Muay Thai is for self defense? The simple answer to that question is that, it is very effective. Muay Thai is regarded one of top stand up fighting. Some experts even rank it better than MMA. Unlike other type of martial arts like Karate or Taekwondo in Muay Thai you learn how to perform hard strikes on your opponents from first day of your training.

Is Muay Thai Good For Street Fighting?

In a street fight, when a person who knows about fighting is rarely going to be involved in a street fight in the first place. Because, a person who have fighting skills does not need to prove anything to anyone. However, a person who is a trained Muay Thai fighter is going to beat the untrained person 9 times out of 10 in any combat situation.

When in a street fight, punches and low kicks are the best options for the people. If you come close to the elbow strikes from your opponent then you might get into serious damage. The same is the case when other way around. It’s consequences you might to face for years to come.

3 Benefits of Learning Muay Thai for Self Defense

Muay Thai is the well-known and one of the most practiced form of martial arts around the world. It has proven to be effective and hence it is the reason for its growing popularity into martial arts sports world. Here are the few benefits of Muay Thai self defense.

1. Increase in Confidence

When you train for Muay Thai for at least 6 months then it increase your confidence in your abilities. It also makes you less of a target for any potential trouble or threat from someone.

Due to the fact that that learning to throw powerful striking punches and kicks will give you more confidence when you have to defend yourself in any scenario.

2. Impactful Techniques

When you train under a professional for Muay Thai. You are learning the type of skills that helps you not only in the ring but also keeps you alive during the street fight. However, the risk involved in latter is much higher as compared to training due to more risk involved.

The idea is to have different combo skills in your arsenal. One of the best combination is to strike head with the blend of lower kick from your rear leg. If you happen to kick enough lower kicks, then it causes more damage to your opponent’s body. This makes you to take them off more quickly and finish them off before they even counter hit towards you.

3. Muay Thai Is Ideal for Self Defense

When training for Muay Thai martial arts, you won’t only learn how to attack your opponent but also learns to defend yourself. One of the key elements in defending yourself from your opponent is to maintain enough distance when in a fight.

Muay Thai techniques teaches you to maintain the appropriate distance from the opponent. When defending yourself an effective tip is to let your opponent get tired whenever they try to attack by always keeping your distance.

Muay Thai vs Boxing

Most of the people when comparing Muay Thai and boxing thinks boxing have an advantage due to punches. But let me clarify that it does not. Although, in boxing you can throw punches at lighting fast speed but so does a Muay Thai boxer. 

If we look at the broad spectrum, then a Muay Thai fighter have an advantage on the boxing fighter because of their ability to execute powerful lower kicks. Your opponent (in most of the cases) does not have a capacity to withstand more than 5 lower kicks before they can’t even stand no more. In Muay Thai lower kicks is the weapon that you can certainly use for yourself at an advantage over your opponent.

Muay Thai vs Other Martial Arts

If you already have an experience with judo, wrestling or jiu jitsu, then addition of Muay Thai will make an immense addition in your fighting arsenal. It will almost makes you unstoppable in any uncertain conditions of street fight against anyone who have not ever trained before.

is muay thai good for street fighting

Muay Thai Self Defense for Women

Women of every age needs to defend themselves in today’s world. Self defense is a necessary skill for women to learn. Muay Thai self defense gives the choice of ideal combo for women to effectively strike back to an attacker and run away from the scene with speed and efficiency.

When the combination of strike on the head with knee to the groin area. The first attack distracts the attacker and second attacks makes the attacker to lie down on the ground for quite some time. It is a good idea for women to train and apply Muay Thai for self defense.

4 Best Muay Thai Self Defense Tips

It is important to remember that best form of self defense is to beware of your surrounding area at all times possible. You have to avoid fights and danger environment as much as possible. However, as the events of life are uncertain in some cases. It is likely that you may find yourself in trouble where the protection and survival of your own is at risk. Muay Thai Self defense techniques would help you during these times. Here are some tips for Muay Thai

1. Muay Thai Stance

Just like any other type of martial arts, Muay Thai also have its own unique fighting stance. Obviously, in real life situations you don’t think about getting into a fighting stance. The real life is not scripted like movies. Our responses are rather fight and flight. The basic fight stance of Muay Thai is by open hands with the palms forward. The placement of hands are necessary to defend yourself against any opponent strikes. When you have relaxed arms and hands. These would help to fight with smooth and quick strikes on an attacker.

2. Foot Movement  

Most of the MMA fighters choose Muay Thai type of fighting style. These foot movement gives the fighter. With this, the fighter maintains the shoulder width apart standing position. It is ideal to keep the back heel of behind feet above the ground. It helps to leverage your entire body for any moment. This makes your body suitable for street fights and sudden encounters.

3. Defensive Counters

Muay Thai have numerous defensive moves. A good fighter is always a keen observer to look for the vulnerable areas before making the move to strike it. It is also crucial for a good fighter to maintain the composure and discipline before attacking. To defend yourself, always maintain your distance from the opponent. Learn how to avoid punches, kicks, knees and elbow strikes whenever possible.

4. Legs Kicks

A forceful Muay Thai leg kick is fierce and nerve racking. You cannot realize the real pain of Muay Thai kick unless you have felt it for yourself. Some experts have described as baseball bat strike to the leg. 

Muay Thai fighting skills are more than capable of delivering deadly attack and sharp defense in any street fighting situation.

How Much To Train for Muay Thai Self Defense?

If you want to reach at a decent level of Muay Thai. Then, you should look yourself training for 2 to 3 times per week. The more you train, the better and faster you learn effective techniques of Muay Thai. However, it is also key to rest your body in intervals during the weekly training cycle.

Muay Thai skills are diverse and there is always a lot to learn in every training class. Just like any other martial art training. One of the part of Muay Thai training is power punching on the pads. The trainer use cushioned pads and your asked to throw punch and kicks with full force. The power of punches and kicks is absorbed by the pad of the trainer.

Dutch Drills for Muay Thai

When learning Muay Thai, Dutch drills classes are considered to be a pivotal part of the training. In this type of drill you and your training would be equipped with shin pads, gloves and shields. The goal of this drill is to practice the combos that you’ve learned so far during your training. Your training partner would block all your shots thrown at him. In this style, both practice their skills at the same time together.

Clinch Training

The clinching part is crucial for Muay Thai self defense training. Therefore, the coaches prefer a full day training dedicated towards clinching drills. During this day, you can expect to wrestle with another person on 1-to-1 basis. You would maintain your position to land punches, knees and elbows. This involves breaks during clinching so that you can counter with a punch if possible. The clinching technique is an art within itself to master. You can expect a good amount of sessions to get better at clinching.

Sparring Drills

The most difficult skill to master in Muay Thai is sparring. This alone determines whether or not you are ready for the street fight or not. The reason being is that, it’s the closest thing towards the real life fight scenario. Even though, you are wearing sparring gloves, shin pads and other protective gear. But do expect to be ruthless in your training with your partner or a friend. The goal of this training is to test your limits. Both participants are going to strike punches and kicks with full force. Nevertheless, do not try to hurt each other during the training. But only improve your techniques.

How Much Time Should You Expect To Get Better In Muay Thai Self Defense?

You should aim at 6 months to get reasonable better in Muay Thai. However, if you are going to stick around more than that. The benefits to reap are endless. Just keep in mind to be consistent with Muay Thai for at least 6 months. You have to first learn all the basic skills before you start sparring drills.

Moreover, the sparring training alone takes about 3 months to get good at. You need to be proficient to apply sparring techniques. This enables you to handle yourself in any street fight or self defense situation.

If however, you come from an athletic background you are expected to learn even faster than that. The reason being is that, you have already built your hand-eye and hand-foot coordination. Your muscle memory is already trained to pick up moves quickly than an average person.

For instance, another combat sport like boxing would you to learn Muay Thai a lot quicker. A trained boxer have much better footwork than an average person. Similarly, as a boxer you have ability to throw punches at a higher speed. That does not refrain you from learning proper techniques of kicks and punches of Muay Thai. In Muay Thai, you have to learn to reset your stance in rather a more square in Muay Thai stance.

These are two separate sports all together. Even though, you are good at boxing but you are still in beginner in Muay Thai and vice versa.

It should not discourage you from learning Muay Thai self defense training. Even if you do not have any athletic or combat sports background. We are all beginners at one point in our life. Always be consistent and dedicated towards where you want to be.

6 Reasons Why Muay Thai Is Ideal for Self Defense

1. Effective in All Ranges of Stand up Fights

Muay Thai martial arts uses knees, elbows, shins and hands. This allows the fighter to use every part of the body available. These parts of the body covers the area like kicking range, clinching and punching range. That set of skills makes highly effective and suitable for all ranges of stand up fighting. These are not offered by any other type of striking based martial art types.

2. Easy To Learn

Even though, there are many different skills and techniques involved in Muay Thai. It is also known around for its simplicity to use and learn. That makes it ideal for anyone like men, women and kids all alike. In Thailand, it is more common to learn to learn this skill at a younger age. So no matter what level you are in. There is always a class that would work for you.

3. Muay Thai Is Best for Self Defense

Experts consider Muay Thai as one of the martial arts that is street certified to be most effective for real life self defense encounters. Although, it is known for its striking based martial arts techniques. Muay Thai also contains skills like throwing locks, using opponent’s momentum and knocking out with submissions.

The conditioning of mind, body involved in Muay Thai also gives the practioners the necessary confidence of real life self defense situations and encounters.

4. Muay Thai Burns Calories at Higher Rate

Nothing can make a combat more perfect than its ability to burn calories at a higher rate. Muay Thai martial art training is a perfect total body workout routine. You can burn fats and lose weight while having fun in the training. It also helps you build flexibility, core strength and overall fitness level. Muay Thai helps you keep your in health in check and take it to another level.

5. Body and Mental Toughness

Muay Thai training allows to toughen up your body and mind. A great fighters and trainer Kru Yodtong Senanan once about Muay Thai that “Muay Thai is good for your inner strength and confidence.” In addition to building your inner conditioning. Muay Thai also helps in building discipline of mind through controlling of emotions and feelings.

6. Unleash Your Potential in Other Areas of Life

Majority of people have a misconception that Muay Thai is associated with violence. But that is far from the truth. Just like other traditional martial arts like Kung Fu and Taekwondo. Muay Thai also possess values that are rich in tradition. It has power of discipline, inspiration and humbleness. By practicing Muay Thai you instill other qualities like humility, courage and spiritual values. These values helps you to excel in other parts of your life.


Learning Muay Thai self defense makes that experience enriching and enjoyable. It is beneficial for any person no matter irrespective of age, gender or race. Every person can reap the endless rewards of Muay Thai.

One thing to always keep in mind. In a street fight situation you have no idea who you are dealing with. Or what kind of abilities the other person might have you never know. It is always recommended to avoid trouble at any cost possible.   

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