The topic of self-defense is one that is filled with many opinions about what the ideal self-defense martial art is. We typically see the everyday parent sign up their young children to after school Karate classes and the typical adult sign up for either a cardio boxing or kickboxing class, so social norms tell us that either Karate, Boxing, or Kickboxing are great self-defense options. While all three of the options listed are great for exercise and developing discipline, you have to wonder how effective they truly are in real-world self-defense scenarios.
One of the most socially underrated martial arts available to you is Muay Thai. Muay Thai, in its simplicity, is a form of Kickboxing, but add the throwing of elbows, knees, and tripping/sweeping your opponent. In practice, Muay Thai is one of the best self-defense martial arts you can, and should consider investing your time in. Apart from the fact that it provides you with an incredible workout, the level of discipline you need to succeed and grow in Muay Thai will help you develop better lifestyle habits and will equip you with the most dangerous hand-to-hand combat available.
When we talk about self-defense, we need to focus on not only the defense aspect of combat, but also the offense, or attacking aspect. Muay Thai teaches you to be comfortable in some of the most uncomfortable situations you can encounter while keeping your composure. It teaches you to throw some of the most fundamental striking techniques, such as jabs, crosses, and hooks, but to also mix in leg kicks and elbows. While it can be very dangerous in competition and in real-life self-defense scenarios, it’s a martial art form that lets you be creative in how to put together combos and how you mix techniques. You’d be surprised at the various different attacking combos you can put together!
If you need another reason why you should learn Muay Thai, have we mentioned that it’s really effective too? Just imagine you have a boxer and a Muay Thai fighter in a hypothetical fight. A boxer is not accustomed to absorbing leg or head kicks. Imagine what happens when the Muay Thai fighter lands that first heavy leg kick? His/Her opponent will not like it one bit and will probably want nothing more to do with the fight. The possibilities of inflicting damage to your opponent are considerably higher when you have an understanding of Muay Thai fighting. You will have a considerable advantage to your opponent almost every time.
With every activity, it takes time and practice with Muay Thai to become decent in the sport. Luckily, you will most likely be training alongside fellow Muay Thai practitioners who are seeking to grow, just like you. Don’t be afraid to approach your coaches and classmates for help. And when you get to a stage where you’re considerably better than your peers, make sure to return the favor and help them out.
As the traditional saying goes: practice, practice, practice!
Mastery of Muay Thai will not come around anytime soon. Part of your development as a Muay Thai practitioner will include countless hours of training as well as frequent sparring with your teammates.
Students who remain dedicated to training 3-4 times a week will usually see a level of growth within 6-8 months.
Short answer: it depends.
If you’re an experienced Muay Thai practitioner who needs to use your skills in a real-life self-defense scenario against someone who’s at best a backyard brawler, then ABSOLUTELY Muay Thai is dangerous, but not to you!
If you’re brand new to Muay Thai and you’re rushing to learn and spar (simulated fight within your gym) chances are you may get hurt via injury if you’re not throwing your strikes with proper form. With that said, a friendly piece of advice: don’t get enamored with the fancy strikes you see in MMA fights on TV, such as spinning kicks, flying knees, spinning elbows, superman punches, etc. If you’re just starting your Muay Thai journey, don’t start asking your coach to teach you how to throw a wheel kick. Learn the fundamentals first before you start learning the flashy stuff.
If you don’t know how to throw the basics with proper form and you start throwing advanced strikes, yeah, Muay Thai can be dangerous for you.
Getting started in Muay Thai is very simple. Find a gym that teaches Muay Thai, get yourself some quality equipment, and start attending your classes! Don’t feel discouraged after your first day if you feel like you’re not doing things right. We all were terrible on our first day - none of us began as prodigies, so don’t stress it.
We can’t stress enough the importance of quality gear to train with. Training with terrible gear can lead to unexpected injuries to your hands, wrists, and even legs. Go check out our available list of trusted Muay Thai gear - we’ve personally tried and tested the gear ourselves, so we have the utmost confidence you’ll love our selection of Muay Thai gear too.