Not everyone who takes lessons in Muay Thai wants to become a professional fighter. A great many Thai boxing enthusiasts take classes to get in shape, eliminate stress, and take part in an active hobby. All these reasons are fine, but what about self-defense training. In the “good old days” of martial arts, students focused mainly on self-defense applications. The current combat arts landscape puts a lot of emphasis on sportive training. Does this mean those with a desire to learn self-defense feel left out in a Thai boxing class? Not at all since Thai boxing can be a great art for self-protection. The following four reasons should prove the point Thai boxing can be awesome for self-defense.
1. Muay Thai teaches students how to use “heavy tools” vital for self-defense.
The use of knee and elbow strikes allow Muay Thai to stand apart from many other martial arts. A good reason exists why so many traditional full contact kickboxing organizations bar these techniques. Knees and elbows can be devastating. For the same reason, knee and elbow strikes can be quite effective in a serious self-defense situation.
2. That boxing puts a heavy emphasis on close-quarters combat.
In Thai boxing, fighters spend a lot of time fighting it out in the clinch. Yes, punching and kicking comprise a lot of action per round but close-quarters clinch battles play a big part as well. Clinch fighting translates to self-defense since most fights, skirmishes, and attacks occur in close range. Thai boxing’s approach to close-quarter fighting is among the most sophisticated of all the martial arts. Anyone who develops good Thai boxing clinch skills may find these abilities valuable in self-defense scenarios. The Lanna MMA website has more online resources and references available.
3. Foot sweeps and throws can be used in self-defense to great effect.
Thai boxing is not considered a grappling art to the same degree as other martial arts. In truth, Thai boxing focuses mainly on striking. Within the standup fighting system, the art does employ throws and foot sweeps. In the ring, these techniques can help a fighter amass points to win a round. With self-defense situations, they can be used to put an assailant on the ground. Maybe grounding an attacker could give a “victim” ample time to run to safety.
4. The sportive techniques can provide a strong basis for reality fighting training.
While Muay Thai is a sport, effective sports training carries over into reality-based self-defense training. Those who enroll in courses designed to simulate street attacks find their sports training makes them better able to perform self-defense techniques. Improved toughness, extensive sparring experience, and increased cardiovascular conditioning definitely are good to draw on in self-defense training.