Proper Muay Thai Training which includes sparring and possibly fighting builds not just strength, flexibility, and the power to pack a punch, but builds a key element for success in life and self-defense: Composure.
When you mention Kickboxing and Muay Thai Training, a lot of people will associate self-defense as a subset of it. In a lot of ways they are similar and I would argue that to some degree that they could be considered synonymous. However, in reality, martial arts and martial arts competition are very different from self-defense in many aspects. For one, in any competition, including cage fighting, there are sanctioned rules which both opponents or teams abide by. A referee stands between the two to make sure no one is brutalized to the point of death. In other words, fights are controlled events.
Self-Defense on the other hand occurs on the street, where anything goes. Biting, headbutting, throwing to the ground….whatever it takes to survive. It’s a lot more real than what you’ll find inside of the cage or Muay Thai ring, (but invariably, street fights are usually a lot uglier to watch…biting, hair pulling, eye gouging, kicking in the balls) It is in these situations that your martial arts or Muay Thai training could fail you in a really big way if you don’t assess the situation carefully.
What you need to know is that, like all else, until you’ve repeated specific actions in a scenario numerous times until it becomes ingrained in your nervous system, you can’t definitely rely on it. Muay Thai Training and the techniques learned are a highly effective way for taking on a single opponent in a stand up situation. There are specific techniques for blocking, countering, and making your opponent pay dearly for trying to get crazy with you.
That being said, it’s important not to forget what our Muay Thai Training prepares us to do: Defend ourselves from a single opponent in a stand-up situation.
But the reality is, this is only one specific situation. What if it’s two people? What about three? What if they have a weapon? These are all realistic situations and something that Muay Thai training wouldn’t necessarily prepare you for from a technique perspective. So what’s the point of training Muay Thai if you can’t rely on the techniques for your self-defense?
Well for one, in all self-defense situations, the most important thing which determines life or death, success and failure is composure. Composure to remain calm and think clearly. Often times, potentially violent situations can be defused non-violently if one party has the consciousness to respond intelligently and not react out of fear. And the only way to have composure in those events is if you’ve been in similar situations before….i.e. – sparring, training situations, actual fighting. Sparring de-sensitizes you to physical combat and getting hit. Muay Thai training equips you with the knowledge to know the mechanics of a physical confrontation if something were to happen. It allows you to learn to relax into being physically attacked and respond intelligently. And this is precisely the foundational skill which is needed to come out of a self-defense situation alive.
So does Muay Thai training help with self-defense situations? Yes..if you’re training to spar and fight and put those techniques to work. The science of Muay Thai includes the integration of combat techniques to take out a single opponent. The composure that you get from actually doing the art (i.e. – sparring, fighting) will train your nervous system to respond with intelligence in those self-defense situations.