Applying Muay Thai techniques to self-defense situations is not as simple as going over a few drills in class. There’s quite a bit more to consider especially when your life could be on the line.
Muay Thai Techniques have been forged through centuries of warfare, with the lives of thousands rested on their ability to dismantle their opponent. Thus, it is a time-tested martial art which can be highly effective in those critical moments of self-defense. Aside from the kickboxing aspect of Muay Thai, let us not forget that this art stems from a time when these Muay Thai techniques were not just used as a sport or fitness practice, but a means of survival on the battlefield. The result of skillful execution was not the difference between winning and losing, but rather life and death. Here are some pointers for utilizing your Muay Thai techniques in an actual self-defense situation in those rare moments (hopefully never) that you might need it.
Make sure an integral part of your training is how to block and deflect attacks to the head and move out of the way. The Muay Thai techniques you should be seeking to perfect if you are to actually use this for self-defense are the ones that you’ll be using most; blocking, movement, parrying, creating angles. Being able to move quickly using footwork and balance is more important than necessarily being able to throw a super powerful kick. Muay Thai techniques which are fast, effective, and do not compromise your balance (punches, elbows) are more effective and safe to use in a street defense situation.
In order for your Muay Thai techniques to be effective, they need to be applied to as many scenario’s in training as possible, including sparring, drills, and even staged confrontations.
Drill real-life scenario’s with these select few Muay Thai techniques and perfect them in sparring – it’s the only real way to get the ‘feel’ of it so it happens naturally in an free-fight scenario.
Next you want to make sure you understand the conditions for when your Muay Thai skills will be useful. Muay Thai is used for hand to hand combat but not very effective against weapons, multiple attackers, etc. As an example, a Muay Thai check may not be something you’d use often, but a head block or lead elbow would be something you’d want in your repertoire during a street fight.
Real Martial Arts and Muay Thai techniques, above all else, are meant to give you a frame work for self-defense situations to help give you a sense of composure and control in the actual situation. This clarity of thought in that critical moment may mean the difference between life and death. To summarize, make sure that you know the limits of your self-defense training. Practice movement, footwork, and protecting the head with your arms. This is the most important skill in defense as most attackers immediately go for the head. Above all, learn to keep calm, composed, and intelligent during potentially violent situations. This above all else, can diffuse the situation from even becoming violent in the first place and that is the greatest victory of all. Remember, the Muay Thai techniques are there to help you, not cause you harm. Being quick to violence because of overconfidence is one of the quickest ways to get yourself hurt.