is muay thai good for self defence

Is Muay Thai Good for Self Defence

A question we get a lot is whether Muay Thai is a good way to learn self-defense? While there are a lot of martial arts currently being practiced in the world, and all of them believe to be the best, objectively speaking, some are just superior. Both in regards to the martial art itself and the possibility to defend yourself during an attack.

Muay Thai is a great martial art for self-defense purposes. Muay Thai is the foundation of many top MMA fighters fighting capabilities. It is a well-rounded martial art that not only covers realistic ways of blocking and dodging a punch or a kick but also teaches you how to strike and clinch.

Muay Thai can teach you many great things that are invaluable during an oncoming attack, and we are not just talking about how to strike or clinch your attacker. Muay Thai, through its training, does a lot to prepare you not only physically but also mentally for self-defense purposes.

Is Muay Thai Really So Effective?

Muay Thai is a great way to practice self-defense for a few reasons. First, Muay Thai teaches you how to use your body as a weapon. It is called “The art of eight limbs” for a reason. Muay Thai is the most used striking foundation in the MMA world since it teaches you how to throw punches, knees, and elbows with a ton of force behind each one. It also teaches the fighter how to clinch since, in almost any martial art, you find yourself too close to your opponent to use most of your learned techniques.

  • First and most important, you will learn how to strike with your hands, elbows, knees, shins, and feet. This will give you a big advantage if you ever find yourself in a self-defense situation.
  • Second, Muay Thai will teach you how to defend yourself against strikes. You will learn how to block, parry, and counterstrike. This will give you the ability to take down an attacker even if they are bigger and stronger than you.
  • Third, Muay Thai is a great workout. Not only will it make you physically stronger, but it will also give you the stamina and endurance you need to fight off an attacker.
  • Forth, it will prepare you mentally. If you practice Muay Thai, you will learn how to stop flinching and closing your eyes when getting hit. You will no longer fear getting hit since getting hit will become second nature to you.

How Useful Is The Clinch?

Most street fights start with one person posturing and puffing out their chest to intimidate. The second step they do is to shove the other person. At this point, you have the right to defend yourself.

When the person shoves you, they usually place their hand on your chest. As an avid Muay Thai practitioner, you will welcome this move with open arms, so to say. You know that when the person places their hand on your chest to shove you, they have just opened themselves for you to take them into a clinch.

A clinch enables you to control your opponent through close-quarters combat, making their punches or kicks less effective. But the clinch is not only used for self-defensive measures. The clinch gives you the opportunity to move your opponent around as you wish. You can throw them to the side, lower their head to block their field of view, throw knees in the clinch or even finish up the clinch with a short elbow.

The clinch is maybe Muay Thais’ greatest option when it comes to self-defense, but you also must be careful of your surroundings. Make sure that there is only one person who wants to hurt you and not multiple others. If you are in the clinch and your opponent has an ally, you might just have opened yourself up for a sucker punch.

Is Muay Thai Offensive Or Defensive?

Muay Thai is both an offensive and a defensive martial art. As we said earlier, for the offense part, you will learn how to throw multiple combinations of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees.

But Muay Thai also teaches you how to defend yourself from your opponents. Blocking kicks with your shin, dodging punches, avoiding teeps, learning to take knee strikes is all a part of the learning process in Muay Thai. By learning the mentioned moves, you will naturally learn how to use Muay Thai defensively. 

Can Muay Thai Be Self Taught For Self Defense?

The answer is both yes and no. Muay Thai can be self-taught to an extent, but it really is best learned from a qualified instructor. The reason for this is that Muay Thai is not just about learning the techniques. It’s also about developing the correct mindset, attitude, and discipline that are necessary for using those techniques effectively in a self-defense situation.

That being said, there are still some things that you can learn on your own if you’re interested in Muay Thai for self-defense. For instance, you can learn basic techniques and concepts from books or online resources. And if you have access to a heavy bag, you can practice those techniques on your own.

But ultimately, if you want to be able to effectively use Muay Thai for self-defense, it’s best to learn from a qualified instructor.

The Mental Aspect Of Muay Thai For Self Defense

One of the most important aspects of Muay Thai for self-defense is the mental aspect. When you are in a situation where you need to defend yourself, your mindset will play a huge role in how successful you are.

If you are able to stay calm and focus on what you need to do, you will be much more likely to come out of the situation unscathed. However, if you allow yourself to get panicked or scared, you are much more likely to make a mistake that could put you in danger.

During your Muay Thai training, you will learn how to become:

  • More patient and not rush into your opponent
  • Less fearful of getting hit
  • Less fearful of fighting
  • Calmer under pressure
  • And lastly, more confident in your abilities


Muay Thai is probably the best martial art you can learn for self-defense. It teaches you how to strike, how to clinch, and how to dodge or absorb strikes. It will make your body stronger along with your mind. You will have more endurance if you need to fight for your safety, and you will also learn to be calmer and less fearful during a fight.

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