Can Muay Thai Be Used in a Street Fight?


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Muay Thai is used by some of the greatest MMA fighters and in many tournaments worldwide, so we know it’s effective. But can Muay Thai be used in a street fight?

Here’s what I learned by watching some:

Muay Thai can be used in a street fight. Muay Thai fighters have been trained on using every part of their body as a weapon to subdue or incapacitate an attacker or multiple attackers. Additionally, their conditioning training ensures the strength and stamina needed to fight until prevailing.

They can swiftly unleash a variety of painful blows and kicks.

Apart from the techniques Muay Thai fighters learn, they are highly conditioned athletes. They are nimble, lean, and strong. Their physique almost always seems sculpted. It’s because of the grueling drill they have to undergo.

In addition to being able to unleash hell on their opponents, they are trained to be able to endure a lot of pain.

In this article, we’ll explore what’s better for a street fight: boxing or Muay Thai, how dangerous is Muay Thai, how powerful Muay Thai is, and similar themes.

Let the fun begin…

What’s better for a street fight: boxing or Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is better than boxing for a street fight, as Muay Thai equips the practitioner with many techniques through which they can defend themselves. Compared to Muay Thai, boxing is limited. 

This is why Muay Thai is referred to as “the art of 8 limbs.”

Most men understand basic boxing moves, punches and know not to get punched in the face. So, in all likelihood, in a street fight, boxing would probably get you so far.

Muay Thai, however, would give you an edge because it’s not as common. Your opponent would most likely be unable to counter some of your moves.

It’s no accident that some of the badass fighters in the UFC employ Muay Thai a lot. 3 techniques in MT might be all you need to cripple and crush an attacker.

Low leg kicks to unbalance them, and a combo of elbow and knee strikes are enough for most untrained fighters you would meet in a street fight.

They won’t even see the strikes coming, which makes them lethal and disorienting.

How dangerous is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai practitioners are injured 55% of the time, making it the most dangerous martial art. Additionally, champion Pradip Subramanian died shortly after a Muay Thai fight in 2017, and 13-year-old Muay Thai fighter Anucha Thasako died in the ring in 2018.

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It is a “two-in-one” martial art because it involves punching and kicking. As such, it is highly demanding since practitioners have to learn a lot and also ensure that their bodies are conditioned.

Hard kicks to the guts, devastating elbow strikes, flying knees, punches…welcome to Muay Thai.

The elbow strike alone can crush an opponent. Imagine an elbow unleashed on a face!

What makes it so lethal (apart from the fact that the elbow is largely bone) is that the best MT fighters always use it unexpectedly.

So, an opponent might be confidently moving toward them, then they strike. 

At times, it’s delivered when it seems as if they are moving away. Then, they suddenly turn and strike. At times, it’s not the elbow; it’s a knee connected to an opponent’s ribs or face.

Muay Thai is dangerous. Truth be told, slight injuries and bruises are a lot common. 

Have you ever wondered if Judo would be great in a real fight? You’re in luck because that’s the theme of a recent article of mine. What really surprised me was just how ineffective some of the top Judo moves are.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How powerful is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is incredibly powerful, with strong kicks that can break ribs or hands. Additionally, Muay Thai punches are as strong as a boxer’s punch. Muay Thai practitioners do a significant amount of strength conditioning to ensure muscle and stamina are at their peak.

Even as they learn the techniques, Muay Thai fighters are always conditioning their bodies.

They do grueling drills. Some are even known to train using banana trees which they kick over and over again so that their shins can be very strong.

Another popular drill meant to instill the capacity to endure is where a fighter punches another repeatedly in the stomach, and they bear it with stoic calm!

What I have shared here is just the tip of an iceberg. 

In truth, Muay Thai fighters follow a comprehensive training regime. It’s as if they are preparing for war. It makes them so powerful.

That’s why a single roundhouse kick is enough to bring a strong, big dude to the ground in some fights!

Thinking about learning Muay Thai?

Make sure to check out my complete list of pros and cons in a recent article of mine. I get into all the obvious ones, but also the 1 con no one thinks about that actually produces 40% of the injuries.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the weakest martial art?

Tai Chi is the weakest martial art in terms of fighting ability or self-defense. While it does have martial applications, most practitioners use it as a form of slow-moving meditation. And for the majority of them, it has no fighting power. 

But my Tai Chi teacher could easily defend himself using only Tai Chi movements.

Let’s face it. Most people who gravitate toward martial arts do so because they want to acquire skills that they can use to defend themselves.

The potential health benefits are often secondary considerations. 

But most Tai Chi practitioners just learn the sequence of movements and never learn to actually feel or use their body’s chi (energy).

A true Tai Chi master has a lot of power at their disposal.

Tai Chi’s rhythm is very slow and delicate. It also consists of patterns/forms that can be unrealistic in real fights. At least if you just know the physical movements and not the true intent behind them.

The martial art is like an extremely slow but graceful dance. It’s good as a meditative practice and also for stress management and certain injuries, but if self-defense is the goal, it won’t cut it for most people.

Believe it or not, Tai Chi is actually one of the many arts that fall under the heading of Kung Fu. But most are much more about fighting than Tai Chi is.

Have you ever wondered if Kung Fu would be great in a real fight?

You’re in luck because that’s the theme of a recent article of mine. Of course, Bruce Lee, starting with the Kung Fu art of Wing Chun, is the best-known Kung Fu, practitioner. And no doubt he could beat anyone, right?

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What is the best martial art for a street fight?

Krav Maga is the best martial art for a street fight, although it’s not a true martial art. It was designed primarily for self-defense and is meant to equip practitioners with skills with which they can subdue an attacker quickly and easily without any harm to themselves. 

It is the best way to defend yourself because it has no rules, and it targets some vulnerable parts of the body.

Krav Maga and MMA are similar in the sense that they are practical realizations of what Bruce Lee wanted his self-created martial art, Jeet Kune Do, to be.

He wanted it to be a martial art that has transcended the rigid limitations of style and can borrow effective fighting techniques from any style.

This is one of the reasons Krav Maga is the best; it is an “MMA.” KM fighters are not bound by some rules or traditions.

They would employ any means necessary to save themselves. 

They figured that if one’s life is at stake, trying to follow rules is an illogical approach that could lead to getting crippled or killed.

So, kicks to the groin (a favorite), elbow strikes, low leg kicks, eye-gouging, palm to the nose, blow to the throat…are all fair game in Krav Maga.

“Whatever you can do to protect yourself” is the ethos. 

Anyone who’s ever been in a street fight knows that KM translates to the street. Rules and some rigid ways of fighting are the last things on your mind.

But can a Krav Maga fighter beat an MMA fighter? This is what I explored in a recent article of mine. Of course, in both cases, they know a variety of moves and techniques from multiple martial arts. But one is clearly better than the other.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Conclusion

Boxing or Muay Thai? Which one’s better for a street fight.

We learned why Muay Thai is better. We also learned how powerful it is, even how dangerous it is. The grueling training regimen and the fact that fighters have to master “8 limbs” make it deadly.

We also checked out the weakest martial art. Yes, the weakest. Lastly, we explored the best martial art for a street fight.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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