Violent crime is increasing throughout the United States. The prospect of getting attacked is something that we don’t want to think about. Still, it happens and it’s scary.
Whether for protecting yourself or your loved ones, knowledge of self-defense through martial arts is very important.
There are so many types of martial arts that it’s often difficult to choose. People claiming to be a grandmaster of this or a black belt in that will tell you that the best martial arts for self-defense are what they are practicing.
If you are looking for a simple, effective, and battle-tested martial art, look no further than Muay Thai. Muay Thai has been developed for hundreds of years and utilizes all of your limbs.
Muay Thai is one of the best martial arts to learn how to defend from a physical assault and here are the reasons why.
Retreat Is the Better Part of Valor
First, let’s get one thing straight. Learning self-defense is not about beating your opponent, knocking them out or breaking their limbs. It’s about creating opportunities to run away.
Let’s say you are in a circumstance where physical confrontation is unavoidable. You tried handing over your wallet, talking to defuse the situation, or just agreeing to whatever the assailant wants. And despite that, your instincts tell you that an attack is coming.
The first chance you get, you run.
Why should you run? Because if you engage, win or lose, you will end up in a bad state. You don’t know if the enemy has a knife or a gun. Or if this person has friends lurking nearby. You will end up in the hospital or worse, the morgue.
And if you are confident in your fighting skills and decide to beat up your attacker, what happens? You knock him out and break his jaw or arm. Then the police arrest you for assault. Now you have to pay this person, his lawyer and your lawyer.
It is a lose-lose situation.
Muay Thai techniques, a punch, kick, or elbow strike, have the ability to stun your opponent. This will give you the opportunity to run away and live another day.
KISS: Keep It Simple, St****
If you are in a life and death situation, the worst thing you can do is hesitate. If you stop yourself to think about complicated karate katas or wushu motions, you’re already defeated.
Muay Thai techniques are simple that men and women of all ages can learn them. In Thailand, practitioners can start as early as five years old.
Simplicity doesn’t mean it’s less effective. In fact, it’s the opposite. Because the techniques are straightforward, they deliver power in an efficient manner.
No movement is wasted. This is one of the reasons why Muay Thai is the best martial arts for self-defense.
The art of eight limbs
You might be wondering, why eight? Human beings have two arms and two legs. But in Muay Thai, we include the elbows and knees.
There is practically no reason not to include elbow and knee strikes when fighting. Elbows and knees are some of the strongest and densest bones in the human body. They are less likely to get broken than your hand (which has 27 small bones) or the feet which contain the most fragile bones (toe bones).
Elbows and knee strikes are very destructive. They allow you to concentrate force on a small area. Think of an ice pick striking a block of ice.
A well-placed elbow strike can easily cut your opponent’s face or just knock them straight out. A knee strike to the solar plexus will have your attacker gasping for air. This will allow you to create separation to run away.
Long Range, Mid-Range, or Short Range
Whatever the distance between you and your assailant, Muay Thai will still be excellent. To qualify as the best martial arts for self-defense, the techniques of that art have to be effective at all ranges. In Muay Thai, there is no safe place for your opponent to be comfortable in.
For example, let’s say you are in a confrontation with someone that you know uses jiu-jitsu. You know you are in trouble if the attacker can get a hold of you. But because Muay Thai has an arsenal of long-range kicks, mid-range knees, and punches, just closing the distance will be very tough for your opponent.
And if he does close the distance, Muay Thai also teaches clinch techniques. Muay Thai practitioners are hard to take down, and that person will most likely eat an elbow or get swept in the attempt.
Muay Thai Techniques That Work
Let’s talk about some of the techniques that can give you an edge during a street fight. These are simple, effective, and powerful strikes that the best martial arts for self-defense teach.
The first is the push kick, also known as the ‘teep’. This is the longest attack you can deliver with Muay Thai. This is great because not only can it create distance if it is well-timed, it can also destroy the balance of your opponent.
And then you have the famous leg kicks. Muay Thai leg kicks are feared in MMA. Just look at Urijah Faber’s thigh and leg after his fight with Jose Aldo (who uses Muay Thai as a striking base). That is evidence of the power of Muay Thai leg kicks.
Clinch techniques are there for situations where the opponent surprised and grabbed you. A clinch technique that Muay Thai is known for is the double neck tie. You have two hands around your opponent’s neck and back of the head, and you can use this as leverage to deliver powerful knee strikes.
The Best Martial Arts for Self-Defense in a Nutshell
Muay Thai is leagues ahead from other martial arts when it comes to self-defense.
The techniques are simple to learn but are powerful and effective. If your life is in danger, an elbow strike or a fast leg kick can give you an opening to create separation and run away.