I've been asked this question many times by people who were interested in training martial arts. And my answer was always the same: Thai boxing is one of the most effective martial arts when it comes to street fighting.
And why is it effective? Because the whole philosophy behind Thai boxing is to prepare a fighter for a real competition. The final goal is to make him 'ring ready'. If you're tough enough to fight in the ring then you are also ready to face a common thug on the street.
And let's not forget that a military hand-to-hand combat systems like Krav Maga incorporates many of Muay Thai fighting techniques.
Muay Thai for self-defense: skills and techniques
Muay Thai workouts: strength and stamina training. Muay Thai is very demanding when it comes to physical performance. This will give you a great advantage no matter how good and technical you are.
A solid strength and stamina training and even the most basic technical training gives you the edge over the most of the regular guys on the street.
Straight-forward fighting techniques: kicks are simple yet powerful. It just comes naturally to use a quick body kick or a leg kick to throw the attacker on the ground.
Punching techniques are based on Western Boxing. Elbows and knees are used in short distance fighting.
It is much easier to use straightforward techniques in a real fight that trying to utilize more fancy and complicated strikes.
Great pressure is put on sparring: you will practise with a real opponent right from the start of your training. Same goes to technical classes: you will practice new techniques and combinations with a sparring partner, not on your own, most of the time. That's the best way to emulate a real fight and learn useful fighting skills.
Muay Thai provides you with an arsenal of short and long range weapons. Which makes it possible to effectively attack and defend yourself at any distance.
Elbow strikes which allows you to protect your face and to deliver a powerful blows to your opponent's head at the same time.
Furthermore, when you will be protecting your face with your elbows, your opponent may hurt his knuckles trying to punch you. Tip of the elbow is one of the hardest poins of human body.
And last but not least: training Muay Thai gives you a self-confidence. It makes you stronger, shape up your body and improves your posture.
This may disarm any potential attacker before even a fight starts. Most of the guys standing on the street or drinking in the bar and looking for a trouble are, more or less, cowards. They attack only when they are confident that they are going to win the fight.
The truth is that the more you train, the less you will get involved in any street fights. Sounds strange but it is true. But once it happens you will be prepared to defend yourself and knock out your opponent cold.