Very few styles are as effective and dangerous on the feet as Muay Thai. It’s not a coincidence that in the pursuit of real effectiveness in MMA, Muay Thai is the first choice of striking discipline to learn.
Muay Thai is very dangerous because the goal of competition is to hurt the opponent to a point where he cannot or will not continue fighting. And to reach that goal, strikes with every limb are allowed.
Of course, the main danger in Muay Thai comes from competing and sparring competitively. The sport can be practiced as safely as any other martial art, or even any other contact sport. Let’s go into a bit more detail about what makes Muay Thai one of the deadliest striking styles on the planet.
Born on the battlefield
Just like most other martial arts, Muay Thai was created as a real combat system, not a past time activity. The Thai system has been used to do unarmed combat on the battlefield or as part of a high-stakes entertainment throughout its rich, centuries-old history. The use of firearms changed the way people waged war, and in time, Muay Thai became more of a spectator’s sport.
Whereas other Asian martial arts, such as taekwondo and karate, tried to make competition as safe as possible and lost their true martial origins, Muay Thai remains a full-contact sport with the knockout as the most desired outcome, which inevitably carries a high level of danger for all fighters.
The art of eight limbs
What makes Muay Thai so effective is that it strikes with punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, hence the moniker “art of eight limbs”. Each of these weapons has the potential to wreak havoc on the human body, and Thai fighters train to transform their bodies into fighting machines. Add clinch fighting, dumps, throws, and sweeps to the mix, and you have one of the most powerful striking styles on the planet.
Muay Thai fights are highly competitive. No fighter can hope for any success without withstanding grueling training and taking damage in fights and in the gym. Muay Thai has proven to be very dangerous and effective both as a separate fighting style and in the arena of MMA, where all styles are tested in as realistic a setting as possible while still remaining a sport and not a true life-and-death fight.
If you want a detailed look at many different Muay Thai styles, see the work of some legendary fighters and watch specific techniques in action there are few better places than this channel:
Muay Thai practice is not dangerous
While all of the above dangers are real, you can enjoy Muay Thai without suffering from any of them. Many people choose the sport for fitness goals and to learn self-defense. In almost all gyms, training for beginners is done gradually, and if you don’t want to get in the ring, there is no need to spar hard at all.
Without competition and preparation for it, Muay Thai training is still challenging but also very fun and engaging. If we are honest, the chance of injury while training casually is not higher than it is in other contact sports like basketball or football.
That’s what makes Muay Thai so popular. It can offer a lot to casual enthusiasts, battle hardened fighters, and everyone in between.