There is a good reason why Muay Thai is considered to be the most effective martial arts. Its use of knees, elbows, shins, and fists, and combinations of these allow any practitioner to use all the weapons available to the human body. This ancient form if Thai boxing is rightly called as ‘the art of eight limbs’.
National Muay Thai champion, Balkrishna Shetty, gives a quick lesson in self defence, teaching how to fight an opponent or an attacker with four moves. Read it, watch it, understand it and practice it.
Push-kick – “The push kick creates distance between you and your attacker. It works just like a boxing jab, but because it is performed with the leg and foot, it has a longer effective range. A push kick can be thrown to many different parts of your attacker’s body. A kick to their thigh or midsection can stop them from advancing on you, whereas a push kick to their face can serve as a knockout blow.”
Straight Knee – “One of the most lethal weapons a Muay Thai fighter are the knee strikes. If executed and aimed properly, a knee has the potential to stop an attacker in their tracks. In a self-defense situation where basic, straightforward attacks are paramount, one should use the straight knee strike. This strike is especially useful if your attacker is holding you by your arms. One well-placed knee strike could stun your attacker and give you time to get away.”
Clinch – “In Muay Thai, the clinch is used to close the distance between you and your attacker. In a self-defense situation, you should aim to never give up control inside the clinch and focus on having two points of control always, such as the head and arms. If your attacker is holding you in a clinch (and he is much bigger and stronger), you must work on regaining your posture and know how to conserve your energy and stay confident in your skills. If you can control your attacker in the clinch and have a good, strong lock on him, you could throw a straight knee strike or elbow, but it’s important to ensure that you stay balanced at all times.”
Elbow throw – “One of the easiest ways to cause significant damage to your attacker is to throw an elbow. If your attacker is in close range, this would be the perfect strike to use because it aims at slicing the temple, jaw, and facial areas in general. The elbow is a perfect strike to throw in a tight space such as a bar or in a crowd. If you are able to lock your attacker in a strong, tight clinch, you’re in the perfect position to throw an elbow strike. Remember to hold your attacker down with a firm grip behind his neck or arm to ensure that you have good control and stay in position to attack if needed.”