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How Effective Is Muay Thai In A Street Fight?

street fight

Even the most peaceful human on the planet Earth might get bullied and attacked on the street. Robbers are merciless, they see a bag with money and nothing else. In school, many kids build their reputations by torturing and harassing weaker classmates.

muay thai in a street fight

Muay Thai in a street fight – so tricky topic. There are no rules in the street, so everybody can defeat everybody. For example, a bully who knows to perform a silent attack might hop on your back, establish a standing body triangle and choke you out in less than 10 seconds. But here is a great thing – bullies like to demonstrate their power and rather choose to humiliate their victims via slaps or one-punch knockouts.

Read on to get to know the efficiency of Muay Thai in a street fight. If you know how to use ancient Siamese martial art well, you shouldn’t have a hard time dealing cocky attackers. I guarantee you that.

Muay Thai In A Street Fight – List Of Advantages

Overall, Thai boxing sounds like a great martial art to defeat bullies. Yeah, you’ll have to stay away from ending up on your back. A good Thai boxer is well-rounded, which leaves few options for the attackers.

A Muay Thai warrior is a difficult opponent to deal with in the street. Here is why:

  • He can tolerate so many big bombs and powerful strikes – experts of this martial art are battered in the training session regularly.
  • Wrestling clinch – if you watched Alistair Overeem in his PRIDE days, you know what I’m talking about. Bully usually grabs the victim to show supremacy, which means he’ll be in big trouble. This aspect of the game is the trademark of Muay Thai in a street fight. Oh, it is the first thing that comes to my mind when you mention Thai boxing, too.

Land a big knee off the clinch to the head. Your opponent will be knocked out cold or he’ll start begging for mercy.

  • High guard – Muay Thai stance is at least odd for bullies because your hands are above the level of the forehead. Slapping won’t work, legs and shins are made of iron. They have only one option – dragging the fight to the ground.
  • A barrage of bullets – Muay Thai experts rarely go for one-punch KO, they rather destroy foes with a barrage of quick powerful fists, elbows, knees, or kicks. You will be a huge challenge for a “dominant” bully.
  • Retreat, hell – Did you watch the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? Despite the enemy was way stronger, the allied army went through the beach of Omaha and pushed Nazis back. Well, this is another trademark of Muay Thai in a street fight. Thai boxers are trained to march forward, eat strikes and swarm all over the place. Most of them will fight until the last dying breath, even against the bigger and stronger foe.
  • An outstanding level of calmness – This is good because the attacker expects fear. He’ll be surprised when he sees a calm opponent in front of himself.

Bad Sides Of Muay Thai In The Street

There are many lovely sides of Muay Thai in a street fight. But, unfortunately, it’s a striking martial art, which means an elite-level Judoka or grappler won’t have a hard time dragging you to the ground. Yikes! I will pinpoint the potential weaknesses of Thai boxing now:

  • Takedown defense – Muay Thai masters rarely learn how to sprawl. They counter takedown attempts with a big straight knee or an uppercut instead. This means you’ll have less than a second to react if the opponent tries to grab your legs.
  • Fighting off your back – Big kicks and elbows are powerful, but you don’t learn transitions, rubber guard, sweeps, or fighting from half/full guard/mount in a Muay Thai session.
  • The opponent jumps on your back – a good master of a rear-naked choke might finish you in the split of a second. You don’t learn pushing chin towards your chest and putting forearm between your neck and enemy’s arm.
  • Ground strikes – even if you end up on top of your opponent, my advice is to scramble up and get back to standing as soon as possible. Elbows on the ground will cut the opponent open, but you might get reversed easily. This is not your turf. Do not lose the fight due to a stupid mistake.

Will Muay Thai Help You Deal Multiple Opponents?

As long as you respect the seven golden rules of the street fight, you shouldn’t have problems. But let’s be honest, if you’re attacked by multiple opponents, somebody can always sucker punch you from behind and turn the lights out. Please read the rules:

  • You mustn’t lose balance and end up on the ground. The attackers will gain the ability to attack all at once.
  • Get up ASAP and don’t forget to move.
  • Keep a vision of the surrounding – you must see every angle, do not let the attackers surround you.
  • Always face your opponent – if somebody wants to go around you, retreat or cut him off. You must see him. Yeah, Muay Thai in a street fight works, but you must anticipate in the split of a second.
  • Set boundaries and don’t hesitate – I know, it’s hard, but if somebody puts in your face or crosses your personal space, fire back decisively and put him to sleep.
  • Keep the attackers inline – counter, then re-position. When they are ahead of you, you still have the chance. Muay Thai in a street fight means great efficacy, but if and only if the opponents can’t attack you off the back.
  • Create collisions – if one attacker goes down, stand behind him and use him as a shield. It gives you time to recover.

Overall, Muay Thai is good to deal with multiple attackers, but two basic rules mustn’t be broken.

Number 1, forget about Thai clinch or you’ll get hammered from behind.

Rule number 2, if you see a good grappler, keep the fight on the feet by any means necessary.


You’ll hear many practitioners praising their martial art for the street brawl. But there are no rules, so you will be forced to react in the split of a second.

I will now rate the efficiency of Muay Thai in a street fight, from one to ten. I’d say 7.5 or 8. Powerful clinching leads to good counters when you’re grabbed. Long-range strikes, brutal low kicks, and fighting inside the pocket will be your advantages. But there are three big problems too – peripheral vision, takedown defense, and ground fighting. My personal opinion is – as long as you keep the fight standing, you have the chance. What are your thoughts on this?

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Deni



Hi, I started training Muay Thai back in 2016 and fell in love with it. So I decided to create this blog in the pursuit of this passion and share my experience with you.

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