Muay Thai Scoring

Discussion in 'Thai Boxing' started by daggers, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    I have noticed a great deal of difference in the way Thai Boxing is done in Thailand and the way it is done outside of Thailand.

    The main issue is see is lack of proper understanding of the judging and scoring.
    we (outside of thailand) it seems, go to Thailand, learn how to throw the techniques correctly and experience first hand the training, we watch it in staduiums and on T.V, then we go back to our respective countries and teach it, put on shows and fight.
    The problem with that is we are forgetting that Muay Thai is scored VERY unlike other martial arts. so what we end up having is a kickboxing show/gym/fighter/promoter doing Thai Boxing moves.

    Kickboxing, k1, MMA, Boxing, Savate etc all have a very similar way of scoring, so it becomes very easy interchange between styles.
    Muay Thai however is not the same and it is SO important to understand how to score it because the whole art becomes so much clearer, why boxers block in a certain way, why they move as they do, why they employ the tactics they do is ALL based around scoring!

    In the UK we are VERY lucky to have a great man called Tony Myers who spent much of his university degree in Thailand scoring alongside top Lumpini judges, talking and discussing endlessley with them to fully understand how Muay Thai should PROPERLY be scored and judged.
    Back in the UK he is now Chief Judge for the U.K.M.F. (United Kingdom Muay Thai Federation) and has taught many seminars up and down our country.

    Now fortunatley all of our top promoters gyms and fighters are judging, training and running shows MUCH closer to how Muay Thai is done in Thailand.

    The problem other contries now have is that without your top promoters, fighters and coaches learning and employing proper judging and scoring not much will change and perhaps as the world catches on like the UK have countries will get left behind.

    So i urge people to seek understanding, Ask questions in the right places and help move Muay Thai forward.

    I myself am qualified under Tony as a U.M.K.F Judge and i have outlined the basics of his teachings below

    Obviously you cannot get a whole understanding of a system from an internet site but i hope it gives food for thought and you are welcome to contact me with any questions :)

    Judging, Scoring And The Rules Of Muay Thai

    Judging Muay Thai ~ Setting the scene.

    Muay Thai is a sport and like other sports it has its own set of rules and a unique set of scoring criteria.
    This is different than the criteria used in
    ~Shoot Boxing
    ~International Boxing
    The criteria, properly applied offers a number of benefits:
    ~it encourages athletes to develop good Muay Thai skills
    ~Offers athletes and coaches a clear focus for training

    Three judges are employed to score the fight over 5 rounds
    Each judge sits at a different side of the ring to make sure all the shots and action is witnessed, judge 1 may not see a scoring shot because the fighters back was to him, judge 2 will be at the side angle so will witness the score.

    Judges score each round in points of 10, over 5 rounds it will be added up to get an overall score
    If for example both boxers drew every round the end score would be 50:50 draw.
    If red corner won 2 rounds clearly and blue corner won 3 rounds clearly the end score would be 48:47 blue corner winner.
    The following criteria are applied to determine what scores are given.
    10:10 cant pick a winner
    10:10+ boxer has edged a round but not won clearly
    10:9 clearly won round
    10:9 both boxers are knocked down but one clearly wins the round
    10:8 a knock down (8 count) ot total domination throughout the round
    10:7 two knock downs (8 counts)
    10:6 two knock downs and total domination

    A fighter can win the fight by the following means :

    POINTS : Majority decision

    K.O :The boxer is knocked down and cannot continue the fight for the count of 10.

    T.K.O (technical knockout) outclassed, cannot continue after the end of the round break, injured, three 8 counts in one round, five 8 counts in the whole fight, fallen out of the ring and cant return before a count of 20, fighter withdraws from the contest.

    DISQUALIFICATION : unfair sportsmanship or intentional foul blows

    WALKOVER : boxer fails medical, fails to make weight or does not turn up

    DRAW : majority decision is even, both boxers are knocked down and counted to 10, both boxers fall out of the ring and are counted to 20.both boxers are injured and cannot continue.

    NO DECISION: both boxers fight dishonourably

    NO CONTEST: boxers don’t fight

    CANCELLATION : ring damage, riot, other unexpected situation

    70% = effective aggressiveness the most important factor for winning a round: the number of clean blows landed with power and accuracy whether moving forward, backwards, sideways against the ropes or counter fighting .
    20% = Ring generalship, whoever dominates the round with boxing skills to control the action and does not allow his opponent to score
    10% = Pure aggressiveness, who forces the action against a boxer who only runs away

    1 ~ The number of Muay Thai techniques delivered on target with power and effectiveness
    2 ~ EFFECT – disturbing an opponent’s physical equilibrium (if a boxer loses position he will be scored on) – and disturbing an opponent’s psychological equilibrium (if a boxer shows fear or pain they will be scored on)

    Counter boxers = can move backward or sideways and win just the same as the boxer going forward IF they can move in a controlled way maintaining position and scoring.
    Attacking boxer = can win by advancing if they can maintain position and score.

    Leg is caught but opponent cant throw boxer down (the boxer who has their leg caught shows they are stronger)
    In the clinch the boxer gets their head pulled down (the boxer who has their head pulled down shows they are the weaker)
    The boxer who gets so tired they cant maintain position(the boxer who cant maintain position is the weaker boxer)

    Judges cant actually feel the techniques that are delivered by a boxer so they have to use a combination of assessments of effect using visual clues to determine how effective the shot was.
    They do this by looking at the technique and seeing its effect (did the boxer move off position, did he show pain, did he recoil, how clean the shot landed and how powerful it looked).
    Also the condition of the boxer as the rounds progress shows how effective the shots have been, (bruising, cuts, physical fatigue)

    Clean kicks and knees to the body are considered more effective than a clean punch of similar effect.(the punches assumed less effective because it does not carry the same powers as a knee or kick, plus the fist is padded by the glove, the knee and kick are not.

    Obviously the biggest scoring technique is the one that K.O’s the opponent or drops him for an 8 count. These can be a single shot to a good target are such as the chin, solar plexus, abdomen, temple, neck.. OR it can be accumulative effect that knocks the opponent out, for example repeated kicks to the same area of the body, legs etc..the “wearing down” shots resulting in the opponent to take no more shots to that are and withdraws or falls resulting in a count.
    However without knockdowns the following are considered the highest scoring techniques..
    ~ throw to floor (off balancing, from clinch or other muaythai technique resulting in the opponent losing balance and falling to the floor)
    ~ kicking opponent to floor
    ~ teep (push kick) to floor
    ~ off balance and round kick to upper arm
    ~turn and strike (from clinch)
    ~kick to leg ..but only if effect is shown
    ~ punch with effect
    ~body kick
    ~Elbow if it causes damage or shows effect
    ~push kick if moves opponent
    ~catch leg and attack
    ~long straight knee to body or head delivered with power
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  2. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  3. daggers

    daggers Valued Member


    Why can't I edit my original post?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  4. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

  5. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    I'm sorry I don't know anything about Muay Thai or have an interest in it. I would read the entire thing if I did and probably "like" it. Here's a ::internet hug:: for effort though!
  6. Teflon

    Teflon Valued Member

    seems I cant 'like' it. . .
  7. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    Get off the Thai forum and stop commenting then
  8. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    Everyone who trains Muay Thai seriously should know what you wrote Daggers if they dont they should read and educate themselves,Muay Thai is a sport and how to score is the base of how to train Muay Thai :)
  9. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

  10. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

  11. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    To add to this another couple of things to consider are returning shots and blocks

    If a boxer blocks a shot but it moves him off balance or spins him (losing his equilibrium) it will still score , therefore you will often see fighters returning shots even if no target is available to show that they are still in control.
    Having the last word in Thai boxing is important because the fighter who cannot return is shown to be off balance or tired
  12. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    In regards to scoring I'm generally told the first round is pretty much always a 10:10 round unless there's like some form of stoppage, count, etc.

    Also doing things like trying to force a rope break etc can go against your score (classed as showing weakness).

    Can you verify this?
  13. daggers

    daggers Valued Member

    Pretty much, round 1 will always be scored a draw unless one person really takes the round
    It's more the boxers doing than the judges though, giving all your energy to the first round just to win it is counter productive as rounds 3 4 and 5 are scored more intensively also it's the feeling out round.

    Showing that you are forcing a break by breaking the rules will go against you as you are showing you are out of control of the action /tired or your opponent is stronger and getting the better of you.. Just like turning your back/presenting your back or if the opponent manages to get behind you
    However Imobilising your opponent rendering him unable to do anything from the clinch causing a break will go in your favour
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  14. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Thanks for verifying.

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