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An Unconventional Guide On Muay Thai Rules

muay thai rules

Muay Thai is a martial art form with its origin in the eighteenth century Thailand. The ‘art of eight limbs’ involves the complete utilization of arms, fists, elbows, knees, and shins in the combat sport to execute it. Muay Thai, as a style of combat sport, got its popularity globally and got westernized in the late 20th to 21st century. Most of the Western Muay Thai Practitioners would combine the rules of MMA kickboxing along with the muay thai rules, making it a hybrid version of the original art. Muay Thai is a form of martial art and is also representative of Thailand’s history and culture. It has been involved in several important historical moments of the world like the battles like the Burmese-Siamese War. 

Muay Thai involves hazardous moves that make your soft body parts vulnerable to injury. However, there are several rules in the combat sport of Muay Thai that enlists only certain steps as valid- punching, elbow, kicking, knee, foot-thrust, clinch and neck wrestling, and defense against these moves. Each of these moves is further categorized into many types that are eligible in the game. It is evident that with the globalization of Muay Thai western Muay, Thai practitioners have confused some of the muay thai rules that are essential during decision-making. Muay Thai scoring system is entirely different from the scoring system of any other combat sports. You may find a person with more score has not won the match. 

Muay Thai Rules | YOKKAO

There are Several Essential and Valid Muay Thai Rules-

  • The Muay Thai bouts or matches should happen in a square ring that can be as much as 24ft wide.
  • The level or groups of players are decided based on the players’ weight or the skills they have. 
  • If you are male, you have to reach the square ring by jumping over the top rope.
  • If you are a female, you have to go through two top ropes, or beneath the top rope and reach the square ring. 
  • A beginning of the match is initiated with this muay thai rules– players need to walk in a counter-clockwise direction in the square ring as a gesture of paying homage to seal the ring. Every time a player reaches a corner, one has to bow and continue. 
  • The ‘Wai Kru’ dance is another excellent way of displaying homage for the game. It is a traditional dance form which is taught by the Muay Thai trainers generations after generations. 
  • There are a total of five rounds of 3 minutes each. 
  • There are 2 minutes rest between all the rounds. 
  • The first move in a fight is to start the bout by striking with their hands, shins, feet, knees, and elbows. 
  • Clinching is allowed in the bouts, that is, one is allowed to strike with elbows and knees as well as do sweeps. 
  • One can win if the fighter knocks out their opponent according to the muay thai rules. This is when the referee is bound to stop the fight deeming the knocked out player unfit to finish the match. 
  • One can win based on the scorecards.
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What Accessories are Used in the Muay Thai bout?

  • Always carry a second pair of boxing gloves to be on the safe side. 
  • Round indicators are a must to define the rounds that are taking place. 
  • An alarm bell is necessary to define the beginning and end of each match.
  • Two corners should have break areas. 
  • There should be two bowls of water and two towels, as well as two drinking water bottles and spray bottles.
  • Score sheets are to be kept in the locking box. 
  • Extra set of blue and red shorts should be carried.
  • A stretcher is essential to carry unconscious players.
  • Groin protectors.
  • Scissors
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The Other Muay Thai Rules You Should Follow Are-

  • Be respectful to your opponent.
  • Do not be loud 
  • Do not keep your equipment lying here and there.
  • Make sure you wear are wearing the right equipment, like the mouthguard, gloves, etc. 
  • If you aim at hitting hard, wear well-cushioned 16 0z gloves not to injure your opponent. 
  • Wear shin guards that adequately protect your legs from an incoming kick. 
  • Wear equipment that is new or properly cleaned. 
  • Carry bandages
  • Wear boxing shorts of the following colors- red, pink, or maroon, or red stripes for the person on the red corner of the square ring, and blue, black, bright blue for the person on the blue corner. 
  • No grease or metallic material to be worn or applied. 
  • No participants should be below the age of 15 and should weigh at least 45.36 kg. 

What Are The Weight Divisions?

According to the muay thai rules, the weight divisions are as follows-

  1. Mini flyweight
  2. Junior Flyweight
  3. Flyweight
  4. Junior bantamweight
  5. Bantamweight
  6. Featherweight
  7. Junior lightweight
  8. Lightweight
  9. Junior Welterweight
  10. Welterweight
  11. Middleweight
  12. Super middleweight
  13. Light heavyweight
  14. Cruiserweight
  15. Heavyweight
  16. Super heavyweight

What is the Scoring System?

  • Every round is to be scored out of 10 points based on ring generalship, active technical aggression, and pure aggression. 
  • Every round winner will receive 10 points while the loser will get 7, 8, or 10. 
  • People lose points when a warning is given as well. 
  • An even round happens when both receive 10 points. 
  • If the score is 10:9, the winner is not yet to be decided.
  • If the score is 10:8, it is a score made by players in a decisive round. 
  • If the score is 10:7, then there is a clear winner. 
  • Any foul committed by players will lead to a deduction of the score. 


Thus, Muay Thai rules are not that difficult, and the scoring system is easily understood based on the several moves used by players in the bout. The winner is decided based on a knockout, a technical knockout, as well as the points scored by the participants in the match following muay thai rules. Muay Thai is a combat sport that is still striving to survive in the changing world. By using these rules, a proper Muay Thai bout can be executed.