Muay Thai scoring
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Practical guide on how to score
“Real” Muay Thai fights in Thailand
Roberto Gallo Cassarino – Muay Farang
Disclaimer!!! this guide is entirely based on my personal experience of watching an uncountable number of fights in the best stadium and shows in Thailand. Therefore, it doesn’t represent anything absolute. The Muay Thai scoring system I will explain does not have to be used as an absolute rule.
Scoring in Thailand is not regulated as written on various web sites (like Lumpinee web site) because, in fact, those are just the “international” scoring system rules.
This difference comes from the fact that Thais know how hard it can be for “non thai” (Farang) referees to judge with the Thai method, as it is very complex and based on an holistic judgment of the fight.
“It is essential to understand that the judging in Muay Thai is not simply summing up the amount of hits landed, like in Boxing or Kick Boxing, but it’s an holistic recap of the fight”
In the judgement, therefore, the physical, mental and spiritual side of both fighters has to be considered as a whole to decide who resulted better in that match, from the start to the end but especially towards the end. In fact, who ends the fight dominating and expressing more energy, power and technique in inflicting damage to the opponent and in neutralizing (even if just apparently) the opponents blows, in general wins the fight, regardless of the number of hits.
Obviously this very “excessive” statement serves to introduces what follows.
Key factors of Muay Thai scoring
Self-control and aggressiveness are a very important judging unit
First of all, we have to understand that theres a big difference in how muay thai fights look in Thailand and in the rest of the world. The most notable thing is the way Thai fighters stand in front of each other at a quite short distance to exchange blows, in a way that sometimes (especially in the first two rounds) can seem alternate. This is a great way of fighting to show the judges to know real Muay Thai.
– Kicks and knees have to be thrown with a good control before, during and after hitting. That’s why, while judging the fight,it’s appropriate to keep under control the position and balance of the fighters.
How to show to be the stronger fighter:
– When a fighter has his leg blocked in the arms of the opponent but but he stays in control without falling down, remaining calm and in balance with his guard up and maybe throw some punches, he gets the point. In sum, catching the opponent’s leg doesn’t mean anything without hitting him or making him fall. On the other end if the fighters ends up looking at the opponent and suffering his punches, he loses points.
In the clinch, as well, the fighter that controls the opponent and doesn’t let him work, keeping the higher position, gets the points even if he only throws one single neat push knee to the belly. Concerning throws, in the clinch, the fighter that falls to the canvas and while falling lifts both legs (while in the air) will seriously be punished in the scoring.
Another big difference is managing the rounds. In fact in 5 rounds classic Muay Thai, expert fighters distinguish themselves also from how they fight every round in different way: