Muay Thai Scoring
Although I had watched a fair amount of Muay Thai as an amateur fighter when I finally moved here, it was evident when watching Muay Thai fights in top stadiums on TV that many of the major principles still evaded me. Nobody had actually laid down the principles in pure terms, and many of our western conceptions of what is an effective blow were strangely more colored by culture than I ever realized, especially the prizing of displayed aggression (in the west). It wasn’t until Ben of IOMIKO Primal Conditioning – who was training at Lanna at the time – shared a Tony Meyers teaching video that I actually felt I understood. I posted some notes that I took from watching it, as well as the video itself, because getting the scoring right (and consistent) is about as important a thing as can be if the sport of Muay Thai is going to grow around the globe. The truth of the matter is that most audience members, and likely most non-Thai fighters, don’t truly understand how the sport is (supposed to be) scored.
In the video above, recently put up by nopstar, Tony voices-over a western Thai fight basically pointing out which blows score and why, as best he can. He is applying his principles of balance, control and holding position. It isn’t the most illustrative of fights (that is, there aren’t many blows that a western viewer might consider high scoring but are in actuality not scoring, or vice versa) but it does really help to see in real time Tony’s analysis. If you haven’t though, check out my notes here: Balance & Control – Keys to Muay Thai Scoring – Tony Myers. It changed the way I view Muay Thai fights – in an illuminating sense.
And the instructional seminar is here:
An additional Muay Thai Scoring Resource
From the page. (notably the strongest scoring blow is an off-balancing move, followed by a strike…balance is key):
Which techniques score best?
There are a number of techniques that are considered to be the best scoring techniques. These are the primary techniques that win fights and include:
- The primary scoring criteria and the most effective technique is a legal technique of any type that ‘knocks out’ or ‘stops’ an opponent so that they are unable to continue the fight.
- The next best scoring technique is any legal technique that either knocks an opponent to the floor with a concussive blow or causes the referee to give an ‘eight count’ (if the referee gives an eight count, two points are initially be deducted from the counted boxer’s score card, if the boxer fights back strongly or has previously dominated the round, a one point difference may be awarded). (the ‘A grade’ techniques detailed earlier).
- Unbalancing an opponent with kick or throwing action and immediately following with a strong striking technique
- Knocking an opponent off their feet with a strike or kick (The ‘B+ grade’ techniques detailed earlier)
- Continually throwing an opponent down showing domination
- An attacking technique or combination that results in an opponent turning their back on the attacking boxer in fear.