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WKO - Muay Thaiboxing Rules

The rules for this style are similar as K1 Style Kickboxing except for…

The following are acceptable techniques:

  • 1. Knee attacks to the body and kicks with the shin to the thighs, body and the head (and the arm if used with force).

  • 2. Clinching (holding) for 5 seconds and attacking at the same time with knees

  • 2A. Elbows strikes Full Thai Rules ONLY! & agreed between coaches and fighters prior to the fight

  • 3. Elbow strikes to the body Full Thai Rules ONLY! & agreed between coaches and fighters prior to the fight

  • 4. Frontal rolling kicks with the heel against the head.

  • 5. Flat throws below the waist line, only in clinching situations.

  • 6. The use of Spinning Back Fist only with focus on the opponent. BUT MUST BE AGREED PRIOR TO FIGHT BY BOTH FIGHTERS

  • 7. The use of Kicks to the whole leg which are either two inches above or below the knee.

Under Thai rules, catching one leg for a single attempt to kick out the other is allowed, provided that the attempt is made within five seconds in the Referee’s estimation. Only one such strike/attempt is allowed and must be executed away from the illegal area around the knee joint.

Under Thai rules, leg checking is allowed within the parameters defined by the rules that govern leg kicks and strategies for blocking with the legs.

It is the Fighter's choice whether or not to follow-up his legal sweeping attempt. Follow-up techniques must land on the opponent prior to any part of his body touching the floor (other than the soles of his feet). As always, striking a downed opponent is illegal. A successful sweep is not considered a knockdown.

Full Contact Kicks against the opponents guard in Thai Boxing shall be scored, as they have a damaging effect upon the opponent.

Clothing Requirements:

  • Fighters must wear Thai Shorts

  • 10oz Boxing Gloves in sound condition

  • No Foot Protectors are worn in Thai Boxing/ Ankle Supports are allowed

Foul Techniques:

The Following are Fouls in Thai Boxing.

 All forms of biting are prohibited.

 All strikes, blows and punches executed with the palm side of the gloves are prohibited.

 All kicks to the back and the back of the neck are prohibited.

 Any form of butting with the head is prohibited.

 All attacks (strikes, punches, kicks) against the joints are prohibited.

 Kicks to the groin are prohibited.

 Attacking a downed Opponent or an Opponent who touches the floor with his/her gloves is prohibited.

 Spitting out one’s tooth protector (gum-shield) is prohibited.

 Any kind of throwing above the waistline

 Holding the ropes and attacking an opponent, also in clinching situations

 Punching to the back or top of the head

 Linear or striking/kicking to the spine

 Strikes and kicks after the Referee calls stop, or after the bell.

Biting, head butting, eye poking, sticking out the tongue to taunt an opponent.

 Using Judo and Wrestling throws.

 Hyper-extending an opponent’s spine using a “back breaking type hold” is to be considered a Foul.

 Catching an opponent’s leg and pushing forwards more than two steps without either contestant using any attacking techniques.

After a Fighter gets their leg caught, they deliberately drop to the floor to avoid being hit.

Any knee strike to an opponent’s protective cup is a Foul. If the Referee considers this to be a forceful strike, they can award up to a maximum of five minutes to recover. After this period, if the injured Fighter refuses to continue, the Judges must decide whether it was a purposeful Foul or an accidental Foul. The rules on injuries are the same as for Full Contact.

 Deliberately kicking upwards, targeting the protective cup is considered a Foul. However, if the protective cup is kicked accidentally when attempting to kick another target, this is not a foul and the injured Fighter must continue.

 Disobeying the Referee’s commands cannot be allowed, and will be treated as a Foul.

 Impeding an opponent from rising from the canvas or getting back into the ring is also to be considered a Foul.


Thai Boxing Scoring Criteria:

The winner of a bout is determined by two main scoring criteria:

  • A) The number of clean Muay Thai techniques striking a legitimate target, or used successfully against an opponent. Muay Thai techniques include all punching techniques using the fist and forearm, all elbow strikes, all knee strikes, Round Kicks, Front, Side and Back Push Kicks and Muay Thai throws. Legitimate targets include all areas of the body (except deliberately striking the groin area or any part of the back), the tibia (shin) when used in a blocking action, and the forearm when used in a blocking action,
    Kicks to the upper arm score.

  • B) The effectiveness of the techniques. Effective techniques are defined as Muay Thai techniques delivered on balance and have a physical effect on a competitor.

To be considered effective techniques, strikes or throwing actions to comprise of one of the following:

  •  1) to cause a loss of a Fighter’s balanced position. (They are moved physically either due to the power of the strike, good timing or because of a Fighter’s loss of balance)


  •  2) to cause them to show physical or psychological distress, (showing fear or pain).

  • 3) Round Kicks delivered with force cleanly hitting the body or neck are considered effective, even without causing loss of position. Similarly, straight Knee Strikes or Circle Knees, delivered with force and striking with the point of the knee, also are considered effective without obvious effect.

  • 4) All Elbow Strikes that cut are considered effective without any other obvious effect.

  • 5) If a Fighter kicks an opponent on target, but that kicking leg is caught by their opponent, the Kicker scores a point. However, if after their kick is caught, they are knocked down to the canvas by a kick, the Fighter kicking their opponent to the canvas scores as well. However, if the Kicker with his kicking leg caught by an opponent pretends to fall down on the ring floor, they are considered guilty of violating the rules. In this case, no Fighter scores a point.


The winner of a bout is the Fighter who successfully delivers more effective techniques than their opponent whether moving forwards, backwards, sideways or against the ropes.

If the number of strikes scored by each competitor is equal, and one Fighter was clearly more proactive in attempting to attack during the bout, they should win the bout.

If the number of strikes scored by each Fighter is equal and no contestant has clearly attacked more, the Fighter who shows better offensive skills, defensive skills, elusive skills, or counter attacking skills using Muay Thai arts and techniques wins the bout.

If Fighters are otherwise equal and one Fighter clearly fouls consistently, that Fighter who violates the rules loses the bout.

If neither Fighter delivers any effective strikes, the Fighter that lands more ineffective strikes should be awarded the bout.

Scoring procedure for the contest:

A Full ten (10) points are given to the winner of the round and his opponent may be given 9 - 8 - 7 points in proportion.

  • a) For an even round, both boxers score full ten (10) points (10:10)

  • b) The winner scores ten (10) points and the loser scores nine (9) points (10:9)

  • c) The clear winner of a round scores ten (10) points and the loser scores eight (8) points (10:8)

  • d) The winner of a round with his opponent having been counted once in that round scores ten (10) points and the loser

  • scores eight (8) points (10:8).

  • e) The clear winner of a round with his opponent having been counted once in that round scores ten (10) points and the

  • loser scores seven (7) points (10:7)

  • f) The winner of a round with his opponent having been counted twice in that round scores ten (10) points and the loser

  • scores seven (7) points (10:7)

  • g) The Fighter who has been cautioned must not get full ten points in that round. The Referee's Caution can cost one

  • (1) point each.



The Judges must score the contest so that they attempt to award the contest to the Fighter who has won the whole fight, using the scoring principles and criteria highlighted.

If a round is considered too close to award the round clearly by one point, (10:9) the Judge may make a mental note, or mark the score-card as a reminder of the Fighter that edged the round. This can then be used when considering the whole contest.


If 2 judges score the bout a draw but 1 judge has score 1 fighter a winner, then the decision of the win shall go to the one scored a winner. This I because not all judges see everything this judge may have had a clearer angle of the fight due to how the fight flowed and they position of the fighter.

In a fight that is that close it could have “gone either way”. Then this 1 judges score from their angle shall be counted as the deciding score and no need for an extra round.

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