Muay Thai (Thai Boxing)

Pictures Gallery

            Thai boxing started way back in the medieval ages when wars were fought with bows and arrows, swords and pikes. Thai Boxing And in close fighting the use of arms and legs, knees and elbows were formidable weapons The sport which was included in military training was given prominence by King Naresuan 1560 A.D. During one of many battles between Myanmar and his country he was captured by the Myanmar, and knowing of his prowess as the best unarmed fighter in the realm, he was given the chance of fighting Myanmar's best with liberty the outcome. He quickly vanquished all his opponents who were no mean fighters themselves, and won his liberty. Upon his return to Siam he was hailed as a hero and Siamese style Boxing as it was called then was thereafter hailed as a national sport, and is the only country that can claim this. In those days up until just ten years ago in the provinces horse hide strips and later hemp was used in lieu of gloves. Boxing in this style reached its zenith of popularity about two hundred years ago in the reign of Pra Chao Sua when it was indulged in by all every classes of the population.



            Muay Thai is a national form martial art of Thailand which uses bare hands. It is a tradition to arrange Muay Thai matches in various festivals. Nowadays, it is well-known world-wide and various clubs have been established to promote and teach Muay Thai in many countries.

our own country, Muay Thai has received much public support so that boxing stadiums have been established in almost every province. It is an important business that will boost the nation's economy and bring fame to our country.

keeping up with the progress in modern society, the rules and regulations of Muay Thai have been kept updated, relying on the leadership of the government, But the original rules have not been ignored.

Nowadays, Muay Thai is popular and well-known in many other countries. Boxing equipment and stadiums have been devised individually. The Ratchadamnoen Stadium believes that Muay Thai is national Thai heritage, unique to our country, and should therefore be protected. It is a basis for further development to exceed other countries on this field. In order to reach this goal, it is necessary to improve and update the factors in administration and the rules and regulations, and to keep a written record as a guideline which can be changed or altered if necessary in the future.

Stadiums wishing to make use of these rules and regulations may do so freely.


            Muay Thai takes place in a raised square ring not more than 4ft (120 cm) above the ground with steps to get up and down by. Thai Boxing Each side must not be less than 19ft. (5.70 metres) long or more than 27ft. (8.20 metres) long.
The ring must be formed by 4 ropes, not more than 24ft, (7.30 metres) and not less than 16 ft. (4.90 metres) in length on either side, each rope not less than 3/4 inch (2 centimetres) in diameter, supported by posts at 4 corners. The ropes must be covered by linen sponge or soft leather to prevent injuty to boxers, placed parallel and taut at 1, 2, 2 and 4 ft (03.30, 0.60, 0.90 and 1.20 metres) respectively above the floor of the ring. The floor space must extend farther than the ring for at least 3 ft (90 centimetres) on all sides, cushioned with soft cloth or straw mats or corkboards, etc. of at least 1 inch (2.50 centimetres) thicknes to prevent injury in case of a fall covered with canvas which is tightly and evenly stretched and fixed to the edges of the floor.
There is a restricted area extending 1 metre around each side of the ring for the ring personnel judges, doctor, time-keeper, mediator, and other officials as indicated by the stadium manag
        Equipment that is necessary for Muay Thai matches be provided by the stadium;
  • a stopwatch.
  • a signal gong.
  • a warning bell.
  • boxing gloves of various sizes according to the rules.
  • equipment to provide water for boxers.
  • Additional personal accessories for boxers who have not prepared their own:-boxing shorts in red or blue, jock straps, surgical tape, or sacred cords.


Contestants must pay homage to their teachers in a praying ritual accompanied by Thai musical instruments the "Pi" (Java pipe), Glawng Chana (drum), and Ching (cymbals). These instruments also accompany each bout of fighting and will stop during rest period.

Contestants must pay homage to their teachers in a praying ritual accompanied by Thai musical instruments the "Pi" (Java pipe), Glawng Chana (drum), and Ching (cymbals). These instruments also accompany each bout of fighting and will stop during rest period.



  • Boxing matches in Thailand must receive written permission from the government.
  • A Muay Thai contest is divided into no more than 5 rounds, each 3 minutes long, with a two-minute rest period in between. No additional rounds allowed.
  • Boxers must wear gloves, each weighing not less than 6 ounces (172 grammes). The glove must not be squeezed kneaded or crushed to change its original shape.
  • Contestants must receive medical examination from the stadium doctor and declared fit to fight.
  • Contestants must weigh in naked and their weight must not exceed the limit in their weight division.
  • Contestants must perform 4 and 5 not less than 6 hours before the fight.
  • Rules on contestants' boxing costumes.
    • Contestants must wear only trunks (red of blue according to their corners) appropriately fit their bodies.
    • Wear no shirts nor shoes. Ankle cap, however, is permitted.
    • A sacred cord known as Mongkol can be worn around the head only during the pre-fight rutual of paying homage to ancestral teachers of Muay Thai, to be removed before the start of the actual fight.
    • Amulets may be wrapped around biceps or waists completely covered in pieces to cloth.
    • Meta or other material that will be dangerous to the opponent is prohibited.
    • Contestants must wear standard supporters or sturdy athletic cups to protect their groin. Gum shield may be used.
  • The application of vaselin, hot ointment, fat herb or other on body or glove that will cause any disadvantage to the opponent is prohibited.
  • It is permitted to bind the hand with soft surgical bandage not longer than 12 yards and not wider than 2 inches. Adhesive tape may be placed on the back of the hand or on the bandage.
  • Qualifications of contestants.
    • Contestants must have been taught the art of Muay Thai by a teacher.
    • Contestants must understand the rules of Muay Thai matches.
    • They must be healthy.
    • They must not have any contagious or socially unadapted disases or be addicted to drugs.
    • They must be of an appropriate age.
    • Under-aged contestants must receive permission from their parents and guardians.
    • They must not misbehave or break any social or ring etiquettes.
    • Contestants from boxing camps must receive permission from their manager.
    • Changing of camps or managers must be in accordance with stadium rules.
  • Weight Categories.
    Standard divisions of boxers and weight limits are :
    • Mini Flyweight not over 105 Ibs.
    • Junior Flyweight not over 108 Ibs.
    • Flyweight not over 112 Ibs.
    • Junior Bantamweight not over 115 Ibs.
    • Bantamweight over 118 Ibs.
    • Junior Featherweight not over 122 Ibs.
    • Featherweight not over 126 Ibs.
    • Junior Lightweight not over 130 Ibs.
    • Lightweight not over 135 Ibs.
    • Junior Welterweight not over 140 Ibs.
    • Welterweight not over 147 Ibs.
    • Junior Middleweight not over 154 Ibs.
    • Middleweight not over 160 Ibs.
    • Light Heavyweight not over 175 Ibs.
    • Heavy weight over 175 Ibs.
  • Muay Thai matches, ranking, and championshiop contests in each division must comply to the rules and rugulations which are set by Ratchadamnoen Stradium.
  • Each contestant can have 2 seconds or handlers in his corner. In a title bout 3 are allowed.
    When in the ring, boxers, handlers or those involved in the fight must respect the orders of the referee according to the set rules.
  • Muay Thai referees must be well-learned and qualified in handling Muay Thai contests according to the stadium's rules and regulations.
  • There are 3 officials who handle a bout. These officials comprise 2 judges and 1 referee who is also acting as a judge.
  • There must be a timekeeper in every contest, being responsible for timing all the rounds and the intervals, giving signals with a bell. 5 seconds before every round the time keeper will give a signal with a buzzer for seconds to get out. Seconds or handlers must leave the ring promptly. If the fight is stopped for any reason than the end of a round, the timekeeper must do as instructed by the referee to have an extension or not.
  • There must be at least one ring announcer to announce the result of the events and to give other nesessary information about Muay Thai and the contests to spectators.
  • Referee will order the fight to start when
    • the boxers have finished their pre-fight ritual of paying homage to their ancestral Muay Thai teachers, according to the Thai tradition.
    • the referee will call both boxers to meet him in the middle of the ring to give his final briefing on some of the rules and responsibilities of both parties.

    Then the referee will order them to go back to their corners and take off their sacred cords.
    When the boxers are ready, the referee will order the start of the fight and time keeper will give a gong signal and start timing the fight.

  • Verdict or decision by referees final.
  • The outcome of the contest may be one of the following five ways:-
    • Knock Out (K.O.)-To strike an opponent so effectively that he falls to the floor or hangs on the rope or fall off the ring and is unable to resume the contest before the referee counts 1-10; or ot knock an opponent out of the ring and he cannot get back before the count of ten; such a contest ending in a knock out.
    • Technical Knock Out (T.K.O)-Decision of referee in stopping a fight because one contestant, though not knocked out, is not in a fit state to continue; or he cannot out to fight at the bell of a new round; or he is so badly cut that it is too dangerous to continue; or the referee can consult with the stadium doctor before deciding to stop the fight.
    • Surrender-One contestant give in voluntarily.
    • Foul-when one contestant is dismissed from the ring because of a serious foul, the decision is awarded to his opponent.
    • Decision on points.
  • For disobedient boxers who do not follow the referee's orders, or whose fights considered to be collusions or sham fights, the contest chairman, the referee and head of the judges have a right to declare "stop contest and no decision".
  • The full score for lach boxer in each round is 10 points. The boxer who wins the round will get 10 points; the other, of course, will get less, but not less than 6. In the case of a draw, each will receive 10 points for the round.
    The judges must award points to contestants on the given scorecards.
    When each contest ends, the judges must propose the boxer who gets higher total of the two as the winner. If both boxers get equal scores, the judges must propose a draw.
    The referee will decide the winner by unanimous decision or by majority, 2 out of 3. The bout will be a draw if 2 give it a draw. But if there are 3 contradicting scores, a win, a loss and a draw, the verdict will be a draw.
  • The Principles of Scoring will be as Follows:
    • Hitting with punch, foot, knee and elbow according to the Muay Thai rules, the officials will also consider the effectiveness of the strike, its strength, target and how much it causes disadvantage to the opponent.
    • Defensive, ability to evade the opponent's attack.
    • Attacking and fighting skill.
    • If both boxers score equal totals, the who more offensive in the fight will be given an advantage.
    • The referee is authorized to deduct only 1 point at a time, as a penalty to any contestant.
  • FOUL. A foul is constituted by:-
    • Behaving or talking unpolitely.
    • Intentionally using his head to attack the opponent.
    • Butting, biting, picking or pressing the eye; pulling the hair, spitting on an opponent.
    • Wrestling; falling intentionally over a fallen opponent and elbowing or kneeing him; throwing down an opponent by the means of Judo or Wrestling.
    • Intentionally falling on the fallen opponent, pressing elbow or knee upon him.
    • Deliberately striking a fallen opponent.
    • Punching, kicking, spurning with foot, kneeing, elbowing, etc., at an opponent while holding the rope.
    • Cunningly avoid the opponents' attacks, such as by feinting to fall or slip under the rope, or hide behind the referee.
    • Intentionally kicking or kneeing at the opponent's protection cup.
  • Violation of rules. The referee should act as follows:-
    • A contestant who violates the rules intentionally but does not put the opponent at disadvantage or hurt him, will be given one warning or have one point deducted.
    • A contestant who violates the rules intentionally and put the opponent at an disadvantage or make him unable to continue the fight, may lose the fight through foul, or the referee may discontinue the fight with no decision. (If the violator's scores are higher).
    • In case of an unintentional violation which causes injury so serious that the fight can not be continued, the referee should stop the contest and given a TKO decision to the leading scorer or a TKO draw if the scores are equal.
    • In case of an unintentional violation, the referee can give two warnings. The third warning will result in a loss, or the fight may be stopped with no decision.
  • A contestant may protest a foul his opponent commits against him by reporting to the referee who will make decision immediately. If the protest does not fit what stated under the rules number 24 and 25, the referee may order the fight to continue.
  • When one side is fallen, the referee may act as follows:-
    • The referee must order the order contestant to retreat to the farthest corner immediately then starts counting from 1 to 10.
    • If the other contestant disobeys the referee's order, he must stop counting and order the violater to conform before continue his count.
    • If the fallen boxer gets up before the count of ten and before eight, the referee must continue to count until eight and order the fight to continue. If the boxer is not in fighting condition and cannot continue the fight, the referee must continue to count until ten If the "fallen" boxer get up before the count of 10 but falls down without being hit again, the referee must continue counting.
    • If both boxer: fall down together, the referee must start to count and continue counting even though one boxer has got up and the other is still down. When the count reaches 10 the bout is awarded to the one who gets up and is in fighting condition before the count of 10. But after the count of 10, if both boxers still cannot get up, the bout is declared a draw.
    • The bell will not save the boxers from being declared knocked out except in the last round.

    In the interpretation of these rules, if there is any question in consequence to the contest and not specified by the rules, it is up to the stadium manager and the judges to decide, relying on Muay Thai tradition as guidelines.
    There are four stadiums well-known to boxing lovers : RATCHADAMNOEN STADIUM (Tel : 281-4205) Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue (next to TAT) every Monday, Wednesday at 06.00 p.m., Thursday at 05.00 p.m. and 09.00 p.m., Sunday at 04.00 p.m. and 08.00 p.m. ; LUMPINI STADIUM (Tel : 251-4303) Rama IV Road, every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 06.00 p.m. ; SAM RONG STADIUM (Tel : 393-3592) in Samut Prakarn every Tuesday at 08.30 p.m. and Friday at 08.15 p.m.


Source : Tourism Authority of Thailand. Atraveller's Guide to Thailand. Bangkok.

Pictures Gallery