Do Punches Score In Muay Thai? (Rules Explained!)

Have you found yourself wondering how the scoring system works in Muay Thai? Perhaps you have seen fights where punches haven’t counted towards the score and want to know why?

Or maybe the question, do punches score in Muay Thai won’t leave your head and you need the answer now?

Do Punches Score In Muay Thai?

Whatever it is that brought you here today, we have the answer for you! 

When it comes to Muay Thai fights, the scoring system can be a little confusing, especially if it is your first fight. You can quickly find yourself confused and overwhelmed, unsure what counts as a point and what doesn’t.

You head online, but can’t seem to make sense of the conflicting information out there. You start to wonder if you will ever truly understand Muay Thai. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need. Just keep reading to find out if punches score in Muay Thai and how the scoring system works to better understand the sport. 

How Does Scoring Work In A Muay Thai Fight?

Muay Thai’s scoring system is a unique one compared to other sports. The competition is judged as a whole rather than each round being judged separately.

Judges will consider the amount of damage caused, aggression, dominance, and technical execution when scoring a Muay Thai fight. 

Although scores aren’t given at the end of every round, judges do note a score of 6-10 for every round. These scores are informal and are a good way for them to keep track of the fight. 

The scoring system can be a little confusing, especially for Western viewers who are used to the 10 point scoring system that we see in boxing and MMA.

But the important thing to know is that judges are watching the stronger fighter and monitoring how much damage they cause their opponent and how far ahead of their opponent they stay. 

Muay Thai is considered more of a marathon, where fighters can recover from a bad or slower start and still impress the judges, rather than having them make their decision with a low score in the first round.

If you want to learn more about how the scoring system works in Muay Thai, then keep reading!

We will be looking at specific strikes now to see how many points they are worth to help you better understand this martial art. 

How Is Scoring Broken Down In Muay Thai?

When the judges are scoring a Muay Thai fight, they are scoring the fight as a whole. But the categories they are considering have different weightings.

Let’s look at them quickly now to help you better understand the scores in Muay Thai! 

Effective Technical Aggression 

Effective technical aggression counts for 70% of a judge’s score. They are looking for effective, clean, and solid strikes that are doing some damage to your opponent!

Damage included taking your opponent’s balance, making him look hurt, drawing blood, or knocking them to the ground. 

Here judges are looking for powerful and clean strikes. These can be with any of the limbs you can use in Muay Thai, although kicks to the body and head do tend to get more attention. 

General Ringmanship 

General Ringmanship 

General ringmanship counts for 20% of a score. Here judges are looking at your ability to dominate your opponent, defend against attacks, and anything that says you control the fight.

Fighters tend to try and get the last kicks in to show that they dominated the last round and controlled the ring. That way, they are the last ones the judges see, which can influence their score. 

Overall, judges are looking for a strong defense that demonstrates they controlled the ring. 

Pure Aggression

Pure aggression makes up the final 10% that judges are looking for. Aggression isn’t the main thing that judges are looking for in Muay Thai per se, but it is always good to see what fighters are committed to the fight.

Fighters that avoid exchanges never score well, so be sure to give the fight your all! 

Do Punches Score In Muay Thai?

Now that we have established briefly how the scoring system works in Muay Thai, let’s move on to why you came here today, to find out if punches score or not!

There is a lot of debate out there about punches scoring in Muay Thai, so it’s no wonder you are a little confused! 

Well, punches do score in Muay Thai! But, for the judges to consider awarding points or counting the punch, they need to be effective.

The punch will need to fit into one or more of the categories we mentioned earlier that Muay Thai judges use to decide their score. 

Was the punch effective? Did it cause the opponent to fall to the ground or did they stumble? Did the punch allow you to dominate in the ring or allow you to cause damage to your opponent?

Was it aggressive? These are some of the questions that the judges will ask themselves, so you should too! 

Whether you are the one fighting or simply enjoying watching the fight, having these questions in the back of your mind will help you understand the fight better and have a rough idea of your score. 

Now, each punch isn’t going to be awarded at a specific point. Remember, this isn’t like boxing or MMA where there are points for every round.

But if your punches are effective and are helping you to dominate your opponent, then the judge is going to see that and score you accordingly. So providing that the punch helps you advance your fight, then it is going to count! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! Punches do score in Muay Thai, but rather than individual points, the effectiveness of your punches will be considered when judges are scoring your entire fight.

Make sure that the punches are delivering an impact to increase your chances of a high score! 

Christopher Anderson
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