To score points in Muaythai, the athlete must land the Muaythai skill on target without being defended by their opponent. It is stated in the rules as follows:
“Any Muaythai skill is a punch, kick, knee or elbow applied with force and intent to cause effect. One score will be awarded for each Muaythai skill that strikes against a scoring target without being blocked”.
The exceptional thing about Muaythai is there is a complete range of techniques that can be used for scoring points, the target being anywhere on the body but the groin. Thus giving the athletes a huge opportunity to develop their skill.
So what are the judges looking for?
As officials any legal technique that is shown to land on target will be scored, confusion can occur when one athlete may look very busy but many of their shots are not landing on target, whereas their opponent’s techniques are landing cleanly and causing effect.
When there are bouts that have the same number of scoring Muaythai techniques, there is then a list of criteria that is followed to be able to nominate a winner of the round. Some of the more technical skills that athletes may develop are still scored as one point but this is where the list of criteria comes into effect showing more diverse Muaythai skill.
The catch and kick technique is one of many of these techniques, this technique shows a high level of skill, fitness and strength. As an official the athlete executing the kick will score 1 point when landing on the body, the catcher will not score a point for catching their kick but will score when they retaliate with their own scoring technique ie kick, punch etc.
The sweep is another that can be executed in a beautiful display of Muaythai skill, but with many aspects around the technicality of a sweep it can sometimes be hard to stay within the rules. To perform the perfect sweep takes a precision of timing and a high level of skill.
With so many aspects to scoring and what is considered a foul or a defensive move it can take many years to learn the true art of Muaythai. Making it part of our lives is the beauty of the sport.
By: Abby Nelson, IFMA ITO