Scoring Styles: Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Western

The Muay Thai Guys Podcast – Episode 51

headkickblockMuay Thai and kickboxing score using completely different scoring systems. It can become quite confusing when you’re trying to figure out who won and who lost a fight, especially if you’re the one fighting in it!

Educating yourself on the different scoring systems will not only improve your knowledge of the sport, but it will also give you more appreciation for how the fighters are able to adapt to each style of scoring.

In this week’s podcast, The Muay Thai Guys breakdown the main (and subtle) differences in scoring between the sports. Here’s the basis of what the guys cover in the podcast:

Muay Thai Scoring

When watching a Muay Thai fight you’ll notice how fighters primarily focus on roundhouse kicks and knees to both the body and head. The reason behind this is because they are at the top scoring criteria for the judges because of the skill and technique involved in landing those strikes (and because they HURT!).

Followed behind the kicks and knees to the torso and head are punches, push kicks, elbows and leg kicks. Typically these strikes do not score unless they show a visible effect on your opponent.

If you want an even more detailed breakdown of Muay Thai scoring, click here to listen to the podcast or check out this blog post by Nak Muay Nation sponsored fighter Sylvie from

Dutch Kickboxing Scoring

Kickboxing scoring varies from organization to organization (like Muay Thai), but  the scoring systems that are followed by nearly all kickboxing promotions are relatively similar. For instance, GLORY’s scoring criteria is as follows:

  1. Knockdowns
  2. Overall damage and visible impact
  3. Spectacular techniques and aggressiveness
  4. 3 knockdowns in one round ends a fight (4 knockdowns for a TKO)

Western Style Scoring

Outside of Thailand and the top kickboxing promotions like GLORY, Bellator and K-1, there are a variety of rulesets and scoring systems in the west. The rules and scoring will most likely be chosen by the sanctioning body and promotion that is running the show. s as a fighter it’s important to know which type of scoring system is being used on the card you’re fighting on.

Click here to listen to the podcast for the complete breakdown of scoring

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Sean Fagan
Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.

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