Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rules and Regulations of Muaythai

Item 1: THE RING.

The ring shall be constructed as follows:

1.1. Size: A square with each side the following dimension: Small size 20-feet (6.10 metres); Large size-24-feet (7.30 metres), to be measured within the ropes.

1.2. Floor and Corner: Must be well constructed with no obstructions and with a minimum extension outside the ring of at least 3 feet (91 cm). The minimum floor height should be 4 feet (1.22 metres) with a maximum of 5 feet (1.48 metres) from the building floor. The corner posts should have a diameter of between four (10.00 cm) to five inches (12.70cm) with a height of 58 inches (1.47 metres) from the ring floor. All four posts must be properly cushioned.

1.3. Ring Floor: The floor must be padded by cushioning, rubber, soft cloth, rubber mat, or similar material with a minimum thickness of 1 inch (2.50 cm) and a maximum of 1.5 inch (3.7 cm). The padding should be completely covered by a canvas cloth.

1.4. Ropes: Consisting of four ropes with a minimum diameter of 1.20 inches (3 cms) and a maximum of 2 inches (5 cms), stretched and linked to the four corner posts. The distance from the ring floor to the lower rope will be 18 inches (46 cm), to the 2nd rope 30 inches (76 cm), to the 3rd rope 42 inches (107 cm) and the top rope 54 inches (137 cm) respectively. The rope will be covered by a soft or cushioned material. Each rope will be joined together by two strong cords of 1.20-1.60 inches (3-4 cms) diameter and are at equal distance from each other.

1.5. Ring Steps: At least three (3) sets are required. The width of each step should be at least 3.50 feet (1.07 metres). One set is located at each corner and a third shall be positioned centrally for the doctor and other officials.

1.6. Plastic Bin: To be located at the fighter's corner for the disposal of tissues, bandages or any other garbage.


The following equipment is required at ringside.

1. Break area at both corners.

2. Two drinking water bottles and two spray bottles. No other type of bottle is allowed ringside.

3. Two towels.

4. Two bowls of water.

5. Tables and chairs for the officials.

6. Alarm bell.

7. One or two stop clocks.

8. Official WMC Score sheets.

9. Locking box for keeping the score sheets.

10. One set of round indicators, signs or boards.

11. Two pairs of spare boxing gloves.

12. One spare set each of red and blue boxing shorts.

13. Groin protector with one or two ties.

14. Two cloth squares to facilitate a groin protector change or adjustment.

15. Stretcher.

16. Blunt edged scissors.


3.1. Only gloves certified by World Muaythai Council (WMC) are allowed to be used in any match.

3.2. Boxing glove requirements:

Glove usage should correspond to the following weight divisions:

Glove Weight

Mini Flyweight - Junior Featherweight: 6 ounce (132 grams)
Featherweight - Welterweight: 8 ounce (227 grams)
Junior Middleweight and upwards: 10 ounce (284 grams)

The weight of the leather shall not be more than half of the total glove weight, including the internal cushioning, which should always be in good condition.
The laces are to be tied at the back of the wrist band.

3.3. To ensure compliance with the WMC glove regulations, all gloves will be inspected by a member of the WMC match committee prior to the fight.


Only a soft material type is allowed, size 2 inches x 6.5 yards (5 cm x 6 metres). Plastic or plaster types are strictly prohibited. The use of adhesive tape, size 2.50 cm. x 2.50 metres is only allowed for covering the back of the wrist and must not be used to cover the knuckles.



5.1. Only boxing shorts are to be worn, the colour of which depending on the corner; red, pink, or maroon or with a red stripe for the red corner; blue, bright blue, black for the blue corner. The dressing gown will be as specified by the World Muaythai Council.

5.2. To ensure the boxer's safety, a groin protector must be worn and tied only at the back.

5.3. Long hair and/or beards are prohibited. A short moustache is allowed but the hair must not extend over the lip.

5.4. The Mongkol should be worn when performing the Wai Khru (paying respect to one's teacher), prior to the match start. Amulets are only to be worn on the arm or waist and covered by material to avoid injury.

5.5. Single elastic bandages are allowed to be worn on the arm or legs to prevent sprains, however insertion of a shin guard, etc, is not allowed.

5.6. No metallic material, decoration or jewellery is allowed to be worn.

5.7. The use of Vaseline, fat or any similar substance by the boxer to gain unfair advantage is not allowed.

5.8. Boxer may wear elastic ankle bandages to protect his feet.

B. Any infringement to the dress code may result in the fighter's disqualification. In the case of any problem with the boxing gloves themselves, the referee may temporarily halt the match until they are corrected.


A. Weight Divisions

Maximum Weight

1. Mini Flyweight - 105 lbs (47.727 kg.)
2. Junior Flyweight - 108 lbs (48.988 kg.)
3. Flyweight - 112 lbs (50.802 kg.)
4. Junior Bantamweight - 115 lbs (52.163 kg.)
5. Bantamweight - 118 lbs (53.524 kg.)
6. Junior Featherweight - 122 lbs (55.338 kg.)
7. Featherweight - 126 lbs (57.153 kg.)
8. Junior Lightweight - 130 lbs (58.967 kg.)
9. Lightweight - 135 lbs (61.235 kg.)
10. Junior Welterweight - 140 lbs (63.503 kg.)
11. Welterweight - 147 lbs (66.638 kg.)
12. Junior Middleweight - 154 lbs (69.853 kg.)
13. Middleweight - 160 lbs (71.575 kg.)
14. Super Middleweight - 168 lbs (76.363 kg.)
15. Light Heavyweight - 175 lbs (79.379 kg.)
16. Cruiserweight - 190 lbs (86.183 kg.)
17. Heavyweight - 190 lbs+ (86.183 kg.+)
18. Super Heavyweight - 209 lbs+ (95 kg.+)

B. Weigh-In

I. The boxer shall be weighed without clothes, no later than 3 hours prior to the match.

2. If the fighter is over weight at the time of the weigh-in, he may reweigh again.

3. Prior to the weigh-in, all fighters must be examined and certified fit by a licensed doctor.


7.1. Prior to the start of the first round, both fighters shall perform the Wai Khru (paying respect to the teacher), accompanied by the appropriate Thai traditional music, incorporating the Ching (cymbal), Klong khaek (tom-tom) and Pee Java (Thai reed pipe).

7.2. A Muaythai match shall consist of five rounds, 3 minutes per round with a 2 minute break between each round. Any stoppage during the match for any reason will not be counted as part of the 3 minute round time.

Item 8: BOXERS

Boxer's Eligibility

8.1. No physical disability and at least 15 years old.

8.2. Minimum weight: l00 pounds (45.36 kg).

8.3. Not classified as a prohibited person, as described in the medical manual of the World Muaythai Council.


Two seconds are allowed to attend the boxer as per the following stipulations:

9.1. During the match, the seconds are not allowed to advise, help or instruct their boxer. Any violation of the rules by the seconds or the boxer may result in the boxer's disqualification.

9.2. The seconds are not allowed to signal to interested parties, the condition of his boxer.

9.3. During the match, the seconds must stay in the designated area. Prior to the start of each round they will remove all towels, water bottles, etc out of the ring area.

9.4. During the interval, the seconds will ensure that their boxer is properly attired. In case of any problem they shall inform the referee immediately.

9.5. The seconds shall ensure that the ring floor is kept dry to prevent any slipping.

9.6. The seconds must wear a proper shirt that bears his camp's/gym's logo or emblem.

9.7. The seconds are forbidden to direct bad or insulting language at the boxer or injure him either during or after the fight.

9.8. In a championship match, 3 seconds are allowed but only 2 are allowed in the ring at any one time during the round break.

9.9. Prior to a championship match, a meeting will be held between the referee, judges, boxers' managers and the seconds to confirm the rules and procedures of the match and to confirm the penalties for any improper conduct or violations by an involved person.


A. Committee Member's Qualification.

1. No physical disability and at least 25 years old.

2. Hold a medical certificate endorsed by the World Muaythai Council.

3. Hold proper certification as to their work experience, health, age and occupation.

4. Certified by the World Muaythai Council as properly qualified.

B. Referee's Qualification

1. All referees must be trained and tested by the appropriate committee of the World Muaythai Council and be certified and registered as a referee.

2. Not over 60 years of age unless an extension is approved by the committee.

3. Must resign immediately on the order of the committee or when unable to perform his duties.

C. Number of Judges and Referees

The match committee will comprise of 3 judges and one referee for the ring with the match chairman responsible for match supervision.


A. Duty.

The prime duty of the referee is to ensure the safety of the boxers to the maximum degree.

B. The RefereeĆ¢€™s Responsibilities.

The referee's uniform will consist of blue trousers and shirt, bearing the logo of the World Muaythai Council and flat canvas shoes. No glasses or jewellery are allowed.

The referee shall ensure the following:

1. Fairness in the application of the rules and regulations to all parties.

2. No impoliteness in manner or speech either to the boxers or the audience.

3. Close supervision of the match.

4. Protection of a weaker fighter against serious injury.

5. Inspection of the boxing gloves and anklets.

6. Ensure both boxers shake hands prior to the first and final rounds.

7. For a championship or title defense fight, the referee must inform the boxers and their seconds of the rules and regulations governing the fight and this is to be done in the dressing room, prior to the fight itself.

8. Three verbal orders are recognized:

"YOOT" (stop) when ordering the boxers to stop fighting.

"Yak" (break) when ordering the boxers to separate.

"Chok" (fight) when ordering the boxers to continue the match.

When the boxers are ordered to "Yak", both must step back one step before continuing to fight.

9. The referee shall use the correct signal to ensure a boxer's understanding of any rule infringement.

10. At the match end, he will collect the score sheets from each of the three judges and indicate the winner to the audience, by raising that boxer's hand. The score sheets will then be handed to the chairman for verification.

11. For a championship match, the referee will collect the score sheets from the judges at the end of each round, inspect and submit them to the chairman in addition to raising the winner's hand after the result announcement.

12. Should it be necessary to stop the match or penalize a boxer, he will immediately advise the reason to the committee chairman after making the announcement.

13. In case of an accident to the referee which prevents him from continuing, the senior judge will act on his behalf.

14. The referee is forbidden to give a verbal count or warning that gives either an unfair advantage or disadvantage to any fighter.

15. He is forbidden to comment or speculate on any match unless receiving prior approval from the committee chairman.

16. All referees are subjected to a yearly medical inspection and certification by the doctor of the Council and must be physically fit at the start of any match.

C. Referee's Duties.

1. To stop the match immediately if he considers that one boxer is significantly more skilled or stronger than the other.

2. To stop the match immediately when a boxer is in difficulties or is injured.

3. To stop the match immediately if he considers that one or both fighters are faking or not trying their best.

4. To stop the match or warn the boxer for committing a foul or breaking the rules.

5. To immediately disqualify a boxer who defiantly breaks the rules, injures or shows any aggression to the referee.

6. To disqualify both the boxer and his seconds if his seconds deliberately break the rules or do not follow his directions.

7. To disqualify any boxer who intentionally or accidentally causes a foul.

8. To stop the match if he considers that a boxer having received a count is unable to effectively continue the match.

9. To disallow any advantage to a boxer who intentionally fouls in any way.

D. Rule Infringement Warnings

Prior to giving a warning for rule infringement, the referee shall stop the fight, use the correct warning signal to ensure the boxer's understanding and then indicate the offending boxer to the judges. Any boxer, who is so indicated or warned 3 times or more, may be disqualified. In the event of a serious rule infringement, the referee's decision is final.

E. The Purpose of a Warning

The purpose of warning is to advise or warn any boxer not to break the rules during the fight.

F. Count Procedure for a Boxer Falling Out of the Ring

1. If a boxer falls through the ring ropes, the referee shall order his opponent to stand in the other corner and if the boxer remains outside the ropes, the referee shall start to count. (A count to 10).

2. If a boxer falls out of the ring, the referee shall count to 20 (20 seconds).

2.1. When a fall-out takes place, the referee will start counting, however if the boxer returns to the ring before the count ends, he will not be penalized.

2.2. If anyone prevents the fallen boxer from returning to the ring, the referee shall warn such person or stop the fight if he continues his action.

2.3. If both boxers fall out of the ring, the referee shall start counting. If one boxer tries to prevent his opponent from returning to the ring before the count ends, he will be warned or disqualified.

2.4. If both boxers fall out of the ring, the referee shall start counting, the one that returns to the ring before the count ends, will be considered the winner. If neither boxer can, the result will be considered a draw.


A. Responsibilities

1. The judges are independent and free to score as per the rules and normal practice.

2. Each judge shall sit on a different side and should be separate from the audience.

3. The judges shall remain neutral during the match, except when a rule violation is noticed, when he should notify the referee exclusively. This should be done during the round interval.

4. At the end of each round, the judges shall complete the score sheet for that round.

5. The judges are not allowed to leave their seat until the match ends and result has been announced.

B. Uniform

The judges shall wear the uniform as specified by the World Muaythai Council (WMC)


The chairman of the match committee may authorize a correction to the final result as follows:

13.1. If the referee makes a decision significantly contrary to the normal rules and practice.

13.2. If it is discovered that the judges have made a conspicuous score sheet error.


14.1. To appoint the referee and judges for each match and promotion.

14.2. To monitor and improve the standards of the referee and judges and ensuring conformity to the rules and standard practice.

14.3. To verify that the referee and judges perform their duty and responsibilities and to advise the World Muaythai Council if any irregularity takes place.

14.4. To solve any prior problem regarding the promotion, reporting the result to the Council committee.

14.5. Make the decision to the referee and the judges.

14.6. To verify the score sheet to ensure that:

a. The score has been tallied correctly.

b. The name of the fighters are correct.

c. The correct winner has been named.

d. To authenticate the score sheet and inspect the score.

e. To announce the result of the match to the audience.

14.7. To make any decision in case that the referee or judges could not continue.

14.8. To report to the Council Committee, the name of any boxer who violates the rules or shows poor performance.


A. Seating for the timekeeper and announcer will be located next to the ring.

B. Duties and Responsibilities

The timekeeper must keep precisely, the timing of each round and the breaks, following the referee's instructions to start or stop. The following procedures are to be used:

1. A five seconds warning is to be given prior to the start of each round, to enable the seconds to clear the ring.

2. A bell is used to signal the start and end of each round.

3. To deduct the break time as per the referee s instructions.

4. Ensure all timings are correct by using both a watch and stop clock.

5. In the case of a boxer receiving the count during rounds 1-4 and the round time ends (3 minutes), the bell should be rung immediately after the referee finishes the count and orders the boxers to continue.

6. In the final round, the bell should be rung immediately when the round timing passes 3 minutes, even if the referee is still counting.

C. Announcer's Duties

1. To announce the fighter's names, corner and weight prior to the fight and again as the boxers arrive in the ring.

2. To order the seconds to leave the ring when the bell rings.

3. To announce the round number at the start and finish of each round.

4. To announce the winner's name and corner, when the referee raises the boxer's hand.


This should conform to the following rules and regulations:

16.1. A Knock-Out (K.O.) is awarded when the opponent is knocked down and unable to continue within the 10 second count.

16.2. A Technical Knock-Out (T.K.O.) is awarded:

16.2.1. When a boxer is seriously hurt or weakened.

16.2.2. When a boxer cannot continue the match after the break.

16.2.3. On the doctor's recommendation, when the referee is unsure whether a boxer can continue the match due to injury or being seriously weakened.

16.2.4. Both boxers are seriously injured and cannot continue the match; if less than three rounds: a draw is declared; if three rounds have been reached, individual score decides.

16.2.5. Receiving a count twice in the same round and unable to continue the match.

16.3. Winning due to the opponent's retirement because of injury.

16.4. Winning due to the opponent's violation of the rules.

16.5. Winning on points.

16.6. "No decision" as a result of both parties colluding together to cheat or not fighting properly.

16.7. "No contest" as a result of the ring being damaged and the match not being able to continue, or if an external event occurs during the fight, causing it to be stopped.

16.8. Equal Score.

16.8.1. When both boxers' scores are equal.

16.8.2. When both boxers receive a count of 10.


The standard scoring practice is as follows:

A: A strike either by a punch, kick, knee or elbow.

1. Scoring from a strike:

1.1. Points will be awarded for a correct Thai Boxing style, combined with hard and accurate strikes.

1.2. Points will be awarded for aggressive and dominating Muaythai skill.

1.3. Points will be awarded for a fighter actively dominating his opponent.

1.4. Points will be awarded for the use of a traditional Thai style of defense and counter-attack.

1.5. Points will be deducted from a boxer who fouls or breaks the rules.

2. Non scoring strikes:

2.1. A strike which is against the rules.

2.2. A strike in defense against the leg or arm of an opponent.

2.3. A weak strike.

B. Fouls.

1. The judges will deduct points for any foul as directed by the referee.

2. Any foul observed by the judges but not by the referee, will be penalized accordingly.

C. Method of Scoring

1. The maximum score for each round is 10 points, the loser scoring either 9, 8 or 7.

2. A drawn round will be scored as 10 points for both boxers.

3. The winner and loser in an indecisive round will score 10:9 respectively.

4. The winner and loser in a decisive round will score 10:8 respectively.

5. The winner and loser in an indecisive round with a single count will score 10:8 respectively.

6. The winner and loser in a decisive round with a single count will score 10:7 respectively.

7. The boxer scoring 2 counts against his opponent will score 10:7.

8. Any boxer who commits a foul will have points deducted from his score.


18.1. Biting, eye gouging, spitting, or head butting.

18.2. Wrestling, back or arm locks or any similar judo or wrestling hold.

18.3. Deliberately falling on his opponent.

18.4. Holding the ropes for any reason.

18.5. Swearing or the use of abusive language during the match.

18.6. Knocking out or injuring his opponent after the referee has ordered the match to stop for any reason.

18.7. Deliberately striking the groin area.

To be penalized by the deduction of 1 point for each time committed.

A boxer, who has been hit in the groin, may request a 5 minute break before continuing the match.

Item 19: KNOCK DOWN.

19.1. Definition

19.1.1. Any part of the body touching the floor except the feet.

19.1.2. Leaning against the ropes in a state of unconsciousness.

19.1.3. Knocked out of the ring.

19.1.4. Inability to defend himself.

19.2. During a count, the referee will direct the opposing boxer to stand in the opposite corner. If he does not, the referee shall stop the count until he does so and then continue. The match will not continue until directed by the referee.

19.3. The count interval will be at I second intervals, from 1 to 10. During the count, the referee will signal, with his hand, to ensure that the boxer receiving the count understands.

19.4. A boxer on receiving a count cannot continue the match prior to a count of 8 and loses immediately on receiving a count of 10.

19.5. If both boxers fall down, the referee will direct the count to the last one that fell. If both boxers receive a 10 count, a draw will be declared. Should the boxers lean against each other whilst sitting up, the referee will stop counting at that time.

19.6 If one of the boxers subsequently falls down again, the referee will continue the count.

19.7 A boxer not ready to fight again after a break when the bell rings, will receive a count, unless caused by a problem with his attire.


The doctor shall be appointed and certified by the appropriate Council committee.


1 Perform a physical check of the boxers prior to the weigh-in.

2 Be in attendance during the programme until the last fight.

3 Perform a physical check of the boxers after each match and specify the rest period.


21.1 All boxers will be certified by the doctor prior to the start of any fight and must not be suffering from any sickness or exhibit any prohibited symptom or disease, as specified in the medical manual of the Council.

21.2 Any boxer due to fight in a foreign country, will be physically examined by a doctor appointed by the Council Committee. He must also conform to the medical regulations of that country.


22.1 If a boxer is knocked unconscious or injured, only the doctor and the referee are allowed in the ring. Any others may only enter at the doctor's discretion.

22.2 A boxer losing by a K.O. or T.K.O. will be immediately treated and undergo a physical examination by the doctor.

22.3 Recovery Period - After a match, a boxer is required to rest for a minimum of 21 days prior to fighting again, with the following exceptions:

22.3.1. A winner in the first round is required to rest a minimum of 7 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.2. The winner in the third round is required to rest a minimum of 14 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.3. A boxer losing by T.K.O. or K.O. must rest for a minimum of 30 days prior to his next fight.

22.3.4. A boxer specified under Items 23.3.1 - 23.3.3, must be examined by the doctor at the end of each fight, who will then specify his rest period.


23.1 The use of drugs or stimulants, either before or after the fight is strictly forbidden. Any user will be disqualified.

23.2 The sole drug allowed for the prevention of bleeding is Adrenalin 1:1000 and must be administered under a doctor's directions.


The Chairman or Referee will have the final decision on the interpretation or on any item not covered under these rules and regulations.

Wai Khrui

Muaythai has been practiced by Thai people for hundreds of years. The traditions were passed down through generations as with most ancient self defense.

One of the oldest traditions and still being practiced is the pre fight ceremony, called "Wai Khru" in which fighters pay respect to their teachers, mentors or parents and their opponents. Fighters will display their techniques while performing this ritual, some fighters usually "seal the ring" by circling three times before the begin Wai Khru. For some fighters this is another way of warm up and the perfect opportunity to study their opponents, while for others, Wai Khru represents deep spiritual beliefs to prepare their mind and body for the competition.

Traditional instrumental music is referred to as "Wong Pee Glong". This music is played during each round of the fights, except during the breaks in between rounds. The music commences with slow tune and accelerates towards the end of the rounds.

There are usually 4 musicians, each with their own instruments: Pee Java (Javanese Oboe), Glong Kaek (A pair of Thai drums play by 2 musicians) and Ching (Small Thai Cymbals). The melody was uniquely created and is performed specifically for Muaythai.

Every fighter also wears a traditional headband, called "Mongkol" and an armband, called "Prajiad" on their biceps, a tradition that was carried on since the beginning of Muaythai history. It is believed to bring good luck to the competition.

These traditions have unique characteristics and are used to differentiate Muaythai from other martial arts.

Muaythai Skills

Muaythai considered by many as the most exciting and dynamic ring sport around, incorporates the use of all eight weapons of the human body; the fists, knees, elbows and feet.

Safety is the most important aspect of Muaythai. Every boxer will be given a boxer's book and a medical examination prior to and after every fight. The weigh-in process for all boxers will take place before the fight, for all 14 strict weight divisions. During the competition, boxers must wear protective equipment consisting of head guard, mouth guard, chest guard, elbow guard, gloves, hand wraps, groin guard and shin guards.

Referees in Muaythai must meet strict criteria and undergo annual test to keep up the knowledge and skills. There are 5 judges for each fight in order to score both offensive and defensive point decisions. Bouts are divided into 4 rounds of 2 minutes per round with 1 minute break between rounds.

Muaythai has brought athletes together from around the world regardless of race, culture or religion for friendly international contests. Friendship plays a big part in our sport, especially taking physical aspects into consideration. This can be seen from boxers who "Wai", a Thai way of greeting, and shake hands with their opponents in the opposite corner as part of the rules.

Muaythai includes many aspects yet stands as a singular sport with a proud tradition and heritage, a long lasting culture with people practicing the sport for fitness, health, self-confidence, and an over-all way of life!

Modernization of Muaythai

53 (Rajdamnern, being a Royal Stadium and with the Lumpinee under the banner of the Thai military). However, unlike today, shows were only held on Sundays and initially there was no roof, so the wet season was very quiet - this is still the case outside of Bangkok where very few fights take place from July to September, so take note if you are traveling here to see fights outside Bangkok during that time!)

Finally, Rounds were cut down to 5 opening the way for Muaythai to develop as a contest of skill over stamina (though there are those today who say that the modern-day emphasis on grappling is taking it away again). The colorful shorts and pi liang (corner-men) outfits have come to be issued creating a huge business in Muay gear and designing -And the referees were liberated from their scouting outfits Piece by piece over the last 60 years the addition of modern rules such as stipulating age and weight standards, ring and fighting regulations, etc. have all brought us to the sport we see before us today.

But what of the ancient rituals surrounding and providing the mystique of the Muay of old Well, some of the more cultural elements are still present today to the benefit of the Muaythai atmosphere - The often live music which echoes round every stadium is a direct descendant of the drums and pipes to which the ancient armies of Thailand marched to war. The Mongkhon and wearing of amulets have also survived the cynicism of the TV age and no doubt will continue to inspire future generations of boxers to believe that they alone are invincible (at least until proven otherwise!)

Now, Foreigners have been seen taking a serious interest in Muaythai since the late 1970's and throughout the 80's, with ever-greater numbers traveling to Thailand to train and compete here. This raises the question˜Has this trend had an influence on Muay? Well, there is certainly a distinct difference in style between West and East and possibly always be and the influence is clear in some areas the weight divisions, the shorts, the gloves but in others aspects there seems no difference at all.

In the late 80s Amateur MUAYTHAI was born to make MUAYTHAI a safe sport to international sporting rules .Safety equipment was introduced , headguard , chestguard shin guards ,elbow guards ,Amateur MUAYTHAI was born and countries united to form a world amateur federation the International Federation of MUAYTHAI Amateur (IFMA)which organized many international events and has over 100 member countries .

1995 saw another historic date, the WMC World MUAYTHAI Council under approval and the directive of the Thai government was born to regulate and foster MUAYTHAI especially on a professional level..IFMA and WMC decided to work together for the good of international sport.The rest is history or future!

Muaythai has evolved and changed much over the past few centuries, changing along with the˜new world Asia is quickly becoming. From the defense of home and King to the Sport of Kings, Muaythai's ˜journey has been a long one and no doubt it will continue Muaythai Forever!

Females and Muaythai

When Amateur Muaythai first came to prominence under the IFMA umbrella, who could have thought it would grow from just 19 countries to more than 70? And, more relevant to a huge segment of fans, who would have foreseen the huge jump in female participation? The women's part of the competition has grown from nothing to a point where a second ring is needed to accommodate the numbers.

As the men's competition grew over the years from 1990, female fighters looked on and began to ask why not us? So, in 1999 at the Stadium in Bangkok, the first amateur women's fights took place. As it was the first time for this competition, it began in time-honored fashion as a demonstration of skill and techniques. In front of a packed crowd, many of myths about women not being skilled enough to fight or entertaining enough for the crowd were laid to rest. The highlight was a battle between Amy Birch from Australia and Rungaroon Sor Fongnam from Thailand, a great fight which ensured that this part of the World Cup was here to stay.

In the World Cup 2000, it was decided to put on a shorter tournament for women as part of the main competition. Sadly, the numbers where were not yet enough to justify running it over a week alongside the men. However, women from Thailand, Ireland, Australia, Italy and England traveled to compete and put on a great display of skills with the final matches taking up a full day at the end of the tournament.

During this time, a lot of work was being done behind the scenes to bring the judging, refereeing and other aspects of the women's sport up to the same standard. The rules for the fights were to be the same as the men - the same time for the rounds, same breaks in-between, they wore the same protective equipment and followed the same rules for the actual competition. The 10 weight category divisions were set at between 45-75 kg.

An innovation from IFMA was having female referees for the female fights. This encourages women who may not be able to fight to participate fully in the sport especially important for older women who have been involved with Muaythai for a long time, have a lot of experience and knowledge to share but are not interested in competing at this stage. IFMA has always run referee courses as part of the World Cup and now this was opened to women as well to ensure a constant supply of qualified referees. The first 20 female referees from around the world graduated and all female fights in the future at the World Championships will be totally controlled by female referees.

The Female Muaythai Board was set up as one of the IFMA committees. Headed up by Niamh Griffin (Ireland) and Sue Glassy (New Zealand) , other voted on to this first ever Female Muaythai Board included Ludmyla Varavva (Ukraine) and Pim Carlton (Thailand). Together with Niamh and Sue who are both are very successful former boxers with a great interest in the sport, this committee has worked to bring the female competition to the same level as the men's. Two of the IFMA Federations now have female Presidents - New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan.

With all of this going on, it's not surprising that the 2002 World Cup saw a dramatic increase in the number of female competitors, 20 countries send female teams to the competition. Thailand won the overall competition but the best Female Boxer went to Amy Birch from Australia the girl which was certainly the highlight of her career.

Women competed in the EMF European Cup in 2002, the numbers again showing the depth of talent which is coming up now and ensures a bright future for the female part of the sport. Finland won the team competition showing their world class standard. But the best female fighter went to the IFMA World Champion Fiona Hayes from England. The winner of the Best Ram Muay is chosen from all competitors male and female in the tournament. This went to Heidi Strengell from Finland, showing that the women as much as the men have learned to respect the traditions of Thailand.

Kazakhstan hosted the World Cup in 2003 with 28 countries sending their female athletes. The best female team title was captured by Australia this time, proving that in Amateur Muaythai there is not such thing as a sure bet. His Excellency, General Pichitr Kullavanijaya honored the tournament by flying in to attend. To the delight of all, his wife graciously handed out Thai orchids to each female athlete in recognition of their achievements. The world has truly noticed female Muaythai.

The 2004 World Cup was an exciting showcase of female talent with girls from nearly 50 countries competing in this part of the tournament. Strong teams from the USA, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ukraine, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Thailand, Greece, England and many others competed for the coveted medals and team trophies. Boxers from countries such as India and Sri Lanka, where Women's Muaythai is in its infancy, got great cheers from the capacity crowd. Some highlights were exciting battles between Thailand and Australia, Canada versus Holland, Finland versus Thailand. The team competition was quite close with Finland taking the honors. Mapela Letonen from Finland received the best female trophy and Linda Loyce from USA the best female Wai Khru performance. This was the first time in history that the event's 9 days (7 hours daily) were televised - this gave great exposure to female Muaythai both inside and outside Thailand.

So, that is the story so far. Female Muaythai has come a long way down a road which was not easy to traverse. Many international celebrities have become part of the female Muaythai circle, including Miss Korea and the singer Pink. The world is looking forward to the excitement of the Women's World Cup 2006 as well as the Queen's Cup.

Female Muaythai has become as (and maybe a little more!) popular as the male sport.

The Contender Asia

General Information

Format: Reality-based sports competition
Created by: Mark Burnett
Directed by: Jerry Schaffer and Ozzie Smith
Presented by: Stephen Fox and Jaymee Ong
Country of origin: Singapore
Language(s): English
No. of episodes: 15
Executive producer(s): Riaz Metha, Mark Burnett and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Original channel: AXN Asia
Original run: January 16, 2008 – present

The Contender Asia is a reality-based television series that follows 16 aspiring Muay Thai middleweight fighters from 14 countries as they compete in a series of outdoor challenges and sanctioned matches. The series is a deviation from the original Contender series, which involved boxing.

The winner will receive US$250,000 and bragging rights as "The Contender Champion". The program is hosted by former Muay Thai World Champion Stephen Fox (who also serves as the show's trainer) and Jaymee Ong.


The fighters were divided into two groups: Blue Team and Red Team. Fox selected the team captains based on their fight records and characters. The leaders then chose their teammates in a "school yard pick". Blue Team and Red Team were given the names "Wild Boars" and "Tiger Kings" respectively, based on legendary Muay Thai fighters.

Wild Boars (Blue Team)
  1. Rafik Bakkouri (France) - Leader
  2. Naruepol (Thailand)
  3. Bruce "The Preacher" Macfie (Australia)
  4. David Pacquette (England)
  5. Alain Sylvestre (Canada)
  6. Zidov "Akuma" Dominik (Croatia)
  7. "Yukay" Joakim Karisson (Sweden)
  8. Sean Wright (Scotland)
Tiger Kings (Red Team)
  1. John Wayne Parr (Australia) - Leader
  2. Yodsanklai "The Hero" (Thailand)
  3. Soren Mongkontong (Australia)
  4. Jose "Pitu" Sans (Spain)
  5. Dzabhar Askerov (Russia)
  6. James Martinez (United States of America)
  7. Kim Khan Zaki "Zig Zach" (Singapore)
  8. Trevor "TNT" Smandych (Canada)

Time for training

They meet Stephen in the training area. He explains to them that though now they are a team, in the future they might have to fight against each other. Also, they have to train hard so as to be able to win challenges. They start with some sprints and stretch and then continue to work with their Thai trainers. As they are training, the fighters are sizing each other up as competition.

Stephen explains that to fight at the level of the contender, they have to train twice a day, with a minimum of 2 hours each session, 6 times a week. We see the contenders sprinting and warming up as they prepare for their work out session. Some punch and kick punching bags while others practice with their trainers. There are 8 weapons, Stephen says, the kicks, the knees, the elbows and the punches and they all accumulate points for the fighter. Their training is tough as the men are pushed to their limits; they are made to kick higher and harder. However, the men are fixed with looks of determination on their faces.

Bruce says it is an honor to be there training as he has a lot of respect for Stephen as he is a great ambassador for the sport. At this point, Wayne says it was a good time to check out the competition by analyzing the other team as well as the strengths of his own team. He starts giving his own commentary in the interview over his analysis of the fighter. First, he commented that David from the blue team seemed to be in the best physical shape and technical sound and thus was the man to look out for. He commented that Yodsaenklai was serious competition because he was very strong and had great boxing skills. He added that he lost to him once in Australia and that if he could beat him in this competition he would be a "superstar". He continued on to say that Soren was a great fighter and that he had fought with him once and was someone to look out for. He said that the westerners were very good but the Thais were the ones to beat.

Rafik commented that although Wayne was very popular in the Muay Thai scene with his plethora of titles, he felt that he was putting on weight or as he put it "he's fat!" Laughing, he says that he believes that it would be really easy to win Wayne now due to this weakness. Alain commented that Zidov was putting on weight as well and it would be easy to beat him. As the fighters continue to size each other up, they release more power kicks and punches in preparation for the completion.