At the risk of alienating myself from the vast majority of my contacts I feel I have to write to you all and “get a feel “ of the way you all feel. I know the answer in some cases, but what the heck.
Before I start I am not trying to blame anyone, pointing the finger at people in general, I want o know what people actually think out there. Is there a serious desire to formulate a set of rules or are we really happy with the way things are? If you feel like circulating this around, please do so, as I know I will only scratch the surface of the UK Muay Thai community.
I think we all know there is a massive discrepancy in rules and more so scoring criteria in this country for Muay Thai, which is basically ridiculous. AS far as I am concerned, and I would like to think, anybody serious about the progression of this sport, the scoring criteria should be that used in Thailand. The only change to the rules should be, the none use of elbows and knees to the head for none full Thai rules and no head contact at all for junior rules. This is the first “point of discussion”. Am I wrong in saying this? People can argue all they want about why Thai’s score it the way they do, but it is their sport, if we don’t like it fine, but don’t call it Thai Boxing and don’t invite people to shows that are supposed to be Thai Boxing and then use scoring criteria and rules which are not Thai Boxing. Any promoter who used judges who do not score Muay Thai as it is in Thailand is a cheat, is this too bold a statement to make? Regardless of the arguments people make about westerns not understanding it (which is rubbish) etc, if we don’t score it the way it is in Thailand, then we are cheats/frauds.
I was at a show Yesterday and was told that the referee would be making the decisions in the Thai Boxing fights. I strongly disagree with this anyway, as the referees job is the safety of the boxers, not scoring, it’s a different mind set. I myself have judged on a show, got up and refereed and know from this experience alone, that it is a different job and should you try to do both then, one will suffer. I then had a discussion with the referee who then proved to me he had no idea how to score May Thai. When asked how he would score the first words out of his mouth were, “ the aggressor who is doing more will win”. WRONG, I asked if he would favour knees and kicks over punches, and off balancing techniques over everything and he said no! He said, you know you see Thai’s who take punches and low kicks and then come back with a few body kicks and just because they are harder they think they have won, erh yes that’s right!! He actually said to me the Thai’s do it wrong!!
Later on he told fighters that when they catch a kick they can only kick once and then they have to let go, wrong. He allowed back breaking without warning anyone, he allowed people to deliberately fall on top of another fighter, and allowed people to catch kicks and plough their way across the ring landing on top of their opponent. All fouls, none picked up on, let alone warned for!!
If the sport is to progress, we need one standard set of rules and scoring criteria. There is much talk about unity and the need for a governing body within the country. Yet people cannot talk to each other, most have fallen out with each other, quite often over a decision! One set of rules would help massively to alleviate this problem. I think it has to be the starting point for a united “front” in the sport.
Any comments and ideas would be appreciated. I am hoping I can prompt a serious discussion amongst people and maybe start us of on the road to sorting something out
Darren Phillips - GFC Muay Thai