Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Shoot Boxing Rules

Kickboxing is contested under several sets of rules representing unique “styles” of the sport including, Full Contact, Freestyle, Oriental, Muay Thai, San Shou and Shoot Striking. In all of the styles the following would be considered fouls (note some exceptions indicated below in parenthesis).

  • Head Butting
  • Striking with the elbow to any target
  • Striking with the knee to the head
  • Striking or kicking to the groin
  • Intentional striking or kicking to the back of the head, the neck, or to the throat
  • Special foul rules exist concerning the spinning backfist. AS with all other hand strikes, this technique must be executed with the padded knuckle section of the glove. On the first attempt that strikes with the forearm or bottom fist (hammerfist), the referee must declare a 1-point penalty. Each successive similar foul will again result in at least a 1-point penalty. The first spinning backfist attempt that lands with the elbow will result in a 2-point penalty. Any successive attempts that land with the elbow will result in a 2 or 3 point penalty or disqualification.
  • Striking the spine
  • Punching or kicking a fighter when he is down. A fighter is considered down when any part of his body other than his feet touches the floor. If a fighter is on his way to the floor, his opponent may continue to attack until he has touched the floor with any part of his body other than his feet. (Exception: Shoot Striking Semi-Pro Level A)
  • Intentionally pushing, shoving or wrestling an opponent out of the ring with any part of the body
  • Attacking on the break when both fighters have been instructed to take a step back by the referee.
  • Attacking after the bell has sounded to end the round
  • Holding and hitting: such as holding with one hand, especially behind the neck, and hitting with the other hand. (Exception: Shoot Fighting)
  • Grabbing or holding onto an opponent’s foot or leg, followed by a takedown, strike or kick. (Exception: Oriental Rules, Muay Thai, San Shou, and Shoot Striking)
  • Holding the ropes with one hand while striking or defending with the other hand or the legs
  • Leg checking in Full Contact or Freestyle rules – extending the foot to check an opponent’s leg to prevent him from kicking
  • Purposely going down without being hit, which will result in referee automatically administering an 8-count, as specified in the rule on knock downs (no points will be subtracted from the score card by the scorekeeper in this case, but the judges will consider this just as any knockdown)
  • The use of abusive language in the ring or corner, as determined by the referee
  • Hitting or flicking with an open glove or thumb, or striking with the inside, or bottom of the glove
  • Intentionally evading contact or failing to compete
  • Clinching – holding or otherwise tying-up an opponent’s arm to prohibit him from punching. (Exception: Shoot Striking)
  • Intentionally delaying the contest through improper equipment, seconds remaining in the ring after the start of the round, beginning a round without a mouthpiece or by intentionally dropping or spitting out the mouthpiece, etc.

Styles and Divisions Classifications

  • Every style will consist of three divisions: Amateur, Semi-Pro Class A, Semi-Pro Class B
  • Amateurs receive $50.00 travel stipend when fighting away from home town. Amateurs must wear approved Head Gear, Shin Guards, and Approved 16 oz. Boxing Gloves. (No knees in amateur Muay Thai and Shoot Fighting). Any athlete under 18 must compete amateur. Fight will consist of 3 1.5 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks.
  • Semi-Pro Class B fighters receive $75.00 to show and an additional $100.00 to win. Fighters receive $50.00 travel stipend when fighting away from home town. Fighters must wear approved Head Gear, Shin Guards, and Approved 16 oz. Boxing Gloves. (No head gear required for Shoot Boxing. Knee Pad required for Muay Thai and Shoot Fighting). Fight will consist of 3 2 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks.
  • Semi-Pro Class A fighters receive $75.00 to show and an additional $100.00 to win. Fighters receive $50.00 travel stipend when fighting away from home town. Fighters must wear approved Shin Guards, and Approved 16 oz. Boxing Gloves. (Elbows will be allowed in Class A Semi-Pro Muay Thai if both opponents wear elbow guards. Must be pro MMA fighter to compete with elbows). Fight will consist of 3 2.5 minute rounds with 1 minute breaks.
  • All fighters must apply for the Class they wish to compete in

Kickboxing Styles and General Rules

ALL BOUTS / ALL STYLES

  • You may not be saved by the bell in any round
  • Spinning Backfist is allowed (but penalized immediately for illegal contact)
  • Mouthpiece should be replaced if it falls out (at an appropriate break in the action)
  • In case of accidental foul stopping the bout will go to score cards after full rounds of a three rounder and after three full rounds of a four or five rounder
  • No Thee Knockdown Rule
  • Bouts can be won by Decision, KO, or TKO

FULL CONTACT RULES (American Style)

  • Kicks to above the belt only
  • No Clinching or Holding of any kind
  • Sweeps are boot-to-boot, front foot only, outside-to-in or back-to-front
  • You may not grab the leg
  • No knee strikes

FREESTYLE RULES (International / Kickboxing)

  • Kicks to above the knees only (above the belt and to the thighs)
  • No Clinching or holding of any kind
  • Sweeps are allowed in any direction against either leg
  • You may not grab the leg
  • No knee strikes

ORIENTAL RULES (Similar to K-1)

  • Kicks above the belt and to the entire leg except the knee (excluding linear kicks)
  • Knee strikes allowed to the body and legs
  • Limited neck wrestling in order to throw a single knee strike (no clinching or holding. Fighters will be separated as soon as the attack or counter is concluded)
  • All sweeps are allowed
  • No throwing of off-balancing
  • You may grab the leg and launch one attack with one full step

MODIFIED MUAY THAI RULES

  • Kicks above the belt, to the hips and to the leg above and below the knee (excluding linear kicks)
  • Knee strikes are allowed to the body and legs
  • Extended Neck Wrestling to set up knee strikes and to off-balance opponents (should be broken after 5 seconds of inactivity)
  • No sweeps are allowed
  • You may grab the leg and take one step forward for each strike that you throw

SAN SHOU RULES

  • Kicks above the belt, to the hips and to the leg above and below the knee (excluding linear kicks)
  • Knee strikes are allowed to the body and legs
  • Extended Neck Wrestling to set up knee strikes and to off-balance opponents (should be broken after 5 seconds of inactivity)
  • Sweeps, throws and take-downs are allowed
  • You may grab the leg and execute a take-down or take one step forward for each strike that you throw

SHOOT STRIKING RULES

  • Kicks above the belt, to the hips and to the leg above and below the knee (excluding linear kicks)
  • Knee strikes are allowed to the body and legs
  • Extended Neck Wrestling and Clinch Fighting to set up knee strikes or punches and to off-balance opponents or set up take-downs/sweeps. Referee will split up clinch due to lack of action based on their discretion
  • Sweeps, throws and take-downs are allowed
  • You may grab the leg and execute a take-down or take one step forward for each strike that you throw
  • You have 5 – 10 seconds to continue striking once bout goes to the ground based on a knock down, sweep, or take-down. Referee will declare stand up based on their discretion
  • Ground strikes are limited to punches only. There is no kicking up or down at a grounded opponent or if both fighters are on the ground. Submission may be attempted standing or on the ground.

Locker Room and Ring-side Protocols

  • Only water and electrolyte drinks in their sealed original containers in the dressing room. No food, vitamins or supplements of any kind in the dressing room
  • Any alcohol, energy drinks, controlled substances or any illegal enhancing substance Is grounds for immediate suspension
  • Only licensed individuals working the corners are allowed in dressing room. Exceptions require prior permission
  • Offensive clothing, placards, emblems, etc. are prohibited
  • No hard contact lenses
  • Toenails are to be trimmed. Henna type tattoos are prohibited. Piercing and accessories are prohibited. Use only soft materials to tie hair
  • Hand wraps will need to be inspected before you put your gloves on.
  • Only pre-approved gloves provided by the promoter are allowed. Do not tamper with the gloves in any way
  • Only form fitted supports are allowed (neoprene or elastic for the ankles and knees only). No elbow supports. Supports may not have braces, metal, plastic, etc. of any kind
  • Antisocial behavior of any kind to include name calling, gestures, vulgar/offensive language, etc. will result in disciplinary action
  • Only light coat of Vaseline on the face applied at ringside under supervision of the referee or inspector; nothing else anywhere
  • Ice in a bag only. No loose ice at ringside
  • No excessive coaching from corner. Cornermen must remain seated in the designed chairs throughout the entire round. Only one cornerman will be allowed in the ring during rest periods.
  • When a contestant is down/knocked out/stopped, no one is allowed in the ring until authorized by a referee or physician
  • No photography or video by corner during contest
  • Questions or protests will be posed in a calm, courteous and respectful manner