Does Muay Thai have a Belt System?

As in the case of most sports, a suitable reward system can motivate the players. As the most popular martial arts practiced in Thailand, Muay Thai has certainly gained popularity.

But does it have a proper belt system or any other reward system in place?

The answer to this is no.

You may ask why! The reason for this can be sought from the history of Muay Thai. During the yesteryears, Muay Thai was mainly used as a form of defense for the people. It was a question of defending and fighting for the country and hence, no formal system of reward or ranking came into development.

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It was only eventually that martial art underwent a commercial transformation. Not to be denied, today many training schools provide Muay Thai classes as a form of defense. In order to convert the martial arts into a full fledged sport, a ranking system was pertinent. The main purpose of doing this is to motivate the players and promote competitiveness among them.

How Does a Student Move Up a Rank?

The probable reasons why someone trains for Muay Thai is either a special interest or a source of living. For this reason, what matters the most is whether you can really fight as per Muay Thai rules or not. Having originated in Thailand, Muay Thai is also popular as Thai boxing.

Over the years, it has developed as a form of disciplined sports. At present, Muay Thai is not a part of Olympics sports. However, a number of organizations and federations all over the world actively support it.

Muay Thai form of martial arts draws many players based on its simplicity. At the same time, the art manages to be powerful and efficient at allowing its players a range of combat tools. Since the sport is so popular, it is common for a player to believe that it must also follow some form of ranking system.

Many believe that a belt or rank does not really determine the skill of a player in Muay Thai. Ultimately, it is how well that the player is able to perform that makes him competent at the martial art. 

Novel Ranking System in Muay Thai

Conventionally, there is no ranking or belt system that exists to rank players in Muay Thai. Based on fight records and quality of wins, a player is judged which is how he earns a title or championship win.

However, outside Thailand, many training centres and gyms have adopted a system of belts and ranking, simply for the sake of motivating players. The common way to do this is to award a white belt to a beginner at the sports. Players move up from the yellow, orange, blue, purple, brown and black belts at the final stage.

Black belt is the highest ranking for a player of Muay Thai, though designated only outside Thailand itself. In order to reach the highest level, a player has to earn a black belt. Trainees can take their time to progress along with the different belts.


So if you had been wondering if any form of belt system exists in Muay Thai, we hope you have your answer.

In comparison to Muay Thai, many other martial arts do have a proper system of belts that are awarded to a player based on their rank. This includes Karate, Jiu Jitsu, and Taekwondo, to name a few. 

Did you know that the World Thai Boxing Association in the USA put an armband system in place? For any school which is affiliated to them, armbands range from white, black and gold for a beginner, advanced player and instructors. 

As per this system, it can take up to 10 years for a player to formally achieve a black belt. Many players of Muay Thai still believe though that a rank does not justify the actual capability of a player. This is why perhaps for other martial arts which do use a ranking system, the credibility of it has been lost. 

Have you ever played Muay Thai or earned a belt at it? Do you think that a formal belt system should exist in this martial arts as well? 


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