Muay Thai, one of the most popular martial arts in the world, has a long and rich tradition. These traditions are mainly passed down through generations and have been preserved over time.

But some forbidden techniques have been banned from use due to their lethality.

List of Muay Thai Forbidden Techniques

There are moves throughout the history of Muay Thai that are banned due to their dangerous aspects and the fact that they could lead to severe injuries or even fatalities if used in a real combat situation. These techniques include;

1. Groin shots

The groin is a sensitive and vulnerable area to be struck. When the groin is struck, it will cause excruciating pain, and the opponent will have a hard time defending himself.

This makes it a very dangerous technique to use in sparring or competition, hence why it is banned. Even so, it seems that the groin area is a prime target for virtually all martial arts, and most have their techniques to avoid this region.

2. Eye gouging

Eye gouging could be seen as a neurotic way of fighting and is frowned upon by most Muay Thai fighters.

In fact, it is illegal to fight with such a technique in most sports and competitions. If an eye gouge is too forceful, it can lead to long-term blindness or even death.

3. Head-butting

Head-butting can lead to skull fractures. With this in mind, fighting with a head-butted opponent is also illegal. Too much force in head-butting could also lead to serious spinal cord or neck injuries.

4. Spitting on the floor

This is considered a guttural, unsportsmanlike gross act. It is frowned upon in Muay Thai because it is also very unhygienic. In some cases, it can even lead to disqualification.

5. Unsportsmanlike behavior

A good Muay Thai fighter is often portrayed as being polite, humble, and sportsmanlike in all manners.

He must show respect for his trainer and for those who are older than him or those who are of higher rank.

This applies not only to the ring but also outside of it. This means that one should not use foul language or be disrespectful toward others in general.

6. Deliberate strikes to the knee or elbow joints

Joints are sensitive and have a strong connection to the nervous system. If a fighter strikes his opponent’s elbow or knee with enough force, it could cause severe pain or even lead to nerve damage.

In some instances, the joint could even be dislocated or broken with a strong enough strike.

7. Biting

Biting is another forbidden technique in Muay Thai because it could lead to serious infections if the teeth of a fighter are not cleaned well. Biting is also illegal in most sports and competitions.

8. Any form of wrestling or ground fighting

When Muay Thai fighters are in the clinch, they must always be on their feet. They should not use their legs or body weight to overpower their opponents and lock them down on the ground.

This is because it takes too much time to put your opponent down on the ground, especially against skilled grapplers.

9. Holding onto the ropes

There have been many instances where fighters would hold onto the ropes, which is illegal in most sports and competitions. Fighters should use the ropes to support their body weight when they are in the clinch.

10. Hip throws

Any form of Judo-like hip throwing is forbidden in Muay Thai. All throws must be executed with the upper-body strength of a fighter and not by their legs.

11. Use of Arm locks

In most cases, putting an opponent in an arm lock is illegal. If you can do so, your opponent will be forced to tap out, and you will win the match immediately.

12. Attacking the opponent after the referee has stopped the match

It is against the rules to continue fighting even if you have just won a match or knocked your opponent down.


As you can see, many things are forbidden in Muay Thai. These techniques have been banned from use due to their lethality or their ability to cause serious injuries.

Even so, Muay Thai is a very powerful martial art that has been practiced all around the world. While many Muay Thai forbidden techniques are banned from use in competition and sparring, following the right rules while training and competing will make you a stronger fighter in the ring.

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