Grading Systems in Muay Thai? Be skeptical!

Grading systems, belts and colours have long been synonymous with martial arts. The longer a student trains and the further they develop their skills, they are often rewarded with another belt (such as in BJJ or Tae Kwon Do).

Muay Thai, as a sport, has never had a universally accepted grading system, ‘levels’ or belts. You will be hard pressed to find a ‘legend’ of the sport from its home country, Thailand, who had developed their skills through a grading system. In fact, you will be hard pressed (and we mean really hard pressed) to find a current fighter in Thailand who has been through a grading system.

So where have gradings come from?

Gyms that coach a martial art without a universally accepted grading system have implemented that grading system based off a syllabus they themselves have created. They have set their own standards, requirements and testing.

Are gradings a bad thing?

No! Though with everything, be skeptical. In some instances, it gives students the opportunity to set goals and have something to strive for. However, if a grading system is in place you must look at it constructively. Is the grading system designed to coach you in a coherent manner with manageable goals along the way, or is it designed as a money grab? A blatant exercise to squeeze you for higher fees, ‘opportunities’ to purchase different uniforms or attend ‘gradings’ at a cost?

Does Muay U have a grading system?

No, we do not. Instead, we provide opportunities for our members to challenge themselves to grow and new opportunities to strive for. We have Intermediate/development classes to strive for, and also the chance to join our fight team – a team of motivated, hard working amateur and professional fighters who compete all over the country and even the world.

We believe strongly in making health and fitness an integral part of your life, not a fleeting fad.


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