While Muay Thai is trying to live up to western standards, some more traditional promotions still allow problematic techniques such as groin kick. Groin kicks are shunned in MMA and have been since the early days of UFC tho it should be noted that they too were initially allowed.
Nowadays groin strikes are frowned upon in majority of martial arts.
While kneeing to the groin is widely accepted as illegal, a kick to the vital area is still tolerable to some degree.
In a recent unfortunate Muay Thai bout, a bout ends in such a shameful way– at least by the western standard.
Petchnamchai Sor Jor. Tong Prachin was duking it out with PetchSiam Jor. Patreeya Kela Siam Surin in a Muay Thai bout at Rajadamnern Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. In front of the 8,000 crowds of the stadium, Tong Prachin knocked out Siam Surin in an unusual way.
In the second round, Siam Surin is throwing a wide right hook to Tong Prachin’s head when a counter low kick from Tong Prachin landed in his groin.
While most of us thought that the referee will halt the bout and rule it a foul, the referee did did not. Instead of giving the injured athlete time to recover and probably take a point off Tong Prachin, he counted it as a knockdown–and later, a knockout.
With the decision, Tong Prachin was declared the winner by a second-round KO. And more unusual, the crowds and the corner of Siam Surin didn’t protest the decision.
Groin strikes are banned by almost all combat sports organizations.
In boxing, strikes to the groin area have been forbidden as far back as the Marquess of Queensberry Rules back in 1867.
International Muay Thai organizations weren’t actually forbidding groin attacks until some time in the 1980s. However, that kind of strike is still permitted in Thailand, though the male boxers wear cups to lessen the impact.
Now, in Thailand, strikes to the groin are extremely discouraged, but not be punishable.
Luthfi Prawiro is a writer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has a strong passion for combat sports and a BA in Psychology. His undergraduate thesis was on the Sports Psychology of MMA.