April 29th - 1100 47th St. Emeryville, CA 94608. Weigh-ins 8:30 am-10:00. First bout starting at 11:00 am.

Register here


  1. The Muay Thai Development League (MDL) fosters growth and ethical development of Muay Thai.
  2. MDL offers a safe environment for athletes of all ages and levels to develop their skills.
  3. The league uses a patented matching algorithm based on aggression levels, age, weight, and experience.
  4. Athletes are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a beginner and 5 being an experienced, controlled athlete.
  5. Education Class (E-Class) scrimmages have specific rules, including no winner/loser determination and no direct strikes to the head.


Muay Thai Development League MDL Muay Thai sparring scrimmage for all ages and levels is officially in the SF Bay Area!

The MUAY-THAI DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE or “MDL” represents a revolutionary, paradigm shift on the approach to the growth and ethical development of the sport of Muaythai.

The MDL is a league unlike anything before it. We encourage athletes to develop their knowledge and skills through constant education, innovation and evolution through competition.

The MDL is a true Muaythai sports league and feeder system comprising a series of events and class models based on experience.  ****Athletes start with light contact (no KO's), technical sparring scrimmages. These scrimmages offer a safe environment and direct feedback system (DFS) that will set the foundation for athletes to grow and improve, preparing them to excel at higher levels of the sport.

From E and D classes to Competitive Class tournaments, Pro-AM events and true A Class; Professional Muay Thai. International Opportunities will also be available for ALL stages, ages and classes!  BUT EVERYONE STARTS OUT AS A BEGINNER!

Starting with a clearly defined set of rules and scoring criteria, to an outlined ascension model and a patented matching algorithm.  The MDL will also provide structured educational models so that everyone -from novice to pros and including coaches, officials, parents and casual fans --- can have a TRUE understanding of what the SPORT of Muaythai is, allowing EVERYONE the opportunity to enjoy.

The MDL is “The GOLD STANDARD” of your Muay Thai experience!


The Muay Thai Development League has created a proprietary matching algorithm for the "E" Class (Education Class).  This algorithm is based on an athlete's level of aggression in addition to the traditional form of matching:  age, weight, experience, etc.   Utilizing this method allows a much larger pool of athletes ---but more importantly; much more technical and BALANCED bouts.

Athletes are rated between a scale of 1 to 5:

AGL-1 = Aggression Level 1**:**  Brand new athlete. No experience and new to the sport. No foundation yet of techniques and not aggressive.  NOT eligible to participate.

AGL-2 = Aggression Level 2:  Athlete has demonstrated an understanding of Muay Thai techniques and can put together combinations.   They also know and understand basic defenses. Their level of aggression, however, is mild. They are very timid in their approach and not confident on how to apply techniques yet.  For example, even though they know how to defend on coming attacks --often times they do not counter attack and many times "freeze" upon getting hit.

AGL-3 = Aggression Level 3:  This Athlete has an understanding of techniques but hits with an almost excessive force with a lack of control. They may or may not have experience but everything they do is with high aggression.  With these Athletes even if they are instructed to hit lighter, they still come out hard and are unable to contain their power.

AGL-4 = Aggression Level 4: This athlete has a good understanding of technique and how to apply it in a sparring session or during competition. He/she has been sparring at their gym regularly and strikes with a moderate level of force and competence. Fairly able to control the level of power of their strikes. In addition, an AGL-4 Athlete is not only adept at attacking, but they can defend and as counter attack as well.

AGL-5 = Aggression Level 5:   EXPERIENCED with CONTROL. This is a well balanced and more than likely, an accomplished and CONFIDENT Athlete with experience in multiple bouts. They can work well with anyone. They will go easy on someone that is a “2” but are still able to diffuse the energy and aggression of a “3”.  They are experienced enough to take hits and give it back, if needed.


Class “E” --- Education Class RULES

  • No Winner/Loser determined. Scrimmage based on technical ability.
  • Athletes are assessed on attributes such as Balance, Position, TIming and Accuracy.
  • All participants will have access to the MDL DFS (Direct Feedback System) and athlete’s coaches will receive a grading/assessment card.
  • NHC Divisions: No direct strikes such as punches, kicks, elbows and knees allowed to the opponent's head.
  • LHC Light Head Contact Divisions: NO knockouts are intent to knockout allowed. No knees or elbows to head allowed.
  • Neck/head grabbing/holding/pushing/manipulation is allowed within the “plum” or clinch.
  • No head contact (NHC) for Youth ages 12 y.o. and under (No intentional head strikes--punches/kicks/elbows/knees).
  • Athletes in the Teens (13-17 y.o.) and Adult Divisions can choose either NHC or LHC bouts.
  • Kicks allowed to legs and body (front and back). Kicks also allowed to arms and shoulders.
  • Direct attacks to knees are illegal
  • Clinch work must be active with intent to strike and score. Clinching to achieve better positioning for a strike allowed but must be followed with a strike.
  • Leg hooking/reaping as well as hip throws are illegal
  • Knees allowed to body (no knees to the head)
  • Kick catch allowed (one technique/one step)
  • No elbow strikes allowed
  • Athletes need a minimum of 3 “E” class bouts before moving up to “D” class


  • Youth 4-6 year olds: 2, 1 minute rounds. 30 second rest.
  • Youth 7-11 year olds: 3, 1 minute rounds. 30 second rest.
  • Youth 12-14 year olds: 3, 1.5 minute rounds 45 second rest.
  • Teens 14-17 y.o.: 3, 2 min rounds (1.5 minutes optional). 45-60 second rest.
  • Adults: 3, 2 minute rounds. 60 second rest.

Mandatory Items as well as Other Considerations:

  • All Athletes must wear Muaythai shorts
  • T-shirts MUST be tucked in the waistband
  • All male competitors must wear groin cup (females in near future too)
  • Open Face HeadGear
  • In the future, all athletes will need to wear elbow pads and knee pads (for D class they will be provided by host)
  • If one athlete is clearly overwhelming/outclassing the other, MDL Officials will ask the more skilled athlete to work on defense and a few counter attacks. If the match it’s still overwhelming, Officials will make the rounds shorter. Example, instead of a 1.5 minute round it becomes a 60 second round, etc. Promoter will try to find another match for more aggressive athlete.
  • Referee will make effort to try to catch athletes (especially Youth) while they are getting swept to prevent injury.


ALL equipment with the exception of the chest protectors (athlete can wear their own, MDL approved vest) will be provided by athlete and their Team.  Limited gear may be available for sale at each event.

ALL Athletes are required to have the following:


  1. 4-8 yo = 6 oz gloves
  2. 50-75 lbs = 8 oz gloves
  3. 75-90 lbs = 10 oz gloves
  4. 90-110 lbs = 12 oz gloves
  5. 110 and above = 16 oz gloves

2) Mouthpiece

3) Groin Protector (males)

4) Shin Guards (can use cloth or leather for E class)

5) Headgear (preferably open face --for D class mandatory open face)

6) Muay Thai Shorts

7) Handwraps

Provided by MDL:  Required Muay Thai Sparring Vests.  These vests are unlike TKD or other martial arts vests that are very stiff.  These are thinner and more "pliable" which allows more movement within the clinch.  Wearing the vests helps promote better/higher scoring techniques at a closer range such as body kicks and knees to the body.  It also helps encourage more engagement within the clinch and helps keep athletes working "in the pocket".


The MDL SF Bay Area will be hosted on Saturday on April 29th

at 1100 47th St. Emeryville, CA 94608

Weigh ins (weight cutting is HIGHLY discouraged) will be at the ECCL courtyard from 8:30 am-10:00 am.

Doors Open for Admission: 10:00 am

Rules and MDL Introduction and Presentation 10:30am

First Bout:  11:00 am

Chok Dee Everyone!  We are excited to see all of you participate in the MDL!