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ICMAC Competition Rules

 Rules |  Reglas | Regolamento | Regulamento | Arbitration

Chinese martial arts have a rich history which spans back thousands of years. During these millennia, the CMA landscape evolved into hundreds of different styles.

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While you can find certain common principles and techniques among the different systems, there are still huge differences between the Northern and Southern school and the Internal and External Chinese martial arts styles.

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In order to present a fair competition we have established rules criteria that govern each ICMAC tournament.

Note: Wushu will be run under ICMAC Rules. This includes Ring Size, Categories, Skill Level Criteria and Age Groups. We are not separating Sword & Broadsword, Staff & Spear. The only exception is compliance with the type of weapon used in International events. This is not an IWUF competition and we ask all participants to please abide by the categories as they are listed on the ICMAC Division Sheet. 

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ICMAC Competition Rules

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  1. Dress Code
  2. Registration & Opening Ceremony
  3. Order of performance
  4. The salute for empty hand forms
  5. The salute with weapons
  6. Skill level criteria
  7. Scoring and Competition Area for forms
  8. Time limits for forms
  9. Penalties and deductions for forms
  10. Placing
  11. Sensing Hands (Push Hands -Tui Shou)
  12. Chi Sao
  13. Shuai Jiao
  14. Sanda/Sanshou
  15. Light-Contact Sparring
  16. Arbitrations

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Who may participate?

                   The ICMAC Orlando is now an 'Invitational Tournament'

Invited schools and competitors are required to adhere to the rules and regulations of the competition and demonstrate sportsmanship towards fellow competitors and respect for judges and other tournament officials. Parents and coaches also must adhere to these requirements.

1. Dress Code:

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and Contemporary Wushu: Any cotton or silk Chinese styled uniform with frog buttons, Song Shan Shaolin, Wudang and Southern Style (sleeveless) uniforms are acceptable. T-shirts may be worn if traditional uniforms are not available.

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While the uniforms below are representative of Chinese Martial Arts, short sleeve uniforms are also acceptable. T-Shirts may be worn for Sparring and Push Hands.



                                         

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Martial arts type shoes are required in forms and weapons divisions.

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Our goal is to provide a friendly but disciplined competition environment. So we urge all participants to follow the uniform guidelines.

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2. Registration and Opening Ceremony:

All competitors must be present for the opening ceremonies.  Orlando is going to be extremely busy this year, if at all possible, we recommend that if you are registering onsite, try to take care of registration on Friday or arrive early on Saturday so that you will not be delayed.

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  • Competitors should become acquainted with the competition floor layout. They should know the rings where their divisions will be taking place.
  • Competitors must be present at ringside when their divisions are about to begin.*
  • Our goal is to expedite the flow of the competition and might move divisions to adjacent rings. Please pay attention to announcements both at ringside and from the PA system.

*Note: If you have a conflict due to an event scheduled in another ring, you must notify the Chief Judge. We will do everything possible to see that you have a chance to compete in all of your scheduled events.Top

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3. Order of performance:

                                      The first to register is the last to go!

Athletes will be listed in accordance with their date of registration; the earlier your registration is submitted, the lower you will be placed on the performance list.

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  • Unless you are the first athlete to perform, you will receive an "on deck" call announcing your name and signaling that you should prepare to compete as soon as the athlete ahead of you clears the floor. When it is your turn to compete, you will be called by name.
  • If you are not present when your name is called, two additional calls will be made over the PA system. The second of these will be a final call. If you do not respond, you will forfeit the event. The forfeiture is final and cannot be reversed.
  • Once called up, athletes should stand at the call of "ready," enter on the right side of the performance area that faces the Chief Judge, walk smartly to the starting point for their form, come to attention, and salute only the Chief Judge.

NOTE: No spoken presentation of your name, form or style is permitted.

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4. The salute for empty hand forms:

When called to perform, athletes will walk to the place on the competition floor where they will begin their form and greet the Chief Judge with a recognized salute or bow. Upon being acknowledged by the Chief Judge, athletes will return to attention and begin their form within 5 seconds.

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Upon completing their form, competitors must once again come to attention and salute the Chief Judge. Competitors will wait to receive the scores, then perform one final bow toward the Chief Judge and walk off the floor.

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Note: The Open Palm and Fist Salute is widely recognized in Chinese martial arts and it is the required salute for ICMAC competitions.

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5. The salute with weapons:

All the requirements cited for the empty hand forms salute apply. In addition, each weapon has its own requirements.

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The salute with the staff and the spear requires the competitor to hold the weapon with the right fist covered by the left palm. The Pu Dao, Quan Dao and other long weapons will also use this same salute.

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The salute with the broadsword requires the competitor to hold the weapon in the left hand and cradled in the crook of the elbow. Salute by covering the hilt with the right palm. Double broadswords, other similar single-edge weapons and the three-sectional staff will also use this salute.

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The salute with the straight sword requires that the sword be tucked under the left forearm. Salute by covering the hilt with the right palm. Double swords and two-handed sword will also use this salute.

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6. Skill level criteria:

We do not base the skill level criteria on Belt or Sash Colors since every school has different standards and color schemes. To be fair, our skill levels criteria is based exclusively on the length of training or accumulated training.

Competitors must register in all divisions at the same skill level and age group.

Where 4 Categories:

  • Novice: Competitors with less than 1 year of training
  • Beginner: Competitors with one to less than 2 year of training
  • Intermediate: Competitors with 2 to 4 years of training
  • Advanced: Competitors with over 4 years of training

Where 3 Categories:

  • Beginner: Competitors with less than 2 year of training
  • Intermediate: Competitors with 2 to 4 years of training
  • Advanced: Competitors with over 4 years of training

Where 2 Categories:

  • Beginner: Competitors with less than 2 year of training
  • Advanced: Competitors with over 2 years of training

Special Events Including: Tai Chi Group Forms, Team Competition, Horse Stance Competition and Jump Kick Competition will have only One Skill Level.

 

NOTE: Novice, cannot compete with forms that contain tornado kicks, aerial techniques and splits and weapons other than Staff, Short Stick, Saber and Double Daggers. Flexible Weapons, Double Weapons (other than Double Daggers) and Other Exotic Weapons are not permitted in the Novice Division.

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7. Scoring and Competition Area for forms:

Competition should be a platform which not only encourages students to work harder, but also develop a greater interest in the art. We don't want to discourage competitors by associating certain scores with certain skill levels. So we use a standard scoring range for all levels. Scoring is thus determined by ones proficiency and skill. The better your skill the higher your score. Only competitors with superlative skills in their respective categories should be awarded scores in the Upper 9's.


Scoring range for all skill levels: 8.00 - 9.99

All scoring starts with an average of 9. Scores rise or fall depending on the skill demonstrated by the competitor.

Judges score the performance of each competitor. The high and low score are dropped and the remaining scores are averaged to obtain a final score. Deductions, if appropriate, are made by the Chief Judge before the Final Score is given.

Competition Area: While we normally provide Rings that are 20' X 40' (Smaller for Tai Chi and Kids/Juniors Divisions), large turnouts might require a slight modification in ring size.

For Wushu Competition, which requires a larger area, we will do our best to provide an area which is 20' X 42' (Please have your competitors train accordingly, this is an ICMAC tournament and not an IWUF event).

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8. Time limits for forms:

All times are given in minutes. A penalty of 0.2 points will be deducted for each infraction of 5 seconds or partial increment thereof.

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  • Traditional Northern Style Divisions
    Min 0:30 Seconds, Max 2:00 Minute
  • Traditional Southern Style Divisions
    Min 0:30 Seconds, Max 2:00 Minutes
  • Wushu Forms
    Min 0:30 Seconds, Max 2:00 Minute
  • Taiji and Liuhe Bafa Hand Forms
    Min 2:30 Minutes, Max 3:00 Minutes (warning given at 2:30 minute mark)
  • Taiji and Liuhe Bafa Sword Form 

           Min 2:30 Minutes, Max 3:00 Minutes (warning given at 2:30 minute mark)

  • Taiji Other Weapons

           Min 2:30 Minutes, Max 3:00 Minutes (warning given at 2:30 minute mark)

  • Taiji 24 & 32 Taiji Sword (these divisions will no longer be offered separately)
    Taiji 24 may be performed in Yang Style and 32 Taiji Sword may be performed in the Taiji Weapons. These categories will no longer be separated.
  • Xing Yi and Bagua Hand & Weapons Forms
    Min. 45 seconds, Max. 2:00 Minutes

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In all Taiji and Liuhe Bafa categories, it may be necessary for two or more competitors to perform simultaneously.

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Note: In the Traditional and Wushu Categories, Novice and Beginner are not subject to time requirements and Time Limits do not apply to Kids & Juniors.

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9. Penalties and deductions for forms:

Northern Long Fist: Athletes can begin their form in any quadrant of the competition ring. The form must end in the same quadrant as the starting point*. Forms that end by facing opposite of the starting point will result in a .5 point deduction from the final score. Forms that do not end in the same quadrant as the starting point will result in a .2 point deduction* from the final score.

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*Competitors whose form does not end in the same quadrant must inform the Chief Judge before performing. No penalty will be awarded in such circumstances.

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Note: The Basic 32 Wushu Forms are permitted in the Traditional Novice Division, Traditional Kids, Traditional Juniors and Adult Novice Categories.

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Interruptions caused by uncontrollable circumstances will not be penalized.

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Re-performing due to forgetfulness will result in a .5 point deduction from the final score. The only exception is for all Novice & Kids & Juniors Beginners category.

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Broken weapons will result in a .5 point deduction from the final score; this applies to all skill levels.

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A dropped weapon will result in a .5 point deduction for Novice and Beginners and a Full 1 point deduction in all other categories, Dropping a weapon twice will result in a disqualification; this applies to all skill levels.

Striking or Cutting oneself with a weapon is a .5 point deduction (multiple striking or cutting will result in multiple deductions).

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All sabers and swords used in the traditional divisions must be of Loong Quan type steel or heavier steel; the weapon must be able to sustain its own weight when placed on its tip. Note: All Kids and Juniors divisions are exempt from this rule.

NOTE: Deductions are made only by the Chief Judge and deducted from the Final Score. Side Judges must keep track of the infractions when scoring but the Penalty Deductions are implemented ONLY by the Chief Judge.

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Acceptable Unacceptable

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Long Weapons such as the Quandao and Pudao are also subject to these requirements.

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Wushu Weapons Divisions require the current standard weapons used in international competition (IWUF).

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Non-compliance with these weapon standards will result in a .5 point deduction from the final score unless otherwise specified.

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Weapon Length

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Weapons require a certain length in order to be used efficiently. The requirements, with few exceptions, are generally the same for Traditional and Modern Wushu. The length of the weapon is determined according to the competitor's height.

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The pictures that follow are self explanatory.

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Saber & Swords:

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The minimum length for the saber and the straight sword requires that the tip of the weapon reach the competitors top of ear when held at the sides.

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Left Correct - Right incorrect

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Staffs and Spears:

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Staffs can vary in length from a minimum of the height of the competitor's eyebrow to well over the competitor's head. Staffs shorter than the competitor's eyebrow fall into the Other Weapons category. In divisions where there are no Open Weapons any length staff or stick may be used.

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Spears vary in length between Traditional Northern and Southern Systems and Contemporary Wushu.

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For Northern Systems the spear should reach the tip of the competitor's fingers when the arm is stretched overhead.

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For Southern Systems the spear can be slightly shorter but the speartip must be above the competitors head.

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For Contemporary Wushu the Spearhead should be above the competitor's fingertips when the arm is stretched overhead.

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10. Placing:

Medals will be awarded from 1st through 3th place in each division.

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For Grand Champion awards for advanced athletes who have entered the required divisions, the winners will be determined by the highest total Medal Points. Points value is as follows:

  • Gold Medal = 10 Points
  • Silver Medal = 7 Points
  • Bronze Medal = 5 Points

Note: A Competitor Must Win at least One Gold Medal to receive the Grand Champion Award.

Note II: No ties are allowed at any level since placements reflect the overall standing of a competitor. Tie breaking procedures will go into effect to determine the winner.

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11. Taiji Push Hands (Tui Shou):

Fixed Step: Both feet must remain in contact with the floor at all times. Heel or toe may be raised briefly, but the foot may not leave floor or change position.

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  • The feet remain in the same starting position
  • The front toe may be raised in yielding back
  • The rear heel may be raised in shifting forward
  • Any sideward movement or double placement of the foot is not permitted
  • Advancing or retreating of any kind is not permitted

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Restricted Step:

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  • For restricted-step push hands, the foot forward at the start of the round must remain forward for the duration of the round
  • Either front or back foot may move, but not both at the same time;
  • There must be a beat between steps (no charging)
  • Movement is oriented along center line and players may not step more than 45° to either side to defend or gain advantage in pushing.

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The following descriptions for Competition Format, Match Area, Objective of Match, Progression of Match, etc., apply to both Fixed and Restricted Step Push Hands.

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Competition format:

  • All matches are single elimination
  • Matches consist of two 1-minute rounds of Running Time unless there is an Injury or a Warning.
  • The players change leg position after the first round
  • In the event of a tie, the match will be decided by sudden death: First to score wins.

Match area:

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  • Two perpendicular lines form a cross at the center of the playing area
  • Play is begun with the both players in forward stance
  • The ball of the right foot on the horizontal stripe.
  • Players' front feet are separated by the vertical stripe, which marks the centerline of the play area.
  • When play is stopped for any reason, players return to the starting position.

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Objective of match:

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The objective of the match is to Uproot and Off-Balance the opposing player while maintaining own root and balance using Taijiquan (Tai Chi) principles.

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Progression of match:

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Play is begun in a neutral position with backs of right wrists touching. Left hands are placed on (not under) right elbow of opponent. (Reversed in second period.)

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  • Players move their arms together in a horizontal circle until referee feels a neutral state has been established.
  • Players may not seek advantage at this point.
  • Once the Center Judge says, “Begin” players must continue to play for a second or two before issuing energy.
  • Players unable or unwilling to begin play neutrally may be issued a warning

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Continuous Contact

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  • Players are expected to stick and adhere and may not break contact to gain advantage.
  • All issuing must be preceded by contact (no striking)
  • Breaking contact to gain advantage will result in a warning

Valid techniques:

Pushing, pulling with one hand, trapping techniques, non-impact techniques that cause opponent to lose balance, and single-hand grabbing techniques that cause opponent to lose balance.

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Target Areas:

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Contact is permitted between the hips and collarbone.

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Note: The head, neck, spine, and legs may not be attacked and will result in a warning or disqualification depending on the severity of the infraction.

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Scoring:

  • The center judge as well as any of the corner judges may call for a point
  • Points are awarded by majority judges' decision.
  • One point is awarded for uprooting opponent.
  • A point is awarded against the opponent when a warning is called.

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Warnings:

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  • Grabbing. A one-handed pluck is a valid technique, but players may not seek to control opponent by grabbing for longer than one second,
  • Wrapping hands around the back.
  • Grabbing clothing
  • Pulling with both hands
  • Striking: Any percussive contact (makes a sound) is considered a strike.
  • Charging: (Restricted step.) Players may not take successive steps forward without pausing.
  • Joint Locks (Qinna). Joints may not be attacked with force
  • Not following the Chief Judge's directions

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The following will result in immediate disqualification:

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  • Excessive and dangerous use of force
  • Accumulation of 3 warnings over duration of match
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by the competitor, parent or coach. Abusive language will result in being expelled from the competition with NO REFUND!

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12. Chi Sao:

We are no longer offering Chi Sao Competition!

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13. Shuai Jiao:

Rules will be posted should Shuai Jiao be part of our tournament.

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14 Sanda/San Shou - Chinese Kickboxing
Open to all Fighters: Muay Thai & Kickboxing

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SANDA will no longer be offered as part of the Orlando tournament. We will focus instead on promoting Special Events that will feature only SANDA!

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15. Light-Contact Continuous Sparring

Mandatory protective equipment must be supplied by the athlete and must include: Head protector, mouth guard, groin cup, chest protector (for women), foam gloves with no exposed fingers, and foam foot protectors that cover entire foot. Shin guards are optional.

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We recommend (not required) that head gear for Sparring have a Plastic Face Shield as pictured above.

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Foot Gear must cover toes, heel and sides of foot. Hand Gear must cover fingers as pictured above.

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Note: Shin-Instep guards and Open finger (MMA type gloves) are not permissible.

Competition format:

All matches are single elimination consisting of three one-minute rounds of running time. The time is stopped for injuries or equipment adjustment.

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At the end of each round the winner of that round is declared by the decision of the majority of the judges. The winner of two out of three rounds wins the match. In case of a tie after the three rounds there will be a final one-minute round to determine a winner; if still tied after this round, the winner is determined by the Chief Judge.

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NOTE: By definition, light contact sparring implies that blows and kicks must be of a tagging nature and not executed with heavy impact force!

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Match Length (running time unless there is an injury):

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  • For Teens and Adults - Continuous Sparring consists of Three 1 Minute Rounds: Winner of First 2 Rounds wins the Match
  • For Kids and Juniors: Point Sparring consists of a 90 Second Bout of Running Time unless there is an Injury or a Warning. Competitor with most points after time wins the match. 

Note: In Case of a Tie in the Teens & Adults Categories, there will be a 30 Second Sudden-Death to determine the winner.

Note: In Case of a Tie in the Kids & Juniors Categories, the first to score wins the match.

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Progression of match:

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  • Athletes enter the ring at the command of the Chief Judge
  • Before initiating competitive sparring athletes salute the chief judge and then each other
  • The Chief Judge will commence the match by giving the signal to begin
  • The Chief Judge directs the match with verbal signals ("begin," "stop," etc.)

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Legal contact targets:

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  • Light contact to front and sides of torso
  • Light contact to side of head gear
  • Light contact to upper thigh

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Legal non-contact targets

  • Front of face
  • Groin

Note: Any contact to these areas may result in immediate disqualification

Allowable techniques:

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  • Sharp, clean punches and kicks
  • Momentarily grabbing the opponent's wrist to execute a technique
  • Leg sweep to the front leg

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Illegal techniques:

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  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Spinning backfist
  • Joint locking
  • Striking any area of the opponent's back or groin
  • Sweeping the rear leg or the supporting leg when the opponent is kicking
  • Any blind technique

The following infractions will result in a warning:

  • Willingly running out of the ring
  • Use of illegal techniques
  • Striking an illegal target
  • Not following the Chief Judge's directions

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The following will result in immediate disqualification:

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  • Heavy impact force
  • Bleeding that results from an illegal strike
  • Accumulation of 3 warnings in the match
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct by Athlete, Coach or Parent

NOTE: Kids & Juniors Sparring will now consist of Point Sparring. A Point is called when a clear technique scores on a legal target. This new format is being implemented to insure the safety of the kids and to temper overzealous parents and coaches that lead to over-aggression and defeat the purpose of the competition.

NOTE: By definition, light contact sparring implies that blows and kicks must be of a tagging and jarring nature and not executed with heavy impact force!

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16. ARBITRATION

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A formal procedure must be followed when a competitor or instructor would like to launch a protest regarding a presumed discrepancy in the application of the rules.

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  1. Request, complete, sign and submit the Arbitration form
  2. The arbitration form must be signed by the competitor and the instructor/coach
  3. If the competitor is under 18 years of age a parent or legal guardian must sign the Arbitration Form
  4. The fee for arbitrating the dispute is USD $200.00
  5. The fee is refunded if the dispute is settled in the competitor's favor
  6. The Arbitrator's decision is final and will be rendered in a timely manner

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