Tournament Sparring Rules

Mountain Academy of Martial Arts

Tournament Sparring Rules


Safety: Any safety infraction will be met with Match Penalties*

1)      Light Contact ONLY!  Excessive force will be determined by the judges. Generally thought of as touching without injury.

2)      Tripping or Sweeps: since the floor is hard tile and are likely to injure a competitor these moves are not allowed.

3)      Face/Head Contact: only allowed at Red Belt or above.

4)      Pads: no competitor will be allowed to participate without hand/foot pads.  If there are not enough loaners then competitors will not participate.

5)      Other safety gear: cups and mouth guards are mandatory.

6)      Obey the judges at all times.



Points are awarded when ideally unfettered** contact is made to the opponent within the proper areas.  Scoring areas are from the mid thigh to the top of the shoulder, from rear side to side.  Head and face contact can only be made by a Red Belt or above.  Feints to the head can count as a point if deemed intentional and controlled by the judges.  Groin strikes are legal. Strikes below mid thigh or to the head by a lower rank will be met with a Match Penalty.

The Match:

The ring will be outlined on the floor and two starting lines will be in the center (leaving the ring will result in match penalties).  Competitors will line up at the starting lines before the beginning of the match.  Proper respect will be given to the judges and opponents at all times.  The center judge will initiate the match once everyone is prepared (bowing and questions are settled).  Upon scoring of a point the judges will break sparring to tabulate score.  Competitors must return to the starting line every time this occurs.  This will continue throughout the match time at which the timekeeper will stop the match to tabulate all scores and declare a winner.

Sudden Death:

If at the end of a match the competitors have a tie score then the center judge will set for another round to end only when a final point has been scored.


If an injury occurs the center judge will stop the match and match time to allow for the injured competitor to attempt to recover.  The non-injured competitor will return to the start line, turn away from the injured competitor and kneel.  This is not only tradition but also allows the injured competitor the space to recover.  If the center judge deems the injury too severe to continue; the match will be called and match penalties may be administered.

*Match Penalties:

Any infraction of above mentioned rules or at the discretion of the judges will be met with the following penalties.  If the infraction is severe enough the judge can elect to move past the first or second.

1)      Warning.  The competitor will be informed of the rule infracted and instructed to not continue as such.

2)      Point Deduction. The competitor will have points removed from scoring totals.

3)      Elimination.  The competitor will forfeit the match and will be removed from the tournament.


** Ideally Unfettered Contact: points are easiest to judge when there is no attempted or partial blocking.  If the strike moved in with out hindrance and strikes the competitor.  This is not to say that a partially blocked strike is not a point.  Points can be scored on strikes that evade or glance off of an attempted block and still make contact with the competitor within the scoring area.

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