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Sparring FAQ

Q: Is contact permitted in the points and free style sparring?
A: In Points Sparring for attacking or scoring techniques such as strikes or kicks, no contact is allowed. Scoring is based on target area and control of the technique. To score, your technique must penetrate the opponent’s guard without making contact. Light contact is however permitted, even essential, for blocking and when creating the opening to score.

In Freestyle sparring, touch contact is permitted. This is very very light, and essentially consists of no more than touching the uniform - enough to confirm that a strike has reached its target. Distance and stance are however still important, and simply touching the the uniform by any means is not sufficient. This is only permitted for the body, legs, and arms. The neck, head, hands, feet, lower legs, and groin, i.e the usual illegal areas, are still illegal. See the Level of Contact document for a scale of contact levels.

Q: Is there a penalty for stepping out of the competition area during sparring?
A: Possibly. The mat is normally 8m x 8m, and including a 1m safety zone around the perimeter. The competition area is the 6m x 6m safety area inside the safety zone. The boundary is the edge of the 6m x 6m area. The first time you step out of bounds to avoid engagement with your opponent you will be warned, and repeated offenses will incur penalties, enough of which could lead to disqualification. 36m2 should be enough area for competition. Momentary stepping out while evading an attack is acceptable. Staying out for more than one or two steps is not. Martial arts athletes should be aware of their surroundings, and be in sufficient control to be able to observe the boundaries.
Q: Can I score more than 3 points by combining kick and punch techniques?
A: No. The maximum you can score in any one engagement is 3 points. A clean, undefended, head kick will score 3 points. If you have executed a combination which involves a well placed undefended head kick you will still only score the maximum of 3 points.
Q: What personal protective equipment do I need for sparring events?
A:
  • Non-contact and Freestyle sparring requires competitors to wear mouthguards, gloves, shin/instep protection, groin guards (compulsory for males). Breast-protectors are optional for females.
  • Points-contact requires a headgear with solid faceguard, and body pads. One or both may be waived on the day of the tournament, depending on availability, and agreement of both athletes and coaches. In this instance, head contact will NOT be permitted
  • Full-contact sparring events require competitors to wear mouthguards. It is compulsory for male competitors to also wear groin guards. Breast-protectors are optional for females. Competitors in Colts divisions (15-17 years) must also wear head protection and shin/instep protectors. Check the rules for more information.
  • Breast-protectors should not cover the solar plexus
Q: Are the legal target areas for freestyle sparring and points sparring events the same?
A: Freestyle sparring target areas include those in points sparring PLUS thighs and calves.

 
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