Martial Arts and Combat Sports Rules and Laws

The rules for martial arts and combat sports vary as much as the individual sports that make up the genre vary. The rules of mixed martial arts competitive bouts has changed since early vale tudo a form of Japanese shoot wrestling and much more since the time of pankration. It became apparent that the minimalist rules systems had to be changed as the fighting techniques spread amongst spectators and other fighters.

The main reasons for the changes was for the health and protection of the fighters. The thought was of trying to become a legitimate sport instead of being looked at lawlessness and barbarism. Weight classes were included into the new rules as submissions became more common then weight was a key factor. There are a total of nine classes in the Mixed Martial Arts rule book. They start at flyweight and end at super heavyweight.

Opened fingered but small gloves were incorporated into the fighting to reduce cuts, protect the fists and to try and entice fighters to use their hands more often to create more exciting matches. Professionals generally wear 4 oz gloves while amateurs use 6oz. Time limits are also incorporated with long fights no longer part of the show. Most bouts are three rounds of five minutes and if the bout is for a championship than it is generally five rounds of five minutes. Because the boxing commission and state athletic commission oversee the MMA they have been very instrumental in incorporating rules that are similar to boxing. In most of Europe and Japan a regulating authority does not exist over competitions so each organization has more say as to event structure and rule development freedoms.

Victory is attained by a knockout, technical knockout or decision. The corner can also stop the fight if they feel their fighter can no longer continue. The fighter themselves can retire from the match between rounds if they feel they cannot continue. Submissions are another way fight can end and they are done in one of three ways: a tap in the body of the opponent, a tap in the floor or mat and a verbal announcement. Technical submissions are made when a referee intervenes because a fighter may appear to be unconscious or have suffered a very serious injury. The decision is determined by three judges and can be unanimous, split or majority. A draw is if the judges feel neither fighter performed or scored more than the other. A technical decision is when a fighter commits an intentional foul in the match and the opponent cannot continue because of the foul.



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