Saturday, February 26, 2011

Competitive Distortion in Martial Arts Competition

Why do the rules favor certain techniques? Mr. John Zimmer stirs things up at My Self-Defense Blog with a post about how the rules have changed in open martial arts tournament sparring. See Karate Tournament Rules; How Many Points for a Kick?! for a very nice discussion in the comments with Zimmer, myself, and Sensei Matt Klein.

The gist of the matter is that there is a distortion in competition so that there either a purity of style, or a desired outcome. In the case of style, TKD tourneys favor high kicking above all else, and de-emphasize punching, especially to the face, while (as I mentioned in the comments at the post) the UFC started giving financial incentives to the fighters to finish a fight with a KO, as opposed to a decision or submission. Why?

Check out My Self-Defense Blog to find out!


Elias said...

I agree that it isn't nice to favour knockouts over submissions, but there really should be an incentive favouring KO's and submissions over decisions. While there are some very good fights that go to decision, on occasion there is a tedious fight, I can understand that.

If the general public doesn't understand what's happening as far as grappling is concerned, they should learn more; the organisation shouldn't pander to them.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Thanks Elias. I can appreciate what you're saying, but guess that there are reasons for what they do. I just don't know what could be done to educate the public better. Any ideas?

Otherwise, it is pandering, and probably won't stop.