Continuous Sparring

Rules for Continuous Sparring

General Rules

  • There Is No Age Limit for Continuous Sparring Competitors.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in an age group, the judges reserve the right to combine age groups.
  • Continuous Sparring is for Beginner Level and Intermediate Level competitors only.
  • Mandatory Safety Equipment: Headgear, boxing or Karate gloves, mouthpiece, groin cup, shin guard, and foot protector.
  • Striking Areas: Padded area of headgear, chest, stomach, thigh, and lower leg.
  • No Contact Areas: Front of face, back of the head, eyes, neck, spine, groin, and knees.
  • Prohibited Techniques: elbows, knees, headbutt, choke, joint locks, sweeps or throws, takedowns, body slam, and knockout punches or kicks. When the opponent is standing on one leg, no kicking or sweeping to the standing leg. Once the opponent is down on the ground, no more attacking permitted.
  • Contact is continuous; punching and kicking with light force only.
  • Weigh-in time is 8a.m. to 9:30a.m. at the Continuous Sparring ring. If a competitor missed the weigh-in time,  weigh-in will take place at the time when the competitor is called to compete.

Duration of Bout

  • Each bout is 3 rounds; each round is 1 minute with 30 seconds rest in between each round. A competitor winning the first 2 rounds wins the bout, without going into the third round.

The Winner of the Bout is Determined By

  • Both competitors’ effectiveness in executing their techniques during attacks and defenses.
  • Following all the rules in this section.
  • Respecting the judges and the opponent.
  • Following all the instructions of the judges.
  • If the competitor becomes disqualified by the judge, his/her opponent wins the bout.
  • Forfeit by a competitor or his/her coach results in an automatic win for the competitor’s opponent.
    • To forfeit, the competitor has to raise one hand and then verbally tell the referee that he/she is forfeiting this bout.
    • The competitor’s coach can also make the decision to forfeit by throwing in a white towel.


  • Punching and kicking with heavy force.
  • Punching and kicking to the “No Contact” areas.
  • Using “Prohibited Techniques” against the opponent.
  • Using performance-enhancing drugs prior or during the bout.
  • Disrespecting the referee, judges, or the opponent.
  • Disregards the instructions of the referee and the judges.
  • The referee has the right to disqualify a competitor from the bout or competition if:
    • The competitor receives 3 or more warnings from the referee.
    • The competitor engages in unsportsmanlike conducts.
    • The competitor injures his/her opponent using prohibited techniques or attacks to the no contact area, depending on the seriousness of the injury.
  • The referee has the right to stop the contest if:
    • There is a big gap in the skill level between the 2 competitors. The competitor with the skill advantage wins the bout.
    • A competitor is injured as a result of a legal maneuver, depending on the seriousness of the injury. The opponent wins the bout.
  • Courtesy Rule: Salute to the judges first and then competitors salute to each other before the bout begins. After the bout finishes, salute to the judges again and then competitors salute to each other.

Weight Classes

  • Men’s Featherweight: (145 lbs & Under)
  • Men’s Lightweight: (146 – 155 lbs)
  • Men’s Welterweight: (156 – 170 lbs)
  • Men’s Middleweight: (171 – 185 lbs)
  • Men’s Light Heavyweight: (186 – 205 lbs)
  • Men’s Heavyweight: (206 lbs & Above)
  • Women’s Lightweight: (125 lbs & Under)
  • Women’s Welterweight: (126 – 135 lbs)
  • Women’s Middleweight: (136 – 145 lbs)
  • Women’s Light Heavyweight: (146 lbs & above)
  • Youth groups 17 yrs & under are not categorized by weight.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in a weight class, the judge reserves the right to combine weight classes.


Continuous Sparring competition at the US Open Martial Arts Championship

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *