National Martial Arts League Team Fighting Rules

  1. A flip of a coin will determine who sends out the first fighter. The winner of the coin flip can decide on whether the team will start with the top or bottom of the team roster for competition.
  2. All matches are 2 minutes.
  3. The team with the most accumulative points wins, and receives a one in the win column. In the event of a tie, team captains will flip a coin; the winner of the coin toss will determine which fighter will fight in overtime.
  4. The final match will be a total point match using the full 90 seconds. The team with the most accumulative points wins. If at the end of the final match the accumulative score is a tie, the final match continues using the sudden victory rule (first fighter to score wins).
  5. If a player goes out of bounds for any reason (both feet out) the other fighters receives a point. It is not allowed to push or shove a fighter out of bounds. Warnings and/or penalties can be called for pushing and/or shoving an opponent (Bad sportsmanship rule).

COMPETITOR: Each competitor must present him/herself to the referee suitably attired with proper uniform and equipment and physically prepared to compete. If he/she is not prepared to compete as deemed by the center referee, the competitor may be penalized for delay of time.

RANK RULE: This is a black belt only event.

REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED SAFETY EQUIPMENT: Hand and footpads, mouthpieces, groin cups (for male competitors only) The competitor’s equipment will be checked and if it is deemed unsafe, he/she will be asked to change the equipment before he/she can compete. Hand Pads: A soft padded surface must cover the fingers, wrist and any striking surface of the hand. Foot Pads: A soft padded surface must cover the instep, sides, toes, ankle and back of the heel of the foot. The bottom of the foot does not have to be padded Head Gear: The front, sides and back of the head must be covered by a soft padded surface. Equipment must be in a good state of repair and must be free of heavy taping, tears or any other repairs that may cause injury. The tournament’s official rules arbitrator ultimately determines the approval or denial of the equipment. A properly fitted mouthpiece is required.


Points are scored when either party makes contact to a target area, using either hand or foot.


The chest area or body core (which includes the front side from the face down to the hip area, kicking to the back of the body is not allowed). In addition, the temple, eyes, throat area, solar plexus, kidney area, stomach and groin.


One point is scored for all hand techniques that make contact to the target area. Two points will be awarded for all kicks to the head, and three points for all spinning kicks and kicking techniques in which the person executing leaves the ground and makes contact with a target area.

Note: All participants are required to wear headgear, foot-gear, and hand gear and men must wear cups.

PROOF OF AGE RULE: All competitors must be 18 or older and have a proof of age document. If there is a legitimate reason to question a competitor’s age, he/she must present a proof of age (birth certificate, driver’s license, or other acceptable documents) to prove his/her age.

REFEREES: The referee is the most experienced official in the ring and is thoroughly versed on the rules and order of competition. He/she promotes the safety of the competitors, enforces the rules and ensures fair play. To this end, he/she starts and stops the match, awards points, makes penalty decisions, administrates the voting of the other judges, communicates clearly with the scorekeeper and timekeeper, and announces the winner of each match. Added Powers of the Referee: 1) Match starts and ends only with his/her command (not the command of the timekeeper); 2) Has final decision on any disputes on score; 3) Has the power to issue warnings and award penalty points without a majority decision: 4) Can overrule a majority call only to issue a warning or a penalty point: 5) Automatically has power to disqualify a competitor who receives (3) penalty points; 6) Has power to issue time-outs. A competitor can ask for a time-out, but it is the determination of the referee to issue one. The disqualification of a competitor, where disqualification is not automatic, is determined only by a majority vote of the judges.

OFFICIALS: Each ring should have a REFEREE, two to four JUDGES, and a TIMEKEEPER/SCOREKEEPER. The judges call points and rule infractions as they see them. They also vote on disqualifications. The referee also calls points and rules infractions but is also in complete control of the ring and ring personnel. Referees make all final decisions on penalty points and warnings (except for disqualifications) but can consult judges before making their decisions. The majority vote of the judges and referee determines a scoring point and/or a competitor’s disqualification.

CALLS AN OFFICIAL MAY MAKE: When the referee believes there has been a significant exchange of techniques, or when signaled to do so by a corner a judge/s, he/she shall call out the word, “STOP!” in a loud voice. The referee shall then returns the competitors to their starting marks and addresses the judges by saying “JUDGES CALL!” All judges and the center referee cast their votes simultaneously and assertively in the following manner.

  1. Judge Sees a Point – He/she should hold up both colors or hold up one arm if colors are not being used. At the same time, he/she yells out the word “CALL!” in a loud, clear voice to let the referee know he/she has a call.
  2. Point Calling – When signaled by the referee (referee says “Judges Call” in a loud clear voice) a judge raises the appropriate color (red or white usually) if colors are being used or points to the competitor who scores the point. If a competitor scores a two point kick, the officials should hold up or point with two fingers (index and middle fingers). If only one point is being called, the judge should point with only one finger (Index finger).
  3. No Point Scored – An official crosses his/her wrist at waist level or holds both colors down to indicate that he/she believes that a point was not scored.
  4. Did Not See If A Point Was Scored – The officials holds his/her hand over his/her eyes indicating that he/she could not see whether a point was scored or not. Indicates the official was not in position to see if a point scored. (When using this signal, it has the same effect as saying “no point”, but it indicates to the referee, competitors and fans the reason why you are not calling the point).
  5. Clash – Officials make a motion as though they are hitting both fists together, indicating that both competitors scored at the same time.
  6. Penalty – The judge waves the color of the offending competitor in a circular motion. If no colors are used the judge waves the hand and arm in a circular motion while pointing at the offending competitor.
  7. Disqualification – A disqualification vote is taken separately from any other vote. When a disqualification vote is asked for, the referee will say, “JUDGES CALL”. The judges will then hold the color or point to the competitor who is to be disqualified. If the judge does not feel the competitor should be disqualified, he/she crosses his/her wrist or holds both colors down at waist level.

LATE CALLS: All officials should make their calls at the same time. If, in the opinion of the referee, the corner judges are making a late call intentionally, the referee can disqualify the call and/or judge (noise not allowing the judges to hear the referee and the honest mistake of raising the wrong color or pointing at the wrong competitor should be taken into consideration not to disqualify the call or judge).

NUMBER OF OFFICIALS: 2 or 4  judges and one referee will be required.

REMOVAL OF OFFICIALS: If a coach feels that an official should be removed he/she must file a protest before the division begins.  It is totally up to the center referee if an official should be removed.

PROTEST: A team coach has the right to protest an infraction of the rules or if a possible mistake was made (not a judgment call). If a coach wishes to protest, he/she should first let the referee know he/she believes there has been an infraction of the rules or a mistake has been made. The referee will summon the arbitrator to the ring (if the referee cannot properly settle the protest to the players satisfaction) to render a decision. All protests must be made in an orderly, proper and sportsmanlike manner. All protests must be made immediately. Protests are not allowed once competition has resumed (after the fact protest). A coach may be penalized or even disqualified if he/she is protesting improperly or without proper cause.

THE RING: The size of the fighting rings shall be approximately 20’ x 20’. Starting lines should be marked approximately six feet apart in the middle of the ring. Additionally, each ring should be posted with a ring number visible to competitors, officials, and medical personnel from across the floor. All youth and under black belt adult rings can be a minimum of 16’ to a maximum of 20’.

WEIGHING-IN: It is mandatory for all adult fighting competitors – who are in weighed divisions – to weigh in before competition. Only one official weigh-in is required. All competitors must fight in his/her weight division.