Jessie Wray coaching a point fighting bout.

The well-respected coach of Team Next Level is attempting a new way to organize point fighting events.

Point fighting has historically been a tournament-based sport, in which fighters strive for success by defeating multiple opponents in a bracket. There have been a few isolated incidents of invitational fights for the ESPN2 broadcast of the ISKA U.S. Open Night of Champions and exhibition fights at other tournaments, but a pay-per-view-style event similar to boxing or UFC promotions has never been organized for point fighting. Jessie Wray, the coach of Team Next Level, is looking to change that with his Virtual Fight Tour Pay-Per-View promotion on Saturday, August 15th at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time.

The card will consist of four point fighting matches featuring several rising stars and a few proven champions. The first fight will pit Team Straight Up's Stan Rakov against Team Next Level's Darren Payne in a battle between two talented athletes. That bout will be followed by a clash between Team Next Level's Prahlada Milligan-Cuffee and Team Revolution's recent acquisition Angel Diaz. Then, the card intensifies as stars collide when Team Dojo Elite's Ryan George takes on Team All-Stars' Kevin Walker. Finally, the future of the sport will be showcased as Bailey Murphy (pictured below) of Team Straight Up tests his skills against Tyreeke Saint of Team Top Ten USA. These incredible competitors make this card a must-see for any point fighting fan or sport karate enthusiast.

Bailey Murphy

Regarding the rules, each fight will have three 2-minute rounds with a 1-minute break between rounds. One point will be awarded for kicks to the body, two points for a kick to the head or a jumping spin-kick to the body, and three points for a jumping spin-kick to the head. All hand techniques will be awarded one point. This scoring format is expected to generate exciting fights in which a single technique can swing the momentum.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the only personnel allowed into the building are the fighters, referees, one coach per fighter, and a medic. All of the fighters will be tested and quarantined before the event and everyone in attendance is required to wear a mask. Spectators will not be allowed in the building, but tickets can be purchased to watch the fights online at This is a game-changing event for sport karate with a great line-up of fights that all sport martial artists should hope to see more of in the future.

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Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram

The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.

In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.

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