The World Association of Kickboxing Organizations has approved new rule changes that will be effective for two years beginning in January of 2021.

The WAKO Board of Directors has approved a variety of rule changes for their combat and performance divisions. There are some basic alterations that make the rules easier to understand, such as the creation of a "General Rules" category to avoid repetition of rules throughout the rulebook, as well as "Definitions" and "Procedures" sections within the General Rules. There are also some minor changes being introduced regarding naming conventions like the K1 discipline being referred to as "K1 Style" and distinguishing the term "Referee" as a person and "Central Referee" as a duty. In addition to these minor edits, there are some more significant changes that will impact competition.


One major change is that age categories will be determined by year of birth instead of birthdate. This could potentially impact the divisions that some younger competitors are eligible to compete in. WAKO is also introducing ranking criteria for seeding that will be based on points earned at the World Championships, Continental Championships, and World Cups in the last two years. There is a new distinction between technical and behavioral disqualifications, in which behavior disqualifications mean the fighter will be unable to retain his/her placement in the competition. Under the new rules, it will be forbidden to fight without a coach. Additionally, once a doctor has been consulted, the referee may give a warning and penalize a fighter who abuses medical time.

There are also some important changes coming with regard to the performance divisions. There will be "more significant differences" between the Musical and Creative forms categories in an effort to make these divisions more challenging for athletes and exciting for spectators. Many leagues deal with the issue of creative and musical routines appearing too similar among individual athletes, but it seems that WAKO is introducing these new rules to address that issue.

These are simply of the highlights of the rule changes that WAKO has announced, and there are many more alterations to be reviewed if you plan to compete in WAKO events in 2021 and beyond. Follow this link to access the complete PDF file that was released by WAKO, or visit WAKO's official website for more information.

SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Talks About Being a Smaller Fighter in a Combat Sport Ruled by Giants

At first glance, most people — most martial artists, even — will zero in on the smaller person in any fight and deem him or her to be at a distinct disadvantage. It's a natural tendency to draw this conclusion based on obvious attributes such as height, weight and reach. However, that tendency does not always lead to accurate conclusions.

Keep Reading Show less

The martial art of "hwalssogi" or traditional Korean archery, has been designated as an intangible cultural heritage by the Cultural Heritage Administration in South Korea. Citing it's frequent appearance in historical literature and culture, the administration said hwalssogi has played a significant role in Korean traditional martial arts.

Though archery became a formal sport known as "gungdo" under the Japanese occupation during the early 20th century, unlike taekwondo which is primarily based on Japanese karate, hwalssogi does appear to have legitimate roots in a traditional Korean art of archery. The bow used is much shorter than the Japanese bow and closer to that used by Mongolian archers.

ONE Championship made its triumphant return in Bangkok with ONE: No Surrender on Friday, July 31. The six-bout event featured some of the biggest names in Muay Thai and kickboxing and helped put the spotlight back on the organization after several months without a marquee event.

While the COVID-19 pandemic halted the event schedule, ONE: No Surrender was a step in the right direction with sensational talents and matches to kick start the back-half of the year for Asia's largest sports media property.

Keep Reading Show less

Belgium officers conducting a police canine training demonstration.

The prospect of being attacked by a dog is frightening, especially one that's bred to be aggressive. The first thing all students of self-defense should keep in mind, even if you're comfortable around canines, is that no matter how domesticated a dog might be, it's still an animal. As such, it can turn on you at any time without warning.

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter