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Greetings to All,

I would like to know if there are any competitions or circuits within the U.S. that hold tournaments that included empty-hand fighting? I know that the FMA is notorious for his stickfighting (from WEKAF to the Dog Brothers Gathering..etc) but I haven't seen too much as far as the empty hand fighting within the tournament circuits. 
Now granted, there are those who say that our art (the FMA) is NOT designed for tournament fighting or sparring, and granted that may be true. However, as a martial community we have been able to popularize our art by making it more accessible and more open to the public by putting it out there in the circuit and tournaments. There are some who would say that is may have not been the best move for the FMA, but thats another discussion all together.
In any case, I was wondering if anyone knew of or had heard of any tournaments that focus on or specialize on just doing empty handed fighting competitions? Thank you for all your inputs.


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What is your definition of empty-hand (EH) fighting?

If EH includes kicking then the answer is yes.

If EH is exclusive of all other facets of punching, kicking, throwing, etc., then no.

It seems that nowadays there are hardly any publicized tournaments on the east coast. It appears that all the good ones are on the west coast. Back in the early 80's there were PTK tournaments and in the last decade, Bakbakan tournaments. Now I can I do not know of any. C"est la vie.

Well, if I had to come up with a definition (in the most antiseptic sense) then it would be a conflict or combat-like situation where 2 individuals would challenge one another with no weapons (in a tournament style fight) and certain parameters are would be defined by a ruling party or judges to determine the winner.  Could kicking be included, then sure.  Again, if one can develop rules or parameters to where the participates can execute them safely, or at least somewhat, then sure.
How would a FMA empty hand tournament differ from any other empty hand tournament?
In reality, not that much at all.  I guess when one goes to see or participates in a full contact karate tournament or a kung fu (san shou) tournament or an mma tournament, in each of those you would expect to see certain elements that define or reflect those particular styles of martial arts tournaments. I mean, it would be kinda strange to see a guy using kung fu type movies in an karate tournament.  Not to say that it would be wrong or incorrect in any fashion, but I'm sure that there are some movements and strikes that one particular styles does that may not be allowed by the tournament rules or judges.
Walter, could you clarify your responses for me?

Sorry for the delayed response, life happened. LOL. Anyway, getting back to the whole clarification thing, I guess what I'm looking for is a place where one can do empty hand fighting tournament or circuit with a FMA base or influence.  I mean, they have karate tournaments, boxing matches, MMA tournaments, etc.  Just looking for an area where one can use the FMA in the same way. 

   With that being mentioned, I know that the U.S. Open Martial Arts circuit has some full contact sparring/fighting, and one particular division has something called 'continous sparring'.  From what the rules say (from what I gather) its similiar to sparring yet the refs don't break up the fights and let them continue for approximately 2 minutes I believe.


Last year the USFMAF offered this in conjection with Kuntaw International at the Anahiem Disney Tournament.  We used the Kuntaw rules. We had only a few show up, we all wished that more did want to try thier FMA empty hands. We also offered it at a local tournament in Banning. CA. We had like 40 competors, show of variety of styles, fight in the matches. It was really good. We are talking about offering it again.

Marc Lawrence

USFMAF President 2011

Mataw Guro

Punong Guro of SBFMA club




Do you have any video of the competition?
If the Tournament is a true FMA StickFighting event most likely you will not see any Empty Hand in the competition. However there are Open Martial Arts Tournaments that include various other types of compeitions besides StickFighting. example: In NorCal there are the AMAPA tournaments that actually show case FMA and have Karate Kumate (Point Fighting), Muey Thai, Brazialian JuJitsu, Countious Kumate, KickBoxing, Self-Defense Empty Hands as well as Weapons. Any FMA - Kali, Kuntao, Sikaran, Dumog practioner can participate in those competions.  A big National event is the Golden Gate Classic held in Fremont, Ca. every year that show cases FMA as a main event. I know the Long Beach Internationals just recently started incorporating the FMA in that prestigious event the past couple of years. Our UFMAC Organization are taking steps to include more and more of the other FMA arts such as the Doble Bostan, Espada y Daga, Self-Defense with Weapons, maybe down the road if we can find or develop certain rules - regulations we can implement Kuntao or Dumog events etc.


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