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                            RULES & FORMAT


"SOC" is the acronym for Shabazz Open Championship which is the name of our tournament series. We have been involved in the fighting arts since 1975 and have used that experience to put the "SOC" rules and format together.  This is a tournament for the serious skilled adult Martial Arts fighter.  Meaning an affordable, safety conscious, fair and well run adult tournament for ages 18 through 63 in 4 weight and 2 senior divisions. Our tournaments will be strictly firm light contact continuous sparring  focusing on safety, proper well controlled techniques, respect and sportsmanship.  We put emphasis on not trying to hurt or knock anyone out. Skill and controlled execution will be emphasized not excessive force. We are using a modified 10 point must scoring system for scoring. This is single elimination with one sparring ring.  Meaning one lose and the competitor is eliminated  from competition.  Each division Champion will receive a monetary stipend and a championship belt. Others will receive medals and ribbons as described in the awards section. 



Adult continuous sparring event for four divisions ages 18 to 45 and two senior divisions with brown through black belt rank with a minimum of two years of creditable Martial Arts training in any style from a recognized school and qualified instructor.  All instructions and communication regarding this tournament will be in the English language.


Four male weight divisions for ages 18 to 45:

     1) HEAVY    WEIGHT:  180 pounds and up

     2) MIDDLE   WEIGHT:  149 to 179 pounds

     3) LIGHT      WEIGHT:  118 to 148 pounds

     4) FEATHER WEIGHT:  87 to 117 pounds

Two male senior weight divisions:

     1) SENIOR DIVISION ONE:  Ages 46 to 54 

     2) SENIOR DIVISION TWO: Ages 55 to 63

     (See article 6 for more information regarding the two senior divisions.) 

It's important for you to know and put your true body competition weight and height on the 

entry form.  You will also be weighed in at the tournament site and put into your proper                weight division that corresponds to your true weight.



A championship belt and $100 awarded to the champion in each division. For the winning  competitors below the champion, medals will be awarded for first place, second place & third place with 3 possible medals awarded in each division.  For an overall total of 6 possible belts and  18 possible medals to be awarded.  All other competitors will receive a  participation ribbon.


1. The finalist  winner  in each weight division will be crowned the champion for that particular        division and  will receive a championship belt. They will also receive a monetary stipend and        have photos taken with their championship belt which will be used for promotions. 

2. The new reigning Champion  will be expected to defend their title at upcoming tournaments. 

3. For as long as they remain Champion their entry fee and admission fee will always be free for

    "SOC" tournaments.  


1. Senior Division One:  Ages 46 to 54   ..............   Senior Division Two: Ages 55 to 63

2. Each senior match will only be for two minutes.

3. Senior competitors will be matched as close to the same weight as possible.

4. ART.5 will also apply to the two  senior divisions.  Each of the two senior divisions will also          have first, second and third place medals awarded.  All other senior competitors will receive a      participation ribbon.

5. Except for the above first, second and third special senior rules all sparring, equipment and         format rules will apply to the two senior divisions.





Preregistration mail-in fee must be received before deadline date. No at the door registration.  Refunds will only be given if tournament is cancelled for any reason.                                                         

We reserve the right to add or move competitors to any division.  Only a minimum of three (3) competitors are allowed for any given division.





1.  We are using a 10 point must system. The competitor who scores the most points for a                 particular round is given a score of 10 for that round on the judge score card and the                     competitor who scores less points for the same round is given a score of 9 on the same                 judge score card. If a round is judged to be even, it is scored 10-10.

2.  Each round will be two continuous minutes with the clock not being stopped until the time           has expired.  There will be a one minute break between each round. Each regular match will         be 2 rounds. Each  division championship match will be three rounds and no point limit. The         center referee will only stop the competitors to issue a foul, to disqualify, and when two               minutes expired. The winner of a match is the competitor with the most total points of all             rounds combined for that specific match when time is called.  A  point(s) can not be scored  

          on  a foul.


3.  If there is a tie when time is called a sudden victory overtime will determine the winner. The         first competitor to score a point wins.

4.  One point awarded for a legal punch to the body or head.  Punches will only be scored and             given a point if it is either immediately preceded or followed with a firm controlled connected       kick. If that is not done then the punch will be totally ignored by the judges and not scored.           Any firm connected kick can be scored alone on it's own merit. Two points awarded for a             legal kick technique to the body. Three points awarded for a legal kick technique to the head.

     Remember we are using a 10 plus must system as described in paragraph one above. The 

     way we are describing how to score points is strictly to give the 3 judges a clear scoring

    guideline.  But the 10 point must system as described in paragraph one must be strictly        

    followed to the letter.  

5.  SCORING AREAS:  A. Head Area:  Controlled foot and close fist contact  to the head is                                                      allowed. Not to the top, back of the head or under the chin. Hand                                                      techniques to the head are permitted. 

                                    B. Body Area:  Is  the front and side area covered by the chest protector                                              only. Points will be awarded for effective punches and kicks. 



     A. You win by having the most total points at the end of the match.     

     B.  Your opponent loose by having 3 total fouls in a single 2 minute round.  A foul can not be              carried over into another round. 

     C.  You have automatically won the match if you knock down your opponent with a firm 

           controlled legal body kick. Not a punch. This is called a "Technical Knock Down".                      B.  You have won the match if the center referee disqualifies your opponent because their                  uniform  or  equipment is not proper or in disrepair before the match starts. 

      C. You have won the match if the center referee stops the match  because you are                             completely dominating your opponent or if your opponent is not defending themselves or

           your opponent shows any  visible signs of being hurt or if your opponent has stop fighting

           back or clearly gives up.

      D.  You have won the match if your opponent has knocked you out. We consider this                            excessive force and can also result in the suspension of your opponent from being                        allowed to compete in 2 or more of our next tournaments.


A Technical Knock Down occurs when you knock down your opponent with a firm light contact

controlled body kick resulting in your opponent immediately falling down. Not a head kick or punch. The Technical Knock down is an automatic win for the competitor who delivers the legal light contact firm body kick.

The Technical Knock Down occurs when your opponents single or both knee's or any other body part above the knee's touches the mat/floor  immediately after you deliver a legal light contact firm body kick.


     A.  Grabbing or holding and pushing the opponent with the shoulders, body or hands.

     B.  Attacking back or top of the head or neck with the closed fist or open hand.

     C.  Any kicks, punches or contact with hands, legs and feet below the opponent's waist and              belt level.

     D.  Using any open hand technique (palm strike, knife hand, ridge hand and etc.)

     E.  Escaping contact by turning the back.

     F.  Any hand or kicking technique to any part of the opponent's back area from the top of                    their head to the heel of their feet.

     G.  Stepping out of bounds with one or both feet without being forcefully attacked or pushed              by their opponent.

     H.  Uttering undesirable remarks or unsportsmanlike conduct.

      I.  Falling to the floor to avoid fighting, continuing after being ordered by the referee to stop,             excessive stalling and uncontrolled techniques.

     J.  Head butts, hair pulls, bites, scratches, elbows, knees, sweeps, take downs, ground                      fighting, any stomps or attacks to any part of the body of an downed competitor.


All SOC sanctioned tournaments will use square rings for competition.  Standard ring size will be 20' x 20' but no less than 16' x 16' and no more than 22' x 22'.  Two parallel lines will be placed in the center of the ring (2) feet in length and six (6) feet apart as starting points. No shoes or street footwear of any kind allowed in the ring. Only competition foot protectors by competitors, bare feet and socks by referees and anyone else entering the ring for any reason. 



All competitors must wear complete (top and bottom) traditional or sport karate, Kung-Fu,  Taekwondo uniform or t-shirt with traditional Martial Arts pants in good state of repair.    T-shirts must be a solid color and doesn't pass the elbow. The appropriate color belt or sash must be worn in competition.  All sparring uniforms must have sleeves that reach at least to the middle of the biceps and long Martial Arts pants that is no shorter than midway between the knee and ankle.  No sweats, tank tops or shoes are allowed while sparring.

Anyone not wearing a proper uniform at the time of competition will be given a chance to change into a proper uniform, but will be given 2 minutes maximum to do so.  If competitor does not have the proper uniform he/she will be disqualified from the competition.


All sparring equipment must be in good condition and not taped, glued, damage or repaired in any way.  Also must be inspected and approved by the Center Referee before the start of every match.  Headgear, hand gloves, foot pads, mouth pieces, chest protectors, groin cups (for male competitors only) are 100% mandatory with no exceptions.


1.  Head Gear/Protector

     A.  The front, sides and back of the head must be covered by a soft padded surface.

     B.  All head gear/protector must have a face clear shield or cage.


2.  Mouth Piece

     A.  Must be one single piece.

     B.  Must properly fit the competitors mouth.


3.  Chest Protectors

     A.  Must be one single piece.

     B.  Must cover from top of shoulders to waist and side of the body of the competitor. 


4.  Hand Gloves

     A.  Must be 16 ounce martial arts or boxing gloves that fully cover the entire fist.  Meaning

          covers the fingers, wrist and any striking surface of the hand.

     B.  No open finger gloves such as mixed martial arts gloves, World Taekwondo Federation,                JKA open thumb gloves or any gloves resembling these designs will not be allowed.

     C.  If a competitor doesn't have their own 16 ounce gloves we will loan them a pair for this                particular tournament competition at no extra fee. Simply check on the entry form what                you need. Ten ounce boxing gloves is the only equipment we will provide at no charge

          to any competitor who requests it on their entry form. 

5.  Groin Cup

     A.  For male competitors only.


6.  Foot Pads

     A.  A soft padded surface must cover the instep, sides, toes, ankle and back of the heel of the            foot.

     B.  The bottom of the foot does not have to be padded.

     C.  No other style, type or description of foot gear/protector will be allowed.

Insufficiently padded gloves, foot, chest protectors and head gear will not be allowed. Equipment must be in its original manufactured state of condition and must be free of taping, tears or any other repairs that may cause injury. The tournament director/arbitrator ultimately determines the approval or denial of the equipment. Shin and forearm pads are highly recommended for additional safety for all competitors but not mandatory. Jewelry, glasses or other objects that may endanger a competitor may not be worn.  Medical ID tags may be worn.

Competitors who do not have the proper safety equipment will be automatically disqualified and will not be reimbursed or be allowed to spar in this particular tournament.  NO EXCEPTIONS!


1. Tournament Director 

    A.  Will also be the Arbitrator and certified Black belt and thoroughly versed on the rules and              order of the competition. He is also there to settle any and all disputes concerning the                  rules of the competition.


2. Center Referee / Judge

    A.  Prior to sparring competition the Center Referee / Judge must verify that all competitors               are  wearing all the mandatory sparring gear and uniform.  Center Referee / Judge then                 instructs both  competitors to stand on the starting line. Then says: 1)"Bow to me" .... 

         2) "Now bow to each other" ....  3) "Face each other assuming a fighting stance" .... 3) "At             the sound of the bell start fighting". Center referee now steps back to give the competitors           room to spar.     

    B.  The Center Referee / Judge must be a certified Black belt and thoroughly versed on the                  rules and order of this competition.  He/she promotes the safety of the competitors,                      enforce the rules and ensures fair play.  He/she starts and stops the match, makes foul                  decisions, communicates  clearly with the score and time keeper and announces the                    winner of each match. 

    C.  Match starts only with his/her command (not the command of the timekeeper). Their                     decisions regarding points, fouls, disqualifications and strictly enforcing the rules must be           swift and made without hesitation within 10 seconds of stopping the competitors.                    D.  *Automatically disqualifies a competitor who receives 3 fouls in the same round.

         *Stops the match when the timekeeper rings the bell to end the match due to time expired.           *Can stop the match at any moment if he/she finds it to be too one-sided and in the interest             of health and safety. In that case the dominant competitor will be the winner.

         *Can stop the match at any moment if he/she finds the competitors behaving in an                           unsportsmanlike manner. In such a case he can disqualify who is responsible one or                     both.    


3.  Outside Roving Judge

     A.  Should be a certified black belt. 

     B. He/she stays on the outside of the ring and has freedom of movement to closely observe               the two competitors inside of the ring.   


4.  Sitting Judge

     A. Should be a certified black belt.

     B. He/she is sitting at the table with the Score Keeper/Time Keeper. 

5.  Score Keeper

     A.  A certified Score keeper may be either a martial artist or non martial artist.

     B.  The Score Keeper will have have 2 sheets. A score sheet to keep the record of points,                   fouls, disqualifications for each competitor and match. And also a bracket elimination                   sheet to keep a record of competitors as they advance and are eliminated.    

     C.  It is their duty to correctly record the names and order of competition, as determined by              the Tournament Director.



     A.  A certified Time Keeper may be either a martial artist or non martial artist.

     B.  They must keep time of sparring matches by ringing the bell when signal by the center                   referee to start and automatically stopping the match by ringing the bell at the end of 2                 minutes. 

     C.  The Time Keeper must automatically ring the bell to stop the match when 2 minutes has               expired and when a one minute break between rounds has expired.   



We will have 3 judges (Center Referee/Judge, Outside Roving Judge & a Sitting Judge).  Each judge must independently consider the performance of the two competitors. During the match no judge should talk to the competitor, other judges or  anybody else with the exception of the tournament director.


During a round the judge will use the back of the scorecard to record the number of kicks and punches he sees, either by a number or by number of lines.  A judge will use his/her score sheet to mark the number of points given to each competitor.   





Anyone interested in working on our tournament staff will have to attend and pass a free  training session to be a certified "SOC" referee or time & scorekeeper.  "SOC" certified officials for each tournament will be given a stipend, free admission and two free guest tickets for working on the entire day of the tournament. 



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