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Self Defense Techniques Division:

Self Defense techniques is a two-person event. This event is very similar to the way most martial arts schools practice their self-defense techniques. It’s when two participants compete against other teams by demonstrating five simulated attack techniques against each other.

Featured Event at all Tournaments


Scoring Officials/criteria for scoring:

The techniques do not have to be but can be traditional. You are

free to make up your own techniques that showcase your art or

show the participant's personal expression.

1. Three judges will score each technique.

2. There will be between 3 and 5 teams competing at one time.

3. 5 points will be the highest score a technique can receive, 1 being the lowest.

4. Each technique must have at least 6, but no more than 12 movements.

5. Each technique will be judged on how the technique flows together and;

  • Power

  • Speed                                                            

  • Accuracy

  • Form

  • Degree of technical difficulty

6. Each technique will be scored individually then combined with your teammate's score for a total team score until all                   required techniques are done.

7. The team will demonstrate one self-defense technique at a time. Both teammates must demonstrate attacks and counter       techniques. Teammates must demonstrate different techniques. One teammate cannot demonstrate the same technique       as his/her other teammate.

8. If a teammate makes a mistake demonstrating his/her technique where they cannot recover or continue, they will receive         the lowest score allowed for that technique.

In addition to using all striking techniques you are allowed to throw, sweep, take-down, climb on or wrist-lock your teammate (All techniques must be done with control). Under no circumstances can a teammate slam or use an uncontrolled throw. All throws and take-down techniques must be done with control, assisting their teammate to the mat. Striking your teammate with any part of your body or an uncontrolled throw may result in team penalty points or a team disqualification should an injury occur. 


Techniques to Demonstrate:                                               

1. Countering a punch (any punch of your choice)       

2. Countering a kick (any kick of your choice)                               

3. Rear bear hug (arms pinned)

4. Two-handed front push

5. Headlock escape

6. Front tackle

7. Disarming a person with a stick

8. Disarming a person with a knife

9. Disarming a person with a gun

The order of the belt colors may vary with the style.

White and yellow belts cannot compete in this event,

your rank must be at least 3rd belt level. Black belts no

matter the degree will compete together.  

  • Teams must be the same belt level in order to compete.

  • Techniques must reflect the team's belt level.

  • Male and females may compete together as a team.

All props will be provided at the tournament (plastic or rubber knives and guns), or you may bring your own for creativity (all props must be plastic or rubber).  The length of the stick will be 2 feet. Participants must control their props at all times. Disarming techniques that lead to props being knocked out of the competition area will lead to point deductions.  If this action continues it will lead to disqualification.

The use of Gymnastic Movements: It is important to keep in mind when judging a technique, that we are judging technical skills as they relate to the value of martial arts. Using gymnastic movements may or may not have an inherent value to the technique. It is the judge’s decision as to what value the gymnastic movements are to the technique.


In this division, you have the option to wear t-shirts or sweatshirts. The t-shirts or sweatshirts must have your school’s logo or be plain, this also applies to shirts that will be worn underneath the uniform. The removal of the uniform top is allowed for artistic expression or the safety of the competitor and spectators.

  • The wearing of unauthorized apparel is forbidden.

  • The use of bandages, padding and supports due to injury must be approved by the Referee.

  • The maximum length of the jacket sleeves must be no longer than the bend of the wrist and no shorter than halfway down the forearm. Jacket sleeves should not be rolled up, jacket ties must be tied. 

  • The pants must be long enough to cover at least two-thirds of the shin and must not reach below the anklebone. pants legs should not be rolled up.

  • The AMA Tournament Official may authorize the display of special labels or trademarks of an approved sponsor.

All AMA’s competition divisions shall be governed by the above rules and regulations. All competitions will be supervised by trained AMA tournament officials. The rules listed above must be respected, applied and adhered to. The Competitors, Instructors or any other agents must follow all rules and regulations pertaining to their conduct at the tournament or event. Failure to do so will result in immediate expulsion from the event and all awards forfeited.

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