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International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC)
Industry Chinese Martial Arts promotion
Founded 1999

The International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC) is an organization dedicated to promoting Chinese martial arts tournaments worldwide.

ICMAC is based on the concept of promoting Kung Fu tournaments with the aim of improving the level of competition as well as the quality and the number of events without the influence of any political association or federation.

ICMAC is modeled after the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship which is hosted each year in Orlando, Florida. Over the years more than 30 different countries and 10,000 athletes have participated.

The Evolution of Kung Fu Tournaments[edit]

To better appreciate the scope of ICMAC it is best to consider a brief history of the evolution of Chinese martial arts styles and their involvement in the tournament scene.

Karate type tournaments developed in the late 1960s and flourished during the following two decades. Kung Fu stylists who wanted to participate in tournaments had no choice but to compete in the Open Karate Circuit.

Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) competitors were judged by Karate officials according to their view of what constituted a good form and sound technique. This created a system that was governed by subjective and not objective standards.

Typically, Kung Fu stylists competed along with their Karate counterparts. Larger tournaments often offered a soft-style category for advanced practitioners (Black Belts).

The label “Soft Style” is still widely used in the Open Karate Tournaments to refer to Chinese martial arts even though many Kung Fu systems employ hard power sufficient to match any Karate style.

It was not until the 1980s that a few visionaries pioneered tournament competition for Chinese martial arts practitioners. Jeff Bolt, Tai Yim, Johnny Lee, Anthony Goh, Huang Chien-Liang and Nick Scrima were among the first to promote Kung Fu tournaments in the USA.

Over the last 20 years the number of Kung Fu tournaments has increased considerably. Nevertheless, Karate type tournaments have grown more expeditiously to include events that boast 1500 to 2500 competitors. Most CMA events fall short of that mark; some events run only once and others are inconsistent.

Considering the multitude of Kung Fu schools spread across North America and the rest of the world, there is no reason not to be able to host Kung Fu tournaments that are on a par with some prestigious Karate events such as the US Open, the US Capital Classic, the Battle of Atlanta, and the Diamond Nationals. The only CMA event to approach this level consistently over the years has been the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship in Orlando, Florida.

ICMAC: Taking Kung Fu tournaments to a new level[edit]

World class venues, quality awards, objective officiating, high level competition, increased participation, live streaming of competition, and standardized rules are the goals that ICMAC is aiming for in order to elevate all aspects of Kung Fu tournaments.

Venues and tournament rankings:[edit]

ICMAC will assign every Kung Fu tournament that is part of its circuit a ranking: This ranking is based on several determining factors including the quality of the venue, the number of competition days, and the experience of the promoter, among others.

The selection of venues in most cases is the major factor for assigning a high rating. Ideally, the tournament venue should include in its property lodging, a ballroom or convention space for the competition, a number of restaurants and other key necessities that are required in hosting a large scale event.

The experience and organizational skills of the promoter are also important factors in determining a rating, as is the number of days allotted for the competition.

ICMAC tournament ratings[edit]

  • 5 Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments
  • 4 Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments
  • 3 Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments

The 5-Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments are the most prestigious and will award the most points to the athletes; these are often International Championships or qualifiers for World Titles.

The 4-Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments are regional events that typically are one- or two-day events. These tournaments provide an opportunity for athletes who place in the Top Ten to amass points that can be used to improve their national standing.

The 3-Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments are small local events that provide newcomers, both judges and athletes, with an opportunity to season their skills and gain experience. Athletes can still accumulate points to advance their national standing.

Judges training and rating[edit]

An ICMAC requirement is that every tournament in the circuit provide training clinics for its judges to maintain and improve officiating standards. Based on experience and performance, judges are ranked in the following categories:

  • A Rated Judges
  • B Rated Judges
  • C Rated Judges

Based on these rankings, judges will be assigned certain duties that they are required to fulfill at International Chinese Martial Arts Championship events.

ICMAC Kung Fu Competition and Styles[edit]

One of our goals is to provide a Kung Fu tournament circuit that offers a competition platform for all major Kung Fu styles. To fulfill this task, our Chinese Kung Fu tournaments offer a great number of divisions for various age groups and skill levels.

Although the number of divisions will differ for 5-Star, 4-Star, and 3-Star Rated Kung Fu tournaments, competitors from the disciplines listed here will find an event that is appropriate for them.

Among the major categories featured are: Traditional Northern Kung Fu styles, Traditional Southern Kung Fu styles, Contemporary Wushu, and Internal Chinese Martial Arts styles. Each of these categories includes numerous events so that the maximum number of Kung Fu/Wushu styles can be featured.

The division sheets for each Kung Fu championship will offer a detailed breakdown of the categories. We are providing here a general overview of the different styles and divisions available for competition.

Traditional Northern Kung Fu Styles[edit]

Long Fist Category[edit]

Cha Quan, Hua Quan, Hong Quan, Pao Quan, Tan Tui and other systems that contain long-range movements, jumping and kicking techniques from the Northern Shaolin school.

Other Northern Kung Fu Styles[edit]

Tong Bei, Fan Zi, Pi Gua, Chuo Jiao and similar systems that are from the Northern school but which have certain characteristics that distinguish them from the Long Fist styles.

Northern Open Kung Fu styles[edit]

Systems that incorporate acrobatic, tumbling and falling techniques—such as Monkey Kung Fu, Drunken Kung Fu, and Di Tang—are included in this category.

Depending on the championship, special divisions may be available for Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Eagle Claw Kung Fu, and Baji.

Traditional Southern Kung Fu Styles[edit]

Southern Long Hand styles[edit]

Hung Gar Kung Fu (Hong Jia), Lau Gar Kung Fu (Liu Jia), Choi Li Fut Kung Fu (Cai Li Fo), Jow Gar Kung Fu, and other similar systems that employ strong low stances, long-range strikes and strong bridging techniques fall into this category.*

  • Wherever possible, the Pinyin spelling for each style is provided.

Southern Short Hand styles[edit]

Systems that employ a close-in stance and close-in fighting techniques such as White Eyebrow, Dragon Style, Five Family Style, Wing Chun, Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu and other similar styles are included in this category.

Internal Competition Styles[edit]

Styles such as Taiji (Tai Chi), Xing Yi, Bagua, and Liuhe Bafa belong in the Internal styles category.

Taiji has evolved into several different schools and includes the following major styles: Chen Taiji, Yang Taiji, Wu Taiji, Hao Taiji and Sun Taiji.

Contemporary or Modern Wushu[edit]

Contemporary Long Fist Wushu, commonly known as Chang Quan, is mostly based on the traditional Cha Quan and Hua Quan styles along with elements from other Traditional Long Fist Kung Fu systems.

Nan Quan refers to Southern style contemporary Wushu routines that are also based on the Traditional Southern systems, such as the Hong, Liu Quan, Li Quan, Mo and other styles.

Animal imitation routines, Drunken and Di Tang (falling and tumbling styles) are also found in the Contemporary Wushu repertoire.

Weapon Routines[edit]

The numerous weapons divisions in both traditional Kung Fu and contemporary Wushu include long, short, flexible, and open weapons categories.

Long weapons: Staff and spear

Short weapons: Sword and saber

Flexible weapons: Three-sectional staff, rope dart, and chain whip

Open weapons: Any weapon not classified in the above categories

Reaction Skills Competitions[edit]

Reaction skills events involve two competitors who engage in a match. Each of the different reaction skills is governed by certain rules, as follows:

Tui Shou or Push Hands[edit]

Tui Shou is a distinctive reaction skill common to Tai Chi tournaments. It is offered in all of the Chinese Martial Arts Championship Worldwide Circuit competitions. We feature Fixed Step Push Hands, Restricted Step Push Hands and Moving Step Push Hands.

Continuous Sparring[edit]

Continuous light contact sparring permits flowing action; the match is not stopped every time someone scores a point. This allows for a flurry of techniques to be exchanged between opponents.

Chi Sao[edit]

Chi Sao incorporates sticking, redirecting and striking techniques. This is one of the key training aspects of Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Shuai Jiao[edit]

Commonly known as Chinese wrestling, this is a dynamic art that uses many throwing techniques.

San Shou[edit]

San Shou is unique to Chinese martial arts. It is an exciting full contact sport that features kicking, striking, and throwing techniques. All San Shou (Full Contact Fights) hosted my ICMAC will be sanctioned with ISKA.

Sword Sparring[edit]

This sparring event allows competitors to display the skills of Chinese swordsmanship.