Proposed KICK: Remove Shoot Takedowns

I think there was a broad consensus that Skrivers took advantage of the KC rule set, (if not breaking the rules a few times) by shooting doubles and singles during his match against Varga, turning it into a wrestling match.

The rule set should be more clear to prevent this from happening as KC is a striking based league.

Proposed Rule Change: A referee must stop an attempted take down if your hands touch any part of your opponents legs below the belt to complete the take down. Any take down that uses your arms or hands against your opponents legs will not count. The only time you can execute a take down by holding the leg will be by catching a kick, and you may only grab and hold the kicking leg to execute the sweep or take down.

Should Double and Single leg takedowns be more strictly enforced?

  • Yes: Enforce no grabbing of the legs
  • No: Ruleset is fine as is

0 voters


love to see the forum develop. excited to hear what everyone thinks this week.


This rule change will make the clinch fighting similar to judo’s competition ruleset, since from 2010 the International Judo Federation has forbidden any attacks to the leg or trousers by grabbing them with the arm or the hands during standing clinch (tachi-waza).
That is a good alternative from shoot takedowns.


Hi doubledeckerdex,

Appreciate you taking your involvement to the next level by using the gov forum!

Have to strongly disagree with your proposal, however. Whereas you’ve asked for the rules to be “more clear,” I think what you’re actually suggesting is a rules CHANGE.

In KC, we’ve seen many fighters attempt to utilize takedowns to thwart a dangerous striking opponent. Some have been effective at stumping the striker (Yanchuk vs. Gustavo comes to mind), and many have not (De Castaneda vs Ross Levine). Ultimately, the striker must be good enough at takedown defense or tough enough to stand up after some ground and pound to win their fight.

As someone whose watched every single KC fight, I saw no egregious “taking advantage of” or “breaking” of the rules in the Skrivers/Varga fight that would have resulted in Skrivers losing a point. There was nothing unusual or even unexpected about his strategy. Smaller guy with MMA experience vs longer guy who is an expert kickboxer. It’s smart tactics.

If Skrivers did in fact break any rules, Varga’s team can appeal to the athletic commission to enforce those rules. I doubt this will occur or be fruitful if it did.

A fighter must learn solid takedown defense to fight at the top echelon of the sport, and that was always going to be one of Varga’s biggest challenges coming from a more pure striking background.

Further, Karate Combat MUST maintain its ruleset in such a way as to remain a completely UNIQUE sport. This is for commercial reasons, entertainment reasons, and athletic reasons. Takedowns are already highly restricted (insofar as how many ways you can do them, and which ones can result in ground and pound – I.E. if both knees land on the ground after your takedown, you cannot strike in that position). To restrict them more, would pull Karate Combat away from itself and draw it ever closer to Thai Boxing/Kickboxing/Muay Thai.

Varga has already conquered his previous sport. Making his new combat sport more like his old one isn’t the right path forward.

To conquer Karate Combat, he should gain or further develop these new and valuable skills that match the (necessarily) unique KC ruleset.

Very best!


Dane, I definitely hear you! Especially about being able to defend the takedown and also withstand ground and pound. My initial thought about your reply is this.

I think Skrivers did beautifully to execute the takedowns, well within the rule set multiple times. However, since there is only five seconds of ground and pound, with no grappling, the point of the take down in karate combat should be to inflict damage, NOT gain an advantageous position like you would in mma or grappling. Out of all the instances Varga got taken down, he was able to nullify the attacks by wrapping and clinching his opponent. Basically making the takedown only a take down with no further damage. Just a question about what’s more important. That Skrivers could take Varga down multiple times and not really inflict damage (because of the limited time) or that Varga was able to rock Skrivers in the fourth round when he didn’t get taken down?


I voted no to this poll because I don’t think the ruleset needs to be changed… but I think there’s a point to be made still.

When I was weighing who won this fight I gave it to Varga, on the basis that the Karate Combat judges wouldn’t count takedowns as highly as UFC does for example. I agree Skrivers didn’t do a lot of damage after taking Varga down so when I look at overall damage done, I think it leaned in Varga’s favor.

What I think we should discuss is the weight of scoring a takedown by the judges.


This was my thought process as stated in my above reply. However. I feel like also fighters should not be penalized for executing a beautiful takedowns. For example. If a fighter catches a kick and executes a dominate sweep, but chooses not to engage I think that should be scored highly. However, in the Skrivers Varga fight, Skrivers followed Varga to the ground which Varga then nullified. Skrivers wanted the ground and pound but was unable to accomplish it. Where as if I were to sweep someone and choose to let them up, should I not receive a score?

This then begs the question which take downs are deemed higher scoring. Judo throws and sweeps are higher scoring? If I execute a sweep and choose not to follow up, is that scored lower than a sweep that I do follow up? If I execute a sweep and follow up but then get tied up in clinch, is the take down scored less? There’s a lot of variables that come into play when changing how takedowns are scored, not to account for individual judging discretion. That’s why I thought moving forward the best course of action would be removing grabbing the legs. Because it still allows dominant throws and sweep, and does not penalize fighters for not following up.

I watched the first Kumite match and there was a throw where the one doing the throw took more of the damage. It’s an insane kick as he’s falling… so I always resort to damage being the deciding factor. I would score takedowns based on the follow up or lack there of, but overall aggression and damage should be the highest point scoring aspects in my opinion.


I’m 100 % OK with Fubar.

Skrivers admitted in the post fight interview that Vargas is probably the better kickboxer - “why should I try my luck?”
Skrivers went on to justify his takedowns by stating that Karate Combat is more like a streetfight rather than a kickboxing match.
Both Varga and Skrivers did not show their usual talent because both were probably more worried about losing than putting on a good show.
The hype and expectations of this event in general, probably caused alot of stress for some of the featured fighters, so they disappoint and perform in a tentative manner!
The only thing which was not showcased in the Varga- Scriver fight was Karate!
The problem with making more restrictions is that it might stifle a fight even more!
Notwithstanding , the referee should have admonished Skivers to strike or get a point deducted on the scorecards.


Dear All,

It is great to see a lively discussion about this fight, as it was very close after the third round but we were fortunate enough to get an extra deciding round.

Though I appreciate the comments and the suggestions, the Karate Combat ruleset is based on the principles of Karate, which are effective striking, effective takedowns. The KC rules were designed to give equal chance to all karate techniques to win a fight. If the rules are changed so that the takedowns are more controlled or the strikes/kicks are more regulated then we would be shifting the league towards either a more wrestling style or a more kickboxing style losing the essence of karate.
For someone to be successful in Karate Combat they have to master all karate techniques and all defenses against karate techniques.

When I do the judges, the referees and the fighters briefing I always emphasize this aspect of Karate Combat to the officiating team and to the athletes, so that everyone is on the same page and we can make sure that the scoring is done according to the specific rules of this unique league.

This fight was scored split after the third round and the judges scored split after the extra round as well. This shows that the fight was evenly balanced in a way that each fighter showed a different skill (takedowns for Skivers and the striking for Varga), but without being able to fully overtake the opponent.

Thanks to you all for being so invested in Karate Combat, keep it up! It’s always good to re-evaulate once every now and then, but for now I personally believe that the rules give enough freedom to the fighters to explore their karate skills and adapt to each others fighting styles and backgrounds.


i’m personally less in the camp of preserving the principles of karate, and closer to the camp of making the most entertaining fights on the planet.

i do agree skrivers won (and it did look to me he won) in a boring way. that always concerns me a bit, but on the flip side we’ve recently seen amazing fights like aghayev vs daniels: KC37: Rafael Aghayev vs Raymond Daniels - YouTube rafael constantly went for takedowns and won in a dramatic way.

it doesnt look like we have broad consensus on this one yet, and there’s clearly value in keeping the rules relatively stable. but i look forward to hearing from more folks like @adamskovacs and @mac-tyson !

There were no single or double leg takedowns used in that match from what I can tell. The single leg takedowns weren’t shot on they were only executed after a caught kick. There was a time where Skrivers shot for a single leg but Varga defended it. That could have been from old habits. If he would have been successful the ref should stand the fighters up in that case.

All the Takedowns from I could tell were perfectly legal and I think by implementing this proposal we would have got rid of takedowns such as ankle picks that fighters like Aghayev have used to great affect.

I think what need to be more clear is the fact that in the judging criteria Takedowns don’t score well unless you are landing effective ground and pound after it. Either way though this was an effective gameplan by Skrivers but still a close fight. Even after the Sudden Victory Round, Skrivers won by Split Decision. Meaning one Judge still saw Varga as the winner of the fight.


It’s awesome to see so much participation in this forum, and we absolutely encourage community members to participate as much as possible! From an Editor’s perspective, this proposal raises two key issues. First, while the technical requirement of 50% support in a Feedback Poll for this proposal is currently satisfied, until Snapshot and voting delegation are set up, the Editors cannot move polls to a vote unless the KC community shows overwhelming support for an initiative. With only 19 “for” votes currently, this proposal does not satisfy this threshold. Second, since changes to the Karate Combat ruleset require approval by the league’s rules committee, proposed KICKs involving league rule changes should only be made to address persistent challenges that arise over time - not as reactions to single events. To satisfy the minimum principles to qualify for a Snapshot vote, the proposed rule change must include sufficient data to support the need for the change.


my only thought is that i don’t think they should ban the knee tap. particularly because it is so karate and it is so effective with the overhand/ridgehand. i also think that you will still see shooting, it’s called a high dive in greco roman wrestling and i don’t think there is much to be done about it. If the rule was something like only one hand can touch the leg, i think the problem would be solved. we should ask gsp what he thinks :wink:

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I think the current rule set is a good one in this instance. Once we begin continually “fiddling” with what has worked so well for KC so far–we can wind up like other competitions that have ruined their success by becoming something that was never intended.

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What other promotions “have ruined their reputations by becoming something that was never intended”? This is an honest enquiry because I honestly cannot think of whom you are talking about. In fact flexibility and innovation can help a promotion progress. Look at One FC, they started out as an MMA only promotion and then in 2018 decided to bring in Muay Thai, Kickboxing Boxing and now they also have Submission wrestling and mixed rules contests. Boxing gloves, MMA gloves or no gloves are sometimes used, as well as using cages or rings. Kun Khmer which is pretty much the Cambodian version of Muay Thai have contests where there is only one round of 15 minutes, which changes the tactic of the whole contest. I have also noticed in the Kumite how strict the weight regulations harm the fighters, a problem which could be solved by simply making a catch weight contest. Trying new things even minor should be regarded as “tweaking” instead of “fiddling”. KC has already done this by allowing knees and changing the glove format and allowing ground and pound. These innovations are improvements !