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THE LONDON COMPETITION FOR TRADITIONAL TAI CHI CHUAN
11th June 2023

  

GUIDELINES FOR COMPETITORS AND JUDGES IN FORMS COMPETITION (HAND, WEAPON AND GROUP FORM)

 

2023 Rules version 1. Please check for updates before attending the event.

 

The participants start with the face to the jury. It is the competitor’s own responsibility to attend when they are being called to perform. If the competitor is not present after the third call, they will be disqualified. Competitors will wear suitable sports clothing and may wear sports shoes or be barefooted. 

 

Jury and criteria

 

The jury consists of 3 judges and one timekeeper.

 

Each judge will deduct 1 point from a competitor's total in respect of each instance of performing cartwheels, splits or somersaults. The judges will disqualify competitors who perform an inappropriate form and will deduct points in accordance with the degree to which a form contains inappropriate movements. 

 

A point will also be deducted for stopping, hesitating and dropping a weapon.

 

After completing their form competitors will wait for the judges to announce the score before leaving the competition area.

 

Forms are judged on a points scale independent of age and experience.

 

Music may not be used except for Qigong and fan. Competitors performing these to music may need to provide their own music and music player with speakers.

 

Timing

 

The time-keeper will indicate to the competitor 10 seconds before he or she reaches the time limit. A 0.1 penalty is deducted if the time limit is exceeded. Competitiors should seek to finish as soon as possible at the end of the time allowed, and will be asked to stop if 30 seconds over. For all hand and weapons forms, the time limit is 4 minutes, except for the 42 and 54 hand forms and 108 fast form, which are up to 6 minutes.

 

Hand forms

 

Points will be awarded on a scale from one to ten, for the following criteria:

1. Correct Posture

2. Correct Stance

3. Distinguishing Yin and Yang

4. Coordination of the movement

5. Smooth transition from one technique to another

6. Intent and focus

7. Balanced turning and stepping

8. Relaxation and softness

9. Aesthetic appearance

10. Martial Spirit

 

Weapon forms

 

Points will be awarded on a scale from one to ten, for the following criteria:

1. Correct posture 

2. Correct stance 

3. Distinguishing Yin and Yang 

4. Intent and focus 

5. Harmony of body and weapon 

6. Correct use of Jin 

7. Balance and agility 

8. Control of weapon

9. Aesthetic appearance 

10. Martial spirit

 

Group forms

 

A group competition can be a 2 person performance, or consist of 3 to 6 people. 

 

A duo form can be Hand form or San Shou; a succession of traditional pushing hands exercises (fixed step and / or moving), or weapons or other traditional exercises for two persons within the practised internal martial art.

 

A two persons weapon set can be two participants performing the weapon form simultaneously or it can be a prearranged fight between two participants with weapons or other traditional sets for two persons with weapons within the practised internal martial art.

 

Entrants may not participate in multiple groups in the same category. San Shou shall be entered in their own category.

 

The group performance could be Hand form, Weapon form, pushing hands, fighting aspects or all of them in which the quality of the martial art and the performance is judged.

 

Points will be awarded on a scale from one to ten, for the following criteria:

1. Correct Posture / Stance

2. Distinguishing Yin and Yang

3. Coordination between the group members

4. Harmony between the group members

5. Smooth transition from one technique to another

6. Intent and focus

7. Balanced turning and stepping

8. Relaxation and softness

9. Aesthetic appearance

10. Martial Spirit

 

Hand or weapon application demonstrations can be performed by 3 to 6 people. They are a more free-form performance than a San Shou. Example formats are demonstration of a form, followed by realistic application with power generation; defence against multiple opponents, or demonstration of techniques from pushing hands. An example from other sports is the bunkai section that follows a group karate kata performance. Application demonstration performances have a 4 minute time limit. There is no penalty for a shorter choreography, such as 2 minutes or less.

 

Points will be awarded on a scale from one to ten, following the same criteria as awarded for individual form demonstrations, where ‘aesthetic appearance’ is widened to encompass the whole choreography.

Appeals 

 

If competitors wish to appeal a decision they must do so immediately after the event and pay a forfeit of £20 to the Appeals Committee, which will be repaid if the appeal is found to have merit, If this is not the case the sum will go to the Appeals Committee. 

 

Footnote

 

The tournament organisers are not liable for material or immaterial damages during or resulting from the tournament.

PUSHING HANDS

 

Junior entries

 

Junior entries apply to children aged 6-16. Boys and girls may be mixed. Disclaimers must be signed on their behalf.

 

Junior entries must be approved by a parent/guardian and by the competitor's instructor, to confirm that he/she is suitably trained.

 

Junior entrants must be accompanied by an adult (whether parent, trainer or teacher, someone is responsible for them).

 

The match 

 

In each match there shall be two participants. A referee leads the match. The judging team consists of two foot judges, a score keeper and a time keeper. 

 

Participants will compete in bare feet, unless both agree to wear suitable shoes, at the referee’s discretion.

 

Finger- and toe nails shall be short.  Competitors are required to remove any jewellery such as rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

 

The duration of each match is 2 times 1 minute of unbroken playing time. Where necessary the referee may instruct the timekeeper to stop the clock by signalling Time Out. Time will also be stopped in cases of significant delay re-starting.

 

Junior matches are 2 times 30 seconds of unbroken playing time.

 

The timekeeper will announce half time.  

 

The timekeeper will indicate the end of the match after which the referee will separate the participants and stand between them, while awaiting the final score. As soon as the winner is announced the referee will raise the hand of the winner, after which the participants will salute, and then leave the mats. 

 

Coaching is not permitted. Positive encouragement of the athletes are permitted. Either coaching or bad sportsmanship will result in those involved being ejected from the side-lines.

 

Permitted techniques

 

Peng, Lu, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Kao & Zhou (forearm only not point of elbow).

 

No points are awarded if the opponent is brought off balance with other techniques.

 

Offences and disqualification 

 

If a participant breaks a rule, the referee has the right to stop the match and award two points to the opponent. 

 

In case of a serious offence the referee may disqualify the participant. Participants will be disqualified after two serious infringements of any type. 

 

In the case of minor offences, wrong starting position, etc., the referee will warn the participant of the rule following the first and second offence.  One point will be deducted after the third offence.  The referee will continue to deduct one point  following the fourth and any subsequent offences of the same type.

 

If a participant gives up they will automatically be disqualified. 

 

If a participant is hurt in such a way that in the opinion of the referee they cannot continue, their opponent will be named winner, provided the rules have been observed. If this is not the case the injured opponent will be named the winner. The referee has the final decision.

 

Offences 

 

In all pushing hands events, it is not permitted to:

 

  • Attack the crotch, or hit the head, neck or throat. 

  • Attack with the elbow, knee or stretched fingers (knife hand). 

  • Punch, kick, bite, spit, pull hair or clothing.

  • Apply a sustained lock to a joint for any period of time or with the use of force or in any  way except as transition through a recognised technique  

  • Precede a push with a blow or thump. 

  • Grasp or pick up the legs. 

  • Attack the joints.

  • Kick

  • Use over head or back throws.

  • Attack after the referee has stopped the match.

  • Offer dissent with or without rough language.

  • Purposely press on the breasts (ladies).

 

FIXED FEET PUSHING HANDS 

 

The starting position 

 

The match will take place on mats marked by a centre line. 

 

Initially, both competitors stand opposite one another with the left foot forward on the line,  the left arm in the Peng position at chest height and the right hand on the opponent’s left elbow with fingers pointing up. The hips and shoulders of the competitors face one another (square).

 

The front foot of each competitor shall be half-way across the centre line, with a foot-width distance between the front foot of each competitor.

 

The referee will start the first minute of the match once they have confirmed the correct posture of the competitors. The second minute of the match will restart with the right arm and right  foot forward.

 

Scoring

 

One point will be awarded if a contestant raises one foot from the floor, or steps off balance in any direction with one foot, or slides either foot along the floor, or raises the heel of either foot from the floor. The sole of either foot may be raised, provided that the heels are still in contact with the floor.  Minor heel movements are discounted, but any movement of the heel that results in foot flexion is penalised.

 

Two points will be awarded if a contestant steps off balance in any direction with both feet simultaneously or in rapid succession. 

 

Four points will be awarded if any part of the body other than the feet touches the ground. 

 

If both participants lose their balance, then no points will be awarded. However if one participant loses balance and purposely pulls his opponent by the clothes or body, the opponent will be awarded an additional point.

 

In case of a draw, the match will continue until a point is scored. The first to score a point will be named the winner. 

 

Additional Offences

 

In Fixed Feet, it is also not permitted to:

    

  • Push on an opponent’s back. 

  • Attack or sweep the feet/legs. 

  • Put an arm or arms around or hands on opponent’s back. 

  • Use throws

  • Forceful grabbing

MOVING STEP PUSHING HANDS

The starting position

 

The match will take place within a square area of 4 x 4 metres. 

 

The two participants stand at the edge of the area, opposite each other. On the referee's signal they salute, then walk towards the centre of the area and take the Peng position, with left leg and arm forward, the back of their left hands touching. On the referee’s signal they begin circling anti-clockwise, in the middle of the area, until the referee gives the signal to start the match.

 

When the match restarts after half-time, it will be with right arm and leg forward, circling clockwise.

 

Scoring

 

One point will be awarded when a participant steps on the line or outside the line with any part of one foot. 

 

Two points will be awarded when a participant steps on the line or outside the line with any part of both feet.

 

Four points will be awarded if any part of the body other than the feet touches the ground. 

 

If both participants lose their balance, then no points will be awarded. However if one participant loses balance and purposely pulls his opponent by the clothes, the opponent will be awarded an additional point.

 

In case of a draw at the end of two minutes,, the match will continue until a point is scored. The first to score a point will be named the winner. 

 

Additional permitted techniques

 

Sweeping and safe throws are allowed whether the acting leg is on or off the ground while the throw is committed.

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