Hi all,

The rules regarding ITF style sparring depends on the organisation and the tournament sparring rules.

Under my old ITF style organisations, AIMAA and GTI, we could compete in two different categories, depending on your grade.

9th - 3rd Kup Point Stop
4th - 1st Kup Light Continuous
Black Belts Light Continuous (though a lot heavier)

Both required the wearing of a groing guard, head guard, gum shield, gloves (closed finger), shin protection, foot protection (covering toes and heel).

However, in open tournaments, predominantly Kickboxing orientated/organised, there were four categories open to all grades.

Point Stop
Light Continuous
Semi Contact
Full Contact

The Point Stop category wore what I described above. The other categories required hand wraps and boxing gloves with a minimum weight of 12oz.

In my opinion you can't compare ITF to the Olympic style because there are too many variables.
Saying that, I feel ITF to be more in line with other contact MA's, ie, the use of hands to strike, rather than just hanging there.

As for safety equipment, I use the Bytomic stuff, here in the UK.

Take care,

Gaffer.