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About the Circuit

ICMAC Mission Statement

Our mission is to transcend political boundaries and advance Chinese Martial Arts through a network of championships scheduled for a number of major cities in North America and in several countries around the world. "Friendship through Martial Arts®" will be our guiding motto.

Our goal is to elevate the standards of competition, from the selection of venues to the smallest details of the daily competition.

We want to work at improving judging standards by implementing guidelines that promote objective and not subjective judging. Every tournament will offer judges' training courses, and special seminars to provide additional training.

We are promoting a North America Rating System (NARS) that awards points based on placement in the competition. North America Champions will be recognized at the closing of the season.

The ICMAC World Championship will be held at the end of the Competition Season at different locations.

We encourage all Chinese Martial Arts enthusiasts to join us in these championships. We look forward to your participation and appreciate your support.

Nick Scrima
ICMAC President

The Evolution of Kung Fu Tournaments

To better understand the full scope of the ICMAC it is worthwhile to briefly look at the evolution of Kung Fu tournaments.

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.

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 prestigious Karate events such as the U.S. Open, the U.S. 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.

The ICMAC: Taking Kung Fu tournaments to a new level

World class venues, quality awards, objective officiating, high level competition, increased participation, live streaming of competition, and standardized rules are the ICMAC's goals for elevating all aspects of Kung Fu tournaments.

Venues and tournament rankings

ICMAC assigns 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 comfortable 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.

The ICMAC tournament ratings are as follows:

Don't forget to visit the About the Circuit page for detailed information on Diamond, 5 Star Rated, 4 Star Rated, and 3 Star Rated tournaments and the competition requirements needed to qualify for North America Titles.

  • Diamond Rated Tournaments Will award 200 Points
  • 5 Star Rated Tournaments Will award 100 Points
  • 4 Star Rated Tournaments Will Award 75 Points
  • 3 Star Rated Tournaments WIl Award 50 Points

Note: The Diamond Rating is new and will go into effect in 2014 for the Orlando ICMAC tournament and will award 200 points. The Orlando event is currently the only one with the Diamond Rating.

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

The 4 Star Rated tournaments are regional events that typically are one- or two-day events. These tournaments provide an opportunity for athletes who place in the Top 10 to amass points that can be used to improve their national standing.

The 3 Star Rated 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.

ICMAC North America Circuit
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International Circuit
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