I guess no matter how I frame this new karate league entitled the, “World Combat League” (WCL) my bias is going to be apparent. So off with the perverbal gloves and here goes. I found some of this type of fighting on VS TV the other day and I had a hard time figuring out what was going on. At first I thought I had found some type of wrestling or such because the two participants were just meeting in the middle of the stage and going at it. The strikes and kicks seemed real enough but there was not anything thrown below the belt. There did not seem to be much tactics other than just slugging!
I looked this up on google and found these were team competitions that were scored on how many kicks and punches landed in a round (rules). You could not clinch, hold, or do any take downs. I did not see any rules against leg kicks, groin shots but I assume those are not legal (groin shots are not normally legal in MMA). Here is a quick clip Chuck Norris’s World Combat League.
This is billed as full-throttle fighting. Looking at this clip I found it interesting but I also knew the fighters could not do half of what they are capable of, such as using fighting tactics! Most of these fighters looked like they could fight but just meeting in the middle and going for broke, I would argue, does not showcase their (the fighter's) talents. It is hard to figure out if a fighter that won a match - would do well in a more traditional Mui-Thai or Kick Boxing match.
I do not watch traditional boxing matches because the fighters are kept from using most of their tools. I have the same critique of this World Combat League, the fighters cannot fight anyway they see fit (plan their game) and then fight their game plan. Brawlers (in the karate sense) would do better even if they would not win in a normal full contact match. I think I will skip these fights on VS TV.
By the way, I do not want to (or mean to) slight boxers by my comparison. I have the highest respect for pugilism as a sport and fighting method. The only way (in my view) boxing compares to the World Combat League is from the reduced striking areas in the competition standpoint. When I was learning full contact karate in the 80's, boxing was a big part of that training.
We have plenty of exciting fighting leagues out there such as UFC, Pride, WEC, IFL and such that I will not be lacking MMA entertainment. I know there are Mui Thai and other full contact events that are sanctioned by other governing agencies that are also realistic and fun to watch. The next time I happen on the WFL matches on TV, I will vote with my channel changer!