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ENTERTAINMENT:                  Push Hands Tournament Rules             SHAOLIN CHI MANTIS

Tournament Rules Page

Push Hands Tournaments
         of Shaolin Chi Mantis

  full story...

Tournament Rules
  AAU and SCM Tournament Rules...

Tournament Ranking
  determine your current Belt Rank...

Email SCM Tournament Director
  for questions...

Tournament Rules Page

Note: Register at the seminars.
Special $30 price includes all seminars and tournament fees.

Further questions should be sent to the
SCM Tournament Director:

Push Hands Tournaments of Shaolin Chi Mantis

Push Hands STARTShaolin Chi Mantis has been a pioneer of Push Hands Tournaments since our first event in 1994. As a tournament promoter for the last decade, we have specialized in Chinese-only martial arts.

Our PUSH HANDS TOURNAMENTS were created because of their popularity in our TRADITIONAL CHINESE GONGFU TOURNAMENTS.

There are a minimum of 2 Push Hands Tournaments each year.The SUMMER PUSH HANDS TOURNAMENT establishes the top champions who must retain their standing at the annual PUSH HANDS CHAMPIONSHIP held in September each year.

Push Hands is Tai Chi sparring. It is much less violent than Karate sparring, or American boxing, or kick boxing. Push Hands VICTORY BillShaolin Chi Mantis Push Hands requires each contestant to keep both their feet on the ground. Utilizing pushing, avoiding, and all Tai Chi moves except punching and kicking, and also prohibiting Qin Na arm and joint locks, (no grabbing), the Tai Chi skills, coordination, and balance will determine the victor.

SCM has developed rules that have been utilized by many organizations including the Amateur Athletic Union.

As a special bonus: Shaolin Chi Mantis has developed a sport not found in any other tournaments, CRANE WARS. Created by Buddha Zhen for the Tai Chi Youth nonprofit organization, this sport is especially loved by adults. This CRANE WARS event is offered at no additional charge at all SCM Push Hands Tournaments.


Read the Belt Ranking Rules below FIRST --
so you know which events to Register .


Tournament Rules

In order to create and maintain a fair tournament, the following Tournament Rules are defined.

To determine your BELT RANK for a Shaolin Chi Mantis tournament
(despite whatever Rank may have been awarded you by your current or previous Kung Fu school),
please view our Tournament Ranking for Shaolin Chi Mantis & Tai Chi Youth Tournaments specifications below.

LOCATION: The location of each tournament and seminar can be verified on the shaolinCOM.com "Events" webpages or visiting BuddhaKungFu.com for tournament updates.

SCHEDULE: The schedule of each tournament is subject to the number of entrants and regulations of the tournament location. The following order of events is for the SCM & TCY Annual Chinese Gongfu & Taijiquan Tournaments.

Opening Ceremonies
Taijiquan Short Form Performance Competition
Taijiquan Applications
Choreographed Taijiquan Fighting Routines
Fast Taijiquan Forms
Taijiquan Weapons
Northern Styles Gongfu Form Performance Competition
Southern Styles Gongfu Form Performance
Northern Praying Mantis Form Performance
2-Man Open Hand Forms
Gongfu Applications
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Single Saber
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Single Straight Sword
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Staff
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Spear
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Flexible Weapon
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Double Weapons
Weapon Form Performance Competition - Other Weapons
Division Championship: Taijiquan Short Form Performance Competition*
Division Championship: Taijiquan Applications*
Division Championship: Choreographed Taijiquan Fighting Routines*
Division Championship: Fast Taijiquan Forms*
Division Championship: Taijiquan Weapons*
Division Championship: Northern Styles Gongfu Form Performances*
Division Championship: Southern Styles Gongfu Form Performances*
Division Championship: Northern Praying Mantis Form Performances*
Division Championship:2-Man Open Hand Forms*
Division Championship:Gongfu Applications*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Single Saber*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Single Straight Sword*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Staff*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Spear*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Flexible Weapon*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Double Weapons*
Division Championship:Weapon Form Performance Competition - Other Weapons*
Closing Ceremonies

*Division Championships are FREE and consist of the First Place winners competing for ONE CHAMPIONSHIP AWARD per Division. Please inform the Registration Booth if you will not be competing at the end of the day for this award so that the events can be properly planned and scheduled. Each Division Championship must include at least 2 competitors to be scheduled.

** Closing Ceremonies will begin whenever all tournament events have been completed.

DIVISIONS: All participants will be grouped by Belt Rank, Chinese Gongfu Style, and age. Events lacking sufficient numbers of competitors will be combined to create competitive events of at least 3 persons. Should the combination of events still yield only one competitor, the sole competitor must perform to receive their award.

AGE DETERMINATION: The athlete's age on the last July 1, shall determine the proper age division. (That is how the sport Karate tournaments decide your age.)

RANK DETERMINATION: The athlete's rank, despite actual rank certified by athlete's school, shall be determined by years of experience in Chinese Martial Arts. e.g. A student studies one year in Hung Gar and one year in Shaolin Gongfu = 2 years experience = Intermediate Level. Korean, Japanese and other martial arts do not apply, however, the athlete may petition the Tournament Director for a division rank upgrade. For more information on Belt Ranking and contacting the Tournament Director, see the "Tournament Ranking of Shaolin Chi Mantis & Tai Chi Youth" below.

UNQUALIFIED ENTRANTS: Preregistration is recommended to facilitate registration and entry into the appropriate competition events and categories. Some tournament events, such as the Push Hands competitions, REQUIRE APPROVAL of the Tournament Patriarch. The registration forms include spaces to explain your training or school affiliation to verify your Push Hands experience.

Unqualified entrants require training in the basics of Push Hands, tournament rules, and more experience in Push Hands competitions. For the safety of our competitors and to maintain a professional Push Hands Tournament, we can only allow Push Hands competitors who are PREPARED FOR TOURNAMENT COMPETITION.

If tournament spectators would like to compete in any of our Shaolin Chi Mantis tournaments, and were unable to attend any of our Shaolin Chi Mantis Push Hands Seminars, and do not belong to a Kung Fu school with Push Hands training -- a sign-up sheet may be provided and if enough Unqualified Entrants register, a separate Push Hands competition can be scheduled for a fee of $50 each. This "Unqualified Entrant" Push Hands competition will be scheduled based upon availability of space and time, and provide a little bit of instruction for all the contestants.

ENTRY DEADLINE: Preregistration is advised to enable better event planning. All applications and fees must be submitted before the start of Opening Ceremonies on the day of the event. Late entries will not be accepted. Spectator tickets may be purchased at any time until the event is completed.

AAU MEMBERSHIP: All athletes, coaches, and officials must be members of the AAU Amateur Athletic Union and be able to present their AAU membership card at the time of registration (check-in). This is a requirement of our insurance policy and the event location owner. AAU memberships may be purchased when registering on the day of the event and will be effective immediately. For more information and registration forms online visit the Southern Pacific AAU website.

AAU RULES: A PDF version of the AAU Chinese Martial Arts Tournament Rules may be obtained from the AAU. Shaolin Chi Mantis Rules, when different from AAU rules, will prevail.

WARNINGS: Second warning from Judges will result in loss of point. Third warning from Judges will result in disqualification.

ENTRY FEE: Payment prices may vary from event to event or year to year based upon current location and expenses. See the following webpages for current prices and discounts.

QUALIFICATION: All participants must be students of an actual Chinese Martial Art Style. Kempo, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo are not Chinese martial arts. Any tournament registration not including evidence of Chinese martial arts training will not be accepted. Unaccepted applicants will be provided a Spectator Pass. NO REFUNDS will be made for any reasons.

OFFICIALS: Advanced Level martial artists and Masters wishing to judge, referee or assist at any Shaolin Chi Mantis must complete a JUDGING SEMINAR.

AWARDS: Certificate Awards or trophies will be presented to the 1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place winners of each event. If only one competitor is competing, even after the combining of related events, the single competitor must still perform to attain the 1st Place Award.


UNIFORMS: Traditional Chinese martial arts uniforms with or without Mandarin collars are required. All uniforms should have cloth type "frog buttons." Japanese "Ghis", T-shirts, or uniforms with designs, lettering, or logos on the back, front, or pant legs will not be allowed.

Only three (3) patches will be allowed on any uniform: two (2) school emblems, and one (1) AAU logo.

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT: Shin guards, forearm guards, chest protection, groin protection, and certified safety glasses with straps may be used if provided by the competitor. Other protection may be allowed per approval of the Officials of the current event.

WEAPONS: All weapons must be approved by an SCM Official prior to the weapon event. Unsafe or disqualified weapons will result in the disqualification of the competitor prior to the event unless it is replaced with an acceptable weapon.

DISQUALIFICATION: The following items may not be worn during competition: headbands, jewelry, T-shirts, metal hair clips, or any other article deemed inappropriate or potentially hazardous by the SCM Officials. Fingernails must be cut short for Tournament Combat Divisions. Only sports safety glasses or other approved eyewear is allowed during any Tournament Combat Divisions.

Two verbal warnings from the Judges will be the only warnings for misconduct, or Push Hands rules violations. The third complaint from the Judges will result in an additional point for the opponent. The fourth complaint from the Judges will result in a warning of FORFEITING the current match if one more violation is noticed by the judges. After receiving one forfeiture, the competitor may still be allowed to compete if it is not their third loss of this event. If a second forfeiture is awarded, the competitor will not be allowed to compete further in this event or related events during this tournament. For example, a competitor disqualified in the Push Hands event will be disqualified from the Crane Wars events, but may still compete in the weapons competitions -- provided the disqualified student has been mannerly and respectful throughout the tournament.

Judge warnings may result from slapping, scratching, grabbing, joint locks, and excessive force. Since Push Hands is a Tai Chi competition event, some adherence, and application of Tai Chi principles should be apparent in the competitor's techniques and skills. Being "too stiff" or "too aggressive" can be prevented by attending our SCM Push Hands Seminars where each student is trained to be "tournament ready."

ARBITRATION: All Judges' decisions are final. No arbitration will take place. Complaints or suggestions can be submitted in writing to the SCM & TCY Tournament Committee so that future tournaments can be improved.

SUGGESTION: Attend the seminars and Judging Seminars prior to each tournament. This is a good opportunity to have your uniforms, weapons, and criteria approved BEFORE the tournament.

Tournament Ranking

In order to create and maintain a fair tournament,
the following BELT RANKINGS are defined
since many Kung Fu schools do not have a belt ranking system
or may have different belt ranking qualifications.


6 to 8
9 to 12
13 to 15
16 to 20
21 to 44
45 and older



to 4 months
Novices are not allowed to compete in Shaolin Chi Mantis and Tai Chi Youth tournaments since their inexperience will outweigh their Kung Fu abilities. Currently, the only exception to this can be in the Push Hands and Crane Wars events where competitors can be approved after attending a Push Hands Seminar of SCM and TCY.
BEGINNER 4 months
to 1 year
Beginners require an entire year to naturally employ the stances and movements of Kung Fu. Some Advanced Level Karate stylists trained by Shaolin Chi Mantis have been able to display Intermediate Level skills after 6 months of Kung Fu training. If you are a Beginner Level Kung Fu student with previous years of Karate experience, please email the SCM Tournament Director to compete in the Intermediate Levels.
to 3 years
Shaolin Chi Mantis has had students who were unable to graduate our Beginner program, yet, become Black Belts in Karate in less than one year. All students of more than one year of Kung Fu training MUST compete in the Intermediate Level. The true nature of Kung Fu is to develop the body AND mind of every student to higher levels of awareness and compassion.  An Advanced Level Kung Fu artist must demonstrate some mastery of Kung Fu movements including Staff, Single Saber, and Double Sabers. If you believe that you should compete as an Advanced Level Kung Fu artist with less than 3 years of Kung Fu training, please email the SCM Tournament Director to compete in the Advanced Levels.
ADVANCED 3 years
to 5 years
or more
if not a Shifu
Advanced Level students are also known as "Disciples." An Advanced student represents his Shifu in both skills and character. Unfortunately, only the most diligent of students are able to achieve this level of mastery in less than 5 years. Some students can attend classes every day for three years and still be Beginners. Tournaments are an opportunity for devoted students to shine with their dedication. Even if you have attained a Kung Fu Black Belt in less than 5 years, you will not be allowed to compete in the Master Level. (See requirements below.)
MASTER 5 years
or more
if a Shifu
Belt Ranking is a Japanese concept that has only recently been adopted by Chinese martial artists. Shaolin Chi Mantis has been a pioneer in developing and standardizing Belt Ranking for Chinese martial arts. Although levels of ability have always been understood and applied, the Master Level was only attained by very few Chinese martial artists who were considered "inheritors" of the Kung Fu system. To avoid embarrassing yourself / your school / or your Shifu, please request permission to compete at the Master Level. This is not intended to humiliate or insult anyone. Please inform us of your instructing, whether you are teaching out of your backyard or your Master's school. With respect to the traditional concepts of Kung Fu, only those who have been, or are currently, teaching Kung Fu will be ranked as Masters. For those Disciples who have been active in Kung Fu for more than 5 years but not pursued the responsibilities and demands of teaching Kung Fu--it is still an exceptional honor to be ranked as an Advanced Level martial artist. All unauthorized competitors with 5 or more years experience will be allowed to compete at the Advanced Level.

Further questions or Ranking Upgrades should be sent to the SCM Tournament Director:


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