Quebec Government Confirms Amateur Muay Thai / Kickboxing / MMA Illegal


(Image via the UG)

I have written many times that amateur combative sports not on the “programme of the International Olympic Committee” are illegal in Canada unless Provinces pass laws specifying otherwise pursuant to the powers given to them by s. 83 of the Criminal Code.

Despite this reality some Provinces have failed to enact appropriate laws and turn a blind eye to illegal combative sports.  Quebec and Ontario are perhaps the most noteworthy examples.  This leaves local promoters with a tough choice, they can let their competitors secure a stranglehold on the marketplace or risk criminal prosecution if they choose to participate in the sports as well.

One Quebec based promoter, perplexed by the apparent discrepancy has pressed the Government for an answer about whether any organizations have received proper legal authority to oversee amateur kickboxing and muay thai events in La belle Province.

In short the Government replied “No”!.

Here is the Ministry’s full reply (crudely translated via Google)

To date, the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the Province of Quebec has not designated any sport or permitted any combat sport games as permitted by section 83 of the Criminal Code. For the purposes of paragraph (a), I would point out that karate is a combat sport covered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) program for the Tokyo Games in 2020.

In Quebec, work is continuing on government intervention using the powers of the provinces under section 83 of the Criminal Code.

Cordial greetings,

Michel Fafard

Director of Safety Promotion Recreation and Sports Sector Ministry of Education and Higher Education

100 Laviolette Street, Suite 213 Trois-Rivières, Quebec G9A 5S9

Phone: 819-371-6033 or 1-800-567-7902, ext. 4434 or 4425

Fax: 819-371-6992 Email: Web site:

Like Ontario, Quebec recognizes various Provincial Sport Organizations including some involved in combative sports.  A PSO that is ‘recognized’ by the Government is basically in a position to receive public funding. Recognition does little more than this and does not meet the clear requirements for legalization set out in the Criminal Code.

It is also interesting that the reply suggests amateur Karate contests are ok.  Karate is on the IOC’s program for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on a provisional basis.  If Quebec’s interpretation is accurate then, as previously discussed, amateur Karate contests are legal Canada wide with the exception of Provinces that have passed laws specifying otherwise.



5 thoughts on “Quebec Government Confirms Amateur Muay Thai / Kickboxing / MMA Illegal

  1. Haven’t amateur karate contests been happening since the sixties all over the world already anyway ? There’s a difference between point or semi contact combat sports and full contact combat sports going for the knock out like boxing, kick -boxing , muaythai and mma! Why Boxing and kickboxing are legal at amateur level and muaythai and mma are not after all these years , that’s the problem ? Why pro mma is allowed and pro muaythai is not in QC that’s another one! Government has to step up and help to organize the local amateur federations by contacting the experts in their fields and put done order in each combat sport ! Fighters, coaches, referees, promoters and fans are already there ! It’s up to government now to step up and do its job! Otherwise it’s just treating muaythai and mma like prostitution , pushing and hiding it from the public it will only make it worse and more dangerous! Muaythai is on the way to the Olympics as well and mma is here to stay ! Let the experts run their events but up to the government now to do its job by supporting and making it fair to all! Not just to a few!

  2. Thanks for your comments Leo. Re: Karate you’re right that events have been hosted for decades but they did violate the plain language of the criminal code. Some regulators interpret the Code as even prohibiting point sparring tournaments with light contact.

    In terms of Provinces legalizing pro combat sports but failing to address amateur events I agree that is absurd. Worse yet is where Provinces simply turn a blind eye to amateur events.

    The Criminal Code makes it pretty simple – powers are delegated to Provinces. Provinces should exercise their powers. Whether they want the sports legal or not simply say so. Silence and indifference and inconsistency are poor options.

  3. This law past some years ago. I stopped holding my events as soon as it happened.The police are finally enforcing the law. The law turned-out bad for the amateur level.
    There are 2 solutions, a federation has to be created(mandate written by lawyer,create a council staff,get a good insurance coverage etc..) and submitted to the QC gov, whom then has to approve it.
    Second solution, is to decriminalize amateur MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Grappling(yes!grappling). Because this is a federal law, this option can take a long,long time.

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