In August, 2019 the BC Government announced plans to legalize pro kickboxing in the Province. To do the Minister’s Athletic Commissioner Regulation required amendment. Today the office of the BC Athletic Commissioner announced that Professional Kickboxing is now legal in the Province as the relevant regulatory amendments were made.
Specifically Ministerial Order M072 was passed on March 17, 2020 which made the following amendments:
1 Section 1 of the Minister’s Athletic Commissioner Regulation, B.C. Reg. 171/2013, is
amended by adding the following definition:
“kickboxing” means a type of mixed martial arts that predominately involves
kicking and striking; .
2 Section 16 (1) (a) (i) is amended by striking out “or MMA event and” and substituting
“or MMA event, and if it is an MMA event whether it is a kickboxing event, and”.
3 Section 24 is amended
(a) by repealing subsection (1) and substituting the following:
(1) Subject to the Act and the regulations,
(a) a mixed martial arts event, other than a kickboxing event, must be carried
out in accordance with the Association of Boxing Commissions and
Combative Sports Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, as amended from
time to time, and
(b) a kickboxing event must be carried out in accordance with the Association
of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports Unified Rules of Professional
Kickboxing, as amended from time to time. , and
(b) in subsection (2) by striking out “in the Mixed Martial Arts Uniform Rules of
Conduct to” and substituting “in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts or the
Unified Rules of Professional Kickboxing to”.
4 Section 29 (1) (b) is repealed and the following substituted:
(b) in the case of a boxing event, tape and gauze as required under the rules
referred to in section 23 [rules for boxing events];
(b.1) in the case of a mixed martial arts event that is not a kickboxing event, tape
and gauze as required under the rules referred to in section 24 (1) (b) [rules
for MMA event];
(b.2) in the case of a kickboxing event, tape and gauze;
I have confirmed with BC’s Athletic Commissioner that the sport will be conducted under the ABC’s Unified Rules of Kickboxing.
The full press release announcing the legalization of the sport reads as follows:
March 25, 2020
New professional opportunities are here for B.C.’s kickboxing athletes
I am pleased to notify you that professional kickboxing is now legal for B.C. mixed-martial arts (MMA) athletes.
Sanctioning professional kickboxing will provide opportunities for competitors to continue in kickboxing to the highest level without leaving B.C. and have a more effective set of rules in place to ensure their safety.
Last August, I ruled to allow the promotion of professional kickboxing matches as a sub-group of MMA and formed an advisory committee of kickboxing leaders to implement oversight of the sport. Now that the committee’s work is complete, full oversight is in place and professional matches are set to begin later this year. The commission and advisory committee will now focus on educating the sport’s participants on the regulatory changes that have come into effect.
While kickboxing is allowed as an amateur sport in British Columbia, it was previously unsanctioned at the professional level. B.C. kickboxers have traditionally faced the choice of either transitioning into the professional MMA discipline or working their way through the amateur ranks and then leaving B.C. to compete professionally. Aligning kickboxing with MMA also increases athlete safety by integrating training practices and standardizing techniques amongst participants.
As BC Athletic Commissioner, I am pleased to take these steps to strengthen the sport of kickboxing and I am proud that we are creating a safe place for athletes to compete at a professional level.
BC Athletic Commissioner