Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Styles, training, conditioning, equipment - everything related to Martial Arts.

Moderators: hardcore iv, fredrikw, JP, stateofflux, bronco

Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby aspara-gus » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:03 pm

Almost every sport has a body weight or height that is advantageous. Why is that almost all martial arts, including boxing and wrestling insist on splitting it up in divisions so that "everyone can have a chance to win"? There is no 6 feet and shorter NBA, and no 200 pounds and over horse back riding so why is there feather weight boxing? I actually loved the early UFC contests where there were no weight divisions and one of the lightest guys kept winning. It's a shame they changed this.
aspara-gus
Active Member
 
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:34 pm
Location: Mauritius

Re: Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby blinki » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:08 pm

I think it makes sense where strength or weight or height or whatever is a big advantage but for some reason that doesn't seem to always match up to what really happens. I'd guess what really happens is pretty caught up in the development of the sport and not significantly changed in quite a long time. Though UFC less obviously so but I think what happened there was around making it legal in all US states requiring weight categories (I'm not sure why I think that so I could have made it up).

I think with martial arts it depends on the sort for what makes sense. I did tae kwon do as a kid and it was height categories for under 16s and that made sense because longer legs were a big advantage. But the adults were by weight and while they do hit each other fairly hard being able to hit hard doesn't really matter and you don't take a beating like you do in boxing. I'd rather fight someone 20kg heavier than a foot taller but I suspect if I did judo I'd say the opposite.

I think there should be basketball for short people too, I loved it as a kid but then it got pretty pointless when everyone else got a lot taller than me
User avatar
blinki
Active Member
 
Posts: 961
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:26 am
Location: Manchester

Re: Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby ninearms » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:11 pm

Weight divisions don't give everyone a chance to win. Weight divisions actually make it harder to win (and as a result make the sport more interesting to watch) because competition is closer.

Plus, when a sport has so many competitors it simply cannot function without some form of classification of its competitors, whether it by by bodyweight as in combat and strength sports, by (amongst other things) financial status, facilities, and previous performance history as in football, or by physical impairment as in paralympic sport. How on earth would you run a major championships without divisions? You also have to consider the sport outside of the professional level. Is a 13 year old kid weighing 45kg seriously supposed to compete against a kid of the same age weighing 90kg?

If the UFC ditched weight classes now little guys would be getting pummelled left right and centre. The sport has moved on, in the same way that World's Strongest Man winners from 20 years ago wouldn't even make it past the qualifiers now. It's big business with full-time professional sponsored athletes and a much greater depth of field.
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
User avatar
ninearms
Perked Member
 
Posts: 6045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby ninearms » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:13 pm

[quote="blinki"]I'd rather fight someone 20kg heavier than a foot taller but I suspect if I did judo I'd say the opposite.


It's weight classes that stop you having to fight someone a foot taller AND 20kg heavier...
“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.”
User avatar
ninearms
Perked Member
 
Posts: 6045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby Bai » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:41 am

It's also to protect the fighters from sustaining a few more injuries than what you are already opening yourself up for, I know when I spar someone who is 20kg heavier than me, you can feel a massive difference in power even if you are both going at 40% of your output. Even Checking kicks can end in unnecessary injury.

Although I don't mind clinching with inexperienced heavier people, its fun to throw and knee those who don't know how to use their weight ;)

Agree with ninearms. Nothing harder than fighting someone who has the same range and weight as you! Makes for a more interesting match.
User avatar
Bai
Member
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:05 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Why different weight divisions in martial arts?

Postby Bai » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:43 am

Although when I was training in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the weight classes didn't seem to matter there in the local stadiums. I saw Thai's fight westerners 30kg heavier than them in order to pad their records to get to Bangkok. I had a match that fell through against a girl 10kg lighter than me, and that seems huge when I usually fight at 60-62kgs.
User avatar
Bai
Member
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:05 pm
Location: Wellington, New Zealand


Return to Martial Arts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests