Saturday, January 12, 2013

Professional Combat Sports Amendment Act 2011

The Professional Combat Sports Amendment Bill 2009 was passed by Parliament in October 2011. This new legislation establishes broader regulatory coverage of combat sports in WA and ensures that all combat sports contestants enjoy the same level of health and safety controls that have been enjoyed by professional contestants under the Professional Combat Sports Act 1987.

The new legislation was to come into effect on 1 July 2012 however some delays have been encountered with the finalisation of the regulations and the approval of rules. At this time the current unamended version of the Professional Combat Sports Act 1987 is still in effect with the new legislation coming into force in the coming months.

It should be noted that this new legislation only applies to actual combat sport contests as defined by the legislation. The legislation does not apply to training sessions, in gym sparring, martial arts classes or fitness classes with a combat sport feel.

The Department of Sport and Recreation and the Professional Combat Sports Commission (PCSC) will work with the industry to ensure that all parties are educated, informed and supported through the transitional phase leading up to the roll out of the new legislation.

Should you have any queries regarding the legislation please contact Greg McGuire at the Department of Sport and Recreation on 9492 9746 or via email at

I have a question for Mr McGuire. Does the Commission actually know what they are doing?

Don't get me wrong. I am no anti government, big brother, conspiracy theory type. I simply object to ignorance and stupidity.

The Commission's 2012 annual report states that 'the structure of the Commission is a vital enabling element of the broader governance system. The structure refers to the size and composition of the Commission, including independence, the presence of commissioners and has regard for the balance of gender, cultural diversity, skills and experience.' Apparently actually knowing anything about the safety of combat sport participants is secondary to the Government mandate for political correctness and equality.

The 2012 annual report lists the Commission representatives. What is the one position that is vacant?: Nominee of the medical of the Australian Medical Association. There is not one member on the Commission that has any detailed knowledge of possible injuries.

The Chair is a lawyer. He specialises in criminal law. The previous Chair was a lawyer who likewise specialised in criminal law. I met him and he is simply an ambitious lawyer using the Commission for ambitious purposes. How is it that lawyers insinuate themselves into the nooks and crannies of everyday life? They are like rats. At the very heart of their profession is disingenousness. They do not argue a position because they believe in it, they argue it for the sake of arguing it.

We then have a representative from the WA Police Force. Why? Surely the legal aspect of governance is covered by the lawyer.

Next we have the Nominee of the Director General of the Department of Sport and Recreation. Fair enough. You have to have a department representative, even if they know nothing about the actual thing that is attempting to be governed.

Next we have industry representatives. Seriously?!? The martial arts and combat sports are bereft of understanding of the 'why' of what they do. They are very good at the how, but the physiological or anatomical effects of their techniques, they haven't a clue. All you have to do is reference the literature associated with these activities to see the desert that is the knowledge associated with these activities. Even scratch the surface of the literature that has attempted to explain the physiological or anatomical effects of these methods and you will see that they are uninformed.

Of the many, many questions the Commission should be considering is the use of neck holds/shime waza. If forensic pathology and law enforcement authorities around the world consider these techniques to be lethal force, how can they be sanctioned in competition. It is illegal to use lethal force in competition. And please reader, do not simply refer to the ignorant public who influence policy. If you read the research and literature on this subject you'll understand their stance is not influenced by public opinion.

Do not get me wrong, I am not arguing for or against the use of these techniques. What I am arguing is that this is an obvious quandary that any proper Commission should be considering, but because of the uninformed nature of this Commission, they don't even recognise it is an issue.

Good luck combat sports, for you are now governed by an uninformed Commission.

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