A key part of our mission to provide a safer way for martial artists and fight sport enthusiasts to push themselves harder in their training and competition is to make sure that they can actually use our products. This means forming relationships with training academies, martial arts organizations, and the major sanctioning bodies in the martial arts world and gaining their approval to allow Ringstar’s safety products to be used.

There’s a long way to go still, but we’re proud of the progress we’ve made. The major sanctioning bodies and martial arts associations that we’ve talked to have all shown that they care deeply about the safety of their participants, and have been very accepting of any safety equipment that will help reduce injuries and stress.

Here is a list of the martial arts organizations that have approved the use of Ringstar sparring shoes in both training and competition:

Approved Sanctioning Bodies 

   

North American Sport Karate Association (NASKA)

NASKA was officially formed in 1986 when promoters of the top “A” rated tournaments decided to band together to carry on the rating system and rankings started by Karate Illustrated Magazine. Now NASKA includes the top U.S. tournaments like The Battle of Atlanta, Diamond Nationals, U.S. Open and many more. See a complete list of this years tournaments on the NASKA website.

Ringstar has a strong and longstanding relationship with the organization, and NASKA’s official rules specifically condone the use of Ringstar sparring shoes as approved safety equipment for both training and competition. The rules state that Ringstar shoes are able to be used in place of the footpads that are “required for competitors in all sparring divisions.”

World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO)

WAKO originated in 1976 in Europe as the governing organization tasked with formulating the rules and regulations for the relatively new fight sport. Founded by Mike Anderson and George Bruckner, WAKO is officially registered in Zurich, Sweden and is governed based on democratic principles. They cover seven different fighting styles and are widely considered to be the largest unified kickboxing organization in the world, with divisions in five continents.

International Kickboxing Federation (IKF)

The International Kickboxing Federation was formed in 1992 by Steve Fossum and Dan Stell, two veteran kickboxing competitors, trainers and promoters, with the goal of providing a better competitive environment for the kickboxing world. They have since expanded internationally and grown into the largest kickboxing sanctioning organization in the world.

As of June of 2007, Ringstar shoes are approved for all IKF Pro and Amateur “Full Contact Rules” bouts. They are not required by the IKF rules, but they come highly recommended by IKF Point Kickboxing Director Johnny Davis:

"As I sparred with the shoe, I felt the padding was exceptional because as I made contact, I didn't feel much shock at all on my foot that delivered the strike. When you get hit with this shoe it’s more like being hit with a pad than a shoe and that's a good thing."

American Karate Association (AKA)

The AKA is one of the longest standing U.S. sanctioning bodies, having been founded in 1964, and has since grown into one of the largest martial arts associations in the country. They are involved in tournaments and training camps in most U.S. states, and boast 43 schools carrying their certification.

Ringstar shoes are the only protective footwear specifically indicated by brand name in both the AKA uniform and competitive safety rules. They are allowed as both part of the general training uniform, and the required safety equipment for tournaments and competition in place of the traditional footpads.

International Sport Kickboxing Association (ISKA)

The ISKA was founded in 1986 as the International Sport Karate Association, and has since grown into a large international regulations and sanctioning body for more than 20 types of martial arts and combat sports across six continents.

Ringstar sparring shoes have been approved by the ISKA for use in all sparring divisions, and may be used in place of the required safety footpad.