A pair of bills submitted to the 131st Legislature this year would bring competitive kickboxing and other martial arts events to Maine.
One proposal, submitted by Rep. Amanda Collamore (R-Pittsfield), would legalize competitive kickboxing and Muay Thai, a martial art that has been popularized by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Another proposal, this one backed by Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook), would allow the Combat Sports Authority of Maine to sanction kick boxing matches.
The Combat Sports Authority of Maine (CSAM) was established by the Legislature in June 2009.
According to its website, the authority’s mission is “to ensure that all Mixed Martial Arts and Professional Boxing exhibitions, events, performances and contests are subject to an effective, safe and efficient system of strict control and regulation.”
Although several kickboxing gyms operate in Maine, and several charity kickboxing matches have been organized, the greater regulatory clarity will allow for higher-level events operated by international kickboxing organizations to come to Maine.
Maine hosted its first UFC event in 2014.
In the UFC, athletes are allowed to use almost any martial art, but kickboxing rules do not allow wrestling or jujitsu.