The International Shootfighting Association (ISFA) is the highest sanctioning body and world governing body for the sport of shootfighting. The sport is a type of martial art and combat sport. This type of wrestling is a hybrid grappling style with its own unique submission holds or ‘hooks’. From around 1976 the interest increased and directly led to the formation of the sport shoot wrestling. Bart Vale, an American former kickboxer and with a background in Concocted Combat, coined the world ‘shootfighting’. Vale was the Japanese Professional Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi champion for three years.
When Vale moved back to the States, he used techniques from shoot wrestling learned in Japan and combined it with his own experience in jujutsu, Muay Thai and kenpō to create the hybrid fighting style of shootfighting. He also founded ISFA with the specific purpose of promoting it as a combat sport. ISFA regard shootfighting as the ultimate martial art, combining Muay Thai and total body Submission Grappling.
Participants can transition from a stand-up position to the ground. Fights are won when an opponent is knocked down for a ten-count. During a submission hold, an opponent may use the rope of the ring to break the hold. Once this is done up to 15 times, a player loses the fight. Bouts that go to the full-time limit are declared a draw. Shootfighting, through the promotion of ISFA, is a fast-growing combat sport that is known for its development of a participant’s stamina and self-defense skills.