Praelium is Latin for fight. In training, this is sparring, and competition is typically mixed martial arts with different rules. The purpose of praelium is to test skills in an environment that closely resembles a real fight while still offering a relative degree of safety. It is a version of pressure testing.
For sparring, students should have at a minimum a mouth guard and boxing gloves or mma gloves. For competition, hand wraps, mma gloves, fight shorts and sports bra (for women), and groin protector. All other equipment is optional.
Rounds are progressively smaller to provide competitors with incentive to win, as there are no draws. Win conditions consist of knockout, submission, or technical submission (a competitor is locked up and unable to escape). If, after a set period of rounds, neither fighter has secured a win, they both take a loss. The time required for a technical submission will be announced by the acting referee prior to the match.
In a 5-round match, each successive round decreases in time by 1 minute, and time between rounds is 60 seconds:
- Round One = 5 minutes
- Round Two = 4 minutes
- Round Three = 3 minutes
- Round Four = 2 minutes
- Round Five = 1 minute
The result is 15 total fighting minutes and 4 minutes of rest. This results in higher intensity matches. A sparring match in training is usually 3 rounds (3, 2, 1 minute).