St. Paul, Minn. (December 15, 2010) – Governor Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday announced the appointment of Christopher J. Harristhal to the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission. Harristhal, of Minneapolis, is an attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Larkin, Hoffman, Daly and Lindgren in Bloomington, where he practices in the business litigation as well as the labor and employment law sections. He earned his law degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, and his bachelor’s degree from Hamline University in St. Paul.
“Like so many other participants in this sport, I gained insight into myself, competition, goal achievement and sportsmanship through participation in the martial arts,” said Harristhal. “I’ve found the martial arts allow an individual to develop skills they never believed they could attain, and thereby contribute to self-confidence and growth in a variety of aspects.
“That is an experience shared by everyone who has made the journey to black belt in any discipline,” he added. “My goal is to help spur the interest of others in combat sports, and thereby allow them to attain the same benefits I was privileged to enjoy while keeping the sport safe and exciting for participants and spectators.”
Harristhal has experience in mixed martial arts and includes earning a first degree black belt in 23 months from the National Karate Schools, and a second degree black belt two years later. He fought competitively for 20 years, was given the “Top Competitor” award by the National Karate Schools in 1993, and has officiated at a number of point fighting tournaments.
He is appointed to a position for a person with knowledge of the mixed martial arts industry on the Combative Sports Commission, and is appointed to complete RD Brown’s four-year term that expires on January 6, 2014.
The Minnesota Combative Sports Commission has sole direction, supervision, regulation, control, and jurisdiction over all boxing and tough person contests held within the state; sole control, authority, and jurisdiction over all licenses; may adopt rules including, but not limited to, the conduct of boxing exhibitions, bouts, fights, and their manner, supervision, time, and place; and must adopt unified rules for mixed martial arts.
The Minnesota Combative Sports Commission, whose purpose is to protect health, promote safety, and ensure fair boxing and mixed martial arts events, consists of nine members appointed by the Governor, one of whom must be a retired Minnesota judge, three of whom must have knowledge of the boxing industry, and four of whom must have knowledge of the mixed martial arts industry.