Kumite Shiai - Kihon Ippon Kumite Shiai - Kata Shiai - Terms - Table of Judges Signals - Referees Signals - Judges Signals


Match Area Back to the top

  1. The match area (shiai jo) will have a flat surface with the necessary measures taken for the prevention of accidents.

  2. The size of the match area will be eight metres square. The Competitors are positioned three metres apart. Aka (red) is positioned to the right side of the Referee, and Shiro (white) is to the left. The Competitor designated Aka will wear a red belt.

  3. The match area should be marked out as shown below:

    Kumite Shiai Jo

Karate Gi Back to the top

  1. Karate Gi must be clean, white and undamaged. Only a club or KUGB badge may be worn.

Protection Back to the top

  1. Competitors must keep their nails clean and short and must not wear jewellery or the like on their bodies.

  2. Protectors:
    1. Gumshields are compulsory.
    2. Groin guards are recomended.
    3. Chest protectors are recomended for female kumite.

  3. Bandages or supports are not allowed without the Doctor's permission.

  4. Spectacles are not allowed. Contact lenses are allowed with the Doctor's permission.

Methods Of Match Back to the top

  1. Individual Match

    Individual matches wil normally be for two minutes. However this may be extended in the final match or reduced in elimination matches at the discretion of the tournament organisers. Matches will be decided by Shobu Ippon or Shobu Sanbon.

  2. Team Match
    The number of Competitors in a team match will be an odd number. Matches between individual team members will be held in a pre-determined order, which must be submitted in writing before each team match. Each individual match will be for two minutes.

    Team matches are decided by the number of winners of individual matches. When the number of winners from the two teams are the same, the team which has scored the most ippon will be declared the winner; awasete ippon wins are counted as ippon wins. If the number of ippon wins are equal, then full ippon wins will take precedence over awasete ippon wins. Victories won through disqualification or retirement of the opponent will be counted as full ippon wins. In the event of a draw, one member from each team must compete in an extra match.

    Therefore, the criteria to be folloowed are:-

    1. Number of wins.
    2. Number of ippon wins, including awasete ippon wins.
    3. Number of full ippon wins.
    4. Extra match

  3. Extra Match

    The extra match in both individual and team matches will be for one minute after which a decision must be made. only in exceptional circumstances can there be a further match.

  4. Duration Of Matches

    1. The match starts on the Referees first command of "Hajime".
    2. The match ends on the Referees las command of "Yame".
    3. Time taken for stoppages will be deducted from the duration of all matches.

Compostion Of Judging Panel Back to the top

  1. The Referee and Judges are appoointed by the Chief Referee.

  2. Elimination matches are mainly judged using one Referee and one Assistant Referee, referred to as the mirror system

  3. Final matches are to be judged by a panel consisting of one Referee and four Judges.


Scoring Back to the top

  1. Victory or defeat will be awarded on the basis of ippon, including awasete ippon, victory by decision or defeat due to disqualification or retirement.

  2. The scoring areas are as follows:-

    1. The head.
    2. The neck.
    3. The chest.
    4. The abdomen.
    5. The back.

  3. IPPON - will be decided according to the following requirements:-

    1. When an exact, decisive, and powerful technique is delivered to a recognised scoring area with good form, proper timing and correct distance.
    2. When a scoring technique is delivered with perfect timing at the instant the opponent starts to attack.
    3. When a scoring technique is delivered immediately the opponent is thrown off balance by the attacker.
    4. When there is a combination of sucessive and effective scoring techniques.
    5. When an effective technique is delivered on an undefended part of the opponent.

  4. WAZA ARI - Waza ari may be awarded for techniques that are slightly less decisive than an Ippon technique.

  5. AWASETE IPPON - Awasete ippon is awareded when a competitor scores two waza ari.

  6. An effective technique delivered simultaneoulsy with the Referee's signal to stop, will be valid.

  7. A technique, even if effective, delivered after an order to stop the match will not be valid.

  8. Techniques initiated from within the match area will be valid even if the opponent is out of the area when the technique is delivered.

  9. Techniques initiated from outside the match area will be invalid.

Criteria For Decision Back to the top

  1. In the absence of ippon or defeat due to sisqualification, a decision will be made after taking into consideration the following:-

    1. Whether there has been a waza ari.
    2. Whether there has been a hansoku chui.
    3. The number of escapes outside the match area.
    4. The comparative excellence in the strategy and fighting attitude.
    5. The ability and skill.
    6. The number of attacking moves.

Prohibited Acts And Behaviour Back to the top

  1. Uncontrolled techniques.

  2. All open hand attacking techniques.

  3. Attacks outside the scoring areas including the groin, hip joints, knee joints and instep.

  4. Grabbing, clinching or bodily clashing.

  5. Dangerous throws.

  6. Escaping out of the match area.

  7. Unnecessary time wasting.

  8. Any unsporting behaviour such as verbal abuse, provocation etc.

  9. Failing to obey commands of the Referee.

  10. When the Competitors become overexcited, to such an extent that they are considered a danger to their opponent.

  11. Any other behaviour likely to bring Karate into disrepute

Foul and Disqualification Back to the top

  1. For any minor infringement to the rules, the Referee may give a private warning (keikoku).

  2. When a Competitor commits a prohibited act, the Referee may give an official warning (hansoku chui). If the offence is considered serious enough, the Competitor may be disqualified (hansoku).

  3. If a Competitor after receiving hansoku chui repeats a prohibited act, the Referee may announce defeat by hansoku. Two hansoku chuis equal hansoku.

  4. JOGAI - escaping out of the match area.

    1. After the first escape, the Competitor may be given a private warning (jogai keikoku).
    2. After the second escape, the Competitor may be given an official warning (jogai chui).
    3. After the third escape, the Competitor may be disqualified (jogai hansoku).

  5. Jogai chui plus hansoku chui does not constitute hansoku.

  6. Any unruly behaviour from people connected with the Competitor i.e. Manager, Supporters etc., may result in the disqualification of the Competitor and/or team.

  7. Other acts which violate the rules of the match.

    A Competitor who seriously contravenes the rules, may, after consultation with the Chief Referee, be disqualified from the Competition. If the panel of Judges make an official complaint, the Competitor may be barred from future competitions.

Injuries or Accidents during the Match Back to the top

  1. In the event of an injury to a Conmpetitor, the Referee should accept the Doctor's advice.

  2. A Competitor who cannot continue due to accidental injury wioll be declared the loser.

  3. When both Competitors suffer accidental injuries which prevent them form continuing, the match will be declared a draw. However, from the quater finals of individual matches a decision will be made on the basis of the performance to the point of injury.

  4. A Competitor who withdraws from a match, will be declared the loser.

General Conduct of Referees and Judges Back to the top

The Referee and Judges will bear in mind the following points:-

  1. They must conduct themselves impartially and fairly.

  2. They must conduct themselves in a dignified manner at all times.

  3. They must concentrate their full attention on the match and judge every action of the Competitors correctly.

  4. They must not converse with anyone during the match other than the Judges, Competitors and Table officials.

  5. All Karateka, be they Competitors, Referees, Judges or other officials, must follow the Karate maxims of Character, Sincerety, Effort, Etiquette and Self Control.

Responsibilities of Referees Back to the top

The Referee will be responsible for the conduct of matches, including:-

  1. Starting and stopping matches.

  2. Awarding ippon for a decisive technique.

  3. Awarding a waza ari for an effective technique.

  4. Issue warnings.

  5. Anouncing fouls and disqualifications.

  6. Obtaining advice from the Judges.

  7. Announcing atoshibaraku.

  8. Using their casting vote in a tie decision.

Procedures for Referees Back to the top

  1. The Referee will line up the Competitors and, following an exchange of bows, will start the match with the announcement of "Shobu ippon hajime" or "Shobu sanbon hajime".

  2. When observing a technique recognised as ippon, the Referee will stop the match and order the Competitors to return the their positions. The Referee will then identify the decisive technique, announce the winner, and terminate the match.

  3. The Referee will temporarily halt the match in the following situation

    1. When a waza ari has been scored.
    2. When a Competitor moves out of the area, the Referee will stop thge contest, order both Competitors back to their lines and restart the match.
    3. When the Referee notices a Competitor about to commit a prohibited act or recives a signal from a judge regarding the same, the Referee will stop the match, and warn the Competitor.
    4. When a Competitor commits a prohibited act, the Referee will stop the match and call the Judges together to determine the seriousness of the act and the extent of the penalty. The Referee will then warn or disqualify the offending Competitor.
    5. When observing that a Competitor is injured, the Referee must immediately stop the match and call the Doctor.
    6. When a Judge signales, the Referee may overrule the signal and continue with the match. However, when two or more Judges indicate the same signal, the Referee must stop the match, listen to their opinion and announce a decision.
    7. When a match develops into in-fighting, with neither of the competitors delivering effective techniques, the Referee will halt the match, taking necessary precautions to prevent confusion or injuries.
    8. When a match develops into deadlock without an exchange of effective techniques between the Competitors, the Referee may stop the match, order them to their original positions, and resume the match.

  4. When resuming the match, the Referee will anounce "Tsuzukete hajime"

  5. When the match is over, the Referee having announced penalties and awards given, will call the Judges for their decision. The result will be decided by majority with the Referee having the casting vote. The Referee will annouce the winner or declare the match a draw.

Responsibilities of Judges Back to the top

The Judges will assist the Referee. They will give their opinion regarding ythe awards given, they will signal their decision by means of flags and whistle regarding scores and penalties and will use their right to a vote at hantei.

Procedures for Judges Back to the top

  1. Judges will take up their positions outside the match area and will carefully observe the actions of the Competitors within their range of vision. In the following circumstances, they will give a signal to the Referee by means of flag and whistle, giving their opinion.

    1. When observing an ippon or waza ari.
    2. When noiticing that a Competitor is about to commit or has commited a prohibited act.
    3. When noticing an injury or illness of a Competitor.
    4. When Competitors move out of the match area.
    5. In other cases when finding it necessary to bring something to the attention of the Referee.

  2. Each Judge will continuosly evaluate the relative excellence of the Competitors and form an opinion independently

  3. When the Referee calls "hantei" each Judge will give an opinion in the appropriate manner.

  4. The Referee and Judges have an equal vote.

Mirror System Back to the top

  1. In the case of the mirror system, the Referee and Assistant Referee will take up their position opposite each other and on either side of the Competitors. The Assistant Referee will help the Referee by signalling an opinion with hand signals, and also give advice verbally, when requested by the Referee.

  2. Although most decisions are by agreement, in the situation of a deadlock, the Referee's decision takes precedence over that of the Assistant Referee.

Protest Back to the top

  1. Competitiors cannot personally protest against a decision.

  2. When a decision is suspected of violating the rules, the team manager of the Competitor must report it to the control desk where the decision will be reviewed by the Referee and a decision wil be made.

Arbitrator Back to the top

  1. An Arbitrator will be appointed for international matches. The Arbitrator, when requested, may give an opinion to the Referee regarding the operation of the match.

  2. When receiving a protest from a team manager regarding a violation of the rules, the Arbitrator will review the complaint and if necessary, request the panel of Judges to revise the decision.

Time Keeper Back to the top

  1. For the purpose of facilitating the operation of matches, Timekeepers and Recorders will be appointed.

  2. The Timekeeper is responsible for ensuring that the match continues over its alloted time. The Timekeeper will stop the clock when the match is stopped and will restart when the match resumes.

  3. The timekeeper will give signals using a bell, gong or buzzer.

    1. One signal is used to indicate that 30 seconds of the match are remaining.
    2. Two signals are used to indicate the end of the match.

Kumite Shiai - Kihon Ippon Kumite Shiai - Kata Shiai - Terms - Table of Judges Signals - Referees Signals - Judges Signals