Karate Tournaments

Why do we have karate tournaments?

Competition increases individual effort when a specific date is approaching. Tournaments provide a chance to build school spirit and teamwork. Also, tournaments give a benchmark to see how you’re improving by testing you against students you are unfamiliar with.

What happens at tournaments?

Hopefully you have fun! Students are divided by belt and age. Parents are not permitted on the floor during competition. You will compete in kata, kumite (sparring), and/or bo kata (depending on your belt level). Judges tally points and award trophies or medals.

When are the tournaments?

David Deaton Karate Studios holds two annual karate tournaments;

Procedure for entering the ring

  1. Bow to enter the back of the ring
  2. Move to front of the karate ring and announce the name of your kata
  3. Bow to thank judges
  4. Back up (facing judges), bow to begin your kata
  5. Bow after you have finished your kata
  6. Back up and bow out of the ring

What are judges looking for?


Kata & Bo Kata

Kiai! The spirit yell should be incorporated into katas at a few key points of attack.

Use the correct stances, keep them low, moves crisp, accelerate into the moves; pause between. Keep your gaze steady and look confident — even if you’re nervous on the inside! Control your breathing and pace yourself.

Judges will be scoring based on what they see, not what they think you should do. Some students will be doing partial katas.

Each of the three judges will give the competitor a score between 8.5 – 10.0.
“C” = 8.5 – 9.0
“B” = 9.1 – 9.5
“A” = 9.6 – 10.0

If a student starts over, judges will score the second kata as deserved (as if it was the first attempt) and the scorekeeper will deduct .5 points from the overall score for each time the student starts over.

Kumite (Sparring)

Matches are 2 minutes. Time runs continuously unless the referee specifically calls for time to be stopped.

One point is awarded for hand techniques.

Two points awarded for kicks.

Punching with the lead hand to the body does not count.

Attacks must be controlled and visible to the attacker’s line of sight (no blind attacks).

Touch contact to the face is allowed in the adult black belt division ONLY. A point can be scored to the face with a controlled technique.

No hitting below the belt or to the face (under black belt level).

Excessive force is not allowed. If the head moves due to the force of the blow, a penalty point should be awarded.

A competitor with one foot out of bounds can be scored on – but cannot score. If both feet are out of bounds, the referee calls stop.

Winner is determined by the first competitor to reach five points, or highest score at the end of the 2-minute round.

Rules for Family and friends

No shoes are allowed on the gym floor. Competitors and officials only in competition area! Spectators must stay in the bleachers.

Above all, remember to enjoy yourself — karate tournaments are a chance to be rewarded for all your hard work!