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Tournament Rules


This version is intended for use by the student competitor and is abbreviated from the full Proposed Rules version.

Each competitor must present him/herself to the referee suitably attired with proper uniform and equipment (see uniform and sparring equipment specifications below) and physically prepared to compete. If he/she is not prepared to compete as deemed by the center referee, the competitor may be disqualified.

Each competitor must be a member in good standing of the USEWRKDF. Black belt competitors from first to fifth dan will be allowed to compete in individual kata and kumite divisions. The exception to this rule is that Sixth dan and above may compete in the team fighting division.

Any competitor that is not present when the division his/her kata or kumite division begins will be disqualified.

A competitor must compete at the highest belt level that he/she has earned in Wado-Ryu karate. A competitor can never compete in a division of which he/she has not earned the rank of the division.

Exception to the RANK RULE:
Competitors who have earned a black belt rank in another style of karate but have started the practice of Wado-Ryu karate at a Federation dojo should have their instructor request that they be allowed to enter in the black belt division. This is out of fairness to other competitors, particularly in the kumite division.

All competitors must have proof of age. If there is a legitimate reason to question a competitor's age, he/she must present a document such as a birth certificate or driver's license to prove his/her age.

An adult competitor shall compete in the age division that corresponds to their age the day of the competition. A youth competitor shall compete only in age division that corresponds to their age the day of competition.

All competitors must wear a complete (top and bottom), clean traditional white karate gi (uniform) in good condition. The U.S. Eastern Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Federation should be worn on the left chest area of the gi. School or team patches are allowed on the upper sleeve or back of the gi top. Should the uniform become excessively torn or bloodied during a sparring match, it must be replaced before the match will continue. Not doing so may cause the offending competitor to forfeit his/her match.
The competitor's appropriate color belt must be worn in competition. All uniforms must have sleeves that reach at least to the middle of the forearm. No t-shirts, sweats, or tank tops are allowed under the top for males but a white undershirt should be worn for females. No wearing of jewelry or chewing gum is allowed in the competition.

It is the responsibility of the competitor to know the rules and be ready for competition when called to do so. He/she must be suitably attired, weighed-in and at the appropriate ring when competition begins. Three calls will be made for competition at ringside. If the competitor is not at his/her ring ready to compete when competition begins, he/she will not be allowed to compete. (Refer to delay of time rule, above.)

If a competitor leaves the ring after the competition begins and is not present when his/her name is called to compete, his/her name will be called three times at ringside. If he/she is still not present to compete, he/she will be disqualified.



The following katas are mandatory choices from which each designated belt colored competitor must select. In the USEWRKDF tournament there will be no exceptions to these choices.

White belt 9th kyu Kihon No Kata Ichi or Ni (basic kata) or Pinan Nidan
Gold belt 8th kyu (Same as above)
Orange belt 7th kyu Pinan Nidan or Pinan Shodan
Blue belt 6th kyu Pinan Shodan or Pinan Sandan
Purple belt 5th kyu Pinan Sandan or Pinan Yondan
Green belt 4th kyu Pinan Yondan or Pinan Godan
Brown belt 3rd-1st kyu Pinan Godan, Naihanshi or Kushanku
Black belt 1st-5th dan Naihanshi, Kushanku, Chinto or Seishan

USEWRKDF will only have one scoring range for all belts. The scoring range will be 8.00 to 10.00 points (using the two decimal points). The competitor may check his or her score after the division is completed if it does not disrupt the division.

Before entering the ring, each competitor will rei (bow) then enter approximately halfway into the kata area and rei again towards the judges. The competitor should then clearly announce his/her competition number, which will have been previously assigned by the head official. Announcement of the official kata name by the competitor is optional.

After performing the kata, the competitor must stay in the ring in musubi dachi (attention stance) while his or her score is being tallied. After being given permission to leave to ring, the competitor should rei towards the judges, back up to the back line of the ring and then return to the competitor area.

The first three competitors will perform before any scores are awarded. After the third competitor is finished, the first competitor will be called to come back for scoring followed by the second and third competitors. This is to give the judges a sampling of the quality of the competitors. All competitors in the division will be judged in comparison to these first three competitors.

Kiais in the appropriate movements of kata competition is recommended but not mandatory.
In the children's division, boys and girls competition will be run together.

If a competitor starts his/her kata over because of a memory lapse or any other reason due to his/her own negligence, he/she may perform the kata again. The officials will score as though there was not a mistake, but the center referee will instruct the scorekeeper to subtract 1.0 point from the competitor's final score for each time they start over. An adult competitor can only start over one time for scoring. A child competitor may start over twice. If a competitor has to start over not due to his/her negligence, he/she will not be penalized for the restart.



Approved headgear; hand and foot pads, mouthpieces and groin cups (for male competitors only) are mandatory for all competitors in kumite divisions. The competitor's equipment will be checked and if it is deemed unsafe, he/she will be asked to change the equipment before he/she can compete.
Hand Pads: A soft padded surface must cover the fingers, wrist and any striking surface of the hand.
Foot Pads: A soft padded surface must cover the instep, sides, toes, ankle and back of the heel of the foot. The bottom of the foot does not have to be padded.
Head Gear: The forehead, sides and back of the head must be covered by a soft padded surface.
Insufficiently padded gloves, foot and head hear will not be allowed.

All equipment must be in a good state of repair and must be free of heavy taping, tears or any other repairs that may cause injury. The tournament's head rules arbitrator ultimately determines the approval or denial of the equipment.

Shin pads and rib/chest guards are highly RECOMMENDED but not mandatory for kumite competitors.

Head Contact:

Light touch is allowed to all legal target areas except to the bare face of all youth and under black belt adult competitors.  Light touch does not have to be made to the headgear in all Youth competitors and adult under black belt competitors but must be approximately two inches away without being blocked.  If the head of any competitor is visibly moved or blood is drawn as a direct result of contact, a penalty point will be issued to the offended competitor and on second offence the competitor will be disqualified.  A black belt should be well trained in focused technique and therefore can make light touch contact to the head.  If it is noted that excessive force is being used and the head is visibly moved or blood is drawn as a direct result of contact only one warning will be given.  If contact is made in the same way the second time, the offender will be disqualified.

A competitor has the right to protest an infraction of the rules or if he/she believes a possible mistake was made (not a judgment call). If a competitor wishes to protest, he/she should first let the referee know he/she believes there has been an infraction of the rules or a mistake has been made. The referee will summon the arbitrator to the ring to render a decision if the referee cannot settle the protest to the competitor's satisfaction.

All protests must be made in an orderly, proper and sportsmanlike manner. All protests must be made immediately. Protests are not allowed once competition has resumed. A competitor may be penalized or even disqualified if he/she is protesting improperly or without proper cause.

It is mandatory for all adult sparring competitors who are in weight divisions to weigh in before the competition. Only one official weigh-in is required. All competitors must enter in his/her weight division. A competitor cannot compete up or down in another weight division for which he/she has not made the proper weight. It is the responsibility of the tournament personnel to weigh and properly record the competitor's weight.

Competitors cannot pick whom they want or do not want to fight.

Two-minute running time unless three points are scored before time has expired.

All legal hand and foot techniques that score will be awarded one point. All penalty points awarded will be awarded one point. The competitor who first earns three points or is ahead at the end of the two-minute period is declared the winner. If a match is tied at the end of two minutes, a sudden victory (first person to score a point) overtime period will determine the match.


Points are awarded by a majority vote of all judges. The majority of judges do not have to agree on the same technique being scored, only that a point was scored.

A point is a controlled legal sport karate technique scored by a competitor who is in-bounds and up-right (without time being called) that strikes a competitor with the allowable amount of focused touch contact. In order to score a point, all hand techniques must be made with a fully closed fist with the exception of ridgehand strikes. Balance must be maintained before during and after a kick or punch is executed to be valid. Diving or falling while attempting to score will invalidate a point.

A competitor is out-of-bounds as soon as he/she does not have at least one foot touching inside or on the boundary line. An out of bounds competitor cannot score a point while out of bounds. In bounds competitor can score on an out of bounds competitor if the center referee has not called stop.

Entire head and face, ribs, chest, abdomen, collarbone and kidneys.

Spine, back of neck, throat, eyes, sides of the neck, groin, legs, knees and back.

Hips, shoulders, buttocks, arms, and feet.

Legal techniques are all controlled sport karate techniques, except those listed as illegal.

Head butts, hair pulls, bites, scratches, elbows, knees, eye attacks of any kind, take downs on a hard surface floor, ground fighting on a hard surface, any stomps or kicks to the head of a downed competitor, slapping, grabbing for more than one second, uncontrolled blind techniques, any uncontrolled throws, takedowns and any other uncontrolled dangerous techniques that are deemed unsafe in sport karate.

A competitor may grab the uniform top of his/her opponent for one second only in an attempt to score immediately with a sport karate technique after which time he/she must release the uniform. Likewise, the uniform pants may be grabbed for one second to an upright opponent in an attempt to score.

Sweeps to off-balance an opponent may be used if immediately followed by a legal sport karate kick or strike. Sweeps can only be executed to the back of the foot on the padded surface. A sweep must be deemed a proper sweep and not a kick to be legal. Controlled takedowns and sweeps that are meant to literally take down an opponent are not allowed. A sweep may never be executed on the supporting leg of a kicking competitor. If one competitor falls with no point being immediately scored, the fighters will separate and restart from their original starting lines.
No additional points will be scored regardless of the effectiveness of a sweep.

Means there is no penetration or visible movement of the competitor as a result of the contact. Light touch is allowed to all legal target areas except to the bare face of all youth and under black belt adult competitors. Light touch does not have to be made to the headgear in all Youth competitors and adult under black belt competitors but must be approximately two inches away without being blocked. If the head of any competitor is visibly moved or blood is drawn as a direct result of contact, a penalty point will be issued to the offended competitor.

Means slight penetration or slight target movement. Moderate touch contact may be made to all legal target areas except the headgear and face.

One and only one warning is allowed for breaking the rules before a penalty point is awarded. After the first warning is given, a penalty point is awarded for each and every rules violation. If a competitor receives three warnings (two penalty points) in any one match, he/she will be disqualified. If the severity of the first rules violation is deemed by the center referee to be too severe, a penalty point can be issued immediately.

Other Penalty Rules:

If, in the opinion of the referee and/or the medical personnel, a competitor cannot continue because of an injury caused by an illegal penalized attack executed by his/her competitor, the offending competitor shall be automatically disqualified.

Other Cause for Penalization:

 Attacking illegal and non-target areas, using illegal techniques, running out of the ring to avoid fighting, falling to the floor to avoid fighting, continuing after being ordered to stop, excessive stalling, blind, negligent or reckless attacks, uncontrolled techniques, showing unsportsmanlike behavior by the competitor, his/her coaches, friends, etc., excessive contact, and delay of time are examples of possible penalization.


Requires a majority vote by all officials, unless it is an automatic disqualification as noted below.
No entry fees will be refunded to a disqualified competitor.

Disrespect to Officials:

The referee shall have the power to disqualify any competitor that exhibits disrespect and/or unsportsmanlike conduct toward any official, other competitor or spectator.

Wrong Division:

f any competitor competes in a division he/she does not qualify to compete in due to age, weight, rank, gender, style, etc., he/she will be disqualified.

No competitor may receive direct technical coaching during a match from an instructor, teammate or spectator.
2) Never, at any time, can a coach, instructor, team-mate or spectator enter the ring without the
center referee's permission.
No abusive, violent, disrespectful or jeering comments will be allowed from coaches,
instructors, teammates or spectators.
4) Coaches, instructors, teammates or spectators cannot ask for a time out. Only the competitor
may ask for a time out.
5) Coaches, instructors, teammates or spectators can never, at any time interfere with the proper
running of the ring or the decisions of the judges.

The center referee can issue a warning to a competitor for each time his/her coach is interfering with a match or disrupting fair play between contestants. The referee will ask for a violator to correct their behavior and if they do not will disqualify the competitor, stop the ring, and have the security personnel remove the person from the venue.

TEAM KUMITE Men and Women’s teams:
There shall be one referee and four corner judges for this event. Three judges/referee must point to a competitor for a point to be awarded during a call. The team kumite competition shall be for the USEWRKDF Wado Cup. This trophy will be held by the winning dojo and not returned to the Federation tournament each succeeding year. Each team shall be comprised of 1 black belt (5th dan and below), 1 Brown belt and 1 Green belt consisting of adults of any weight or age.   Each competition will start with the Green belt and work up to the black belt. The first two matches will be one minute and the first competitor to reach three points will win and end the match. These scores will be recorded and will be cumulative for the team. The third match is also one minute but has no point limit. If there is a tie at the end of the three matches, the competitors of the third match will compete for a sudden victory.  In the event of a disqualification during one of the first two matches the score will be recorded as 3 ­ 0, 0 going to the disqualified competitorıs team.  In the event of disqualification during the third match, the disqualified competitorıs team loses by disqualification regardless of the cumulative score.


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