1. Scores are as follows:

a) IPPON Three points

b) WAZA-ARI Two points

c) YUKO One point


2. A score is awarded when a technique is performed according to the following criteria to a scoring area:

a) Good form b) Sporting attitude c) Vigorous application d) Awareness (ZANSHIN) e) Good timing f) Correct distance


3. IPPON is awarded for: a) Jodan kicks. b) Any scoring technique delivered on a thrown or fallen opponent.


4. WAZA-ARI is awarded for: a) Chudan kicks.



5. YUKO is awarded for: a) Chudan or Jodan Tsuki. b) Jodan or Chudan Uchi.


6. Attacks are limited to the following areas: a) Head b) Face c) Neck d) Abdomen e) Chest f) Back g) Side


7. An effective technique delivered at the same time that the end of the bout is signalled, is considered valid. A technique even if effective, delivered after an order to suspend or stop the bout shall not be scored and may result in a penalty being imposed on the offender.


8. No technique, even if technically correct, will be scored if it is delivered when the two contestants are outside the competition area. However, if one of the contestants delivers an effective technique while still inside the competition area and before the Referee calls “YAME”, the technique will be scored.



In order to score, a technique must be applied to a scoring area as defined in paragraph 6 above. The technique must be appropriately controlled with regard to the area being attacked and must satisfy all six scoring criteria in paragraph 2 above. VOCABULARY TECHNICAL CRITERIA Ippon (3 points) is awarded for:

1. Jodan kicks. Jodan being defined as the face, head and neck.


2. Any scoring technique which is delivered on an opponent who has been thrown, has fallen of their own accord, or is otherwise off their feet. Waza-Ari (2 points) is awarded for: Chudan kicks. Chudan being defined as the abdomen, chest, back and side. Yuko (1 point) is awarded for:

1. Any punch (Tsuki) delivered to any of the seven scoring areas.


2. Any strike (Uchi) delivered to any of the seven scoring areas.


I. For reasons of safety, throws where the opponent is grabbed below the waist, thrown without being held onto, or thrown dangerously, or where the pivot point is above belt level, are prohibited and will incur a warning or penalty. Exceptions are conventional karate leg sweeping techniques, which do not require the opponent to be held while executing the sweep such as de ashi-barai, ko uchi gari, kani waza etc. After a throw has been executed the Referee will allow the contestant time to immediatly attempt a scoring technique. VERSION 9.0 - Effective from 01.01.2015


II. When a contestant is thrown according to the rules, slips, falls, or is otherwise off their feet and is scored upon by the opponent the score will be IPPON.


III. A technique with “Good Form” is said to have characteristics conferring probable effectiveness within the framework of traditional Karate concepts.


IV. Sporting Attitude is a component of good form and refers to a non-malicious attitude of great concentration obvious during delivery of the scoring technique.


V. Vigorous Application defines the power and speed of the technique and the palpable will for it to succeed.


VI. Zanshin is that criterion most often missed when a score is assessed. It is the state of continued commitment in which the contestant maintains awareness of the opponent's potentiality to counter-attack. I.e.: He does not turn his face away during delivery of the technique, and remains facing the opponent afterwards.


VII. Good Timing means delivering a technique when it will have the greatest potential effect.


VIII. Correct Distance similarly means delivering a technique at the precise distance where it will have the greatest potential effect. Thus if the technique is delivered on an opponent who is rapidly moving away, the potential effect of that blow is reduced.


IX. Distancing also relates to the point at which the completed technique comes to rest on or near the target. A punch or kick that comes somewhere between skin touch and 5 centimetres from the face, head, or neck may be said to have the correct distance. However, Jodan techniques, which come within 5 centimetres distance of the target and which the opponent makes no attempt to block or avoid will be scored, provided the technique meets the other criteria. In Cadet and Junior competition no contact to the head, face, or neck, is allowed other than a very light touch (previously known as a “skin touch”) for Jodan kicks and the scoring distance is increased up to 10 centimetres.


X. A worthless technique is a worthless technique —- regardless of where and how it is delivered. A technique, which is badly deficient in good form, or lacking power, will score nothing.


XI. Techniques, which land below the belt, may score, as long as they are above the pubic bone. The neck is a target area and so is the throat. However, no contact to the throat is permitted, although a score may be awarded for a properly controlled technique, which does not touch.


XII. A technique, which lands upon the shoulder blades, may score. The non-scoring part of the shoulder is the junction of the upper bone of the arm with the shoulder blades and collarbones.


XIII. The time-up bell signals the end of scoring possibilities in that bout, even though the Referee may inadvertently not halt the bout immediately. The time-up bell does not however mean that penalties cannot be imposed. Penalties can be imposed by the Refereeing Panel up to the point where the contestants leave that area after the bout's conclusion. Penalties can be imposed after that, but then only by the Referee Commission or the Disciplinary and Legal Commission.


XIV. If two contestants hit each other at the exact same time, the scoring criterion of “good timing” has by definition not been met, and the correct judgement is to not award a point. 12 VERSION 9.0 - Effective from 01.01.2015 Both contestants may however receive points for their respective scores if they each have two flags in their favour, and the scores both happen before “yame” – and the time signal.


XV. If a contestant scores with more than one consecutive technique before the bout has been stopped, the contestant will be awarded the successful scoring technique of the higher point value, regardless of in which sequence the techniques scored.


Example: If a kick followed a successful punch, the points for the kick would be awarded regardless if the punch scored first - as the kick has a higher point valu



CHUKOKU is imposed for the first instance of a minor infraction for the applicable category.


KEIKOKU is imposed for the second instance of a minor infraction for that category, or for infractions not sufficiently serious to merit HANSOKU-CHUI.


This is a warning of disqualification usually imposed for infractions for which a KEIKOKU has previously been given in that bout although it may be imposed directly for serious infringements, which do not merit HANSOKU.


This is the penalty of disqualification following a very serious infraction or when a HANSOKU CHUI has already been given. In team matches the fouled competitor’s score will be set at eight points and the offender’s score will be zeroed.


 This is a disqualification from the actual tournament, competition, or match In order to define the limit of SHIKKAKU, the Referee Commission, must be consulted. SHIKKAKU may be invoked when a contestant fails to obey the orders of the Referee, acts maliciously, or commits an act which harms the prestige and honour of Karate-do, or when other actions are considered to violate the rules and spirit of the tournament. In team matches the fouled competitor’s score will be set at eight points and the offender’s score will be zeroed.



  1. There are three degrees of warning; CHUKOKU, KEIKOKU and HANSOKU CHUI. A warning is a correction given to the contestant making it clear that the contestant is in violation of the competition rules, but without imposing an immediate penalty.
  2. There are two degrees of penalties: HANSOKU and SHIKKAKU, both causing the contestant violating the rules to be disqualified from i) the bout (HANSOKU) - or ii) from the entire tournament (SHIKKAKU) with a possible suspension from competition for an additional time period.
  • Category 1 and Category 2 warnings do not cross-accumulate.



SHOBU HAJIME              Start the Match or Bout After the announcement, the Referee takes a step back.


ATOSHI BARAKU            A little more time left An audible signal will be given by the timekeeper 10 seconds

                                       before the actual end of the bout and the Referee will announce “Atoshi Baraku”.


YAME                              Stop Interruption, or end of the bout. As he makes the announcement, the Referee

                                       makes a downward chopping motion with his hand.


MOTO NO ICHI              Original position Contestants and Referee return to their starting positions.


TSUZUKETE                   Fight on Resumption of fighting ordered when an unauthorised interruption occurs.


TSUZUKETE HAJIME     Resume fighting – Begin The Referee stands in a forward stance. As he says

                                      “Tsuzukete” he extends his arms, palms outwards towards the contestants.

                                      As he says “Hajime” he turns the palms and brings them rapidly towards one another,

                                       at the same time stepping back.


SHUGO                          Judges called The Referee calls the Judges at the end of the match or bout, or to

                                      recommend SHIKKAKU.


HANTEI                         Decision Referee calls for a decision at the end of an inconclusive match. After a

                                      short blast of the whistle, the Judges render their vote by flag signal and the

                                      Referee indicates his own vote by raising his arm.


HIKIWAKE                    Draw In case of a tied bout, the Referee crosses his arms, then extends them with

                                      the palms showing to the front. AKA (AO) NO KACHI Red (Blue) wins The Referee

                                      obliquely raises his arm on the side of the winner.


AKA (AO) IPPON          Red (Blue) scores three points The Referee raises his arm up at 45 degrees on the

                                      side of the scorer.


AKA (AO) WAZA-ARI   Red (Blue) scores two points The Referee extends his arm at shoulder level on the

                                     side of the scorer.


AKA (AO) YUKO          Red (Blue) scores one point The Referee extends his arm downward at 45 degrees

                                      on the side of the scorer.


CHUKOKU                   Warning The Referee indicates a Category 1 or 2 offence. KEIKOKU Warning The

                                      Referee indicates a Category 1 or 2 offence then points with his index finger

                                      downwards at 45 degrees in the direction of the offender.


HANSOKU-CHUI        Warning of disqualification The Referee indicates a Category 1 or 2 offence then

                                      points with his index finger horizontally in the direction of the offender.


HANSOKU                   Disqualification The Referee indicates a Category 1 or 2 offence then points with

                                      his index finger upwards at 45 degrees in the direction of the offender, and

                                      announces a win for the opponent.


JOGAI                             Exit from the match area not caused by the opponent The Referee points his index

                                      finger on the side of the offender to indicate to the Judges that the contestant

                                      has moved out of the area.


SHIKKAKU                   Disqualification “Leave the Area” The Referee points first upwards at 45 degrees in

                                      the direction of the  offender then motions out and behind with the announcement

                                      “AKA (AO) SHIKKAKU!” He then announces a win for the opponent.


KIKEN                          Renunciation The Referee points downwards at 45 degrees in the direction of the

                                      contestant’s starting line. MUBOBI Self Endangerment The Referee touches his face

                                      then turning his hand edge forward, moves it back and forth to indicate to the Judges

                                      that the contestant endangered himself.

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