This Appendix is intended to give assistance to Referees and Judges where there may be no obvious guidance in the Rules or Explanations.


When a contestant makes a scoring technique immediately followed by another which makes excessive contact the Judges do not award the score and instead issues a Category 1 warning or penalty (unless it is the recipient’s own fault).


Karate is a Martial Art and a high standard of behaviour is expected from competitors. It is unacceptable that competitors, who receive a light contact, rub their faces, walk or stagger around, bend over, pull or spit out their gum-shields, and otherwise pretend that the contact is severe in order to convince the Referee to give a higher penalty to the opponent. This kind of behaviour is cheating and demeans our sport; it should be quickly penalised.

When a competitor makes pretence of having received an excessive contact and the Judges decide instead that the technique in question was controlled, satisfying all six scoring criteria, then a score will be awarded and a Category 2 penalty for feigning will be issued. The correct penalty for feigning an injury when the Juges have determined that the technique in fact was a score is Shikkaku.

More difficult situations occur when a competitor receives a stronger contact and falls to the floor, sometimes standing up (in order to stop the 10 second clock) and then falling down again. The Referees and Judges must remember that a Jodan kick is worth 3 points and as the number of teams and individual competitors receiving financial reward for winning medals increases the temptation to stoop to unethical behaviour becomes stronger. It is important to recognise this and apply the appropriate warnings or penalties.


A warning or penalty for Mubobi is given when a competitor is hit or injured through his or her own fault or negligence. This may be caused by turning their back on the opponent, attacking with a long, low Gyaku Tsuki chudan without regard for the opponent’s Jodan counter attack, stopping fighting before the Referee calls “Yame”, dropping their guard or concentration and repeated failure or refusal to block the opponent’s attacks. Explanation XVIII of Article 8 states:

Should the offender receive an excessive contact and/or sustain an injury the Referee will issue a Category 2 warning or penalty and decline to give a warning or penalty to the opponent.

A contestant who is hit through their own fault and exaggerates the effect in order to mislead the Judges may receive a warning or penalty for Mubobi as well as an additional penalty for exaggeration, since two offences have been committed.

It should be noted that there are no circumstances in which a technique that has made excessive contact can be given a score.


Zanshin is described as a state of continued commitment in which the contestant maintains total concentration, observation, and awareness of the opponent's potentiality to counter-attack. Some contestants after delivering a technique will turn their body partially away from the opponent but are still watching and ready to continue the action. The Judges must be able to distinguish between this continued state of readiness and one where the contestant has turned away, dropped their guard and concentration, and in effect has ceased fighting.


Should the Judges award a score when a contestant delivers a chudan kick and the opponent then catches the leg before it can be withdrawn?

Provided that the kicking contestant maintains ZANSHIN there is no reason why this technique cannot score provided that it contains all six of the scoring criteria. Theoretically, in a real fight scenario, a full power kick would be deemed to have disabled the opponent and therefore the leg would not be grabbed. Appropriate control, the target area, and satisfaction of all six criteria, are the deciding factors as to whether any technique can be awarded a score or not.


Since grabbing hold of the opponent and throwing is allowed under certain conditions it is incumbent upon all coaches to ensure that their competitors are trained in and are able to use break-fall/safe landing techniques.

A competitor who attempts a throwing technique must comply with the conditions imposed in the Explanations in Article 6 and Article 8. If a competitor throws their opponent in full compliance with the stated requirements and an injury results due to the opponent failing to make a proper break-fall, then the injured party is responsible and the thrower should not be penalised. Self-caused injury can result when a contestant is being thrown, instead of making a break-fall land on an extended arm or elbow, or holds onto the thrower and pulls them down on top of themselves.

A potentially dangerous situation occurs when a contestant grabs both legs to throw the opponent onto their back or when a contestant ducks down and bodily lifts the opponent up before throwing him. The Article 8, Explanations XI states that “...and the opponent must be held onto throughout, so that a safe landing can be made.” Since it is difficult to ensure a safe landing, throws such as this fall into the prohibited category.


When a contestant is thrown or swept off their feet and is scored upon when their torso (upper body or trunk) is on the tatami then the score will be IPPON.

Should the contestant be hit by a technique whilst still actually falling the Judges will take into account the direction of falling since if the contestant is falling away from the technique it will be considered ineffective and will not be scored.

Should the contestant’s upper body not be on the tatami when an effective, scoring technique is made, then the points awarded will be as stated in Article 6. Therefore the point(s) awarded when a contestant is scored upon in the act of falling, sitting, kneeling, standing, or jumping in the air, and all situations where their torso is not on the tatami will be as follows:

1. Jodan Kicks, three points (IPPON)
2. Chudan Kicks, two points (WAZA-ARI)
3. Tsuki and Uchi, one point (YUKO)


When the Referee halts the bout he will call “YAME”, at the same time using the required hand signal
As the Referee returns to his starting line, the Judges will signal their opinions concerning points and Jogai, and if requested by the Referee they will signal their opinion concerning other prohibited behaviour. The Referee will render the decision accordingly. Since the Referee is the only one able to move around the area, to directly approach the contestants, and to speak to the doctor, Judges must seriously consider what the Referee is communicating to them before giving their final decision, as no re-consideration is allowed.

In situations where there are more than one reason for stopping the match the Referee will deal with each situation in turn. For example, where there has been a score from one contestant and a contact from the other, or where there has been a MUBOBI and an exaggeration of injury from the same contestant.

Where video review is used, the video review panel will only change a decision if both members of the panel are in agreement. After review they will immediately convey their ruling to the Referee who will announce any changes to the original ruling, if applicable.


Judges must remember that when indicating Jogai they are required to tap the floor with the appropriate flag. As the Referee stops the bout and returns to his position they will signal their opinion indicating a Category 2 infringement.


For Category 1 infringements Judges should extend the crossed flags to their left for AKA, putting the red flag in front, and to their right for AO, putting the blue flag in front. This enables the Referee to clearly see which competitor is regarded as the offender.