1. A Karate tournament may comprise Kumite competition and/or Kata competition. The Kumite competition may be further divided into the team match and the individual bout. The individual bout may be further divided into age and weight divisions. Weight divisions are divided ultimately into bouts. The term “bout” also describes the individual Kumite competitions between opposing pairs of team members

2. For WKF World and Continental Championships, the four medal winners (gold, silver and two bronze) of the previous event are seeded. For Karate 1- Premier League, the eight top ranked Competitors in the WKF World Ranking as per the day before the competition are seeded. The right to seeding does not downflow to lower places in the absence of Competitors eligible for seeding.

3. The elimination system with repechage will be applied unless otherwise is specifically determined for a competition. Where a round-robin system is used, it is to follow the structure described in APPENDIX 14: ROUND-ROBIN COMPETITION (KUMITE).

4. Weigh-in procedures are found in APPENDIX 13: WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES.

5. In individual competition no Competitor may be replaced by another after the drawing has taken place.

6. Individual Competitors or teams that do not present themselves when called will be disqualified (KIKEN) from that category. In team matches the score for the bout not taking place will then be set to 8-0 in favour of the other team. Disqualification by KIKEN means that the Competitors are disqualified from that category, although it does not affect participation in another category. 

7. Male teams comprise seven members with five competing in a round. Female teams comprise four members with three competing in a round.

8. The Competitors are all members of the team. There are no fixed reserves.

9. Before each match, a team representative must hand into the official table, an official form defining the names and fighting order of the competing team members. The participants drawn from the full team of seven, or four members, and their fighting order can be changed for each round provided the new fighting order is notified before the round, but once notified; it cannot then be changed until that round is completed. The team will be disqualified (SHIKKAKU) if any of its members or its Coach changes the team's composition or fighting order without written notification prior to the round. In team matches where an individual loses on account of receiving Hansoku or Shikkaku, any score for the disqualified Competitor will be set to nil, and a score of 8-0 will be recorded for that bout in favour of the other team.


I. A “round” is a discrete stage in a competition leading to the eventual identification of finalists. In an elimination Kumite competition, a round eliminates fifty percent of Competitors within it, counting byes as Competitors. In this context, the round can apply equally to a stage in either primary elimination or repechage. In a matrix, or “round robin” competition, a round allows all Competitors in a pool one bout against each of the other Competitors.

II. Note that “a bout” refers to an individual bout between two Competitors, while “a match” is the total of all bouts between the members of two teams.

III. The use of only Competitors' names causes problems of pronunciation and identification. WKF ID numbers should be allotted and used.

IV. When lining up before a match, a team will present the actual fighters for that round. The unused fighter(s) and the Coach will not be included and shall sit in an area set aside for them.

V. In order to compete male teams must present at least three Competitors and female teams must present at least two Competitors. A team with less than the required number of Competitors will forfeit the match (Kiken).

VI. When announcing disqualification by KIKEN the Referee will signal by pointing his finger towards the side of the missing Competitor or team, announcing “Aka/Ao Kiken”, and then “Aka/Ao no Kachi” giving the signal for Kachi (win) for the opponent.

VII. The fighting order form can be presented by the Coach or a nominated Competitor from the team. If the Coach hands in the form, he/she must be clearly identifiable as such; otherwise, it may be rejected. The list must include the name of the country or club the belt colour allotted to the team for that match and the fighting order of the team members. Both the Competitors’ names and their tournament numbers must be included, and the form signed by the Coach, or a nominated person.

VIII. Coaches must present their accreditation together with that of their Competitor or team to the official table. The Coach must sit in the chair provided and must not interfere with the smooth running of the bout by word or deed.

IX. If, through an error in charting, the wrong Competitors compete, then regardless of the outcome, that bout/match is declared null and void. To reduce such errors the winner of each bout/match must confirm victory with the control table before leaving the area.