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New changes of WKF Competition Rules

There are two major changes to the Kumite Rules put into effect from 1.1.2017. Both are aimed at reducing passivity: 

1.       Introduction of ‘first unopposed score advantage” (SENSHU). If score is equal at the end of the match, the contestant that scored the first unopposed point is the winner. In order to achieve SENSHU the contestant must score the first point in the bout without the opponent also managing to score before YAME.  Should the opponent also manage to score before YAME, both contestant still have the opportunity to achieve SENSHU if managing to score without being scored upon in the subsequent clash.  In other words there is now an advantage in trying to score the first point to secure a win in the case of equal score.

2.       The ATOSHI BARAKU is changed from 10 seconds to 15 seconds. The current regulations of how to treat warnings and penalties during ATOSHI BARAKU remain unchanged.  

In this revision you will also find a new APPENDIX 10 – KARATE COMPETITION FOR THOSE UNDER 14 YEARS. The regulations given in this appendix are compulsory rules for the WKF Youth Cup and also recommended for WKF Continental and National Federations. 

Most of the other changes are administrative, correction to language, and reflections of current practices that up to now has not been sufficiently reflected in the rules. Some of are still very important both for referees and competitors to know such as: 

·         Allowing all competitors 5 minute break when having to change colour of belt/safety equipment

·         Kumite Competitors will now be require to stand in the center of the mat assigned mat when starting

·         The Referee will now apply manual count to enforce the 10 second rule 

·         The Referee is now given explicit powers for policing anybody in the competition area

·         Kata competitors can now be penalized for disturbing the opponent’s performance by moving about

·         The two mats used to mark starting point for kumite matches will be turned in order to make the kata competition area of uniform colour

·         Contestant may not wear belts reaching down longer than 2/3 thigh length

·         Contestant may wear two rubber bands or hairclips in their hair (before only one)

·         Female coaches may wear same WKF approved religious headwear as referees/judges

This revision contains virtually no major changes in the kata rules. It is envisaged that in the coming year we will do some trials related to the system for kata judging that may lead to some changes in rules from 1.1.2018. 

Although these are the major changes in this revision - we encourage all to use this opportunity to review the rules in their entirety as there are changes in Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13 of the Kumite Rules, Articles 1,3,5 and 6 of the Kata Rules, and Appendices 1 and 3 plus added Appendix 10. The rules are available on the WKF Website for downloading in pdf format.

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