In a traditional Karate-Do competition there are no weight divisions.
Competitions modalities include Kata and Kumite:
• Shiai Kumite (Match for points)
It is a match with official rules and set time, representing the modalities used in competitions. Athletes face off in a square of about 64 square meters and each try to score points by hitting the opponent´s scoring areas of the body with authorized techniques.
There are the following scores according to the World Karate Federation (WKF) with their respective awards:
1) Sanbon: Three Points
- Jodan kicks. Jodan is defined as face, head and neck.
- Any scoring technique delivered on a thrown or fallen opponent.
2) Nihon: Two Points
- Chudan kicks. Chudan is defined as abdomen, chest, posterior and side area.
- Punches on the posterior part of the opponent, including the back of the head and neck.
- Combination of the fist techniques and strikes(tsuki and uchi), each of which will have a separate punctuation carried out in one of the seven scoring areas (head, face, neck, abdomen, chest, back, side).
- Any scoring technique realized after that one of the competitors will have caused, in a legal way, the loss of the balance of his opponent while scoring.
3) Ippon: One Point
- Any punch (tsuki) on one of the seven scoring areas, excluding the posterior part and the back area of the head and the neck.
- Any strike (uchi) on one of the seven scoring areas.
Depending on the style, the kumite can be semi-contact (as in Shotokan) or full contact (as in Kyokushinkai).
In semi-contact, a win is achieved by points (considering the technique as well where the strikes are delivered). Protectors are used and enforced. There is only a light contact to the body with no contact to the face and no kicks below the belt.
In full contact, the goal is to floor the opponent with a strike. Just an ippon (one point) is necessary to win. No protectors or guards are used, with exception to groin guards. Punches to the body and kicks to the head, body or legs can be thrown with full power, but punching to the head is forbidden.
The duration of a match is three minutes for men and two minutes for women. The winner is the one who get 8 points ahead of his opponent or who obtain a greatest score. If there is a tie, an extension occurs (Ensho-sen) where who get the first point wins. Continuing tie, the judges will decide the winner based on criteria such as combativeness, exemplary conduct during the event, respect for rules and others.
• Kumite team
Matches with teams of five people. The points of each competitor are added to his team.
Kata (Imaginary match)
In Kata competitions, each athlete is presented individually or per teams.
In individual presentations, two players face each other at a time.
In disputes of Kata teams, three or five players of a team are presented simultaneously, where they seek to perform all movements synchronously.
There are also disputes of bunkai, where applications movements of katas are illustrated through a "dramatization" of the blows.
Enbu (Martial theatre)
Presentation of Karate applications techniques in pairs. The decision is made by the referees note.
Dispute encompassing individual kata and kumite, alternating at each round. Kitei was instituted as official kata of Fuku Go competitions to permit the direct dispute (side by side) of competitors from different styles.