Sosai Masutatsu Oyama trained in many different methods of martial arts, taking from each the best he believed they had to offer. He instituted these various methods, along with his personal style, into what he established as Kyokushin Karate. When Mas Oyama founded Kyokushinkai, several styles of karate already existed in Japan. What set Kyokushin apart was not only its incorporation of many different components of several styles, but also its intense training requirements that included physical contact without the use of protective equipment during kumite training. Sosai’s idea of full, hard contact, as in classroom fighting, was at that time unheard of in karate. It was for certain not permitted during the practice of kumite in the other styles.

In the martial art of karate, kumite is regarded as the pinnacle of one’s training. It is during kumite that the students of karate test their skills against one another. It is where the expression of karate’s fundamental purposeself defense – is exhibited.



  1. a) In case there is neither IPPON nor disqualification, the decision supported by three or more out of the five referees is valid.b) In case of one of the competitors having a WAZA-ARI, the WAZA-ARI will be the first priority in a decision.c) In case of no WAZA-ARI, the amount of damage will be the priority in a decision.

    d) In case of no damages, the amount of YUKO-DA (effective techniques, but not enough for being a WAZA-ARI), will be the criteria for decision.

    e) In case of the same amount of YUKO-DA, the referees shall give priority to the competitor with more techniques (punch, kick, etc.).

    f) In case of the same amount of techniques, the referees shall make their decision based on which competitor has the initiative (fighting spirit, moving forward, attacking first) in the bout. The more aggressive competitor shall win.

    g) For the final extension, the referees must make a decision based on the dominance of either fighter.

    h) If a CHUI (warning) has been given to either of the competitors, the referees shall follow the criteria stated in (“Judging Criteria”).


  2. Disobeying the referee’s directions2. Making comments to the referee3. Straight attacks to the knee joints

    4. Any intentioned attack to the opponent’s spine from behind

    5. Attacks towards a fallen opponent

    6. Attacking a downed opponent, while he/she is lying on the floor

    7. Stepping repetitively out of the match mat area: “Jogai

    8. Attacks with hand or elbow techniques, Ude-wazato the head, neck or face

    9. Grappling: “Tsukami

    10. Attacking while hook holding: “Kake Tsukami

    11. Holding or clinching: “Kakaekomi

    12. Pushing: “Oshi

    13. Head butting: “Zutsuki

    14. Kick to the groin: “Kinteki-geri

    15. Retreating continually out of the match area and to avoid or refrain from fighting

    16. Constant bad attitude or behaviour towards the referee or competition

    17. Any fighter who refuses to fight over a longer period of time (30 seconds) can be disqualified.


  1. a) A foul is charged with one warning CHUI ICHI.

b) When any action is considered as a deliberate or malicious foul, or when a severe damage has been caused by a foul, a CHUI NI (two warnings) may be given at the first time.

c) CHUI YON (fourth penalty) results in SHIKKAKU (disqualification).


The following circumstances may result in disqualifications Shikkaku:

  1. In the case of second penalisation Genten-ni
  2. Constant disobeying the referee’s instructions.
  3. All actions regarded as absolute violence or intentional fouls.
  4. Any contender who refuses to engage in fighting during a match after the referee has appealed to the fighter to do so 3 times.
  5. If both contenders show unwillingness to engage in fighting for more than30 seconds, both fighters will be disqualified.
  6. No show. If a competitor does appear when called in for a bout within 1 minute.


The following actions are considered as HANSOKU (Fouls)

a) Attacks with techniques using hands or elbows to the opponent’s face or neck. (Even a slight touch may result in HANSOKU. However, making faints to the face is allowed.)

b) KINTEKI-GERI (groin kicks).

c) ZU-TSUKI (head thrusts).

d) TSUKAMI (grabbing of the opponent’s dogi or hand/foot).

e) KAKE (hooking). (To grapple or hook the opponent’s neck, head, shoulders, or body)

f) OSHI (pushing). (Pushing with open hands, closed hands, head or with the body is not allowed. It will be considered as HANSOKU even if you push with only one hand.)

g) OSAE (holding). (To hold the opponent with the hand or arm)

h) KAKAEKOMI (hugging and holding). (The person who puts their arms around the other one first will be given a foul.)

i) To attack while leaning the head or body against the opponent.

j) Attacks from the back.

k) To attack an opponent who is already down.

l) KAKENIGE (run-away attack). (Pretend to attack while actually running away from the opponent.)

m) KANSETSU-GERI, throwing the opponent.

n) Running away by repeatedly doing JOGAI. (Step outside area.)

o) When a competitor avoids contact with the opponent for more than 10 seconds, and does not resume contact even after the ZOKKOU (continue) command.

p) Any action that may be considered as bad attitudes towards the competition.

q) Attacks after the YAME command.

r) Any other actions that the referees may regard as fouls.


The following cases will be judged as IPPON (full point victory).

1. A thrust (TSUKI), kick (KERI), elbow strike (HIJI UCHI) or any other technique, excluding actions listed as fouls, which vigorously downs the opponent for three or more seconds.

  1. The competitor will be awarded a full point (IPPON) if his opponent is reluctant to fight for longer than 3 seconds as a result of a legal technique.
  2. Two half points (Waza Aris) will result in a full point Awasete Ippon.
  3. Disqualification will automatically give the opponent victory.


The following cases result in SHIKKAKU:

a) Failing to obey the referee’s instructions during the bout.

b) Being late for a bout.

c) Facing each other for more than one minute without engaging in fight. This shall be regarded as a lack of will to fight and both competitors shall be disqualified.

d) Any actions considered as sheer violence, seriously deliberate fouls or deliberate bad attitude towards the competition.

e) When the competitor vomits during the bout (after the HAJIME command, and before the HANTEI).

f) When there is a weight difference of more than 7kg between the weight in the application and the weight checked before the competition.

g) In case of CHUI YON.


  1. The time of the bouts depends on the Tournament but it is generally accepted to be 3 min long.

2. Victory is awarded to the competitor who has scored one full point (IPPON) or the one who has won by decision (including WAZA-ARI – half point) or the one whose opponent has been charged with a foul, or whose opponent has been disqualified.

3. The competitors shall enter the competition mat from opposite sides and stand by two lines, red and white, in the center of the fighting area, taking postures of FUDODACHI, facing the front.
Looking at them from the front (official seats), the competitor for AKA – Red – should stand on the left side (the one whose entry number is smaller) and the competitor for SHIRO – White – should be on the right side (the one whose entry number is larger).

4. The bout starts with the Main Referee’s command HAJIME and ends with the Main Referee’s command YAME.

5. In case of any accident during the fight, the Main Referee may stop the bout.

6. When the Main Referee makes the sign of “Time”, the bout shall stop for a moment, and when he makes the sign of ZOKKOU (continue) the bout shall start again.


The following procedure for announcements of warnings and penalties should be implemented by the referee towards foul techniques or actions:

1.FIRST WARNING: The referee points to the offender’s stomach saying: “Chui-ichi”

2.SECOND WARNING / FIRST PENALTY: The referee points to the offender’s stomach saying: “Chui-ni”, he then points to the offender’s face with: “(Awasete) Genten-ichi”

3.THIRD WARNING: The referee points to the offender’s stomach saying: “Chui-ichi”

4.FOUTH WARNING / SECOND PENALTY / DISQUALIFICATION: The referee points to the offender’s stomach saying: “Chui-ni” the referee then points 2 fingers to the offender’s face with: “(Awasete) Genten-ni”. Finally, the referee disqualifies the offender by pointing to the offender’s face, then to the outside of the match area, indicating him/her to leave the area by announcing: “Shikkaku”

  1. Serious infringements may result in penalties without warnings.

The following cases will be judged as WAZA-ARI (half-point)

a) When a thrust (TSUKI), kick (KERI), elbow strike (HIJI UCHI), etc., excluding actions listed as fouls, downs the opponent for less than three seconds, but eventually stands up and resumes the fight.

b) If the opponent loses their will to fight but resumes the fight within 3 seconds.

c) If the opponent has received so much damage that they lose their balance, but does not fall down.

d) When a well-focused GEDAN TSUKI (downward punch) is followed immediately in good timing after either downing the opponent with foot sweeps (ASHI-BARAI) or dodging the opponent’s DOMAWASHI-KAITEN-GERI (rolling kick).

e) competitor who is awarded a half point score will be given the victory at the end of the bout if no other score has been granted.


  1. If no Ippon, Waza Ari or Hansoku has been given the full amount of damage during the bout will be taken into account as main priority in the decision.
  2. If no damage has been registered, the overall Yuko Uchis, efficient attacks will be the criteria for the decision.
  3. In the final extension, Encho-sen, where a decision has to be taken, if no Ippon, Waza Ari or Yuko Uchi has been effectuated, the decision must be taken upon the basis of who has been the most forceful and dynamic during the bout.
  4. If a Genten, a penalisation has been awarded to a competitor during Encho-sen, the final extension, his opponent will be awarded the victory.