Rules and Regulations

Competition Karate within New Zealand is run under the World Karate Federation (WKF) rules. We are currently running under the 2017 version of the WKF rules with modifications specific to Karate New Zealand.

WKF Competition Rules - English


WKF Kata Rules        WKF Kumite Rules - The Scoring
Kata image        Kumite image



Karate NZ Specific Rules

The following modifications are in operation at Karate NZ events. This includes National and Regional competitions.

General Rules

  • Divisions may be split into 3 levels. Development, Intermediate and Premier
    • Development - Less than 5 Karate NZ tournaments AND less than 60% of the way to black belt. Eg. In a 10 Kyu system, less than 4th Kyu
    • Intermediate - Less than 10 Karate NZ tournaments
    • Premier - Open to all players
  • Players cannot enter more than one level at the same tournament
  • Non premier events will not be considered by Selectors regarding National Team and Squad selection
  • Article 2 of the WKF rules stipulates that "Contestants must wear a white karate gi without stripes, piping or personal embroidery". Players in Development or Intermediate level competition may have personal embroidery on their Gi's, and their Belts. Players in premier divisions must follow the WKF rules.
  • During the bow in at the beginning of tournament all players must be in Gi or Tracksuit and must present themselves correctly

Kata Rules

  • Development Kata Events are limited to Kihon Kata and Competitors can repeat each round.
    • Heian 1-5
    • Pinan 1-5
    • Gekisai 1-2
    • Saifa.  
  • Intermediate Kata Events may use any kata from the official WKF list. (This list includes the above Development Kata).  Repeat ABCABC. Ie. Competitors must know at least 3 different Kata to enter Intermediate level Kata competition.
  • Premier Kata Events may use any kata from the official WKF list. (This list includes the above Development Kata).  Repeats are not allowed.
  • For Under 10 years there may not be premier divisions, in which case experienced athletes can enter Intermediate if available, or Development if not.

Kumite Rules

  • Article 2 of the WKF rules stipulates that "All protective equipment must be WKF homologated". For Karate NZ competition, it is sufficient for the protective equipment to be of a WKF style.
  • Appendix 10 of the WKF rules stipulates specific rules for childrens competition aged 10 to 13. For Karate NZ competition, the following rules will be used for all children aged 13 and below:
    • For techniques to the head and neck (Jodan area) no contact is allowed. 
    • Any contact to the jodan area , however slight, in principle will be penalized. 
    • A correctly performed technique to the head or neck in principle will be considered a score at a distance up to 10 cm. 
    • The bout duration is one and a half minutes. 
    • WKF Children Chest Protector is required to be worn outside the Gi