Oss Karate-ka,

With only a few days to go, are you getting excited? I know myself and the other instructors are!

I thought I would share a few reminders and further details about the day, just to help alleviate some of those pre-competition nerves.



Areas & Draw

As you will know the competition is being held at the Stevenage Leisure Centre, the same place as our grading’s. The hall will be divided into 6 areas, 2 for Kumite (Freestyle Fighting) and 4 for Kata (Team and Individual).

Each area is called Tatami which translates as mat. Not every area will be matted, as this is only really required for the Kumite portion of the competition. Each area will be led by the Tatami Chief, these are all senior Dan grades of ESKA (English Shotokan Karate Association), 5th Dan’s and above.

The final draw for the competition is being held on Friday, so there is still some time to get any last minute entries in.


For each Kumite Tatami the Tatami Chief will be known as the Referee. They will be assisted by a mirror judge to watch the contestants from the opposite side of the referee. There will also be a match supervisor, that assists the referee and sits outside of the matted area.

The duration of the bout will be determined by the chief referee on the day. The timing starts when the referee gives the signal to start and stops when the referee calls YAME. Contestants should not stop until the referee calls YAME even if the bell is heard, as points can still be scored until the referee calls YAME.

The timekeeper will give a clear signal when there is 10 seconds remaining and when time is up, but it is the referees YAME which will end the bout. Should a contestant reach 8 clear points the match will be ended regardless of any time remaining.

To compete in the Kumite you must:

  • Bring your ESKA licence with you on the day
  • Wear, gum shields, shin pads, mitts, chest protector (females) and foot protectors
  • Cadets will in addition to the above, be provided with head guards.

If you win your bout, you must record your name and win at the tatami table.


For each Kata area there will be 4 other judges alongside the tatami chief. At the end of the katas being performed the winner will be decided by raising 5 flags, either red (Aka) or blue (Ao). This is done once the tatami chief blows his whistle. All flags are then lowered and the winner is shown by the tatami chief re-raising the winners colour flag.

The winner must approach the tatami table to record their win following the win being announced.

Good Luck

Check out what is up for grabs… Now keep practising and good luck!

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