Martial Arts Tournaments follow a flow of action from one activity to the next, with judges, scorekeepers, and competitors working together to ensure a smooth and worthwhile experience for all players. To give you an idea of what to expect, most competitions are set up in this order…
Opening and Bow-In: all the competitors line up across from the Black Belt Judges, come to attention, and bow to show respect and demonstrate the proper etiquette for a fair and successful competition.
Forms and Weapons Divisions: Competitors demonstrate their open-hand and weapons forms, while the judges award points for each performance. The scorekeepers and timekeeper keep track of the points and help to announce the winners in each division.
Point Sparring Divisions: Sparring divisions are usually separated by belt rank (novice, intermediate, and advanced), by boys and girls, and by age ranges (such as “9 and 10-year-olds,” “11 and 12-year-olds,”etc). Full safety equipment is required and competitors face each other in 2-minute matches.
The ring judges run the matches and call points for proper techniques executed to scoring areas. The first player to score 5 points before time runs out wins the match and may face other competitors until a division winner is determined.
At the end of each division, the winners bring their official score sheet to the trophy table to collect their awards!
Registration fees vary from one event to another, but are usually around $40 for one division and $10 for each additional division. Tournaments are held in nearby suburbs or in other states, so some are close and others may be a couple hours away. Our school is very careful to attend and recommend only tournaments that are well-run by reputable dojos and competition circuits that can be trusted to keep events fair for all players.