Here are some of thHere are some of the
Karate Tips and tricks Which are most important for any competitor
regardless of style. You can click on the links below to Know moree
Karate Tips and tricks Which are most important for any competitor
regardless of style.
You can click on the links below to Know
WKF 6 Criteria explained so that there will not be
any confusion in learning the basic scoring criteria. thanks to my
friend Jason Stanley, USA
Maximizing The Six Criteria
There are six
criteria under WKF rules that must be satisfied in order to be
awarded a point. These are as follows:
1) Good form
2) Sporting Attitude
3) Vigorous Application
5) Good Timing
6) Correct Distance
As competitors we must MAXIMIZE each of the six
criteria to give them every opportunity to score our points.
Let's take a look at these in more detail, keeping in
mind that we must appeal to the referee's interpretation of the
rules. And while there are vast differences in opinion between
referees in what constitutes each of the 6 criteria, there are
specific points that cannot be ignored
CRITERIA #1 - GOOD
What does that mean exactly?
To paraphrase Sensei Tommy Morris' in his article
Tactics and the Referee, good form means to have correct posture
and stance when performing a technique.
An example could be when performing jodan mawashi
geri to make sure your body is balanced when kicking. I've seen so
many kicks hit their targets over the years, but many of them were
not paid because the competitor was off balance at the point of
contact. Clearly this is a case of poor form and the point should
not be awarded.
Another common competition technique is reverse punch
to the body. The rules state “Good Form”, but does this mean that
the hikite must be pulled back?
Gyaku zukis are paid with or without the hikite by
the hip. In fact in competition if you pull your hand all the way
back, you are lowering your guard and increasing your chance of
being hit. Believe me when I say I know this from first hand
experience - I was knocked out in 1994 making this mistake!
Also, do you think that if the back leg bends a
little or if the attacker raises their heel, a punch should still be
awarded? Under the WKF rules there is nothing to say it shouldn't
score. And because what is meant by “good form” in one particular
style might completely violate the “good form” from another, these
things are discounted under WKF rules.
Think of “good form” as the bare essentials. Things
like solid body mechanics, good balance, shift of weight toward the
target, recoiled and controlled technique.
Discard things like hikite position, whether or not
the front knee is bent slightly or a lot, if the back leg is bent
and the heel raised. Disregard things like whether your stance is
low or high, long or short. It's not kata now that is being judged.
What's under the assessment is whether or not it resembled an
effective karate technique.
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S BEING PAID
Now remember that there are vast differences in
referee's opinions. There are referees who hold high expectations
and then those who pay almost anything. It's important to pay
attention to what referees are paying on the day. And then it's also
important to take notice of what particular referees are awarding
I've been to tournaments where perfectly executed
haito uchis (ridge hand strike) are completely ignored by the
referees. Then the next week, the same referee will pay the same
points faster than you can say “yame!”.
Another example of a technique that very rarely gets
paid is a front hand punch to the body. The reason is that it's not
considered to be effective. However many of us know that if you pull
your hip back, twist into it and put your body weight behind it,
this technique can have an incredible amount of power.
Unfortunately most people execute this technique more
like a jab – which will score a point to the head, but when done to
the body falls into the ineffective basket together with things like
back fist to the stomach.
As we can see from these examples, for the competitor
it's not as simple as making “good form”, but to implement
techniques that the referees will reward you for.
MAXIMIZE YOUR CHANCES OF SCORING
Stick to the techniques that have the highest chance
of being paid. Things like chudan gyaku zuki, chudan mawashi and mae
geri. Forget about jodan punches, back fists and ridge hands unless
you have a knowledgeable referee who you KNOW will pay your points.
Jodan mawashi / ura mawashi geri are fine so long as you can
maintain good form and control. The 3 points can be worth the risk.
Consider how you can put these techniques into
practice, by developing strategies, tactics and combinations that
will allow you to score with them.
Remember to give yourself MAXIMUM SCORING OPPORTUNITY
(MSO) with the referees; it's a 2 part equation:
MSO = GOOD FORM +
WHAT'S BEING PAID
In the next newsletter we'll move forward to some of
the other criteria. We'll explore in detail ways you can bend the
rules to your advantage and maximize each to score your point.
By the way, if you're wondering, I drew that fight in
Croatia and our team went through to the final to take the silver
#2 - A SPORTING ATTITUDE
As competitors wanting to do our
best, we must do everything in our power to maximize our "sporting
attitude". As one of the six criteria required for a score to be
awarded, the WKF rules define sporting attitude as follows...
Sporting Attitude is a component of good form
and refers to a non-malicious attitude of great concentration
obvious during delivery of the scoring technique.
This means that
our mission is not to hurt or injure our opponent whether
intentional or through carelessness. To maximize our sporting
attitude, treat each bout as a complex game of tag. The key to
maximizing sporting attitude lies here...
the perspective of CHALLENGE instead of FEAR.
Once we change
our mind set to treat it as a game rather than a fight
where FEAR is the driver, the sporting attitude can easily exist
because challenge pushes your personal limits of skill, while fear
does the opposite.
Fear of defeat,
fear of being hurt, fear of embarrassment, and fear of punishment
are all powerful negative drivers that produce negative emotions and
unsupportive actions of the sporting attitude.
A direct result
are behaviors like uncontrolled, careless and sometimes malicious
techniques in order to "get even" with the opponent or referee.
I remember a
fight many years ago where my opponent became frustrated because I
had scored twice when he did not. He was upset because he felt his
points should have been paid, but mine were instead. He was unable
to control his emotion and the next chance he had, he "took one to
give one", meaning he allowed me to hit him first just so he could
knock me out.
was a case of poor sporting attitude, with an uncontrolled and
malicious technique. He was disqualified and I won the fight by
when fighting in a tournament, consider it a game of tag. This
changes your physiology and helps you operate from CHALLENGE instead
of FEAR. When you eliminate fearful emotions you maximize your skill
level, your sporting attitude and the chances of having your points
#3 - VIGOROUS APPLICATION
The WKF rules
define Vigorous Application as follows...
Vigorous Application defines the power and
speed of the technique and the palpable will for it to
this to mean that the technique must be executed at full combat
speed. It must be completely and plainly obvious that the kick or
punch had the speed and power to be effective.
lacking in power should therefore not be awarded. Any technique
lacking in speed should be ignored. However does this mean that
every technique should be executed at full combat speed with full
force to the opponent?
any technique in WKF competition must also be controlled. The
controlling of techniques is repeatedly emphasized in the rules. In
Article 6 under the scoring criteria the rules state the
The technique must be appropriately controlled
with regard to the area being attacked and must satisfy all
six scoring criteria.
competitors how do we maximize our vigorous application without
hurting our opponent? The first step is to understand what areas you
can hit with more force than others, and also what areas are illegal
to make contact with altogether.
people are familiar with the fact that joint and limb attacks are
illegal, did you know that it's actually LEGAL to attack the throat?
The caveat is that you CANNOT make contact whatsoever.
Vigorous application with control
is what the referees are looking for.
on the age group of the competitor, the rules are also different.
For example, for adults and juniors, light face contact is permitted
so long as the referee doesn't consider it too hard. Excessive
contact should always be penalized. For cadets no contact
is permitted to the face whatsoever.
The point to
all this is as competitors wanting to do our best, we must
understand and be familiar with the scoring areas. We must know what
techniques are safest to throw in order to minimize our chances of
being penalized and maximize the opportunities to score.
That's why in
part one of this article I suggested you stay away from techniques
to the front of the face due to the high probability of it being
penalized for contact and it's reduced chance of scoring since the
line between skin touch and excessive contact is so thin.
to techniques that target the muscular parts of the body where firm
contact with vigorous application isn't going to get you penalized.
arrived at one of the most important of the six criteria...
#4 - ZANSHIN (AWARENESS)
Whether it's on the street or on
the competition floor, zanshin is an absolute must in order to stay
out of harm's way. Zanshin, or "awareness" in English, is defined in
the WKF rules as follows...
is that criterion most often missed when a score is assessed.
It is the state of continued commitment in which the
contestant maintains total concentration, observation, and
awareness of the opponent's potentiality to counter-attack. He
does not turn his face away during delivery of the technique,
and remains facing the opponent afterwards.
Notice that the
rules state "Awareness is the criterion most often missed". Remember
that ALL 6 criteria must be present for a point to be awarded.
So if you're lacking zanshin, you don't get the point.
So many times
at competition a competitor will close their eyes when punching, shy
away when blocking and countering, or turn their back after they
score thinking they've already got the point. These are all examples
of poor awareness and your point should not be awarded.
maintain eye contact and keep your hands up until AFTER you hear
YAME! If you don't hear the referee, then most likely the point
wasn't awarded and you shouldn't look to them for verification -
this is another example of poor zanshin, and is very common in
children. If you teach kids reinforce this point over and over -
eyes on your opponent at all times!
will call YAME again if you didn't hear it the first time. The
bottom line is this... keep your eyes on your opponent, ears open
and hands up! Pretty simple really isn't it? So why do so many
people miss it? Eagerness to get the point and overconfidence in
their technique can lead people to drop their hands, turn away after
a technique or look to the referee for approval...thus, losing their
zanshin -- and their point!
A good visual
image to reinforce zanshin (particularly helpful when teaching kids)
is to imagine a spherical force field surrounding your body to the
full reach of your arms in every direction. That's YOUR zone.
Protect it at all times and be aware of everything coming in it!
CRITERIA #5 -
Sensei Antonio Oliva, who is often referred to as the world's
foremost tactical coach, "In order to score a point you must be in
the right place, at the right time, doing the right technique."
sense doesn't it? Without correct timing the effect of the technique
is greatly diminished. And the WKF rules back this up with criteria
#5 - proper timing.
means delivering a
technique when it will have the greatest potential effect.
So when does a
technique have the greatest potential effect? There are 2 factors
that influence the timing - your movement and your opponent's
Consider if you
will the following examples. For simplicity we'll assume one person
is attacking with reverse punch and
ACTUALLY MAKES CONTACT. All other criteria are good. The
other person is the target. The arrows indicate the direction of
movement of each of the players while the circle refers to a
As you can see from the table above, points should not be awarded
when the attacker is moving away from the target, or when the target
is moving away from the attacker. Study the above table and
determine why points should be paid in the other cases.
CRITERIA #6 -
delivering a technique at the precise distance where it will
have the greatest potential effect. Thus if the technique is
delivered on an opponent who is rapidly moving away, the
potential effect of that blow is reduced.
often miss this important point. They might have all other criteria
correct but when they make contact with reverse punch at an
ineffective distance for example, it doesn't get paid and
The reason is
often that their opponent is too close to them, not permitting full
extension of the technique - cramming the attacker. Similarly as
their opponent moves away the attacker might find themselves
overstretched trying to make contact but barely touching. Again
distance (and timing) are missing from the equation.
So how do we
solve these problems? If we look to Sensei Oliva's advice we see it
basically comes down to footwork and focus...
You must be in the right place (distance), at
the right time (timing), doing the right technique (focus).
So to maximize
each of the six criteria we must practice (and teach) everything
that we've established so far. I can't be there to watch you and
coach you, but there are things you can do to ensure that you (and
your students) are trying to maximize each of the six criteria...
it's a very simple drill, yet very effective - I guess that's why
it's being used by coaches and teams from around the world.
Would you like
to know what it is?
involves 2 competitors and a referee - a W.K.F. certified referee
would be best (perhaps you can invite them to your tournament
training sessions?). If you don't have access to a referee find
someone who is at least familiar with the 6 criteria for WKF
competitors face each other, one is the attacker and one is the
target. The attacker does whatever single technique or attacking
combination he or she wishes to practice while the other person
remains still, as a target. The referee watches the attack and then
will award the point just like in competition if all 6 criteria are
present. If not, then no point is given. After 5 or 10 attacks, the
attacker and target switch roles.
The benefits of
this drill are:
You're utilizing a real, live, flesh and blood WKF certified
referee, so you know that if the point is awarded, all 6 criteria
your points aren't being paid, you can ask the referee exactly what
was missing, then work on fixing it. (You can't do this at
makes you THINK and PRACTICE good form and develop good habits.
Competitors always WANT to be awarded points (even if it's just
practice), so it drives students to perform better.
You're practicing your technique exactly as you NEED to for
competition, so you'll be better prepared!
It's so simple,
yet makes so much sense it's irrefutable.
we've learned the 6 criteria for scoring a point under WKF rules,
how to maximize each and discovered a simple yet powerful drill for
developing both your skills and those of your students if you teach.
Armed with this knowledge and with a little practice you should
start to see measurable improvement in your tournament results.