Practical and Applied Karate Tournaments - P.AK.T.

Posted by Doug Connell in Uncategorised on 27th November 2017

You can download your entry form by clicking on link below.


You can pay by clicking on one of the links below:

 All 3 events (Kata & Application, Pad Work and Kumite)

Single event  – Kata & Application

Single event – Pad Work

Single event – Kumite


Mission Statement

P.A.K.T.’s aim is to add a competitive element to Practical and Applied Karate. We will strive to provide a platform where students from all karate styles can compete as safely as possible in an event that is more suitable to practical karate training.

Our belief is that by doing so we will:

  1. Add more focus to all competitor’s training.
  2. Add extra adrenalin to practical and applied karate that competition helps to provide.
  3. Better equip karate-ka for real self-defence situations through the use of less compliancy and dialogue used in the competition.
  4. Over time as P.A.K.T. evolves add to the melting pot of ideas that we thrive on further enhancing and bringing together the growing Practical and Applied Karate community.


Hi and thanks for taking an interest in Practical and Applied Karate Tournaments or P.A.K.T.

Your interest probably means that very much like myself you are part of a growing number of karate-ka who finds that due to the more practical direction your training has taken you, traditional WKF style tournaments are no longer something that holds the same level of interest as they used to.

Personally, it was about 5 years ago when I began to wonder why I was still running these style tournaments for my students when a lot of it was contradicting what we were teaching in our practical syllabus. I just didn’t have time to be doing both, so I dropped the tournaments completely. It was only after doing this however that I realised that students, especially the younger ones, missed the competition, the medals and just the basic thrill of tournaments.  Competition can, after all, be very healthy and can certainly focus and give extra motivation for training.

I decided that we needed a tournament where the growing number of practical karate practitioners in the UK, (championed by Peter Consterdine, Iain Abernethy and all the good people at the BCA & BCKA), could get together and do what we do, just with an element of competition. I also found that the Practical karate community I had been involved with were people I enjoyed being around too which made the idea of a tournament even more appealing!

I sat down and gave some thought to P.A.K.T.

The 3 main tournament categories and sub categories of P.A.K.T. are;

1)Kata and Application

  1. i) Solo Performance

2 ) Application of bunkai. This will escalate in difficulty ie the uke will become less compliant.

2)Pad work and impact


  1. Continuous light kumite


1)Kata and Application

In our old style of tournament the competitor would only be asked to perform their kata as a solo performance. As this was the main focus of their competition they would get very good at it but a lot of the time it was at the expense of understanding and internalising the principles their kata was trying to teach them. In a lot of cases they would perform the kata brilliantly but if you were to grab them in a passive way and asked them to demonstrate the first move of the kata they would look at you as if you’d asked them to explain quantum physics in one sentence (please don’t ask me to do that either!)

I wanted the karate-ka who entered P.A.K.T. to perform their kata in a solo style of course as it showcases their kihon, control, timing and power generation but also to demonstrate that they understood some of the principles they had learnt by doing kata and could demonstrate these on a live uke. A compliant uke would be used first to demonstrate purity of technique and an understanding of angles used in the kata. A less compliant uke would be used to demonstrate how they executed their technique under pressure, including some pushing, shoving and dialogue.


2)Pad work and impact

I really wanted to include pad work and impact in our practical tournament as I feel that impact and the transition of body weight


I wanted to diversify our kumite for P.A.K.T. and not rely solely on the ippon style that prevails in sporting karate events.  In our last few traditional style tournaments we got rid of ippon kumite and introduced continuous kumite which inevitably lead to range being diminished rapidly, vertical grappling and then in most cases both parties ending up on the floor in a very short space of time. It also resulted in a lot more injuries than we had been used to in ippon kumite. Although this continuous kumite is probably the truest reflection on a competitor’s overall ability I wanted to separate the ranges whilst making it safer and more competitor friendly.

As far as the ippon kumite goes I therefore realised to get rid of it was verging on “chucking the baby out with the bath water”.  Because of its long range-style I had seen it as far from practical but have justified it’s inclusion in a practical tournament based on its pre-emptive and timing value as well as the benefit of cultivating a strengthened and winning mind-set.

Close/Grappling range is the distance that the vast majority of our kata bunkai is designed to work from, so it only seemed natural to include it in a practical tournament. With the grappling, I ideally wanted to see good use of limb control to either punch the opponent or to ideally take down or throw and then maybe hit again! This idea has been summed up in one of my favourite diagrams of all time by Andi Kidd. Its genius is in its simplicity.

Previously I had found that with no merit given for striking at this range and with students concentrating solely on grips and takedowns/throws the dynamic of the kumite changed drastically and was more akin to a judo match (a very poor one!) Striking from the clinch also instils good practice with competitors for practical purposes.




1a) Competitors must wear a clean gi.

1b) Competitors must have good hygiene. This include trim finger and toe nails.

1c) Where hair is longer than the shoulders it must be tied back away from the face in a ponytail.

1d) Disclaimer on the entry form must be signed

1e) All competitors to have safety equipment where applicable. Anyone without necessary equipment will not be allowed to compete.

1f) All competitors must make sure that they are entered in the correct age/grade division at the time of the tournament. Any change in grade between the time of entry and tournament must be communicated to P.A.K.T. at least 72 hours before the competition day.



Check in

2a) All tournament registration and payment will be completed at least 72 hours before the event. No registration or payment will be allowed on the day.

2b) All competitors must check in at the registration desk upon arrival.

2c) Please be there promptly for the check in time stated. If you miss your event it is down to you.




Judges & Referees

3a) Each ring will have a designated head judge who will have responsibility for the smooth running of the ring and final say in all technical matters.

3b) All judges and referees act with integrity and their decisions are final.

3c) Judges and referees will have done a P.A.K.T. judging and refereeing course. These will be held bi-annually and will be open to adults from any clubs participating in our tournaments.

3d) All head judges will hold at least a Shodan grade.

3e) All ring judges will be at least 3rd kyu.


Kata and Application

Kata – Solo Performance

4a) 8th kyu grades can only participate in the solo performance in the kata division.

4b) 7th kyu – 1st kyu  grades can demonstrate either their grade kata or one up from their grade kata/ one down from their grade kata.

4c) Shodan grades and above can perform the kata of their choice.

4d) The difficulty level of the kata compared to the competitors grade will be considered when scoring.

4e) The competitor will be judged on zanshin/awareness from their entry into the ring to their exit from the ring.

4f) Any subtleties/nuances within the kata that are deemed to be superfluous add-on’s for tournaments sake will be discounted by judges when scoring.


Application of bunkai



5d) Open division competitors will be told immediately before they compete which application they will be required to demonstrate.

5e) The same uke will be used throughout the entire division to regulate consistency for all competitors.

5f)  In the case of the application starting from an arm or lapel grab, 4th kyus and below will begin from that position. So in the case of an arm grab the competitor will start with his arm already grabbed.

5g) Awareness of surroundings (Zanshin) and an escape plan will be shown by competitors on completion of the application to instil good habits. (see clip)

5h) Competitors will be scored on demonstration and understanding of stances and therefore weight distribution, limb control, focus and accuracy of striking techniques and angles used in relation to the uke.



Application on less compliant uke

6a) In order to regulate the consistency of “less compliance” in this section the same uke will be used throughout the division for all competitors.

6b) The same application demonstrated by the competitor in the compliant section will be tested in this section

6c)  The uke will not now attack from a “start” position but whilst closing range in order to startle the competitor and raise adrenalin.

6d) Dialogue designed to raise adrenalin in the competitor will be used  by the uke in this section. The volume intensity and content of the dialogue will be relevant to the age and grade of the student but will regulated and remain as consistent as possible throughout the division.

6e) A certain level of non-compliance will used by the uki, once again the intensity of which will be relevant to the age and grade of the student but will remain consistent as possible throughout the division.  This level of less-compliancy will continue until the competitor gains the desired end to the application. This is a chance for the competitor to demonstrate how able they are to execute their technique under pressure, to practice minimising the “freeze” factor and to keep going until they have neutralised any threat.

6f)  8th, 7th, 6th, and 5th kyu competitors have 3 tries and are scored on their best attempt.  4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st kyu grades have 2 attempts and are scored on their best attempt. Open division competitors will receive only one attempt.

6g) Awareness of surroundings (Zanshin) and an escape plan will be shown by competitors on completion of the application to instil good habits. (see clip)


Pad work/Impact

Competitors will be scored on their transition of weight thus impact on pads, their movement and rhythm between techniques, their control of range, and their intent.

7a) No hand mitts/gloves or leg pads are to worn in the pad work/impact section. Striking and kicking without these will make it more realistic for the competitor while also making it easier for judges to see if contact is made optimally.


7c)   The combination will be the same for each competitor within that division so as to compare each on a level playing field.

7d) Open division competitors will be told immediately before they compete which combination they will be required to demonstrate.

7e) Awareness of surroundings (Zanshin) and an escape plan will be shown by competitors on completion of the application to instil good habits. (see clip)



Ippon kumite

8a) WKF approved mitts and pads to be worn for Ippon Kumite.

8b) Gum shields must be worn in kumite section.

8c) Head guards must be worn in kumite section

8d) Aka will wear a red belt and Shiro will wear a blue belt.

8e) The bout will last for 1 and a half minutes or until a competitor has reached 3 points.

8f) Strikes and kicks will be allowed to the head, HOWEVER WE HAVE A STRICT NON- CONTACT POLICY TO THE HEAD

8g)  Ippon kumite is to be controlled and its emphasis will be on timing, speed and first strike or kick that would have neutralised the opponent.

8h) Excessive impact will not be scored and a verbal warning will be given at the judge’s discretion.

8i) If excessive impact is still being made by the same competitor after they have received a verbal warning the penalties will escalate to a half point penalty to a full point penalty and then to disqualification.

8j) The closing of range will be permitted if it is capitalised upon quickly but any prolonged grappling will be broken up.

8k) A half point will be given for a clear, clean and effective punch to the body or kick to the body. These must be in the traditional tournament scoring zone.

8l) A half point will be awarded for a clear, clean and effective punch to the front of the face.

8m) A full point will be awarded for a kick to the head when the competitor lands the kick in a safe manner to their progression in the bout.

8n) A full point will be awarded for a clear, clean and effective punch on the opponent when they are on the floor providing that the “puncher” instigated the take down.

8o) A full point will be awarded for a clear, clean and effective punch to the back of the head.

8p) If a competitor leaves the ring for any reason then “jogai” will be called and the bout restarted. If this repeatedly happens to the same competitor whereas by they are not forced out of the ring but have accidently wandered out then a verbal warning will be issued and from there escalated in the usual way.

8q)  The judge’s decision is final. Any arguing with this decision may result in a verbal warning, then a half point penalty, then a full oint penalty and then disqualification.


Vertical Grappling

9a) Elasticated hand mitts will be worn.

9b) Gum shields must be worn.

9c) Head guards must be worn.

9d) Groin guards must be worn.

9e) The bout will last for 1 and a half minutes or until a competitor has reached 3 points.

9f) Vertical grappling, by its nature will be less controlled than ippon kumite and a good amount of body contact and struggle is normal and to be totally expected. That being said any striking that results from gaining an advantageous position through grappling/trapping etc must be controlled and any excessive impact will be met in the same way as in the ippon kumite category.

9g) Competitors will start from a neutral clinch position with one hand on the back of each other’s head and the other on each other’s bicep. This will also be the reset position after a break has been forced or implemented.

9h) Short distance striking while in a neutral clinch will be allowed to the head and body but will not be scored because of its low potential for impact and therefore stopping power. In the context of the competition they are to be seen mainly as opening techniques for more advantageous positions to strike from.

9i) Knees to the body will be allowed.

9j) If competitors break their grip without cause or for advantage they will reset from the neutral clinch position. There will be absolutely no striking in this instance.

9k) If competitor a is able to step offline and by limb control remove themselves from competitor b’s control and a clean strike is delivered then at least half a point is guaranteed to competitor a  

9l) * If in the case of point 9k the grapple must be allowed to continue for 10 seconds to see if competitor a can capitalise on this situation even further ie a take down, strike to the back of the head, throw etc If within the 10 seconds competitor b manages to turn things around in their favour and gain an advantageous position of their own then a quarter of a point will be awarded to competitor b. Competitor a will still receive a half point and the bout will be restarted.

9m) A half point will be awarded to competitor a if they takedown competitor b and remain upright. A full point will be awarded to competitor a if a strike/kick (no contact) is delivered immediately after this.

9n)  If competitor a takes down competitor b but also goes to the ground and horizontal grappling ensues for longer than 10 seconds then no points will be awarded and the bout will be restarted. If competitor a can get up and capitalise and deliver a strike/kick (no contact),then they will be awarded half a point. If competitor b manages to get up and capitalise then they will be awarded a quarter of a point.

9o) A half point will be awarded if a student’s posture is broken to around 90 degrees and a full point if a clean strike with potential impact is delivered to the back of the head (only non-contact open hand palm strikes for safety reasons)

9p) A full point will be awarded for a clean throw. Only hip and shoulder throws will be allowed for safety reasons. (for this reason it is important that all students have experience at break falling, please drill and re-drill these in the run up to the day!)


Thank you

Please note that as this is the first inter-club competition of its kind to be held it is very much in its infancy. Rules and regulations regarding safety to competitors, quality of scoring, and judging and refereeing criteria will undoubtedly evolve for the better with every passing P.A.K.T tournament we hold. Also the variation and content of bunkai based application and padwork combinations will no doubt go from strength to strength with valuable input from participating club instructors and competitors.   We therefore respectfully ask everyone who enters P.A.K.T. to do so in the true spirit of karate-do. Have patience and have fun!

I am truly excited about P.A.K.T. and believe that we have the infrastructure of a new look tournament that will only grow in size and influence in the karate world.

That being said, we are fully aware that this tournament can only be as strong as the likeminded people who participate and get behind it! I hope you and students from your club are those people!

As previously stated if you would like to chat regarding anything that has been covered (or indeed anything you think hasn’t been covered!) I would love to hear from you.


You can email me on or call  on 07990 668786.

I look forward very much to seeing you on October the 21st!

Doug Connell

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