Australian Traditional Japanese Karate Championship


A karate tournament open to all traditional karate styles

Adelaide, SA

Normally in April but unfortunately we have now postponed the tournament due to the State of Emergency in SA, and the unpredictable nature of this situation means a date cannot be announced at present. When the situation is stable and infrastructure such as halls are open to public for large gatherings a new date will be announced. See you then! Osu

Highlights from the 2019 event.

See you all in 2020 again!

Event Committee Members

President: Valentino Cox, 7th-dan (Kensington dojo, SA)

Jason Armstrong 7th dan (Fig Tree Pocket, Qld)

Secretary: Sarven McLinton, 4th-dan (Magill doj, SA)

Tracy Ellis 5th Dan (West Beach Dojo, SA)

Legal Advisor: Adrian Cartland, 3rd-dan (Seacliff dojo, SA)

Venue, Date & Time

Saturday 18th of April, 2020

City: Adelaide. West Beach Primary school, 3 Woodhead street.

8:30am arrival for a sign-in no later than 9am.

There will be a rules brief for all events at 9am.

Official bow-in ceremony for event commencement at 9:30am.

We are physically linked with dojo in Japan, Australia & USA.

We are deliberately made up of like minded sensei upholding the traditional karate environment, include a range of styles and are not one badged organization, but rather as karate dojo ensuring excellence in karate's traditions.

Online Registration: Scroll down to complete all fields click submit (refresh the page/form if you have more than one student to enter), then pay for entry online with the links below the entry fields in the shopping cart.

Registration Deadline: completed online registration forms as well as payment must be submitted no later than:

midnight on 11th April (strictly no registrations on the day).

Registration & Payment (will be available in January 2020):

Traditional Japanese Karate Network members:

Click to pay A$35 registration fee for all eligible events...

    • This covers entry for as many events as you are eligible and wish to participate in
    • Your insurance fee is already pre-paid as you are a current member of one of the TJKN dojo(s)

Traditional Japanese Karate Network non-members:

click to pay A$50 registration fee for all eligible events...

    • This covers entry for as many events as you are eligible and wish to participate in
    • This includes your insurance fee

Waiver: On the morning of the competition itself you will be required to sign an insurance form upon arrival, after confirming your attendance at the registration desk at 8:30am. For competitors under 18, you will need to ensure that your guardian is present with you at the registration desk to sign otherwise you will not be able to participate in the tournament.

What to bring

  • Traditional white dogi top and pants
  • Belt appropriate to your rank (no separate tournament belt required, e.g. Aka/Ao)

Kumite events also require:

  • Mouth guard
  • Hand mitts ('PU dipped'*)
  • Groin guard
  • Chest protector (optional for kids & women only)
  • for kids events (but not adults) we want to protect their growing bones, therefore shin/closed foot/toe guards for eye protection are required (for those sparring; we will have this protection gear for sale on the day if needed (WKF equivalent gloves $29, leg & foot pads $40)). In the case of adult competitors we follow the more traditional route of not over padding the body so students learn how to receive and throw techniques without damaging themselves.
  • Chest protector (optional for Females & Kids only sparring)

* standard competition karate mitts are a requirement of this competition for ippon kumite & kumite. MMA gloves, boxing, cotton only mits, and so on are not appropriate for the safety of your opponent.

**Gloves an leg pads with closed toes for eye protection must be WKF equivalent (does not need to be our organization's version though, nor do we care about branding/logo) for example see here...

Rules Seminars - TBD date

TJKN SA are holding a small session to prime karate-ka on the rules and tournament etiquette. These are primarily for dojo heads and are more intimate seminars where you can ask questions and discuss judging in hypothetical scenarios. The reason this is targeted at dojo heads is because your sensei can attend, learn the rules style, bowing etiquette (etc.) and then pass that information on to all the students in your club who are interested in entering, and frame it in a context that is appropriate for your club (e.g. decide how your club as a whole will approach bowing etiquette for kata, given that each style might differ slightly in approach). Dojo heads can learn the back-end of tournament judging so that they can understand how/why points are awarded in order to prime their students, however the panel of judging staff on the day of the tournament are only Sensei and Sempai from TJKN clubs.

This seminar is identical to those held in previous years, so dojo heads who have already attended already have the information required to prepare your students for the tournament (though you may attend again for revision of material if desired). Email the "Inquiries" address at the bottom of this page for registration. The seminar is free of charge.



As the saying goes:

"In Karate or a street altercation, just as in life, you get once chance."

As a traditional tournament we base our kumite bouts on the time tested unchanged rules of Ippon Shobu Kumite, which originate from the 1950s (made most famous by the JKA and the All Japan Championships of that era). Ippon Shobu enables an opponent to end a bout with one point Ippon (or two 'half-points' Waza-ari at the most) and emphasizes this key point of karate's philosophy, rather than the more sports-karate oriented rule sets which span bouts over 8 points.

Ippon Shobu continues throughout many traditional karate leagues in the USA and Japan today. Matches are single elimination all the way to the finals (with an additional bout to determine 3rd and 4th place). An example of the scoring technique under Ippon Shobu is gyaku-zuki, which will score waza-ari regardless of the target being jodan (head) or chudan (body) as per the sample video below. Ippon however is reserved for leg techniques to jodan and a deliberate takedown followed by a strike on the ground. Regardless, the technique must be clear, on target, and undefended, backed by kime (focus) displayed by a strong kiai. The level of contact is dependant on belt rank, with Men's Open (Black Belt) kumite typically exhibiting touch/tap contact to the head, and low to moderate contact to the body, and then all other divisions scaling back contact progressively (down to juniors who should have no contact to the head whatsoever). Below is an example of what is required to score waza-ari at a Men's Open (Black Belt) level in Ippon Shobu:

Flag sparring

Flag Sparring is a form of practice sparring that requires juniors to grab the opponent’s tags (one 'flag' placed on the left and right side of each competitor's hip, in the belt). It simulates Ippon Shobu as each flag is worth Waza-ari or half a point (the first to Ippon, one full point, is the winner). This is a safe and fun jiyu-kumite option available to all our younger competitors under 13 years of age. Juniors under 13 years who also wish to participate in regular Ippon Shobu are welcome to compete in both events, they will need to bring their normal sparring gear that they use in kumite training though (hand mitts, shin guards, and so on) whereas flag sparring does not require these.

Kata & Team Kata

Kata and Team Kata are scored on a points scale from 0.0 to 10.0. Placings are awarded based on the highest total scores (sum of all judges), and in the event of ties the lowest and highest scores are removed progressively to determine placing.


Bunkai demonstration event involves a team of 2 competitors performing 2 sections of their chosen kata. One team member lines up on the AKA (red) position and the other on AO (blue) facing the audience. Both simultaneously perform the segment of the kata that appears earliest in the sequence, then turn to each other and AKA performs the bunkai once slow on AO to clearly indicate the application (without dialogue), then once at full speed. Both then turn back to the audience and simultaneously perform the second selected segment that appears later in the kata. They turn to each other and AO performs that bunkai once slowly on AKA and then once at full speed. Both then turn and bow to the audience, awaiting scores. This is a team event, so both competitors must be well-versed in executing their selection of the team's bunkai and to be a convincing uke when their partner performs. Bunkai judging will be based on the speed, power, fluidity and practicality of the 2 bunkai, scored as a team (the same scoring range as Kata and Team Kata). This event is not about executing an exhaustive display of every bunkai in the kata, nor acrobatic and fanciful techniques. Rather, select the two bunkai you and your partner want to show your knowledge of, and execute a practical application for those two key moves in the kata. The definition of bunkai practicality stems from evidence based statistics of street violence as described in the textbook Karate technique selection & Street Fighting Statistics & Medical Outcomes.

Bunkai should be both practical and classical

As a traditional karate event, this tournament strives to propagate a traditional approach to self-defence that must also be real-world appropriate. Consequently, the bunkai you decide to perform must be both practical and classical.

  • Practical bunkai are sequences that are conceivable to be executed by that karate-ka under pressure in a street scenario against a resisting opponent. For example, in male-on-male violence, bunkai involving fine motor manipulation of small digits is unlikely to be successful against an attacker with the intent to impact. Practical bunkai are also responses to scenarios that the karate-ka is likely to be threatened with in a real-life encounter. That is to say, it is less likely that a male will be attacked with a wrist grab from another male, unless conceptualised appropriately as a standing grapple scenario. The definition of bunkai practicality stems from evidence based statistics of street violence as described in the textbook Karate technique selection & Street Fighting Statistics & Medical Outcomes.
  • Classical bunkai are sequences that can be traced back through karate history. This means that the bunkai you have learned from your Sensei is also likely to feature in a karate text book, or in a video of a master too. Classical bunkai do not necessarily need to be ‘old’, they just need to be attributable to a notable karate-ka. For example, when you look at classical bunkai for the very athletic kata Unsu, you are unlikely to find an acrobatic jump or spinning kick in the actual application of that kata for self-defence.

Below is a video of TJKN Sensei Jason Griffiths (5th-dan) & Wayne Edwards (2nd Dan) demonstrating for you one iconic bunkai point from 3 different kata. These have been selected because they are both practical, and classical (with background description given, so that you can see where the bunkai originate).

Final Comment:

Your bunkai will need to ‘tick the box’ for being both practical and classical. As long as this requirement is met, then all competitors are judged on how well they execute the bunkai they have selected to perform (as outlined above). In preparation for this event, consult your sensei when considering which bunkai to demonstrate.

This is an example of a bunkai sequence, where the competitors have selected two sections of the kata Bassai-Dai. Note that the competitors must perform the section of the kata together, then turn to eachother and show the bunkai that maps that section slowly and deliberately so that the audience can see clearly how their selected application fits the kata sequence, then once at full speed with control so as not to injure their partner but still make it evident that the bunkai is practical and can be applied against resistance. Also note that the competitors can reposition themselves wherever they see fit in order to ensure that the audience can see the bunkai from the most optimal viewpoint (before bowing to eachother and performing their bunkai they can walk around or past eachother anywhere on the mat, as long as they return to their former positions when executing the second section of the kata or bowing out). If these aspects are not taken in to account it will affect the team's score. For example, not executing a bunkai slowly and deliberately enough the first time around means you are not taking the opportunity to clarify to the judges how your selected application maps to each of the individual kata moves and overall sequence. Since you cannot use words to express yourself you need to be clear in your motions.


Email us (below), or call Sarven McLinton (0416 339 619) for more information. Email is the most reliable and efficient method of contact: