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Jiyu Kumite

Jiyu Kumite



The Purpose Of Goju-Kai Jiyu Kumite Competition

In Goju-kai jiyu kumite competition, the attacks are not intended to show superiority by causing injury. Nor is the outcome of a match determined by the accumulation of half-points (waza-ari) and points (ippon) through no-contact (sun-dome) competition.

Although physical strength and mental power are necessary to gain a victory, crude power and rude fighting, even though strong, is unskilled kumite. Nor does fighting of good appearance, but no substance, demonstrate a high level of skill.

Goju-ryu emphasizes defensive counterattacks that harmonize the elements of defense and attack within the same technique. These techniques take the form of combination techniques (renzoku-waza) and close-range techniques (sekkin-waza), using the unique traditional cat stance (nekoashi-dachi).

Since good kumite comes from good character, the pursuit of skill and good attitude is of utmost importance. So, the purpose of Goju-kai jiyu kumite is more then winning. It is to face the contest with composure, respect, and good spirit, and thereby to develop our character.

Jiyu Kumite Competition Rules

In general, the rules for jiyu kumite are similar to W.K.F. kumite rules, but with the following modifications.

A. Competition Area

A circular court of 5.0-meter radius should be used. A warning line may marked 1 meter inside the court boundary. Lines for the competitors are 0.5 meter long, and are placed 1.5 meters from the court center at the left and right of the court.

The referee's line is 0.5 meter long, and is placed 2.0 meters from the court center at the rear of the court facing the front.

Jiyu Kumite Area

B. Official Dress

Competitors must wear white fabric fist protectors, a groin guard, and a mouth guard. Eyeglasses are forbidden. Soft contact lenses may be worn.

No chest protectors, shin pads or forearm pads are allowed.

C. Referee Panel

The panel consists of 1 arbitrator (kansa), 1 referee (shushin), and 4 judges (fukushin), for a total of 6 persons.

The positions of these officials are: Referee—inside court on centered line; Judges—at four “corners” on perimeter of court; Arbitrator—outside court, behind referee.

D. Duration of Match

A standard match is 2 minutes long. An extension match (encho-sen) is 1 minute long. The match start when the referee calls “Shobu hajime!” The match stops when the referee calls “Yame!” The timekeeper signals by bell when 30 seconds remain in the match (ato-shibaraku).

The referee calls “Yame!” under any of the following conditions: when excessive contact is made, when a competitor exits the court or when a competitor engages in self-endangerment (mubobi), or if a dangerous situation is observed, when the time is over, or when other conditions require stopping the match. When a judge observes any of these conditions, the judge uses whistle and flag to signal to the referee.

E. Decision for Win/Loss

Besides a loss due to a violation (hansoku), completing two-minute “Jiyu Kumite”, win, loss, or draw (hikiwake) will be decided through an overall evaluation based on the criteria in Section F.

If a match is declared a draw, an extension match (encho-sen) of 1 minute is called. Penalties are not carried forward, and at the end of the encho-sen, a decision for victory must be made.

F. Criteria for Decision

Judges use the following list to appraise the performance:
a. Technical proficiency
b. Spirit
c. Attitude demonstrated

G. Penalties

Penalty categories are similar to W.K.F. rules.

Category Warning Keikoku (minus ippon)
Chui (Minus nihon)
Hansoku (Loss)
Contact Others Chukako Keiko Hansoku Chui Hansoku
Mubobi Mubobi Mubobi Keiko Mubobi Chui Mubobi Hansoku
Jogai Jogai Jogai Keiko Jogai Chui Jogai Hansoku


“Gedan geri” and “teisho ate”, which are prohibited by the W.K.F., are allowed techniques. Gedan geri and ashi-barai should not be used as single techniques, but should be followed by another technique. They must be controlled, and repetitive attacks to the same place are not permitted. Open-handed techniques (Teisho, Shuto, Haito) are allowed. Finger techniques to the face are not permitted. Elbow, knee, and head techniques are allowed at close range, at the same time as a grab. Contact is not allowed, and repetitive attacks are not permitted. No direct contact to the groin is allowed. No penalty will be given to head and face attacks which make light contact (skin touch), but which show good control and cause no injury. Chudan attacks with good control and form are allowed. Techniques which have poor control and form, and which make hard contact, may be penalized. Over-excitement, loss of composure, or emotional outbursts are not permitted. Repetitive grabbing, pushing and throwing are not permitted.

Attack and defense may continue following a throw, but joint locks, grabbing, grappling, choking, or other dangerous techniques are prohibited.

H. Self-Endangerment (Mubobi)

If a competitor makes a one-sided attack without maintaining a guard, that will constitute mubobi.

If a competitor turns away during an opponent’s attach, dropping the guard position, that will also constitute mubobi.

I. Disqualification (Shikkaku)

The penalty of shikkaku will be applied as in W.K.F. rules, J.K.F. Competition Rules and Rules of the Tournament.

J. Injury and Accident in Match

If a competitor refuses to continue, or abandons the match, or if the referee panel directs the competitor to leave the court, the referee will signal “Kiken!” (forfeiture). If the two competitors injure each other or are suffering from the effects of earlier sustained injuries, and are declared unfit to continue by the tournament doctor, the decision is made by “Hantei!” If one of the competitors is declared unfit to continue by the tournament doctor due to injury, that competitor may not continue in that competition for any reason whatsoever.
The referee panel will decide whether the call is “Kiken” or “Hansoku”, based on whether the injury was caused by the opponent or not. A competitor who wins by injury hansoku must get permission from the tournament doctor to compete again. The competitor with such permission may win a second bout by injury hansoku, but then the competitor may not continue in the same kumite competition thereafter.

A competitor who does not have the stamina to continue or who has incurred injury not caused by the opponent, and who forfeits or whose coach decides to forfeit, loses the match by “Kiken”.

K. Decision

When the referee signals by a two-tone blast of the whistle, each judge will indicate by flag a vote for red victory (aka no kachi), white victory (shiro no kachi), or a draw (hikiwake). Each of the judges and the referee have one vote, and at least three votes must be in agreement for a victory (kachi). The decision must be verified by the arbitrator (kansa) before any announcement is made. In the case of an extension match (encho-sen), the judges must signal red or white only, and the referee must decide on a victory, i.e., no hikiwake is permitted.

The following diagrams illustrate how the referee determines the outcome of a match (hantei) based on the judges’ flags.

Case 1 Aka-Red Aka-Red Aka-Red Shiro - White Red wins
Case 2 Aka-Red Aka-Red Aka-Red Red wins
Case 3 Aka-Red Aka-Red Shiro - White Shiro - White Red wins, White wins, or Draw, based on referee’s vote
Case 4 Aka-Red Aka-Red Shiro - White Red wins or Draw, based on referee’s vote
Case 5 Aka-Red Aka-Red Red wins or Draw, based on referee’s vote
Case 6 Aka-Red Shiro - White Draw
Case 7 Shiro - White Draw

Note that if the flag colors in the illustration are reversed, “White” shall be substituted for “Red” and vice versa.