top of page

TKO Qualifier and State Rules

I. General:
  1. Age: Competitors have the option of competing in the same division all year long for rating purposes, by establishing a legal competition age for the year. The age a competitor is on January 1st of the current competition year is their legal competition age for that year. All Competitors are responsible for having birth certificate or other form of identification should a protest arises.

  2. Rank: All competitors are encouraged to compete at the rank they obtain on January 1st of the current competition year. If a competitor moves up in rank during the competition year, they will have their points split between each of their respective divisions. At State Finals, the competitor can choose which rank to compete in according to their points in their respective rank division (please note: points between the two divisions will not be combined). Once a competitor competes in a certain rank, he/she cannot move down to a lower rank, with the exception of State Finals due to points accumulated throughout the competition year.

  3. Beginner division: A Competitor can only stay in the beginner division for two (2) full seasons.  Competitor will be suspended for that year from competing.

  4. Uniforms: All uniforms must be of regulation in that particular style or system. (In KATA competition uniform may vary with tournament director's approval). Uniforms must be clean.

  5. Sparring Gear/Equipment: Male competitors will wear groin protector. All protective equipment must be approved by promoter. Soft Type protective gear will be worn on hands, feet and elbow pads. (Foam, Vinyl). Shin pads will be of soft material, foam, vinyl or leather. No metal or plastic. No shoes allowed when sparring unless Ring Star approved shoes. Must wear a mouthpiece. Head gear mandatory. Face shields are encouraged for all junior competitors.

II. Matches:
  1. All competitors will be briefed before competition starts.

  2. All competitors must check in at their assign ring or face disqualification.

  3. 2 judges will be used for Kumite per ring.

  4. Center judge must be a black belt with experience in judging, and 18+ years of age.

  5. Fighting area must be 20’x20’ and no smaller than 16’x16’

  6. Fighting area will be outlined by visible tape or padded mats.

  7. Fighting area will have marked starting lines.

  8. Coaching: Only one coach is allowed per competitor at the ring to coach their student. No timeouts are allowed with the exception of an injury, which will be called by the head judge.  Coaching chair will be added on both side of the ring designated as a “Coaches Box”.  Coaches must be seating in the coaches chair at all time of the match. Standing is not allowed. A warning will be given, and a one-point penalty awarded to other side by Center Referee for each infraction after warning has been given.

III. Match Length:

A.        All matches will be two minutes or first to 7 points.

B.        Matches ending in a tie will go to overtime, first point wins.

C.        Timekeepers will call time at end of each match.

D.        Only head referee can stop the clock when:

(1)       A fighter is injured

(2)       Equipment Assistance

(3)       To talk to score keeper, time keeper, judges or for arbitration

E.        No physical contact from coach and the competitor will be allowed

A.        Speed, focus, control & technique delivered to target areas will be awarded a point. No Groin is allowed.

(1)       Punches = 1 point.

(2)       All Kicks to body = 1 point.

(3)       All Kicks to head = 2 points.

(4)       All Clashes = no point

B.        Target areas are: head, breast, rib cage, abdominal area.

C.        Confirmation needed to be awarded a point

D.        Light contact to the face and medium contact to the body for all ranks.

E.        Capoeira, and Cartwheel kicks are allowed. (2 points)

F.        Hands touching the ground to kick are allowed

IV. Scoring:
V. Ilegal Technique:

A.        No joints, no elbow techniques, no back or blind techniques, or throat techniques.

B.        No knee, or leg techniques, take downs (only in rings), head butts, arms, spine, neck, eyes techniques, or kicks to the legs.

C.        No finger jabbing, ripping, gouging, or tearing techniques to facial area.

D.        No Groin contact.

E.        No Ground fighting.

VI. Protest:

A.        Only the coach has the right to protest any call BEFORE the match is over.

B.        Head official will discuss protest with judge and arbitrator. All final calls will be made by the head official.

C.        Protests will be made in a gentlemanly manner.

D.        Protests will be made only if it is in conflict of rules.

E.        Protests must be made at time of infraction.


VII. Disqualifications:

A.        Excessive contact in all divisions.

(1)       If opponent is knocked out.

(2)       Was warned more than once for Excessive Contact.

B.        Swelling, discoloration, or drawing blood from head or face in all ranks will be grounds for disqualification. (The injury is verification).

C.        Contestant talking back to an official.

D.        Unsportsmanlike conduct or any other form of conduct unbecoming to a martial artist.

E.        Harassment from instructor, parent, or team members.

F.        Striking an official: Will be barred for one year from all TKO events.

G.        Being judged by own student or instructor in fighting. (unless agreed by both sides)

H.        Parents protesting inside a ring without a coach pass.

VIII. Out of Bounds:

A.        Must have both feet over the tape or matted area is out of bounds. (Loss of 1 point to opponent)

B.        No verification needed for out of bounds call.

IX. Fouls:

A.        Each foul called on an opponent will result in a point awarded to person receiving foul.

B.        Using the arms or legs as a target will be considered a foul.

C.        Majority needed on fouls excepted for face fouls resulting in blood.

D.        Fouls will carry over to sudden death situations.

E.        Fouls overrule points.

F.        Hitting after the break is a foul, cause for point awarded.

G.        Illegal techniques are fouls, cause for a point awarded.

H.        Combination Fouls are 1 point.

X. Kumite:

A.        Each competitor will compete in his/her division only. Size and weight will be a factor in junior divisions and below.

B.        If blood is drawn on same fighter a second time by a different opponent on same wound, disqualification will be called.

C.        Light contact only (face/body) (light).

D.        If there is an injury requiring a medic be called, no coach/parent is allowed to touch the injured competitor until the medic has arrived and accessed the injury. 

XI. Kata/Weapons Forms Rules:
  1. All competitors will perform their Katas with scores given when all the competitors are finished.

  2. Scoring Range will be from 9.0 - 9.9 in all Katas/Weapons Divisions

  3. Each judge must choose his or her top score from highest to lowest. Example: 9.9 for 1st,

9.8 for 2nd, 9.7 for 3rd and 9.6 for 4th with 9.5 being the median.

  1. All judges must be within the same scoring range. A denomination of (.2) will be applied to the lowest score. Example: A score of 9.9, 9.8, 9.3. Since 9.3 is not in the same range of 9.9 and 9.8, the lowest score of 9.3 will now change to 9.6 from the 2nd lowest score of 98 (denomination of .2).


  1. A second chance will be given to Under Belt contestants who forget their form. All Katas, Weapons, Specialty (Musical, Weapons, 2 man) can restart only once. No restarts in any rank at State Finals.

  2. Traditional Weapons/Katas – Must be understood as traditional movements displaying traditional techniques, stances, footwork, with no double split kicks, splits to floor, cartwheel and any gymnastic.  Traditional weapons must be a traditional weapon (No tapered bo) with no hand releases (toss ups) of the weapon other than simple hand switches.

  3. Specialty (Musical, Weapons, 2 man) no longer than 2 minutes

  4. Judging students is allowed in Katas only

  5. Divisions will be arranged by belt rank or age and sex.

  6. All competitors will perform their kata from top to the bottom of the list, and scoring will only be given when the last competitor is done.

  7. The judging board will be composed of 2 side and one center judge.

  8. If 5 judges are being used, high and low scores will be omitted. High score will be winner.

  9. Competitors WEAPON must be 3 feet away from all JUDGES.

  10. Ties: Regular scoring system first time around. If tied – run-off of same or different kata is acceptable. If tied again - judges point to winner.

  11. Grand Champion KATA must be same KATA that won division. When tie occurs another form will be allowed.



To help prevent physical assault and verbal abuse during sanctioned events, the TKO and TNT League, has adopted a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY.


This policy applies to all coaches, instructors, players, parents, spectators and other supporters and judges effective IMMEDIATELY.


Abusive and obscene language, violent play/conduct, fighting and other behavior (including, but not limited to sarcasm, taunting, RACIST REMARKS etc.) deemed detrimental during and after a match will not be tolerated. The ultimate responsibility for the actions of coaches, instructors, players and spectators resides with all TKO League members. It is the responsibility of the coaches to provide referee support and spectator control, and it is the responsibility of the TKO and TNT League promoters to provide instructions to their black belts on how to implement sportsmanlike behavior. 


This policy applies before, during and after the sanctioned event at the TKO and TNT tournaments.  


This includes, but is not limited to:


Coaches, Instructors and Players shall never yell at the referee(s), including criticism, sarcasm, harassment, intimidation or feedback of any kind before, during or after the match. Additionally, Coaches, Instructors and Player shall not make derogatory comments to players, spectators, instructors or coaches of either team.



The conduct of the players is governed by the Rules of the competition as stated by TKO and TNT Rules. The Rules themselves describe penalties associated with violating the Rules of the competition. Additional penalties for players who engage in misconduct may be established by the TKO/TNT League but may in no case be less severe than penalties established by TKO or TNT League. In severe cases of unsportsmanlike behavior and violent conduct players will be escorted off the premises, or depending of the severity of the situation, banned from competing at any TKO and TNT events.


Instructors and Coaches 

It is the responsibility of all instructors and coaches to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players and supporters in all matches. Failure to do so undermines the referee's authority and the integrity of the sport resulting in a hostile environment for players, the referee(s), instructors, coaches and parents/spectators.


As role models for all of the participants and spectators, instructors, and coaches participating in a TKO and TNT sanctioned event are expected to be supportive of, and to acknowledge the effort, good play and sportsmanship on the part of ALL players from either team in a competition. By example, instructors and coaches are expected to show that although they are competing in a sport, they have respect for their opponent, referees and spectators at all times.


The TKO and TNT League will not tolerate negative behavior exhibited either by demonstrative actions and gestures, or by ill-intentioned remarks, including those addressed toward the referees or members of an opposing team. Instructors and Coaches exhibiting hostile, negative, sarcastic or otherwise ill-intended behavior toward referees, opposing players or coaches will be subject to disciplinary action by the TKO and TNT League.


Additional may be imposed by the League that the instructors and coach represents, or as allowed by TKO and TNT League policies:

* Coaches and instructors shall not offer opinions to any call made by the referee(s) at any time

* Coaches and instructors are not to address the Referee(s) during the match except to: a. Respond to a referee who has initiated a conversation.

*    Point out emergency or safety issues.

* Clarify a call or call for an arbitrator.

* Absolutely no sarcasm, harassment or intimidation is allowed.


Penalties (Coaches and Instructors)

In the opinion of the referee, depending on the severity of the offense, the referee may take any of the following actions:


a. The referee may issue a verbal warning to the offending instructor or coach

b. The referee may eject the offending instructor or coach. Once ejected, the individual will be required to be escorted and leave the premises immediately.

Conclusion by the TKO and TNT League:
In cases of extreme unsportsmanlike behavior, in the opinion of the TKO and TNT League, a team, player, coach or instructor may be banned from any further TKO and TNT League sanctioned events and competitions.

bottom of page