Whenever a Judge is unsure, or
in doubt about any Element of a competitor's
behavior or performance, the benefit of that
doubt always goes to the competitor.
Be sure to read the American
Warrior Philosophy & Competition Policy page.
Following are definitions of
the Five (5) Elements upon which all
competitors are judged/scored.
1) Personal Hygiene
- Clean Body
- Clean & Neat
- Clean & Trim
Finger Nails and Toe Nails
- Clean (No stains).
- Neat (Very minimal
wrinkling... does not have to be
- No hanging
threads, rips, tears or holes (worn/faded fabric is
okay... Does not apply to Belts).
must be firmly and completely affixed to the
- No torn or hanging
- Sleeves may be
permanently shortened (hemmed).
- Sleeves may be
rolled up NEATLY for weapon performances
- No rolled up pant
legs (must be tacked with thread or hemmed).
- In Sparring
divisions... groin protectors, forearm &
shin guards MUST be worn under the uniform.
- Must wrap around
the body neatly with no twisting (cross overlapping
- Must be tied in a
neat square knot (tails must exit both sides of the
- Tails must be the
- Competitors who
come from schools/styles that use different types of
uniforms or belts are exempt from only the
specific Appearance requirements that would apply to
the dress code in their school.
: Politeness, Attitude and Respect for Others
1) Tournament Behavior...
Competitors - Instructors - Parents -
- Proper Etiquette and Behavior is
expected from all competitors, instructors, parents
and spectators, at ALL times, during their
attendance tournament day, whether or not they are
Etiquette or Misbehavior on the part of a
competitor will result in one or all of the following:
Element Score for Etiquette in a following division
performance (Judges have good memories... if
misbehavior is witnessed by a Judge at any time
during the tournament, that Judge may elect to
decrease the violating competitor's Element
Score for Etiquette for a performance in a division
follows the misbehavior).
Etiquette or Misbehavior on the part of an
instructor, parent or a spectator will result
in one or all of the following:
b) Disqualification of the competitor
associated with the individual guilty of
2) Ring Protocol
- If your uniform needs adjustment, it
must be done outside of the ring with your back to
the Judging Panel.
- Approach the Judging Panel,
bow to them in a respectful manner and stand before
them in Ready Stance.
- Upon completion
of your address to the Judging Panel:
- Bow to the Judging Panel.
- Step backwards to your starting
position (DO NOT turn your back to the Judging Panel).
- Position your start so that you do not
hit the Judging Panel,
scorekeeper, other competitors and/or
completion of your performance:
a) Return to Ready Stance and await
- Upon completion
a) Thank the Judging Panel
and bow in a disciplined and respectful manner.
b) Step backwards until crossing the ring
line and exit the ring (DO NOT turn your back to the Judging Panel).
the Judging Panel
- Address the JP with the
b) Your Martial Art School
c) The Martial Art you study
d) In forms divisions... the Name of your
Form (Non-traditional, self-created or modified
forms are acceptable, but will be judged based on
the 5 Elements defined on this sheet).
e) If weapon(s) are involved... ask
the Chief Judge if he/she would like to inspect
f) If required, ask
the Chief Judge for permission to make any
the Chief Judge for permission to perform... do
not tell him/her.
h) Make eye contact with each Judge (scan
from Judge to Judge).
i) Speak Loudly and Clearly in a Respectful
and Polite manner.
j) Convey a Positive Attitude with
a Strong and Confident Presence.
: Quality of the Performance
& Techniques Executed (Mechanical Integrity)
1) Your performance must
reflect the following:
- Balance... Proper
alignment of body center over foundational center on
a plumb axis with no staggering, unsteadiness or
wobbling during movement.
(This criteria will be adjusted for competitors who
study 'soft arts'). The formula for Force (Power) is
Mass x Acceleration. A strong foundation connected
to a stable stance from which a technique is
executed with maximum speed and focus.
- Focus... Concentration
of mental and spiritual (Ki) energy. Quality,
integrity and accuracy of the physical techniques
- Control... Personal
command of all that you perform...
physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
In Self-Defense and Interactive Combat divisions, the
ability to execute realistic techniques without
injuring your partner(s).
- Degree of Difficulty...
The technical level
of difficulty in a performance should be as high as possible, but not so
high as to make the potential for success
improbable or impossible. The higher the Degree of
Difficulty, relative to the competitor's Age and Rank, the
greater the potential for a high score,
assuming the competitor has a successful performance.
- Examples: A
white belt who is successful in breaking a board
with a front kick in one attempt would merit a
higher Technique Element Score than a brown belt who
is successful in breaking the same board with a
front kick in one attempt. The difficulty factor is
higher for the white belt, who has been training for
months as opposed to the brown belt who has been
training most likely for years.
A green belt performs a yellow belt form
flawlessly. The Technique Element Score would be lower
because of the low Degree of Difficulty, due to the
fact that the green belt is performing techniques
and movements that are not reflective of his/her
rank (skill level).
Occasionally it may be difficult to
determine if a competitor is performing techniques
and movements reflective of his/her rank level.
*Whenever in doubt, the benefit of
that doubt always goes to the competitor.
: Practicality, Functionality
and Effectiveness in Reality
performance must reflect the following:
Realism... Martial arts training
should be studied and practiced as an extension of
realistic combat, and in competition should be
performed as a reflection of that same reality.
Techniques and movements should be executed with the
same sense of reality that would be necessary to
successfully defend oneself in an actual combat situation.
- Effectiveness... The
techniques and movements performed must be
applicable in a real life combat situation. The
techniques, strategies and tactics taught in a
martial art must be functional and effective in
defense of oneself. If not, it's just entertainment and
will result in a low Application Element Score.
- Degree of Danger... The
techniques and movements a warrior chooses to
execute in combat should produce the greatest threat
to the opponent, while at the same time exposing
him/herself to the least amount of danger. The
execution of techniques and performance of movements
that have no practical application to the situation
are not only ineffective, but also place the
warrior/competitor in unnecessary danger. The Degree
of Danger that a competitor creates while performing
in competition will effect his/her Application
Element Score accordingly.
: Internal and External
performance must reflect the following:
- Presence... Act
like a LION, not a lamb. Your body language should
convey confidence, strength and courage... not
- Intensity... Focus
your mental, spiritual (Ki/Chi/Qi) and emotional
energy like a laser beam. Your facial expressions
should be serious and convey the confidence and
determination of a warrior. Provide maximum physical
effort to the performance... not
just what feels comfortable.
This judging criteria will be adjusted for
competitors who study martial arts that do not
advocate shouting. The loudness of a shout is a
representation of a competitor's vigor.
- Definition of Vigor...
a) a quality of physical or
mental force or forcefulness.
b) vigorous and effectual
application and operation of power.
- A shout should include all of the
a) Tightening of the
b) The explosive expulsion of
air through the mouth.
c) A loud, sharp and piercing
guttural noise. The absence of any of the preceding
components will decrease the loudness potential of a
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