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Karate Pose

Mississippi Karate Association

Official Rules and Regulations for Tournament Competition

Karate Pose

Section 1. Tournament Facilities


A. Competition Surfaces:

  • Hardwood competition surfaces such as those provided by the standard gymnasium floor are preferred and such facilities shall be utilized in all instances in which the same is practical and reasonably available to the tournament promoters. If a concrete surface is used, the tournament flyers shall indicate such fact in advance and the need for additional or extra safety precautions shall be impressed upon all competitors prior to the beginning of competition.

B. Number of Rings:

  • There shall be no more than six (6) competition rings located on any on gym floor unless the particular facility readily offers space for additional rings.

C. Persons Permitted on the Competition Floor:

  • Other than those persons who are at the time actively engaged in competition, only authorized tournament and MKA officials shall be allowed upon the floor.

D. Condition of Floor and Facilities:

  • The tournament promoters shall be responsible for maintaining sanitary conditions of all facilities utilized, including restrooms and dressing rooms. All floors shall be kept clean and adequate wastepaper baskets provided. No food or drink whatsoever shall be allowed on the competition floor.


Section 2. Competitors


A. Uniform Requirements:

  1. Each Competitor must timely present himself to the center or chief referee suitably attired and physically prepared to compete. He or she must wear a clean traditional or professional karate gi or kung fu uniform in good condition. An insignia of rank, belt, or sash must be worn by each competitor. T-shirts are permitted only if they are part of a school uniform and list the name of the school or style of the competitor. A current tournament T-shirt may also be worn. No sleeveless or cut-off uniforms are acceptable. Nothing obscene or distasteful may be displayed on the gi or T-shirt.

  2. In sparring competition, each competitor must also have all safety equipment required in his division. Jewelry or any ornamental object which the center referee feels might endanger either the competitor or his opponent may not be worn for the purpose of identification, the referee may require a competitor to wear a red flag or pennant which shall be attached to the back of his ranking belt or sash.

B. Physical and Mental Condition:

  • Each competitor must be in a physically and mentally stable condition for competition and must exhibit no indications of recent use of alcoholic beverages or drugs. Any competitor with an obvious physical problem (hand in cast, etc.) will not be allowed to compete in sparring competition. A doctor’s excuse is the only way this rule can be overwritten.

C. Age Division Rule:

  • Divisional competition for competitors seventeen (17) years of age and younger shall be based upon age and rank. In the young adult, junior and all children’s divisions, the actual age of the competitor on the date of the first MKA point-rated tournament of the year shall determine his eligibility to compete in that particular age division for the remainder of the tournament season. Each Competitor shall compete only in his or her appropriate age and rank division in weapons, kata, and sparring, unless special written permission has been requested and approved by the Board of Directors prior to the start of any tournament year. No competitor shall compete in a more advanced division with regard to age and rank nor shall any competitor be allowed to divide his or her competition in a tournament differing weapons, kata, and sparring divisions or between open or executive divisions. If a competitor is found to be competing out of their age or rank, any points received at that MKA tournament will be revoked.

D. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Divisions:

  • A beginner is anyone having his white, high white, yellow, low blue, orange and low green in styles where a green belt is used in lieu of a blue belt. An intermediate is anyone who has his green, high green, high blue, and purple belt. An advanced is anyone who has his red, brown, or black belt. When an MKA division is broken down into a beginner and advanced division only, the advanced will be green through black and the beginner will be all other ranks.

E. Rank Promotions During Tournament Year:

  • If a competitor begins the tournament year in one kyu division, is promoted and completes the tournament year in a higher kyu division, then all points will be awarded in the division where the competitor has earned the most points for the tournament year. If a competitor has a tie in points between divisions, they will be transferred to the highest rank achieved at the end of the year. No points will be transferred from a kyu division to a Black Belt division.


Section 3. Referees and Judges


A. Qualifications:

  • All center referees shall be eighteen (18) years of age or older and black belts of a recognized style and school of martial arts. Each must be dressed in a karate gi or uniform while officiating. Sixteen and seventeen year old black belts may be allowed to assist as corner referees as long as they are black belts of a recognized school and style of the martial arts. All black belts who are 18 and older must make themselves available to help judge. If they do not, they will be ineligible to compete as grand champion.

B. Removal:

  1. No tournament judge can be removed after the division competition has started. A tournament judge can only be removed by the consent of both the Rules Arbitrator and the tournament promoter if the judge exhibits incompetence or gross negligence.

  2. A competitor may request, through the rules arbitrator or the tournament promoter, that a judge be removed. This request must be made prior to the start of his division competition. If the rules arbitrator and/or tournament promoter deem that the request has validation, then the rules arbitrator will ask that the judge be removed.

Section 4. Fighting Ring


A. Floor Competition Ring:

  • The size of the floor competition fighting ring shall be 20 x 20 feet or 19 x 21. The borders of each ring shall be marked with white or brightly colored tape having a minimum width of 2”. Bow-in or starting lines shall be taped 8’ apart, each 6’ from the opposite border lines, in the center of each ring. Each ring shall also be clearly marked with a ring number visible to competitors, officials and medical personnel from across the floor.

B. Elevated Ring:

  • Any elevated ring shall be properly padded regulation professional karate ring not less than 20’ square within the ropes.


Section 5. Fighter Eligibility


A. Martial Arts Affiliation:

  • All sport karate fighters must be members of a recognized style and school of martial arts and must compete at their highest rank in any style they have obtained (If a competitor obtained a brown belt in Shotokan and now has changed over to Tae Kwon Do and has only obtained a blue belt, that competitor must compete in brown belt division). Failure to comply can result in the competitor being disqualified and any MKA points received will be revoked.

B. Conduct Affecting Eligibility:

  • Fighters who have exhibited un-sportsmanlike conduct such as shown by a complete lack of respect for referees, frequent injury to opponents, repeated rules violations, loss of temper and use of profanity or rude and abusive language may be declared ineligible for competition. This rule also extends to others outside the ring who may create disturbances, harass the referees, spectators, scorekeepers, timekeepers and the other competitors. These persons can cause their competitor to be ineligible to compete because of their actions.

C. Suspension:

  • Any fighters suspended by the MKA shall not be permitted to participate in any amateur or professional sanctioned events for the duration of such suspension.

D. Pre-fight Regulations:

  • The executive men’s black belt, senior men’s black belt and men’s under black belt divisions shall be comprised of the following weight divisions or classes:

Lightweight 179.9 pounds and under

Heavyweight 180.0 pounds and over

  • The men’s black belt fighting competition shall be comprised of the following weight divisions or classes:

Lightweight 159.9 pounds and under

Middleweight 169.0 to 179.9 pounds

Heavyweight 180 pounds and over

  • All Fighters in these divisions must weigh-in at each tournament dressed in full karate gi or martial arts uniform and must compete in the appropriate division or class. Any tournament points acquired by a black belt fighting out of his predominate weight division, however, shall not be transferable to or combined with those acquired in such other weight division or class.


Section 6. Safety Equipment


A. Required Equipment:

  1. Soft foam type hand and foot protectors are mandatory for competitors in all fighting divisions. Gloves must fully cover fingers, fingertips, and wrists. The striking surfaces of such hand and foot protectors must be free from any tape, tears or repairs with might cause injury.

  2. Groin protector cups must be worn by all male competitors.

  3. Mouthpieces and headgear are required in all sparring divisions.

  4. Soft shin and forearm guards are recommended in all fighting divisions.

  5. Breast protectors are highly recommended for all women competitors.

  • All required safety equipment is subject to and must meet the approval of the center referee. 


Section 7. Ring Management


A. Ringside Officials:

  • Each sparring match shall be conducted by a center referee and at least 2 mobile corner judges. These shall be assisted by both a timekeeper and scorekeeper.

B. Referee Duties:

  1. The center referee is charged with the immediate supervision of each match and is responsible for the management and entire function of the ring. He shall at all times promote and insure fairness in the enforcement of these rules and the safety of the competitors. To his end, he shall assure that all ringside officials know and properly perform their assigned duties, start and stop the fight, award points, make penalty and disqualification decisions, administer the voting of the corner judges, communicate clearly with the scorekeeper and timekeeper, and announce in a loud, clear voice all official decisions and shall indicate with voice and gesture the competitor affected by his decisions.

  2. Corner referees or judges shall remain standing or mobile outside the ring throughout each match. No corner judge shall be on the same side of the ring as another at any time during a match.

C. Persons Permitted in the Ring:

  1. No persons other than the center referee and the 2 competitors shall be permitted in the ring during a match. The corner judges shall remain mobile outside the ring in all instances wherein available space for movement permits. The scorekeeper and timekeeper shall be situated together immediately outside the ring in such a manner as to least interfere with the movement of the corner judges.

  2. No corner judge, competitor’s instructor, teammate or parent may enter the ring for purposes of discussing or protesting a call or ruling except at the express request or permission of the center referee. A violation of this rule may result in the penalizing or disqualification of the competitor.

D. The Bye System:

  • The number of necessary byes shall be determined by utilization of the bye card enclosed in the divisional packet. All byes must be awarded by random draw or deal of the numbered competition cards and must be taken in the first round of competition. In second round competition, whenever possible, byes should not be matched with byes but should be matched against winners of the first round.

E. Refereeing or Judging One’s own Student:

  • No ring official shall participate in refereeing or judging any match in which one of the competitors is his own student. Immediately upon identifying an infraction of this rule, the student competitor must be disqualified with no exceptions. If the match has been completed and student has lost, no action will be taken. If such student has been determined the winner of a match, however, both competitors shall be brought back into the ring, the student disqualified and the other competitor declared the winner of the match. If a competitor realizes that his instructor will be refereeing or judging him, he must call this fact to the attention of the ring official prior to the beginning of the match so that he will not later be disqualified for such infraction.

F. Correction of Error or Discrepancy:

  • In the event that any error, mistake or rules discrepancy is discovered after a division or match has begun, The same shall be immediately corrected but all previous competition shall not be affected by such action. 


Section 8. Conduct of Matches:


A. Bowing In and Out:

  1. Competitors are required to bow to their opponents at both the beginning and end of each match. at the beginning of the match, each competitor will come to the appropriate starting line of the ring and, on command of the center referee, will bow to the other. From this position, each will assume a fighting stance and the center referee will signal the commencement of the match. Any competitor who, upon completion of a match, refuses to bow out to his opponent shall be disqualified regardless of what the outcome of the match would have been otherwise.

  2. If for any reason upon reaching quarterfinals there is someone in a competitor’s division that he does not want to fight, he shall be required to so inform the center referee in order that the appropriate pairings may be made. Such competitor shall not thereafter be permitted to fight for more than third (3rd) place.

B. Length of Matches:

  • A tournament match shall last a total of 2 minutes continuous time or a total of 2 minutes minus any time which may elapse during an official time out. The competitor awarded the most points during this time period shall be declared the winner of each match. Any five-point spread, however, shall determine the winner regardless of whether or not total time has elapsed in the match. In the event that the score is tied at the end of the regulation time, the match shall continue in sudden death overtime. The first competitor to score a verified point in sudden death shall be declared the winner.

C. Official Time Out:

  • Only the center referee may call a time out. He may do so for any the following reasons: (1) to allow equipment adjustments; (2) to attend an injured competitor; (3) to administer the voting of officials; (4) to award points, assess penalties, administer warnings; (5) to return competitors to the center of the ring; (6) to hear a rules protest. Corner judges and competitors must request the center referee to call any desired time out. The timekeeper, however, shall automatically stop time if action in the match is not resumed within five seconds due to any injury, delay in verification of a point or call, or any other reason. 

D. Face Contact:

  • Face contact shall be permitted only in adult brown belt men and all adult black belt divisions. No face contact whatsoever shall be allowed in any other divisions. When wearing the headgear, contact to the padded area will not be considered face contact. Contact to bare skin will be considered face contact. However, if a competitor hits his opponent hard enough to “rock his head” , excessive contact will be called. One penalty point will be awarded to the competitor that receives the face or excessive contact. The award of a second point whether for face contact or any other foul shall require the immediate disqualification of the offending competitor.

E. Out of Bounds:

  • When any part of a competitor’s body touches or crosses the ring boundary line, for any reason other than the result of a successful scoring technique executed either by or upon him, the same shall constitute being out of bounds. A competitor may be called for boundary violation twice without penalty, but the third and each successive instance thereafter shall result in his opponent being awarded one point. No competitor may score or be scored upon while out of bounds.

F. Injury Stopping the Match:

  • In the event of any injury, the center referee may stop the match and allow the injured fighter a reasonable time to recover (not to exceed 5 minutes). If, in the opinion of the center referee or medical personnel, the fighter is unable to continue as the result of any injury caused by his opponent, the offending competitor shall be automatically disqualified. Byes, if the same now become necessary, shall be awarded immediately following the disqualification. If the injured fighter declares himself unable to continue without the approval of the center referee or medical personnel, or does so with such approval as the result of a non-foul, non-foul injury, his opponent shall be determined the winner of the match.


Section 9. Scoring


A. Definition of a Proper Point:

  • A point is a legal, legitimate and controlled martial arts technique scored by a competitor in bounds that strikes an opponent with light force to a legal area. A point is legitimate if, as a martial arts technique, it held in reserve the capacity to physically injure or momentarily stun an opponent. A point is controlled if it appears to strike an opponent with a great deal less than its potential force, and if it was executed by a competitor who was not falling or attempting to escape at the time, and who did not fall as a result of any improper or unbalanced execution of the technique after it struck the opponent.

B. Awarding a Point:

  • Points are awarded by a majority vote of all ring judges. If the center referee sees a point scored, he Will immediately call “Break”, bring the competitors to the starting lines, direct “Call”, award the Point if verified or announce no verification of point and continue the match. If a corner judge sees A point scored, he will immediately call “Point”. The center referee will then break the competitors, Bring them to the starting lines, and direct “Call”. No judge shall give any advance suggestion of the Nature of his intended call, but upon command all shall then indicate both voice and gesture the Competitor and the technique called. Hand techniques shall be awarded 1 point; kicking techniques Shall be awarded 2 points. If a majority of the judges verify a point but do not agree on the technique Scored, the competitor will be awarded only 1 point.


Section 10. Sport Karate:


A. Target Areas:

  • Legal target areas for techniques are the back and side of the head, the solar plexus, chest, ribs, stomach, Abdomen, and kidneys. Groin techniques are not allowed. The face shall be a legal target only in divisions as specified in Section 8 (D).

B. Legal Techniques:

  • All controlled offensive martial arts punching, striking and kicking techniques delivered to legal target Areas with authorized surfaces, except those herein specified as fouls, are legal sport karate techniques.

C. Fouls:

  • Fouls may be classified, at the discretion of the center referee, into two categories; One penalty point and disqualification fouls. A center referee must have confirmation before he can call a foul. In a ring with four or five referees, there must be at least confirmation from two other referees. In a ring where there are three referees, there must be confirmation from one other referee. The referee will base his decision as to the severity of the foul on the apparent intent of the competitor committing the foul and the result of the foul.

  • Fouls include the following:

  1. Head-butting

  2. Ripping and gouging techniques

  3. Throws

  4. Blind attacking techniques

  5. Striking with the elbow

  6. Knee attacks

  7. Contact or techniques to the spine, joints, eyes, throat, or Adams apple

  8. Excessive force or uncontrolled contact

  9. Contact causing readily apparent or visible injury to an opponent

  10. Kicking to the legs

  11. Leg checking

  12. Illegal sweeping or grabbing

  13. Striking or kicking an opponent when down and out of control

  14. Hitting or flicking with an open glove

  15. Refusing to break or attacking on the break

  16. Deliberately escaping without sparring

  17. Unsportsmanlike conduct, a loss of temper or use of abusive language by a competitor or anyone acting in his behalf

  18. Coaching from the sidelines (whether verbal or hand signals) by an instructor, teammate, parent or spectator

  19. Attempts by black belts to influence or intimidate ring officials by verbally suggesting a proposed call from the sidelines

D. Contact Causing Bleeding:

  • Any blow or contact causing bleeding, whether immediate or delayed, shall require the disqualification of the offending competitor. Whenever the distinct possibility exists, however, that such contact merely reopened a cut or laceration sustained in a previous match, the center referee shall examine the extent and condition of the particular injury and must consider the severity of the blow prior to the bleeding in arriving at his decision.

E. “Blind Fouls”:

  • If any injury occurs as the result of contact or a technique which the center referee was unable to see (a blind foul), he may, at his sole discretion, confer with any or all the corner judges to determine where The foul lies and may consider, any, all or none of such input in making his determination.

F. Sweeps and Grabs:

  1. All sweeps must be executed solely to the back of the calf or foot of the opponent’s front or forward leg. The sweeping technique must be an obvious attempt to unbalance and not injure the opponent’s leg. The opponent must fall naturally as though he has slipped or his progress to the floor must be controlled by the sweeping competitor, who must not fall during the execution of the technique. A controlled follow-up technique must strike the downed opponent within 2 seconds in order to score. If the sweep is recklessly executed, the follow-up delivered after the time allowed or no move is made to score on the fallen opponent, the technique will be considered to be illegal and the offending competitor either warned or penalized depending upon the seriousness of the offense.

  2. As part of an obvious attempt to score with a single controlled technique a competitor may grab and grip the gi or arm of his opponent for 2 seconds, after which time if no point has been scored such grip must be immediately released. Within the same limitations, a kick may be trapped or grabbed but only for the purpose of executing a single technique in counterattack to an upright opponent.

G. Disqualification:

  • A second foul shall automatically require disqualification of the offending competitor if the competitor was in the final four of competition and is disqualified., he/she will not lose their MKA points, however, if it is determined by the referees and rules arbitrator that the competitor was acting in a un-sportsmanlike manner, the points will be revoked. The competitor must be made aware of this before he/she leaves the ring.


Section 11. Protests:


A. Time of Protest:

  • All protests regarding a rules infraction or interruption must be registered with the center referee immediately upon announcement of the disputed call and not after the match has been resumed or completed. If the person protesting the call does so in a belligerent or abusive manner, the center referee may refuse to hear the protest and disqualify the competitor.

B. Rules Arbitrators:

  • Each sanctioned tournament or event shall have 2 designated Rules Arbitrators having full authority regarding the interpretation of all MKA rules and regulations. Any decision by one or both shall be final.

C. Change of Decision:

  • A decision rendered at the termination of a match is final and cannot be changed unless the Rules Arbitrator determines that either of the following occurred:

  1. There was collusion affecting the result of the match

  2. There was a clear violation of any MKA rule or regulation which affected the result of the match

Section 12. Competitors:


A. Martial Arts Affiliation:

  • See Section 5 (A)

B. Uniform Requirements:

  • Each competitor must timely present himself to the chief judge suitably attired, as described in Section 2 (A) (1), and ready to compete.

C. Kata:

  • Kata is any empty hand competition. No props and/or additional persons will be allowed.


Section 13. Number and Positioning of Judges:


  • In all black belt and weapons form competition, there shall be 5 judges. In all other or kyu divisions, there shall be 4 judge


Section 14. Duties of the Chief Judge:


  • The Chief Judge is charged with the immediate supervision of the competition and is responsible fro the management and entire function of the ring. He shall conduct the determination of the order of competition, oversee the recording of all scores, scan the scorekeeper’s calculations for correctness, and announce each official decision in a loud, clear voice and declare the first, second, third and fourth place winners in reverse order.


Section 15. Order of Performance:


  • The order of performance of all forms competitors shall be determined by random draw or deal the numbered Competition cards. No other method of determining the order of performance is acceptable.


Section 16. Scoring:


  • The first 3 competitors shall perform before any scores are given. After the third competitor has finished his kata, all 3 competitors shall be brought to the center of the ring one at a time in order of their performance and shall then be scored by the judges. Thereafter, each subsequent competitor shall be scored upon the completion of his kata.

  • All judges shall watch each competitor perform his kata and award scores using the decimal interval system on the basis of 10.0 for a perfect kata. All scores must be kept confidential from the other judges until the Chief Judge calls for judges to reveal scores.

  • Scoring for forms divisions will range from 8.0 to 10.0. The chief judge may drop the range to 7.0 to 10.0 if there are 12 or more competitors in a division.

  • The scorekeeper shall carefully record each score. Immediately thereafter he shall eliminate by diagonal mark the appropriate score or scores to be deleted in that division and calculate the sum of those remaining as the total score for the performance. In all black belt divisions both the highest and lowest scores awarded each competitor will be deleted. In all other divisions only the highest score will be deleted. In the event there are two or more identical high scores, only one of these will be deleted. In the event of three judges, all three scores will be calculated. The same applies to the deletion of low scores.


Section 17. Second Chance to Perform Kata:


  • Only white belt competitors may be allowed a second chance to perform their katas but the same shall require that each judge deduct one full point in awarding any subsequent score. A competitor who forgets or fails to perform his kata after having been allowed a second opportunity shall not receive any score.


Section 18. Ties:


  • In the event of a tie in black belt kata or weapons, the competitors that tied will be asked to perform their same or different kata in reverse order from which they originally competed. If these competitors tie again, a show of hands will be used to determine the winner. In the event of a tie in an under black belt division where there are only four judges, a fifth judge will be asked to step in and judge. The competitors will be asked to perform the same or different kata, in reverse order in which they originally competed. The high and low scores will be deleted. If these competitors tie again a show of hands will determine the winner. At no time during a tiebreaker will any judge be made aware of previous scores used.


Section 19. Weapons Competition:


A. Weapons Allowed:

  • Only authentic martial arts weapons which are kept under the constant control of the competitor’s limbs are suitable for competition. Throwing stars, darts, arrows and flying projectiles of any kind may not be used (the rope dart, securely attached to a rope is an exception.) Rubber Nunchaku, plastic swords and other training weapons are not allowed. The chief judge shall inspect all weapons prior to competition. Any weapon which he feels might endanger the audience or the competitor, due to worn parts or poor construction, may not be used.

B. Application of Other Rules:

  • All other rules of forms competition shall apply to weapons competition.


Section 20. Change of Decision:


  • The final decision rendered at the termination of any division kata competition cannot be changed unless the Rules Arbitrator determines that either of the following occurred: A. There was collusion affecting the result of the competition. B. The tabulations of the scorecard show an error which would indicate that one or more of the places had been awarded to the wrong competitor.

Tournament Points:


  • There will be six (6) A-rated tournaments each year. The tournament points awarded each place are as follows:

1st Place                      6 points

2nd Place                     5 points

3rd Place                      4 points

4th Place                      3 points

  • The point counts for B-rated tournaments will be as follows:

1st Place                      4 points

2nd Place                     3 points

3rd Place                      2 points

4th Place                      1 point

  • If you accumulate MKA points between rank divisions (ex: 10 points beginner and 15 points intermediate) your points at the end of the year will be transferred to the division where you have the majority. If you have a tie in points, they will be transferred to the highest rank achieved at the end of the year. No competitor may compete in more than one rank division in a single tournament.

  • Any competitor who competes in a division at the last tournament of the season will receive a two point attendance bonus in the division that he/she competed in at the end of the year. Example: A competitor competed in the kata and kumite division at the last tournament but did not compete in the weapons division . That competitor will receive a two point attendance bonus at the end of the year in the kata division and the kumite division but will not receive a bonus in the weapons division.

  • MKA points cannot be transferred between age divisions.


B-Rated Tournaments:


  • A B-Rated tournament sanctioned by the MKA must use MKA rules and divisions. These particular tournaments will be announced by Newsletter and subject to approval by the Board of Directors of the MKA.


MKA Memberships:


  • MKA membership dues are $35.00 per year and subject to change. Upon joining the MKA, each member will receive a laminated MKA membership card and an MKA patch. MKA members will also receive a $5.00 discount at each MKA tournament in which they compete. In order to receive this discount, a competitor MUST present their MKA membership card to the registration desk for verification. Failure to present your MKA membership card will forfeit your $5.00 discount. INSTRUCTORS OR MKA SECRETARY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VERIFY STUDENTS’ MKA MEMBERSHIP. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE PERMITTED. All MKA members are responsible for being fully aware of the expiration date shown on their membership card. All parents are responsible for being aware of the expiration date of their children’s memberships. The MKA office needs to be notified when there is a change of address. All competitors wishing to join the MKA must do so at the time of tournament registration in order for any points awarded at that tournament to count towards state championship title competition.


Associate Membership:


  • An Associate membership is being offered to all interested parents and spectators for $3.00 per year. These Associate members will receive a $.50 discount at all MKA tournaments. Associate members will be able to fully show support of the MKA and to participate at our General Members Meeting, but will not be eligible to vote. These members will be entitled to discounts at tournaments, clinics, seminars, etc.


Replacement Cards and Patches:


  • Replacement MKA membership cards and patches may be purchased through the MKA office for $2.00 for cards and $5.00 for patches.


General Membership Meeting:


  • There will be at least one General Membership Meeting each year for the purpose of election of Board Members.


State Championship Titles:


  • At the conclusion of the tournament year, all points will be tabulated and the competitor accumulating the highest number of points will be the jacket winner for his division. A Newsletter will be mailed announcing these winners, with a 15-day protest period. All protests must be made in writing. Winners will be notified by mail. An Awards Banquet honoring the winners and presenting the MKA State Championship jackets is usually held in January or February.


Title Eligibility:


  • All active MKA members in good standing regardless of their state of residency, shall be eligible to compete for the MKA State Championship Titles awarded at the end of each tournament year.


Tournament Promoters:


  • Promoters will supply adequate supplies of pens and paper for all events and will be responsible for the training of the scorekeepers and timekeepers. The tournament promoter is responsible for all MKA supplies, stopwatches, packets and all MKA records. The tournament promoter must sign for these supplies before the tournament begins. If lost, the tournament promoter at the present day value must replace them. 

Article One



  • The Association is a nonprofit corporation organized pursuant to a charter duly granted therefore by the State of Mississippi on February 15, 1981.


Article Two



  • The objectives of this Association shall be to organize, promote and better the sport of karate in the State of Mississippi; to establish a rule-making boy to govern tournament competition therein; and to define the divisions applicable to tournament competition for purposes of, but not limited to, the rating and ranking of competitors within the aforesaid State.


Article Three



  • The principle office of the Association shall be located at 3853 Williamson Road, in the city of Clinton, County of Hinds, State of Mississippi. The Association shall have the power and authority; however, to establish and maintain branch or subordinate offices at such other locations within the State as the Board of Directors may from time to time determine.


Article Four



Section 1. Classes of Membership.

  • The membership of the Association shall consist of active and associate members.

Section 2. Active Members.

  • The active members of this Association shall have all rights and privileges of membership. Only active members shall be entitled to vote. During their respective terms of services, all executive officers and directors shall be honorary active members and shall be relieved of the payment of dues.

Section 3. Associate Members.

  • Associate members shall be entitled to attend and actively participate in all clinics, seminars and meetings of the general membership but shall not be eligible to vote at any such meeting. They shall, however, be eligible to serve as appointive members of any committee which may be established by the board of directors. 

Section 4. Annual Dues.

  • The Board of Directors shall from time to time determine the amount of the annual dues payable to the Association by members of each class and shall give appropriate notice to the members. 

Section 5. Membership Cards.

  • The Board of Directors shall provide for the issuance of identification cards evidencing each class of membership in the Association, which cards shall be in such form and color as may be determined by the board. 

Section 6. Termination or suspension of membership.

  • (a) When any member of either class is in default in the payment of the requisite dues, his membership shall thereupon expire and be regarded as terminated without the necessity of any action by or on behalf of the Association. (b) Upon a hearing before the board of directors, a member may be suspended or expelled for just cause, including but not limited to (1) a willful violation of or failure to comply with these bylaws or any duly promulgated rule or regulation, and (2) conduct prejudicial to the goals and best interests of the Association; provided, however, that not less than ten (10) days written notice of such hearing shall be given to the member and he shall be entitled to appear thereat and respond to the charges ( c) Should the board after due consideration elect to impose a suspension, the period thereof shall not exceed six months in duration. During a period of suspension, a member shall not be entitled to participate in any membership meeting or event sponsored or sanctioned by the Association, nor shall he serve in any office or directorship or any committee of which he may be a member. Upon expiration of the period of suspension, the board shall in like manner review the matter and the member shall be either restored to full membership or his membership shall be terminated with prejudice to the approval of any subsequent application by him for membership in the Association.


Article Five

General Membership Meetings


Section 1. Annual Meeting.

  • (a) An annual meeting of the general membership of the Association shall be held on the day of the annual awards banquet each year, beginning with the year 1984, for the purpose of electing directors and for the transaction of such other business as may properly be brought before the meeting. Annual meetings shall be held at the principle office of the Association or at such other place within the State of Mississippi as may be determined by the board of directors and designated in the notice of the meeting. (b) If, in any year, the election of directors is not held on the day designated herein for any annual meeting, or at any adjournment thereof, the board of directors shall cause the election to be held at a special meeting of the members as soon thereafter as is reasonably possible. ( c) In the event that the board of directors fails to call a special meeting within two months after the date prescribed for the annual meeting, the general membership may cause such meeting to be called and may elect thereat directors and transact all other business properly brought before the meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings.

  • Special meetings of the membership, for any purpose or purposes, may be called at any time by the president, the board of directors, or not less than on-tenth of the members entitled to vote at such meeting. Upon the written request of any person or persons entitled to call a special meeting the secretary shall inform the board of directors as to such call and the board shall fix the time and place for the meeting. If the board fails to fix a time and place, the meeting shall be held at the principle office of the Association at a time fixed by the secretary.

Section 3. Notice of Meetings.

  • Written or printed notice stating the place, day and hour of any meeting of members shall be delivered not less than ten nor more than thirty days before the date of such meeting, either personally or by mail, by or at the direction of the president, board of directors or secretary, to each member of record entitled to vote thereat. In the case of a special meeting, the purpose for which the meeting is called shall be stated in the notice. If mailed, the notice of a meeting shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail addressed to the member at his address as it appears on the records of the Association, with postage thereon prepaid.

Section 4. Record Date.

  • (a) For the purpose of determining those members entitled to notice of or to vote at any meeting of the membership of the Association, the board of directors shall fix, in advance, a date certain as the record date of such determination. Such date shall be not more than sixty or less than twenty days immediately preceding such meeting. (b) When a determination of members entitled to vote at any meeting has been made as provided in this section, such determination shall apply to any adjournment of such meeting, unless the board of directors shall fix a new record date for the adjourned meeting.

Section 5. Quorum.

  • Those voting members present, either in person or by duly authorized proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business which may properly come before any meeting of the general membership of the Association.

Section 6. Voting Rights.

  • (a) Any active member in good standing on the designated record date for an annual or special meeting shall have the right to appear and participate in such meeting and to vote on all matters brought before the meeting. (b) In each instance wherein the aforesaid record membership stands in the name of minor, the same may be voted for and on behalf of such minor by his natural or duly appointed and acting guardian, in person or by proxy.

Section 7. Proxies.

  • (a) In lieu of personally appearing a member entitled to vote at any meeting may participate there in by written proxy duly executed, delivered and recorded in accordance with the provisions of this section. (b) Any proxy may be by its terms limited as to its purpose, the scope of authority granted thereby or to use at a single specified meeting. © No proxy shall be valid for more than two months from the date of its execution. (d) Any proxy is suspended when the person executing the proxy is present and elects to vote. (e) At each meeting of the membership and before the commencement of any voting all proxies filed at or before the meeting shall be submitted to and examined by the secretary and no vote shall be received under any proxy that is found to be invalid or irregular. Each proxy filed with the secretary prior to a meeting shall be examined by her as promptly as possible after filing and, if any apparent irregularity or invalidity is noted, she shall notify the person executing the proxy thereof before such meeting if time permits.


Article Six



Section 1. Enumeration and Tenure.

  • The executive or principle officers of this Association shall be a president, a vice-president, secretary, and treasure, each of whom shall be elected by from and the Board of Directors and shall serve a term of two years or until the election and qualifications of his successor.

Section 2. Powers and Duties.

  • (a) The president shall be chairman of the board of directors and an ex officio member of all committees. (b) The vice-president shall be vice-chairman of the board of directors and in the absence of the president, shall assume the duties thereof. © The secretary-treasure shall be an ex officio member of the board of directors and shall also assume and discharge those duties customarily and usually held and performed by the corporate executive secretary. (d) The several officers shall further have such powers and shall perform such duties as may from time to time be specified in resolutions or other directives of the board of directors. In the absence of such specification, each officer shall have the powers and authority and shall perform and discharge the duties of the officers of the same title serving in nonprofit corporations having the same or similar general purposes and objectives as this Association.

Section 3. Compensation.

  • Neither the president nor the vice-president shall receive any manner of salary by virtue of their respective offices. The board of directors, however, shall, by resolution duly adopted, fix and authorize the payment of reasonable compensation for services rendered the Association by the secretary and treasure.


Article Seven

Board of Directors


Section 1. General Powers. 

  • Except as otherwise expressly provided in these bylaws, all the lawful powers of the Association shall be vested in and exercised by and under the authority of the board of directors and the affairs thereof shall be conducted and controlled by such board.

Section 2. Number and Tenure.

  • The board of directors shall consist of the duly elected and acting president and vice-president and nine directors elected by and from the general membership at large. Of the initial board first so elected, three directors shall serve for one year, three for two years and three for three years. At each annual meeting thereafter, three directors shall be elected to the board for three-year terms in such manner as to fill each directorship as the prior term thereof expires. The directors so elected shall serve and hold office until their respective successors have been duly elected and qualified. The board of directors may select a minimum of three associate members but will not exceed five. These members will not be allowed to vote on any issue unless a voting board member cannot attend a meeting and gives his proxy to one the associate board members. The voting board member must send in either a letter authorizing a designated voting board member or call the MKA secretary and authorize his/her associate board member, the proxy will no longer be valid and he will vote instead. No associate board member shall have more than one proxy to vote at any one meeting.

Section 3. Regular Meetings.

  • Regular meetings of the board of directors shall be held without notice other than his bylaw immediately preceding and immediately following each annual meeting of the general membership. Further regular meetings shall be held at such times and places as may from time to time be determined by resolution of the board.

Section 4. Special Meetings and Emergency Matters.

  • (a) A special meeting of the board of directors may be called, upon no less than five days notice, by or at the request of the president or any two directors, and shall be held at the principal office of the Association or at such other place as the directors may determine. (b) In the intervals between regularly scheduled meetings, the president of the Association may refer and submit, by mail or other means to the members of the board of directors, definite questions relating to the affairs of the Association which, in the opinion of the president, require immediate action of the part of the board of directors. The result of such a referendum, which requires a majority vote of the members of the board, shall control the action of the Association, its board of directors and officers.

Section 5. Quorum.

  • A majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the board, but if less than a majority of the directors are present at any meeting a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice.

Section 6. Board Decisions.

  • In any meeting of the board of directors wherein a quorum is present, all questions coming before the board shall be decided by a majority of those votes cast, but in any instance of any equality of such votes, the president shall have a second or deciding vote.

Section 7. Vacancies in Offices or Directorships.

  • Any vacancy occurring in an executive office of the Association or in the board of directors shall be filled by the board of directors. An officer or director appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remaining term of his predecessor in office. Each such appointment by the board shall be subject, however, to the approval or disapproval of the general membership of the Association at the next annual or special meeting thereof.

Section 8. Compensation.

  • With the exception of the secretary-treasure, members of the board of directors shall not receive any salaries or other compensation for their services. However, by resolution duly adopted, a per diem allowance may be authorized to defray travel expenses incurred by the respective members in the attendance of any regular or special meeting of the board.


Article Eight



Section 1. Nominating Committee.

  • (a) A majority of the board of directors convened in a regularly scheduled meeting thereof shall constitute the initial nominating committee for the first annual meeting of the general membership of the Association. (b) Not later than 90 days immediately preceding each annual meeting thereafter, the president of the Association shall appoint a nominating committee whose duty it shall be to select and present to the Association a slate of nominees for those offices and directorships to be filled at the forthcoming meeting. The committee so appointed shall be comprised of five members of the board of directors, each of whom shall then have no less than one year remaining of his expired term of office. © All Proceedings of the nominating committee shall be conducted separate and apart from any meetings of the board of directors or the general membership. The committee may nominate one or more than one eligible person for each vacancy to be filled. The resulting slate of nominees shall be filed with the secretary of the Association no less than 45 days prior to the date of the annual meeting. Such submission shall be deemed an official nomination of behalf of the Association of each person named therein.

Section 2. Nominations by the Membership.

  • Additional nominations of active members in good standing may be made from the floor at the annual meeting.

Section 3. Limitations.

  • (a) No member of any nominating committee shall be or thereafter become a nominee for any office of directorship considered by such committee. (b) No person shall be eligible to or accept nomination for more than one office or directorship filled at the annual meeting.


Article Nine

Rules of Procedure


  • The rules of procedure contained in the most recently revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the meetings of this Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws. Such rules of procedure, however, may be suspended by majority vote of those present and voting at any meeting.


Article Ten

Amendment to Bylaws


  • These bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed and new bylaws may be adopted by the board; provided, however, that all changes in and additions to the bylaws by the board of directors shall be subject to the approval or disapproval of the general membership at the next annual or special meeting thereof. If no action is taken upon a change or addition to the bylaws, such change or additions shall be deemed to be fully approved and ratified by the membership of the Association.







I, Don Byington, President of the Mississippi Karate Association, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation, hereby certify that the foregoing provisions were duly adopted as the bylaws of the Association by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors thereof on January 19, 2008. Given under my hand, this the 18th day of January, AD 2008.


____________________________________ President


I, Ranee Chenoweth, Secretary of the Mississippi Karate Association, hereby certify that the foregoing bylaws were duly approved and ratified by unanimous vote at the annual meeting of the membership of the Association on January 19, 2008. Given Under my hand, this the 18th day of January, AD 2008.


___________________________________ Secretary





Certification of amendment to bylaws


I, Don Byington, President of the Mississippi Karate Association, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation, hereby certify that the foregoing provisions were duly adopted as the bylaws of the Association by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors thereof on November 10, 2012. Given under my hand, this the 10thh day of November, AD 2012.


__________________________________ President


I, Ranee Chenoweth, Secretary of the Mississippi Karate Association, hereby certify that the foregoing bylaws were duly approved and ratified by unanimous vote at the annual meeting of the membership of the Association on November 10, 2012. Given under my hand, this the 10th day of November, AD 2012.


__________________________________ Secretary

Amendment One:

Requirements for a State Championship Title:


  • A competitor must be an active member of the MKA and compete in at least four of the sanctioned MKA tournaments in order to be eligible for a state championship title, runner-up title or second-runner up title.

  • In addition to this, a competitor must compete in a division at least four times that season in order to be eligible to receive a title in that division.

  • Example: A competitor competed in kata and kumite in every tournament, but only competed three times in weapons. That competitor received the most points in his/her division for kata, kumite and weapons. He/she will receive a state championship title for kata and kumite, but will not receive anything for weapons because he/she only participated in that division three times, regardless of the fact that he/she had the most points.


Amendment Two: (January 24, 2015)




  • $25.00 per tournament. Coach must register during regular registration process for each tournament.


  • Standing directly behind athlete being coached. Coaching area dimensions shall be 3’x 5’and clearly marked by tape. Coach is not allowed to leave coaching area during match


  • Act in professional manner. No cheering, no screaming instructions to athlete. Violation will result in disqualification of coach for the duration of the tournament. Violation will result in disqualification of athlete from division. Coach disqualification rule similar to athlete disqualification rule (2 warnings, 3rd=disqualification)


  1. Must understand official MKA Rules

  2. Must be 18 years old 

  3. Coaches must present credentials to Center Referee

  4. Ensure that athlete is prepared for competition.

  5. Do not interfere with smooth running of the match by word or deed (unless if by protest)

  6. Coaches have no input in athlete pairings unless Center Referee and/or official ring personnel (Corner Judge/Timekeeper/Scorekeeper) overlook routine competition protocols such as:

  • Athlete in wrong division

  • Athlete eliminated in previous round advances to next round (other than consolation round to determine 3rd/4th places.

  1. Coach is the only allowed non-competitor on competition area with exception of official ring/tournament personnel.

  2. Athlete must be inside competition ring and within Coaches’ area to receive coaching instructions. In other words, during breaks in competition, no coaching will be done when his/her athlete is across the ring and away from coaching area.

  3. All coaching terminates when Center Referee re-starts competition. Violation shall lead to warning/disqualification.

  4. Provide coaching only during official breaks in competition. Coaching stops when referee re-starts competition.

  5. Is allowed one 10-second coaching timeout. Center Referee to keep time (verbal count and hand gesture). Coach to communicate request for timeout to Corner Judge who then notifies Center Referee.


Amendment Three: (October 31, 2015)

Tournament Bonus Points


  • Any competitor who competes in a division during the last tournament of the season will receive a two point attendance bonus in that division. (See Tournament Points)

  • In addition to this, any competitor who has competed in all MKA sanctioned tournament that season, regardless of whether or not they placed, will receive 2 more points in each division that he/she competed in that year.

  • Example: A competitor attended the last MKA sanctioned tournament and competed in kata and kumite. He/she will receive 2 bonus points toward his/her cumulative kata points and 2 bonus points toward his/her cumulative kumite points, but not toward weapons since he/she did not compete in that division during the last tournament. This competitor also competed in every MKA sanctioned tournament that season and at two of those tournaments the competitor competed in weapons. He/she will receive an additional 2 bonus points in each division he/she competed in that year.  

  • If a competitor does not compete in the last tournament, no bonus points will be awarded and his/her cumulative score for the other tournaments will stay the same.


 Amendment Four: (October 31, 2015)

Forms Competition: Number of Judges and Scoring


  • All forms competition, including weapons competition, shall have four judges. If necessary, three judges will be allowed at the discretion of the tournament promoter and the rules arbitrator.

  • Scoring for forms divisions will range from 8.00 to 10.00, 9.00 being the average score. The scoring range may not be adjusted or capped by center judges.

  • The scorekeeper shall carefully record each score. All four judges’ scores will be calculated and no scores will be dropped or deleted.

  • If in the event it is determined that a judge is manipulating the scores, that judge may be removed by the consent of both the rules arbitrator and the tournament promoter

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