Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics

karate competition

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad
VenueNippon Budokan
Dates5–7 August 2021
No. of events8

Karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics is an event to be held in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. It will be the debut appearance of karate at the Summer Olympics. Karate is one of five new sports added to the Olympic program specifically for 2020,[1] rather than as a permanent sport.[2][3]

The karate competitions at the 2020 Olympics will feature eight events.[4] Two karate disciplines will be featured: kumite is the sparring discipline and will have three weight classes each for men and women; kata is the solo form discipline, and will have one event each for men and women. Competitors choose the kata to demonstrate from 102 kata that are recognized by the World Karate Federation. Competitors are not allowed to demonstrate the same Kata twice during the tournament.[4] Each event will have 10 competitors.

The three weight classes in Olympic competition for Kumite are in contrast to the five normally used by the World Karate Federation (WKF). The two lightest (-60kg and -67kg for men, -50kg and -55kg for women) will be combined into the Olympic categories of -67kg for men and -55kg for women. The middle categories (-75kg men, -61kg women) are unchanged, while the two heaviest categories (-84kg and +84kg for men, -68kg and +68kg for women) will be combined into +75kg for men and +61kg for women.


For both Kumite and Kata, WKF rules, effective as of January 2018, have been adopted.[5][6] In January 2019, a point-based system was adopted for Kata.[7]


Two competitors face each other in a matted competition area of 8m x 8m. Each match is competed for 3 minutes, unless one competitor amasses eight points more than their opponent.[7] A competitor wins by amassing eight points more than their opponent or by gaining more points than their opponent in the allotted time of 3 minutes. In the event of a tie, the competitor who scored the first point is the winner. In the case of a scoreless bout, the winner will be declared by decision of the five judges.[7][6]

Scores vary from one to three points. Ippon for 3 points, Waza-ari for 2 points and Yuko for 1 point.[6]

Penalties are divided into two categories. If 4 warnings are received in either category, the competitor is disqualified.[6] A competitor can also be disqualified with less than 4 warnings for being deemed an act done maliciously.[6]


Each of seven judges judges the performance individually within the scale of 5.0 to 10.0 in increments of 0.2 for technical points and athletic points respectively. The two highest and two lowest scores out of the seven scores of each group are eliminated and all the remaining scores were added to make up the final scores, which is weighed 70% for technical points and 30% for athletic points. In the case of draw, the competitors perform additional choice of Kata to be judged.[6]

There are 7 criteria of evaluation for technical points : stances, techniques, transitional movements, timing, correct breathing, focus and conformance. 3 evaluation criteria for athletic points are : strength, speed and balance.[6]


There are 80 qualifying spots for karate at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

A nation can have no more than 8 athletes qualify (up to four males and four females) with a maximum of one in each event.


The 10 competitors in each event qualify as follows:

  • 1 from the host nation, Japan
  • 4 from the Olympic Standing ranking as of 5 April 2021
  • 3 from a qualification tournament
  • 2 from continental representation or Tripartite Commission invitation

Because World Karate Federation rankings are based on five weight classes instead of the three weight classes featured in the 2020 Olympics, some of the Olympic events are based on a combination of two WKF classes. In those cases, the top 2 from each of the WKF classes qualify for the combined Olympic class (for a total of 4). Where the Olympic class matches the WKF class, the top 4 in that class qualify.

The qualification tournament features the same weight classes as the Olympic weight classes. Only National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that have not qualified through Olympic standing for a given division are eligible to enter an athlete in the qualification tournament. The top three finishers in each division at the qualification tournament qualify for the Olympics.

A total of 12 quota places, distributed among the eight events, are available through continental representation. The selection order is as follows:

Continent Spots
Oceania 2 1 per gender
Africa 2 1 per gender
Americas 2 1 per gender
Asia 2 1 per gender
Europe 2 1 per gender
Africa 1 either gender
Americas 1 either gender

For each continent, all of the gold medalists at the continental games are considered together. The highest ranked among this group earns the qualification spot unless that competitor is already qualified or otherwise cannot be selected without violating any of the following limitations: 10 athletes per division, 1 athlete per NOC per division, 2 athletes per NOC through continental representation (affecting only Africa and the Americas). If the highest-ranked gold medalist cannot be entered, then the next-highest ranked gold medalist qualifies if possible. This process goes through all gold medalists by ranking, then all silver medalists by ranking, then all bronze medalists by ranking until the continent's qualifying spots are filled. If none of the medalists can be entered, the highest-ranked eligible athlete from that continent in the rankings (regardless of finish at the continental games) qualifies.

Participating nations


Event↓/Date → Aug 6[9] Aug 7[10] Aug 8[11]
Men's 67kg F
Men's 75kg F
Men's +75kg F
Men's kata F
Women's 55kg F
Women's 61kg F
Women's +61kg F
Women's kata F


Medal table

Rank Country Gold medal.svg Silver medal.svg Bronze medal.svg Total


Event Gold Silver Bronze
67 kg
75 kg
+75 kg


Event Gold Silver Bronze
55 kg
61 kg
+61 kg

See also


  1. ^ "IOC approves five new sports for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020". International Olympic Committee. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  2. ^ "IOC Executive Board charts the course for future Olympic Games". International Olympic Committee. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing provisionally included on Paris 2024 Olympic sports programme - Olympic News". International Olympic Committee. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Tokyo 2020: Karate". Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  5. ^ "オリンピックの空手組手競技ルールをわかりやすく解説|2020東京オリンピックを楽しむために! - 空手ロード". wka.jp.net. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "KATA AND KUMITE COMPETITION RULES" (PDF). WFK.net. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Olympic Sports : Karate|The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games". The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Karate Competition Schedule". Tokyo 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Schedule - Thursday 06 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Schedule - Friday 07 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Schedule - Saturday 08 Aug Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Olympian Database. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
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