Rules for Traditional Kung Fu Forms

Competitor’s Responsibility:

  • Familiarize themselves with the schedule of events and location (ring) of competition. It is the responsibility of the competitor to be at his or her event on time to compete.
  • Should any competitor have any questions as to what category his/her form fits into (i.e.: Long/Short Hand, Traditional Northern, etc.), he/she should inquire about this upon checking in with the scorekeeper long before any competition begins. Do not wait until the event is about to begin.
  • Check in at the ring with the scorekeeper or ring coordinator a minimum of 15 min. before the beginning of the competition for the division he or she is competing in.
  • Any competitor that has obligation in any other ring(s) must inform the scorekeeper or ring coordinator of possible conflicts at the time he or she checks in at the ring.
  • Be in uniform and have any equipment needed (weapons) and be ready to perform when he or she is called to compete.
  • Any competitor that may have issue with the judging panel or any member of the panel must make this known and ask for arbitration before competition begins in the division he or she is competing in.
  • Once a competitor has competed, if he or she wishes to ask for clarification or an arbitration regarding scoring it must be done in a respectful manner to the head official immediately at the end of competition of the division in question.

The following are standard ring procedures for each event:

  • Before the beginning of each event the judges will be introduced. All competitors will be summoned to the ring at least 10 minutes before the beginning of the event.
  • When the head judge sees that all are ready he or she will have the name of the first competitor announced followed by the names of the next two competitors to prepare for competition.
  • When the competitor's name is called, he/she will approach the ring and salute (standing vertical with both feet together) to the judges. The competitor will hold his/her hand salute until permission from the head judge is given. The judges will be observing as soon as the competitor's name is called.
  • In the event the ring size is not large enough to accommodate the competitor’s needs, it is the
    competitor’s responsibility to identify this and inform the head judge before starting his or her form.
  • Upon receiving the signal from the head judge to enter the ring, the competitor will "march" or walk evenly and directly to center of the ring.
  • Once at the center of the ring, the competitor will ask the head judge permission to begin. Before asking to begin his or her form each competitor may opt to make a brief announcement to the judges (style, system, instructor and the name of the form). Once the competitor is given permission to begin, he or she may move to their beginning position, then he or she will stand perfectly still at attention, signaling the judges and timekeepers that the form is ready to begin. The time clock will begin at the first sign of movement from this attention position.
  • The time clock will stop when the form is finished. The competitor will return to the center of the ring and stand in a stationary and relaxed position waiting for their score or permission to exit the ring. Once permission is given to exit the ring, the competitor will again ``march" or walk evenly to the same place he/she entered, turn around, face the judges and salute.

Division Guidelines:
The intent of a Traditional Division is to help perpetuate and preserve the original essence and strength of the art.
Even though many individuals may study the same style, there may be minor differences in the way they perform a form/set due to different lineage or philosophy, but the majority will agree that each system has a core principle it follows. (Example; Hung Gar - Strong low stances, powerful connection to Earth, Wing Chun – Trapping hands, inside fighting). All competition in a Traditional Division will maintain and reinforce the core principles and signature move(s) that are recognized as the trademark of the system it stems from. Competitors with any movement in a form that breaks the core principle of the style it is intended to represent will be subject to reduction in their score and possible disqualification.

Standard Judging Guidelines: (Traditional Openhand Forms)

All judging of forms competition is very subjective on the part of the judges. Each judge is reminded that he
must set any personal preferences regarding the martial arts aside and maintain an open mind and a spirit of
fairness when scoring. Each judge will be using the following guidelines in determining a competitor’s score:

  • Correctness of Form *(must follow Division Guidelines)
  • Strength of Stance/Stability
  • Speed - Ultimately, the form must be of actual fighting speed
  • Power - (Not Muscle Tightness)
  • Spirit - Martial Spirit with sense of opponent
  • Overall Impression

The lack of any one of these attributes can critically affect one's final score. Each judge will evaluate, in
his/her opinion, how each competitor “rates” in these guidelines. Should any competitor have any questions as to what category his/her form fits into (i.e. Long/Short Hand, Traditional Northern, etc.), he/she should inquire about this upon checking in with the scorekeeper long before any competitions begin. Do not wait until the event is about to begin.

Standard Judging Guidelines: (Traditional Weapon Forms)

The same guidelines as the openhand events will apply here as well. In addition, the judges will be looking
for the following:

  • Same guidelines as openhand events
  • Body movement coordination with the weapon
  • Correct application of the weapon
  • Familiarity of the weapon
  • Speed and power the weapon

Should a weapon break during one's form, that competitor may get another weapon and re-perform, but with
a ½ point penalty. Should a weapon break during the competition and the competitor continue, ½ point will
still be deducted. All competitors should be responsible for the quality of their weapons.

Standard Judging Guidelines: (Judging Staff)

The judging panel will consists of an odd number of judges (3,5,7 etc..) with a minimum staff of three.
It is recommended that the judging staff for beginning and intermediate level of competition have a minimum
of three judges and a scorekeeper, and advanced levels have 5 judges and a scorekeeper.
Members of the Judging staff should meet the following qualifications:

  • Must hold the rank of an instructor for a min. of 1 year, for advanced divisions min. 5 years.
  • Must be at least 18 years old, for advanced divisions must be at least 25 years old.
  • Strong understanding of the skills and principles used in the style/division he or she is judging.
  • A good working knowledge of the rules and guidelines.
  • An open mind and ability to apply a sense of fairness.

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