WAKO K1 – AKA Karate Poole & Kickboxing


Art. 1. Definition.

WAKO K-1 is a sport, like the other styles, and applies the same ring, the same weight classes and the same general rules regarding coaches or fighter’s behavior that are used in Full Contact and Low Kick.

  • Elbow techniques are forbidden
  • It is allowed to hold opponent’s neck or shoulders with two hands in order to perform only one knee attack. Knee attack must be performed immediately.
  • It is forbidden to enter the ring wearing Muay Thai shorts or any other apparel of that discipline.
  • It is not allowed to grab the leg and punch or kick at the sametime.
  • Punching techniques reaching legal targets have the same value for judges as knee, leg or any other technique in the repertoire.

Each fighter must have their own WAKO SPORT PASS with MEDICAL TEST in it, valid for 1 year, to be shown at weigh-in procedures.

In Continental or World Championships NO FOREIGN COMPETITORS can be included in NATIONAL TEAMS. At weigh-in, official passports must be shown to the officials in charge.

Art. 2. Legal Target Areas

The following parts of the body may be attacked using the authorized fighting techniques:

  • Head: front (face and forehead), side and top.
  • Torso: front and side.
  • Legs: any part.
  • Foot: for sweeps ankle level only.

Art. 2.1 Prohibited Techniques and Behavior.

It is prohibited to:

  • Attack the throat, lower abdomen, kidneys, back, groin, neck, back of the head and top of the shoulders.
  • To grab the opponent’s leg for any reason even for a short time, and perform any technique whilst grabbing.
  • To perform front and side kick to the front side of the thigh, knee or shin. This is valid also for the knee attacks.
  • To perform more than one knee attack while holding the opponent’s neck or shoulders with two hands.
  • To hold the neck or shoulders with only one hand while attacking with the knee.
  • To perform any somersault kicks.
  • Screwing, lifting and turning the opponent from side to side.
  • To attack with the elbow, head, thumb or shoulders.
  • To turn one’s back to the opponent, run away, fall down, intentional clinching, blind techniques, wrestling, throwing and ducking below the opponent’s waist.
  • To attack an opponent who is caught between the ropes.
  • To attack an opponent who is falling to the floor or is already on the floor; that is, as soon as one hand or knee touches the floor.
  • To leave the ring without the Referee’s order.
  • Continue the fight after the command “stop” or “break” or the end of the round after the signal has been given.
  • To oil the face or the body (Vaseline is allowed).
  • To spit out or drop the mouth-guard voluntarily.
  • Violations of the rules may, depending how grave they are, lead to warnings, minus points or even disqualification.
Coaches/ Seconds. Prohibited behavior.
  • Inappropriately Arguing/ Commenting on a Referee’s decision.
  • Inappropriately Arguing/ Commenting on a score given or not given by the judges.
  • Attacking or verbally abusing an Official either inside or outside the Ring.
  • Pushing, grabbing without any other purpose, spitting or even attempting any of these actions.
  • Warnings given to the coaches / seconds, counted against the kickboxer. After two verbal warnings have been given to the coach / second, the Referee has the right to give the official warning to a kickboxer if they did not obey their orders.
  • The coach must remain seated at all times on their chair provided and must not interfere or disrupt with the smooth running of the match by word, gesture or deed. It is strictly prohibited for the coach / second to come into the ring wearing shorts, slippers, jeans and hats of any kind.

Art. 2.2 Legal Techniques/Scoring Criteria.

A score must be awarded when a legal technique is performed to the following criteria to the legal scoring area.

  1. Good Form (good technique with absolute balance).
  2. Vigorous Application (full power and speed).
  3. Awareness (total concentration and not turning away the head during delivery of the technique).
  4. GoodTiming and Correct Distance (when technique has the most potential effect).
  5. Sporting Attitude (non-malicious attitude during delivery of technique).

Art. 2.2.1 Hand Techniques.

  • Punches (all boxing repertoire).
    • Back fist and spinning back fist.
    • Holding the opponent’s neck or shoulders with two hands in order to perform one knee attack. Knee attack must be performed immediately.

Art. 2.2.2 Foot, Leg and Knee Techniques.

  • Front kicks.
    • Side kicks
    • Roundhouse kicks.
    • Heel kicks also to the thigh of the opponent and also spinning on.
    • Crescent kicks.
    • Axe kicks.
    • Jumping kicks.
    • Using the shin to attack any part of the leg and the body including the head (legal targets areas only).
    • The Knee can be used to attack any part of body and head (legal target areas)
    • Foot sweeps.

Art. 2.2.3 Sweeping, hand and foot techniques.

Foot sweeps (ankle level only, from outside to inside and vice versa to unbalance the opponent and following up with hand / kicking techniques or to bring the unbalanced opponent to the canvas or to touch it with any part of body apart from the feet).

Hand and foot techniques should be used equally during the entire fighting period. Foot techniques are only recognized when they clearly show the intention to hit the opponent with power.

All techniques must be used with power. Any technique which is partially deviated or blocked, or that simply touches, brushes or pushes an opponent will not be scored.

Art. 2.2.4 Number of Kicks per Round.

Because of K-1 character and style it will not be necessary to count any kicks such as Full Contact.

Art. 3. Decisions.

The decisions will be reached as follows:

Ÿ   Victory by points (P):

At the end of a bout, the kickboxer who has obtained a victory by the decision of the majority of judges is declared the winner. If both fighters are injured or KO and cannot continue the fight, judges will mark the points obtained by each fighter to that point and the fighter ahead by points will be declared the winner.

Ÿ   Victory by abandonment (AB):

If a kickboxer voluntarily gives up, due to an injury or any other reason, or if they fail to continue the fight after the one minute break between the rounds, their opponent will be declared the winner.

  • Victory by stoppage (RSC, RSC-H): Referee Stops Contest.

If the Referee acknowledges that the fighter is unable to continue the fight, due to an injury or any other physical reason, the fight will be stopped and their opponent will be declared the winner. The right to make such a decision is incumbent upon the Referee who can consult the doctor. Having done so, the Referee will follow the doctor’s advice. Heeding the doctor´s opinion the Referee can still decide if the bout should be continued or not, but only in the case when the doctor allows them to continue the fight. When the Referee asks the doctor to intervene, they will be the only officials present in the ring. No second will be admitted.

Ÿ   Victory by disqualification (DISQ):

If a kickboxer is disqualified, their opponent will be declared the winner. If both kickboxers are disqualified, the decision will be announced accordingly. A disqualified kickboxer cannot receive any reward, medal, trophy, any honorary award, grade or title of the competition in the course of which they have been disqualified, no matter what the reason was for the disqualification – scale of penalty or unsportsmanlike behavior. Except in the case when the Board of Directors decides differently (in its absence, the decision may be made by the Appeal Board, or if none, by an official responsible for the event). Such a decision not taken by the Board of Directors may be, following a request, submitted to a review and confirmation of the Appeal Board itself.

Ÿ   Victory by walk over (WO):

When a kickboxer is present in the ring and ready to fight, and their opponent does not appear when announced three times by the loud speaker. After two minutes, the gong will ring and the Referee will declare the fighter who is present in the ring the winner by walk over. The Referee calls the kickboxer to the center of the ring and raise their hand as the winner.

  • The 3 knock-down rule is valid. This means that the fight will be stopped if a fighter has been knocked down 3 times in the same fight. The Referee declares the kickboxer winner after the third knock down, counting till ten.
    • In the age category “Younger Juniors” the 2 knock-down rule is valid. This means that the fight will be stopped if a fighter has been knocked down twice (2 times) in the same fight.
    • In all age categories knock downs should be counted as two points. If electronic scoring system is used, just one point will come from each judge and one from time keeper who obliged to push KD “button”. If clickers are used, each judge is obliged to click twice their clickers in case of KD. It does not matter what was the

reason for counting down: punch, kick or kickboxer’s behavior.

Art. 4. Changing a decision.

All public decisions are definitive and cannot be changed unless:

  • Mistakes which occurred in calculating the points are discovered;
    • One of the Judges declares they have made a mistake and switched the scores of the fighters;
    • There are evident violations of WAKO rules.

The Chief of the ring will immediately handle all protests. After discussions, the representative of the WAKO Appeal Board will announce the official result.

Art. 5. Awarding of points/Score.

In awarding points, the following rules must be respected:

A score must be awarded when a legal technique is performed to the following criteria to the legal scoring area.

  1. Good Form (good technique with absolute balance).
  2. Vigorous Application (full power and speed).
  3. Awareness (total concentration and not turning away the face during delivery of the technique).
  4. Good Timing and Correct Distance (when techniques have the most potential effect).
  5. Sporting Attitude (non-malicious attitude during delivery of technique).

Art. 5.1 Directive 1 – concerning blows.

During each round, a judge will mark the respective score for each kickboxer, according to the number of blows that each one has received. To count a punch or a kick as a blow it must not be blocked or stopped. The value of registered blows in a fight will be counted at the end of each round and granted to the better kickboxer, according to their degree of superiority. Blows given by a kickboxer will not be taken into account:

  • If they are contrary to regulations.
    • If they land on the arms.
    • If they are weak and do not come from legs, body or shoulders.
    • If they are partly deviated or blocked.
    • If they simply touch, brushes or pushes the opponent.
    • If the kickboxer loses their balance or falls down while hitting or sweeping.

Art. 5.2 Directive 2 – concerning offences.

During each round a judge cannot penalize each offence they see, regardless of whether the Referee has noticed it or not. They have to call the Referees attention to that offence. If the Referee gives an official warning to one of the fighters, the Judges must make a note of it, writing “W” on the FOULS column on the scoring paper, but that does not mean a minus point to the other fighter. When the referee decides to give a minus point to a kickboxer, each of three judges will put “-1” in the appropriate column. At the end of the round each judge will add three points to the final score of the other fighter (if judges use clickers and score cards).

Art. 5.3 Directive 3 – awarding points (Using Electronic Scoring System).

For all legal techniques (punches, kicks or sweeping), clearly landed on legal targets with speed, focus, balance, power, the judge will once push a button of their mouse indicating the correct fighter (Red or Blue corner). Points, starting from first round, will continuously be added from all judges what can be seen on the monitor screen.

At the end of the fight, the winner is the competitor who scored more points (which will appear on the screen). An effective technique delivered at the same time that the end of the bout is signaled, is considered valid.

If the Referee inflicts a foul or a warning, they will indicate so in front of the Chief Referee of the ring and the timekeeper who has to put it in the electronic system. It will then be shown on the screen.

If the Referee inflicts a minus point they will indicate it in front of the Chief Referee of the ring and the timekeeper who has to put it in the electronic system. It will then be shown on the screens, reducing 3 point from the total score from each judge (total of 9 points).

The electronic system shows a running time score. In every moment of the fight everybody knows the situation of points.

Art. 5.3.1 In case of a draw (Electronic).

If the match ends, by one or more judges, in a draw (equal points after 3 rounds), to determine a winner, the electronic scoring system will automatically assign the win to the fighter with the highest points in the last round.

Art. 5.4 Directive 3 – awarding points (Using Clickers and Scorecards).

For all legal techniques (punches, kicks or sweeping), clearly landed on legal targets with speed, focus, balance and power, the judge will give points to each fighter using the clickers. The clicker score will be recorded on the paper after each round. Scores will be accumulated with the winner being the highest scoring fighter over the three rounds.

It is mandatory for all judges to use clickers during the Continental and World Championships if the electronic system is not used. At the end of the match, the judge will sum the total points given and name the winning fighter who has the larger number of points. The judge must make a circle around the fighter’s name.

  • Punch to the body or head                                      = 1 Click
    • Kick to the leg, body or head                                 = 1 Click
    • Foot sweep leading the opponent to touch the floor with any other part of the body apart from feet = 1 Click
    • Jumping kick to the leg, body or head                 = 1 Click
    • Knee or jumping knee attack to the body             = 1 Click
    • Knee or jumping knee attack to the head            = 1 Click
    • Knee attack to hips                                                   = 1 Click

Art. 5.4.1 In case of a draw (Clickers).

If the match ends in a draw (equal points after three rounds), to determine a winner, a judge has to take into consideration the remarks on the WAKO scorecard in the following order.

  1. Better in the last round.
  2. More active.
  3. More kicks.
  4. Better defense.
  5. Better style and techniques.

Victory must go the fighter who scored more points in the last round.

Art. 5.4.2 Directive 4 – Penalty.

  • Warnings will be carried through the match to all rounds.
    • First Violation – Official Warning
    • Second Violation – Award penalty point -1
    • Third Violation – Award penalty point -1
    • Fourth Violation – Disqualification

Art. 6. Criteria for minus points.

  • Unclean fighting style.
    • Continuously clinching.
    • Continuously ducking, or turning of the back.
    • Too fewer foot techniques.
    • Official warning given before.
    • Any serious violation of the rules.

Art. 6.1.1 Offences.

A fighter who does not obey the Referee’s orders, or who violates the regulations, who demonstrates unsportsmanlike behavior or who commits offences can receive a caution, warning or be disqualified by a Referee without any official warnings. Only 4 official warnings can be given to a fighter in the course of the entire bout. The fourth warning will mean automatic DISQUALIFICATION (the procedure starts from official warning, first minus point, second minus point, fourth official warning and consequent disqualification of the fighter).

A Referee may, without stopping the fight, give a caution to a kickboxer at any moment. A third caution for the same foul will lead to the last verbal warning. In order to do this the Referee must stop the bout, but not the time, and explain clearly the violation of the rules facing the offender. After the last verbal warning the Referee obliged to give the official warning. In order to do this the Referee must stop the bout and the time and put the opponent to the neutral corner.

The following actions are considered fouls:
  • Punching below the belt, hooking, tripping, and hitting with the forearms, elbows and shoulders.
    • Head butting, strangling the opponent, pushing their head outside the ropes.
    • Hitting with open gloves, the inside of the gloves, and with the wrist.
    • It is prohibited to attack with a front kick or side kick the front side of the thigh, knee and shin.
    • Hitting the opponent’s back, and particularly the neck, nape and kidneys.
    • Attacking while holding the ropes or using them improperly.
    • Lying down, wrestling or not fighting at all.
    • Attacking an opponent who is on the floor or getting up.
    • Unnecessary clinching.
    • Screwing, lifting and turning the opponent from side to side.
    • Hitting while hooking the opponent, or pulling the opponent into a blow.
    • Hooking or holding opponent’s arm (or leg) or putting an arm underneath the opponent’s arm.
    • Using artificial means for a passive defense and falling down intentionally in order to avoid a blow.
  • Using insulting and aggressive language during a round.
    • Refusing to withdraw after the order “BREAK”.
    • Trying to land a blow on the opponent, immediately after a “BREAK” order and before withdrawing.
    • Assailing or insulting the Referee at any time.
    • Spitting out the mouth guard voluntarily.

If a Referee thinks that an offence has been committed without their knowledge, they will have to consult the judges.

Art. 6.1.2 Warnings given to the second count against the kickboxer.

The Referee after two verbal warnings has right to punish the kickboxer if the coach/second does not obey his orders. They will show it to the three judges, pointing with their finger to the kickboxer at fault (only when clickers system is used). The Referee shows it to the Chief Referee of the ring and timekeeper who has to put it in the electronic system (only when electronic system is used)

Art. 7. On the floor.

A Kickboxer is considered “on the floor” if:

  • If they touch the floor with a part of his body other than his feet following a blow or series of blows.
    • If they hopelessly hang on the ropes after a blow or a series of blows.
    • If they find themselves outside the ropes, partly or completely, after a blow or a series of blows.
    • If, after a violent blow, they have not fallen to the floor or into the ropes, but is in a state of semi- consciousness and, in the Referees opinion, not able to continue fighting.
    • In the case of a KD, the Referee must immediately start counting out the seconds. When a kickboxer is on the floor, their opponent must instantly go to the neutral corner, shown by the Referee. they will only continue the fight with the fallen opponent when the latter has risen, and when the Referee has ordered the continuation of fighting. If the opponent does not go to the neutral corner following the Referees order, the Referee will stop the count until that order is executed. The count will then be continued where it was left.

When a kickboxer is on the floor, the Referee will count from 1 to 10 with a second interval between each number, and will indicate each second with their fingers so that the fallen kickboxer knows how many seconds have already been counted. One second must pass from the moment the kickboxer falls down to the start of the count.

When a kickboxer is on the floor due to a blow, the fight will not continue before the Referee has counted to 8, even if the kickboxer is ready to continue the fight before that time. If the kickboxer doesn’t raise their hands the Referee will continue to count until “10”, the round will be finished and a KO declared.

If a kickboxer is on the floor at the end of a round, the Referee will continue the count even if the bell rings. If the Referee counts to 10, the kickboxer will be declared loser via KO.

If a kickboxer is on the floor after having received a blow and the fight continues after the count out of 8 seconds, but the kickboxer falls back on the floor without receiving another blow, the Referee will resume the count, starting at 8.

If both kickboxers fall at the same time, the count will continue on as long as one of them is still on the floor. If they both remain on the floor after 10 seconds, the bout will be stopped and decision given, considering the points granted before the KO. Nevertheless, this winner will be suspended from further participation in this tournament because of the KO and in accordance with WAKO Rules.

Art. 8. Procedure after KO, RSC, RSC-H, Injury.

If a fighter gets injured in a fight the doctor is the only person that can evaluate the circumstances.

If a kickboxer remains unconscious, only the Referee and the doctor in charge will be allowed to stay in the ring, unless the doctor needs extra help.

Art. 8.1.1 Procedure if KO, RSC, RSC-H, Injury.

A kickboxer who has been knocked out due to a head blow during the fight, or if the Referee has stopped the fight due to severe head trauma which prevents them continuing, will be examined by a doctor immediately, Then afterwards accompanied to the hospital by the ambulance on duty or to any other adequate place.

A kickboxer who has been knocked out due to a head blow during the fight, or if the Referee has stopped the fight due to severe head trauma which prevents them from continuing, will not be allowed to take part in another competition or bout for a period of at least 4 weeks after the KO.

A kickboxer who has been knocked out due to a head blow during the fight, or if the Referee has stopped the fight due to severe head trauma which prevents them continuing, twice (2 times) in a period of 3 months, will not be allowed to take part in another competition or bout for a period of at least 3 months after the second KO or RSC-H.

A kickboxer who has been knocked out due to a head blow during the fight, or if the Referee has stopped the fight due to severe head trauma which prevents them continuing three consecutive times in a period of 12 months, will not be allowed to take part in a competition or a bout for a period of one year after the third KO or RSC-H.

The doctor in charge can extend the quarantine period if necessary. Also doctors at the hospital can further extend the quarantine period due to scans and tests of the head

A quarantine period means that a kickboxer cannot take part in any competition in kickboxing no matter what the discipline is. The quarantine periods are “minimum period” and cannot be overruled even though a head scan shows no visible injuries.

The Referee will tell the Judges to mark KO, RSC-H or RSC on their score sheets, when they have stopped the bout due to the kickboxer’s inability to resume the fight because of head blows. The same has to be reported by the Chief Referee on duty in that ring on the fighter’s WAKO SPORT PASS. This is also the official result of the fight and it cannot be overruled.

Before resuming kickboxing after a ban, as described in the above paragraphs, a kickboxer will, after a special medical examination, have to be declared fit to take part in competition by a sports doctor.

When registered a KO or RSC-H a kickboxer must get a CT-Scan of the head.

Art. 8.2 Procedure if injuries in general.

In case of injuries besides KO or RSC-H the doctor can give a minimum of quarantine period and recommend treatment at hospital.

A doctor can require immediately treatment at hospital.

If a kickboxer or delegates from kickboxer’s nation denies doctors medical advice, the doctor reports in a written form immediately to the Chief Referee or to a WAKO delegate that all medical responsibility are denied and are in the hands of the kickboxer and their team. However, the official result and a quarantine given is valid.

Art. 9. Hand shaking.

Before and after a bout, the kickboxers will shake hands as sign of pure sportsmanship and friendly rivalry, according to kickboxing regulations. Hand shaking takes place before starting the first round and after the decision. No hand shaking is allowed between rounds.

Art. 10. Use of drugs.

Any drug or chemical substance ingested by a kickboxer, that is not included in the kickboxer’s normal diet, is forbidden. Any kickboxer or official violating this code may be disqualified or suspended by WAKO.

Any kickboxer refusing to submit to a medical examination or doping test after a fight, in order to verify that they have not broken this rule, may be disqualified or suspended. The same will occur for an official encouraging such a refusal.

The use of local anesthetics is allowed, if agreed by a doctor from the Medical Committee. WAKO refers to and adopt WADA Doping Rules.

Art. 11. Medical aptitude.

A fighter will be allowed to fight in an International competition only after having been declared fit for it by a sports doctor, recognized by the Federation under whose name the competition takes place, or by the Medical Committee of WAKO during Continental and World Championships.

All kickboxers fighting abroad will need to have a certificate established by a medical doctor, certifying that the athlete, before leaving their country, was in good physical condition and had no injuries, infections or medical problems that could affect their ability to fight in the visiting country. This certificate will be attached to the WAKO passport of the kickboxer, according to the practice of their association and presented during the medical examination which will proceed the weigh-in.

One-eyed, deaf, mute and epileptic fighters are not allowed in kickboxing. Wearing of spectacles by a kickboxer during the bout is not permitted, but soft contact lenses are allowed. Kickboxers with the beard are allowed to participate in any WAKO tournaments, if only their beard has reasonable length (not more than 2 centimeter).

Females who have long hair, must control it so it does not disrupt the contest.

A kickboxer will not be allowed to take part in a bout if they have a bandage on a wound, a cut, an injury, an ulceration, a laceration or blood flowing on the head or face, nose and ears included. They may be allowed to fight if the ulceration is protected by Collodion. This decision will be made by the doctor who examines the Kickboxer on the day of the competition.

Art. 11.1 Doctors Aide.

A recognized sports doctor must be present throughout the competition and must not leave their place before the end of the last bout or before the completion of the tournament. In a tournament there must be two ambulance personnel on site.

Art. 12. Age limit of kickboxer.

Kickboxer younger than 19 and older than 40 will not be allowed to take part in Senior World or Continental Championships, nor in Senior International competitions.

Also for women the ages allowed are from 19 to 40.

Ring Sports specifications for Veterans:

If a fighter in the veteran division would like to fight in the senior divisions they must be in possession of all medical check and certification declaring they are fit to fight and they must also ask for a special authorization released by WAKO headquarters.

Art. 13. Agreements.

It is desirable that all WAKO affiliated Associations ensure that their rules agree with those of WAKO, as far as possible, in order to ensure the uniformity of kickboxing regulations around the world.


For better readability the text uses masculine pronouns throughout. However, all references to persons apply to both genders.

Ray Retson
Ray Retson
Great skills learnt, great enthusiasm to teach. All the pupils, especially our son love the lessons and the drills and training. Brilliant club to be a part of.
Star Platinum5
Star Platinum5
AKA is a super-friendly karate club with something for everyone. The instructors are fun and knowledgeable and there is a good mix of skills and techniques on offer. You can join in for fun and fitness or to advance through the grades if you're serious about karate. My son loves going here and always comes home with a smile on his face :)
Dave Malhi
Dave Malhi
Great place to train and friendly atmosphere. Steve is very knowledgeable and has a wealth of expertise in a variety of different Martial Art disciplines. Highly recommended 👌
James Short
James Short
Joined kickboxing as a compete beginner at the age of 39. I’ve never done any martial arts before. Steve is an awesome instructor. Works us hard and is super knowledgeable. My son also attends the U13s kickboxing and Karate combat clubs. He loves it. Steve is great with the youngsters. The right level of discipline to compassion for them learning. My son has learnt so much already. He has even competed in and won his first tournament. Highly recommend this club!
Frans Dietrichsen
Frans Dietrichsen
Great fun for juniors, whilst learning life skills. Professional instructors with lessons available to suit around a busy schedule.
Janice Attard-Johnson
Janice Attard-Johnson
Awesome Sensei and friendly environment. Range of sessions, family karate really great for training together and mixed classes give a great mix of training experience. The sessions are quite varied keeping things interesting and challenging. Warning that its slightly addictive once you walk through those doors 😂 perfect for destressing and challenging yourself. I couldn't recommend more highly!
Millie Marshall
Millie Marshall
Lovely, friendly instructor and great club for practising or developing in martial arts! Definitely brought my passion back for karate!
Becks Prow
Becks Prow
Super friendly instructors with great knowledge and variety of teachings. Familial atmosphere great place to make friends, exercise and learn great defence, enjoy traditional karate and much more!
George Ioakim
George Ioakim
Best place with the best Shensei! Finally back in to action. Steve is one of a kind!

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