Tournament Rules

The GTI has been organising tournaments regularly since its founding. Below is abridged rules

GTI Tournament Rules
Competitors Brief 


GTI tournaments are run on an invitational basis to non-GTI Schools/Associations who are
ITF ‘style’ based. The sparring competition is conducted under strict ‘light/semi-contact’ rules
with ‘points away’ penalties/disqualification for any excessive contact.


  • 9th kup – white belt with yellow stripe/tags.


Adult: 18 years of age and older.  Junior: Under 18 years of age.
Belts: The ITF belt ranking system will apply as follows:

  • 9th kup – white belt with yellow stripe/tags
  • 8th kup – yellow belt
  • 7th kup – yellow belt with green stripe/tags
  • 6th kup – green belt
  • 5th kup – green belt with blue stripe/tags
  • 4th kup – blue belt
  • 3rd kup – blue belt with red stripe/tags
  • 2nd kup – red belt
  • 1st kup – red belt with black stripe/tags
  • 1st dan & above – black belt

Divisions: The belt ranks fall into the following divisions with separate categories for men,
women, boys, and girls. (With the exception of the Peewee category which includes mixed
grades of boys & girls). The option of a Veterans (40 years & older) category may also be
available at particular events.

  • Yellow – 9th to 7th kup
  • Green – 6th & 5th kup
  • Blue – 4th & 3rd kup
  • Red – 2nd & 1st kup
  • Black – all dan grades

NB. Yellow & Green and Blue & Red divisions may be merged depending on numbers in

Adult Male Sparring Weights:
Light-weight  –  up to & incl. 67kg
Middle-weight  –  over 67kg up to & incl. 77kg
Heavy-weight  –  over 77kg

Adult Female Sparring Weights:
Light-weight  –  up to & incl. 56kg
Middle-weight  –  over 56kg up to & incl. 60kg
Heavy-weight  –  over 60kg

Junior Sparring Weights:
Peewee*    –  up to & incl. 4ft. (122cm)
Light-weight  –  over 4ft. (122cm)  up to & incl. 4ft. 6in. (137cm)
Middle-weight  –  over 4ft. 6in. (137cm)  up to & incl. 5ft. (152.5cm)
Light-heavy   –  over 5ft. (152.5cm) up to & incl. 5ft.6in. (167.5cm)
Heavy-weight  –  over 5ft. 6in. (167.5cm)

*NB. Peewee division is mixed boys & girls, other junior weights have separate divisions for
boys & girls.


  • Yellow & Green belts: Point-Stop sparring.
  • Blue & Red belts: Continuous sparring.
  • Black belts: Point-Stop & Continuous sparring available.

Duration of Bouts:

  • Junior & Adult Coloured Belt divisions: 1½ minutes.
  • Junior & Adult Black Belt divisions: 2 minutes
  • Finals in Black Belt Continuous Sparring: 2 x 2 minutes with 1 minute break.

NB. In Point-Stop bouts if a competitor scores 10 points, then the bout will be stopped and
awarded to that competitor.

Scoring of  Points:

  • 1 point awarded for any hand technique to any target area.
  • 2 points awarded for foot technique to mid-section area.
  • 3 points awarded for foot technique to high-section area.

Target Areas:

  1. High – Head and neck area complete. (* See footnote below )
  2. Middle – Trunk of the body from neck to lower abdomen vertically and from a line
    drawn from armpit vertically down to the waist on each side.
  3. Middle – Kidney area (NB. only scoring area of back).

*NB – No hand techniques are allowed to the face in Peewee and Light Weight Junior
Yellow and Green belt divisions. Hand techniques will be scored to all other parts of the
head covered by the head guard, including the protected forehead area.


NB. Point-Stop Sparring Penalties: Points will be deducted from the offender’s score. If the
offender has no points or insufficient points to penalise then any outstanding points will be
added to their opponents score.
NB. Continuous Sparring Penalties:  As points cannot be deducted from the handheld
counters (clickers) used by the Umpires the relevant points will be added to their opponent’s


  • Stepping out of the area twice (i.e. On the 2nd, 4th, 6th and every other subsequent
    occasion).  A competitor is considered to have “stepped out” when one foot fully
    crosses the perimeter line.
  • Unintentional excessive contact on 2nd and all further occasions (i.e. after one warning
    by the referee).
  • Loss of balance on each occasion (a competitor is considered to have lost balance
    when any part of the body other than the feet, come in contact with the floor).
  • Grabbing any part of the opponent or their dobok after the referee’s warning.
  • Tripping or leg-sweeping the opponent on every occasion.

Discretionary “Points Away” Or “Official Warnings”:
These may be awarded by the referee after one warning for the following:-
i.  Talking.
ii.  Unsportsmanlike behaviour.
iii. Intentional lack of effort.
iv.  Excessive contact and / or aggression.
v.  Illegal technique (e.g. low kicking, knee/elbow strikes, pushing)

Disqualifications will be awarded by the referee for the following: 
i.  Intentional excessive contact or unnecessary aggression.
ii.  Repeated on “point away” offences.
iii. Showing dishonour or disrespect to the officials, competitors or to the area.
iv.  Second occasion that an official warning (yellow card) is awarded.
Accumulative Disqualification

During a sparring competition, a referee may award an “official warning” for offences listed
above.  Any competitor who receives 2 official warnings during the entire competition will be
disqualified from the competition immediately upon receipt of the 2nd official warning.  The
referee will display a yellow card when announcing an official warning.  A red card will be
displayed upon disqualification.  The referees must announce to the competitor, umpires and
recorder  than  an  official  warning  is  being  given.    The  recorder  marks  the  official  warning
against the competitor’s name on the competitor list, then, before the start of the next and all
subsequent  bouts,  the  recorder  will  announce  than  the  competitor  is  carrying  an  official


As  detailed  previously  above,  contact  is  penalised  but  if  in  the  opinion  of  the  referee  a
competitor  steps  forward  into  a  technique,  which  otherwise  would  have  been  correctly
focused, points will be awarded to the attacker as if it were a “decisive blow”.
If  a  competitor  is  unable  to  continue  in  such  a  situation,  the  bout  will  be  awarded  to  the
attacker.    In  all  other  cases  of  unintentional  and  intentional  excessive  contact,  where  a
competitor is unable to continue, the injured competitor will be awarded the bout (subject to
referee’s decision).


The following patterns are the choices available to each division:

  • Yellow – Chon-Ji, Dan-Gun, or Do-San
  • Green – Do-San, Won-Hyo, or Yul-Gok
  • Blue – Yul-Gok, Joong-Gun, or Toi-Gye
  • Red – Toi-Gye, Hwa-Rang, or Choong-Moo
  • Black – Choong-Moo or any dan grade pattern relevant to grade


When board breaking takes place it is only open to adult Blue, Red, and Black belt divisions.
Each competitor attempts five different breaks as listed below. One point is awarded for each
successful break. In the event of a draw the lightest competitor will be announced as winner.

Red & Blue Belts – 1 White Board      Black Belts – 1 Black Board

1. Palm Heel            1. Palm Heel
2. Knife-Hand or Reverse Knife-Hand     2. Knife-Hand or Reverse Knife-Hand
3. Left Side Kick            3. Jumping Left Side Kick*
4. Right Side Kick           4. Jumping Right Side Kick*
5. Reverse Side Kick (Spinning Back Kick)    5. Jumping Reverse Side Kick
*NB. Performed from Parallel Ready Stance

Each competitor will have one attempt to break with only one pre-judging of distance
allowed. NB. The hand/foot must not touch the board when measuring

All competitors with injuries which require bandaging or strapping of any type must satisfy
the judges of their need and obtain approval before performing (i.e. no hard materials or pins
can be worn, neither can bandaging give extra support so that it constitutes an advantage to
that competitor).

No jewellery, watches or any other adornments may be worn. Hair may be kept in place using
a material of soft elastic nature only, no grips or slides allowed.

Uniforms: GTI members must wear their official white GTI uniform at the English and
British Championships. Other Associations must wear a traditional/freestyle dobok with
relevant ITF belt ranking as listed above to be worn. N.B. T-Shirts are not permitted.

Safety Equipment: 
a)  All competitors must wear the following safety equipment:-

  • Groin guard protector of an approved type for men.
  • Hand and feet safety equipment of an approved type.(see below)*
  • Shin protectors of an approved type.
  • Head guard.

b)  Optional equipment:

  • Breast/groin protectors for women.
  • Gum shields.

*NB.  Hand  &  foot  protectors  suitable  for  semi-contact  must  be  worn.  Bag,  grappling  or
boxing/weighted/laced gloves are not permitted.  The foot protector must be a full boot type
which only leaves the sole exposed, and must be of the correct size so that the toes do not

The following are the commands that referees will issue to competitors during a tournament:
1.  Charyot  – Attention
2.  Kyong ye   – Bow
3.  Chunbi     – Ready stance
4.  Si jak    – Start
5.  Hye chyo   – Break (sparring only)
6.  Barro     – Return to ready stance

For all events in all tournaments any disputes arising will be dealt with as follows:

i.  Tournaments  Chief  Umpire:  All  organisers  will  appoint  a  person  to  act  as  ‘Chief
Umpire’.  This  person  must  be  present  in  the  arena  throughout  the  whole  of  the
tournament. Generally this person will be the most experienced official at the event.

ii.  All  competitors  must  nominate  on  their  competition  entry  form  a  delegate  to  act  on
their  behalf  In  the  event  of  any  disputes.  This  person  would  normally  be  their  club
Instructor, but can be any black belt that is fully conversant with the GTI tournament

iii. All competitors who wish to dispute a decision must go through their delegate direct to
the Chief Umpire. Neither the competitor, nor any person other than the delegate, is
allowed to approach the Chief Umpire direct.

iv.  In  order  to  give  a  decision  on  any  dispute,  the  Chief  Umpire  may  call  officials,
competitors or delegates, as he/she so desires in order to give evidence or opinions on
the dispute.

v.  On  reaching  a  decision,  the  Chief  Umpire  will  notify  all  parties  concerned,  and  this
decision will be binding and cannot be appealed against.

vi.  A  copy  of  the  full  GTI  Tournament  rules  as  laid  down  in  Appendix  B  of  the
Constitution  must  be  present  at  all  tournaments  and  must  be  accessible  to  all
competitors and officials.

vii. The tournament Chief Umpire must base all their dispute decisions on the rules as laid
down in this document, and in no case can their final decision conflict with these rules.

viii. Delegates,  competitors  or  team  captains  who  persist  in  arguing  against  a  decision
made by the Chief Umpire, may at his/her discretion, have their whole team or club
disqualified form further events at the tournament.

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