Beginner’s Guide to Tournaments

Tournaments run throughout the year all over the country, run by TNZ ,TUNZ or other organisations- we attend all.  They range from ‘development’ tournaments which cater for beginners, through to Nationals where the standard is higher.  Some are one day events and others run over a weekend.  For many years we have taken a large team up to the ‘Top of the South’ in Blenheim on Labour weekend, and this is an ideal first tournament as well as a great social weekend.

You will be representing the club, and entry must therefore be approved by the instructors to ensure that you are ready to compete.  Medical conditions or injuries in the run-up to tournaments must be discussed with the instructors to ensure it is safe for you to compete, and we may request a doctor’s certificate.

To find out what protective gear you need for sparring, click on the link on this page. You may be able to use some  items from the club gear to start with.

How to find out about tournaments

Tournaments are listed on the Events tab of our website.  We email members asking for expressions of interest when a team is being formed.

The tournament organisers put out an entry pack which gives all the details about the tournament, and the deadline for entries to be submitted.  The club subsidises some tournament expenses through fundraising; this will vary from tournament to tournament.

There are two categories to enter; competitors may enter one or both.  There are occasionally other competitions such as a jumping front kick competition.

Poomsae (patterns)

Athletes are asked to perform two poomsae, which are ones that you will already have learnt for your gradings.  For coloured belts one of the two poomsae is specified, the other is your choice.

You can perform the poomsae as an individual, in a pair or a team of more than two.  You can enter all three categories (with a separate entry fee for each).

Poomsae must be performed accurately- doing all the blocks, kicks and punches in the correct order and with each move being judged.  They must be performed with good energy.  In the run up to the tournament the instructors will help you perfect your poomsae.  If you are entering as a team or pair you will need to practice together to synchronise your movements.

Kyorugi (sparring)

If you want to spar in a tournament, you must be attending the Friday evening (6-7.30pm) sessions where sparring is focussed on.  In tournament sparring, full protective gear (head gear, mouthguard, arm pads, shin pads, hogo -chest pad) is compulsory. You will be sparring against someone of the same gender and similar belt/ weight.  The length and number of rounds will depend on your belt.  Competitors under 13 years are not permitted to kick their opponent’s head.

Senior belts (and increasingly, junior belts) are required to wear electronic socks which trigger a point to be scored when they connect with the electronic sensor pads on the hogo of their opponent.  The entry pack will tell you whether these are required.

​​​​​​​Questions about tournaments will be answered by our tournament manager on