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Forms FAQ

Q: Is there a time restriction for the forms divisions?
A: Yes, all forms divisions are subject to the same maximum time frame of 3 minutes.
Q: Are there any penalties in forms divisions?
A: Yes. Penalties may apply to if a competitor’s form exceeds the 3 minute timeframe, if the competitor has any body part or weapon leave the boundary of the ring, if the athlete unintentionally loses balance or forgets their form after starting. See the rules for details.
Q: Is it possible to be disqualified from a forms division?
A: Yes. A disqualification will automatically cause competitor to be awarded the lowest score of 5.0. The following acts will incur a disqualification
  • Dropping a weapon unintentionally
  • Any action that potentially, or actually, causes damage to the mats
  • Forgetting a form (Black belt/Advance division on the 1st attempt, and all others on the 2nd attempt)
  • Unsportsmanlike behaviour from either the athlete or their support team.
Q: What happens when there is a draw in a forms event?
A: The winner is initially determined via the high/low method, i.e. from the scores of the drawing competitors, the highest scores are subtracted to establish a winner. If still even, this score is replaced and the lowest scores are subtracted. If the winner still cannot be determined, the drawn competitors will be required to do another form. This can be the same as their original form. Only black belts are required to do a different form.
Q: What's the difference between Hard & Soft Forms?
A: Generally speaking a Hard form is for styles that execute their form in a rigid and hard way (mostly Karate and TKD styles).

The soft form division is for styles that execute their forms in a flowing and softer application (commonly seen in Kung Fu and Tai Chi or Chinese / Internal arts).

Having said that, some karate styles also have forms that they consider soft forms, and some kung fu styles perform theirs in a "hard" manner..

Neither Forms division discriminates on power, focus, or balance. The focus is mostly on application. It is implicit that both styles of forms convey effectiveness and power.


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