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US Open & Junior International Cup

Frequently Ask Questions


  • Where can I find my membership number? In order to confirm your account you will need to create a USA Karate Membership Account.  Visit and click on member resources, create an account with the same email address used to register your account and login.  Once logged in you will see all your membership numbers of athletes associated with your account.  If any accounts are missing simply email us at and let us know what members should be under your account and we can associate them for you.

  • I am having trouble uploading my photo, the cart won’t accept it. This is caused by uploading too large of a photo.  Today’s high tech consumer cameras are often in the 8 megapixel to 15+ megapixel range, this can produce photos easily in excess of 2 megabytes.  This is too large for our application to handle efficiently so you need to resize the photo to 72dpi, 200x233 resolution, or at least get the size down below 2mb.  If you don’t have the ability to resize an existing photo we recommend taking a new photo and turning your resolution all the way down, select the lowest megapixel setting (mp), and select the lowest quality for the photo.  This will allow even the high end cameras to take a small enough photo to upload to us.
  • Can I confirm my registration? Yes. You can confirm your registration online by going to and selecting “confirm registrations” on the main page. You simply search using your membership number and confirm your registration. If you have registered online, you will receive an “order confirmation” via email in addition to being taken to a confirmation screen at the conclusion of the registration process. If you do not receive the confirmation email, please check your spam filter.

If you completed the paper application and mailed your registration, it will take approximately 10 business days for your registration to appear online using the website.  Because of the volume of paper registrations, we can not confirm your registration any sooner than it would appear online. Please note that there is a $25 paper handling fee, to avoid this please use the online search to confirm your registration.

  • What if I confirm my registration and it is incorrect? If the registration appears to be incorrect online, simply check the box next to the athlete name and select EDIT.  You can then go in and make changes to your registration.  Don’t forget to CHECKOUT if you made any changes affecting your balance, otherwise your registration will be marked as incomplete.

  • What if I make a mistake during registration, do I have to pay a change fee? Yes, a late/change fee will be charged, unless the mistake is a minor clerical error or is the result of a mistake by the USA Karate Staff.

  • Can someone else pick up my competitor pass for me? Yes, however it is strongly recommended whomever picks up the athlete pass review it carefully for mistakes.  If the pass is accepted and is later found to be incorrect, a late/change fee will be assessed to make corrections.

  • What are the skill levels and how do I know which skill level I should compete in?  The skill levels are to help keep the competition a level playing field for all competitors.  USA Karate is committed to giving every athlete the opportunity for success in the ring, so some changes have been made to the skill level descriptions.   Here is a description of the skill levels:
      • Beginner – 8th kyu and under/Less than 1 year of training
      • Novice – 7th kyu-5th kyu/1-2 years of training
      • Intermediate – 4th kyu-2nd kyu/2-4 years of training
      • Advanced  - 1st kyu and higher/4 years or more of training
      • Elite – US Team Trial Divisions/Recommended rank of 1st Dan or higher and 5+ years of training
      • All brown belts must compete in intermediate or higher divisions
      • All black belts must compete in advanced or higher divisions
      • Athletes who participate in a beginner, novice, or intermediate division must compete in that skill level for all divisions
      • An athlete who participates in an elite division may compete in an advanced division in another category (Exp:  Athletes may compete in Elite Kumite and Advanced Kata, but may not compete in Elite Kumite and Advanced Kumite)
      • Athletes who compete in Elite Kata may not compete in any other Kata division
      • The ultimate placement of athletes in the correct skill level is the responsibility of both the athlete and their coach/instructor.  We rely on the integrity of all of our participants to ensure for the safest and most fair competition.  Should an athlete be found to purposefully misrepresent their skill level for the purpose of competitive advantage, appropriate actions may be taken against both the athlete and the coach/instructor 
  • If I have been training for 2 years but have a brown belt, do I have to compete as an intermediate?  Yes.

  • What are Elite Divisions? Elite Divisions are for the highest level of competition.  These divisions are for those Advanced athletes seeking WKF level experience.  Generally if an athlete is a current or former member of their country’s National Team or has earned a medal in a large international competition they would be considered Elite.  However, the Elite Divisions are not limited to National Team members or international medalists, so any Advanced athlete may register for Elite Divisions.

  • Can I compete in Elite and Advanced Divisions?  Yes and No.  Elite is a separate skill level division available to Advanced competitors, therefore competitors may compete in Advanced or Elite per event category (Kata or Kumite).  For example, an athlete may compete in Elite Kata and Advanced Kumite or Elite Kumite and Advanced Kata, but CANNOT compete in both Advanced Kata and Elite Kata.

  • If I register for Elite Kumite, do I have to register for Elite Kata?  No.  Kata and Kumite are separate events and you CAN register for Elite in one event and Advanced in the other.  You CANNOT compete in Advanced and Elite in the SAME event.

  • Do I need to register for the Kumite and Kata seminars? Yes. All participants must register for the seminars if they plan on attending.  Seminars are free of charge for USA Karate Life members but to reserve a free spot in the seminar they must sign up via email to
  • How can I be a volunteer? All volunteers must register in advance online at the link here and attend a volunteer course held onsite. For specific information on volunteering contact the National Volunteer Coordinator, Elizabeth Hood at

  • Where do I check in as a volunteer? Volunteers will need to check-in at the Volunteer Check-in Table in the Registration area.  Volunteers will pick up the volunteer T-shirt and get additional information about the tournament.

  • What if I just want to watch the tournament?  Spectator tickets are on sale at the event for $20 a day or $50 for a 3 day pass.  Tickets may also be purchased in advance online at


  • Is the schedule of events posted somewhere?  A schedule will be posted online prior to the tournament and at various locations onsite.  The schedules are tentative and subject to change.
  • Will Juniors do Kata and Kumite in the same ring or will there be a break in between?  At the Junior International Cup we will run all Kata divisions first then all Kumite divisions. 

At the US Open for all divisions 9 years and under will do Kata divisions first then all Kumite divisions.   For all divisions above 10 years, Kata will run on Saturday and Kumite will run on Sunday. 

All weapons divisions will be run separately.

  • Does everyone need to be at the tournament at 8:00am? No, the USA Karate Staff is committed to providing a basic time structure for events and stage times. You can also sign up for our text messaging service.  This service will send you a text message when your child is called to Staging, sent to a ring and completed competition.  For more information about this service, sign up online during the registration process or ask in Registration onsite.


  • Are USA NKF patches mandatory? Yes. USA NKF patches are required for this event for all USA athletes participating in this event. 
  • Are shin pads required? Yes, USA NKF approved shin pads are required.
  • What color equipment is required? Red and Blue USA NKF approved hand gear is required.  Red, Blue or White USA NKF approved shin and foot pads are required. Only White USA NKF approved headgear is allowed. 

Please note, you must wear matching hand and foot gear or red/blue hand gear with white foot and shin pads.  You may not wear red hand gear with blue foot and shin pads or vice versa.

  • Where can I buy USA NKF approved equipment? Equipment can be purchased in advance online at
  • Will USA NKF approved equipment be on sale at the tournament? Yes.  Vendor booths will be onsite for equipment purchases, however it is suggested you purchase in advance to ensure you have equipment for the tournament.
  • Are face shields required? No, but WKF approved face shields are optional for competitors 14-15 years of age.
  • Is body armor required? No, but WKF approved body armor is optional for competitors 14-15 years of age.
  • Is the female chest protector required? Yes. WKF approved chest protectors are required for all Advanced Kumite competitors 14 years of age and older.
  • What color uniform (gi) can I wear?  Competitors may only wear traditional cut unmarked white karate uniforms without striping or piping.
  • Can I wear the Red/Blue reversible belts?  No, Competitors will need a solid red and solid blue belt.

Kata Competition

  • Can I compete in both Advanced Kata and Elite Kata? No.  Because Elite is a different skill level, competitors must choose between the two divisions.

  • If I register for Elite Kata do I have to compete in Elite Kumite?  No.  Kata and Kumite are separate events so you can compete in Elite Kata and Advanced Kumite.

  • Will I have to do my Kata at the same time as my opponent? At the Junior International Cup, YES.  All Kata will be simultaneous execution (same time). 

At the US Open the following will be used:

    •  All Beginner and Novice Divisions will perform Kata simultaneously.
    • All Intermediate Division for UNDER 18 will perform Kata simultaneously.
    • All Advanced Division UNDER 14 will perform Kata simultaneously.
    • All Advanced Divisions 14 and OLDER will perform Kata individually.
    • All Adult Intermediate Divisions will perform Kata individually.
  • Can I repeat Kata?  It depends.  All Beginner, Novice and Intermediate Divisions may repeat Kata in all rounds.  All Advanced NON-ELITE/ NON-WKF Divisions can repeat Kata UNTIL the final round.  In the FINAL ROUND, Advanced non-elite/non-WKF competitors must perform a different Kata from previous rounds.

ALL ELITE KATA DIVISIONS will follow WKF rules and must perform a different Kata each round.

Kumite Competition

  • Do I have to weigh in? Yes and NoNo weigh-ins will be held for the Junior International Cup, however; if an official protest is made and an athlete is found to be outside the weight division, the athlete will be disqualified, and not re-charted to the correct weight division.

For the US Open, weigh-ins will be held for all Elite kilo categories, including 14-15 & 16-17.  All athletes must weigh-in and can be moved to the appropriate weight division if the athlete is outside the registered weight division.

All athletes that are required to weigh-in must weigh-in at the designated weigh-in times.  If an athlete fails to weigh-in at the designated weigh-in time, the athlete will be disqualified from competition for failure to comply with weight control regulations.

  • Can I wear my karate gi(uniform) when I weigh in?  No, Athletes may wear one layer of sport clothing, such as compression shorts or sports bra during weigh ins.  No excessive clothing or karate uniforms allowed.

  • Can I compete in Elite Kumite and Advanced Kumite?  No.  Because Elite is a separate skill category, athlete must choose between Elite and Advanced.

  • If I compete in Elite Kumite do I have to compete in Elite Kata?  No.  You can register for Elite Kumite Divisions and Advanced Kata Divisions.
  • What equipment do I need to Kumite?  The following protective equipment is required for all Kumite competitors:

Red/Blue USA-NKF/WKF Approved Gloves/Mitts

White/Red/Blue USA-NKF/WKF Approved Shin/Instep Protectors

Mouth Guard

Groin Protectors (All male competitors)

Elite competitors will need additional equipment.


  • Can I coach my athlete at the ring?   It depends.  All US Coaches must be current USA NKF Coach Members and have a current USA NKF Coach Certification. Coaches will only be allowed on the floor during Kumite and Elite Kata.

  • How can I become a Coach? There will be NO coaches course onsite at the JIC/US Open Event. All USA coaches are required to be SafeSport certified. Coaches must complete registration online in order to be able to coach on the floor at the event. Please click here to register online as a coach and complete your application. You will not receive a credential until all SafeSport training is verified by the National Office.

  • Can I get a copy of my athlete’s chart/bracket?  Charts will only be given to Certified Coaches for Elite Kata and Elite Kumite divisions. Certified Coaches must have their Coaches’ credentials to receive charts/brackets.  We will not give charts/brackets for any divisions at the Junior International Cup or any non-elite divisions at the US Open.

International Teams will be issued a limited number of Coach’s credentials.  International Teams may have one (1) Coach for every five (5) competitors.  If a country requires additional Coach credentials, they can be purchased for $50 each at Registration.

  • How old do I have to be to be a Certified Coach? 18 is the minimum age for certification, however anyone is allowed to attend the course.


  • Can I go with my child to the ring? No.  The competition floor is closed and only for competitors, registered coaches and officials. 

  • Can I go to the Staging Area with my child? Yes and No.  A small section of the Staging Area will be available for parents to visit and check on their competitors; however parents will not be allowed in the “competitor only” area of Staging.  The Staging Area can be a loud and busy place in the tournament and this rule will allow the USA Karate Staff to focus on the competitors to expedite the competitor to the competition floor.

  • Will food or drinks be allowed in the Staging Area? Yes.  Competitors will be allowed to bring bottled drinks and snacks to the Staging Area.  Common courtesy is appreciated and the USA Karate Staff expects all competitors to keep a clean Staging Area.

  • How will I know when it is my child’s time to compete? Each division is assigned a number.  The division number will be printed on your child’s competitor pass that you will pick up at Registration.  The Announcer will call the division number to Staging and that will signal your child needs to go to the Staging Area immediately and prepare for competition.  Generally, once a division has been called to the Staging Area, the division will make it to the competition floor in under 30 minutes.

You can also sign up for our text messaging service.  This service will send you a text message when your child is called to Staging, sent to a ring and completed competition.  For more information about this service, sign up online during the registration process or ask in Registration onsite

  • When will my child compete?  A general schedule will be posted to prior to the tournament and posted to various locations at the tournament site, but no specific times can be given as to when a competitor will be on the competition floor.  The USA Karate Staff is committed to running an efficient, fair and fun tournament for all participants, so it is the Staffs’ intention to minimize wait times.  Generally the youngest age divisions start the day and the tournament works through ascending age divisions as the day moves on.