21st April, 2022 updated 5th May, 2022

Shisakuteki karate rules

Previously I introduced Shisakuteki karate. This kakutō karate aims to build the foundations of a fighter. Rules must be set in order to have guidelines for the practice of fighting, as one cannot gain fighting experience and competence without fighting. The choice of ruleset to utilize should be tailored to the development of the techniques that are part of Shisakuteki karate and, at the same time, have as much applicability as possible to fighting against other fighters which may be students of different disciplines.

Training rules

In Shisakuteki karate, striking, clinch and throwing techniques are emphasized, therefore Tomoi rules would be the ideal rules to utilize in order to practice and build competence with those techniques. However, such rules specifically exclude judo throws and grappling techniques; these techniques are just as important and should also be practiced. Practicing them with Judo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu rules would in turn exclude striking techniques.

The rules used in Kūdō were developed specifically to allow for both striking and grappling to be utilized. My critique of Kūdō rules is that the protective equipment required, particularly the headgear, causes fighters to become too confident and perform actions that they would not perform if they were not protected by the equipment. The use of a uniform also does not fit the curriculum of techniques taught in Shisakuteki karate. MMA rules allow for all techniques to be utilized and require no uniform nor unique protecting equipment.

Competition rules

If a student intends to compete he is free to choose which rules to compete with, and he shall train and prepare for the competition keeping those rules in mind.

My vision is to host open competitions utilizing Shisakuteki karate competition rules: four 3-minute rounds with the first and third utilizing Tomoi rules and the second and fourth utilizing DEEP MMA rules.

The Tomoi rules of reference are the official rules published by the Kelantan Boxing Association. The following are the modifications used for Shisakuteki karate competitions

  • Religious rules are ignored:
    • No discrimination based on religion, origin, race, color, sexual orientation or biological sex
    • Music, amulets, dances and rituals are allowed before the match begins
    • Clothing and equipment according to DEEP rules, except for the gloves which do not need to be certified by anybody but must be new, approved and provided by the organizers. Specifically they should be 10oz boxing gloves.
  • The ring is the same as the DEEP rules
  • Weight classes according to DEEP rules
  • Win/loss conditions according to DEEP rules

The MMA rules of reference are the rules used by the organization DEEP with the following modifications:

  • Gloves must be new, approved and provided by the organizers

Why use two rulesets?

In real life, while going to the ground is an important and essential toolset to have, it is not always possible to use. I want my students to be able to adapt to the different environmental situations and not overly rely on only one of their toolsets. At the same time, the use of the DEEP octagonal ring puts fighters who overly rely on striking techniques vulnerable to grappling.

Training for competitions

When the goal of training becomes to win a competition and the rules are clearly defined, a game plan can be formulated and training should be adjusted accordingly. Shisakuteki karate provides one game plan which follows the philosophy and takes advantage of the techniques that its practitioners are to master.

The game plan

A common misconception about MMA is that successful fighters are good at all the skills involved. This is false: a successful MMA fighter is excellent at one skill and good enough in the other skills such that he can force the opponent to fall into the fighter’s game plan.

Shisakuteki karate is a mixed martial art which focuses on striking tecniques, particularly knee and elbow strikes. The game plan consists in forcing the opponent to stay in elbow and knee strike range and relying on the mastery of these techniques to emerge victorious.

Training for the game plan

For this to work a significant amount of time must be spent mastering knee and elbow strikes, clinch holds and movement, but also a significant amount of time to learn how to defend from nage-waza, katame-waza, kicks and punches.

All techniques must be practiced in a ring as similar as possible to that which is used on competition day. This is because some techniques may be unique to or may change according to the size, shape and other characteristics of the ring. For example, wall work is the term used to refer to all those techniques that are used when touching the ring’s steel net walls.


Different game plans should be used according to the individual fighters physical and psychological characteristics, and degree of mastery of the skills he possesses.

Adjustments to the game plan should also be made according to the characteristics of the opponent, when informations about the opponent are known.

Any changes to the game plan should be made taking into consideration the time available to the fighter to practice the skills, including those technical and strategical. The time available must be enough for the fighter to improve the skills required without compromising strength and conditioning outcomes, and also without disregarding the maintenance of the skills that are not involved in the game plan changes.