The Annual Kenpo Invitational Kids Karate Tournament

Everyone get excited! It’s time for the 2024 Kenpo Invitational Tournament. The competition will be held on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at the Episcopal School of Dallas in the Competition Gymnasium.

We welcome participants and families from all our Karate League members, including: Wesley Prep, St. John’s Episcopal, Mockingbird Elementary, Solar Prep for Girls, Solar Prep for Boys, Withers Elementary, Preston Hollow Elementary, Good Shepherd Episcopal, All Saint’s Episcopal, Travis TAG, the Walnut Hill Rec Center, our CSSD studio in North Richland Hills, and our Lakewood dojo.

For more information on rules, etiquette, costs, etc, download the 2024 Tournament Information Packet.

We also have a Tournament Prep Seminar to help everyone get ready for the tournament on January 27th, 2024 at the Lakewood Dojo!


Saturday, February 10, 2024


Episcopal School of Dallas
4100 Merrell Rd, Dallas, TX 75229

The tournament is a chance for family and friends to watch our kids compete against each other for individual medals and also one of the three Grand Prize Cups!  The divisions have been broken down as fairly as possible.  Divisions for Kata (forms) and Self Defense have been determined by age and rank.  Divisions for Grappling have been determined by age, rank, size and gender whenever possible.

Medals for competitors will be awarded to first, second and third place, and all runner-ups will receive a winner’s medal.  Points will be awarded towards the School Trophies as follows: 4 for a first, 3 for a second, 2 for a third place and 1 for everyone else.  One point will also be awarded for each competitor in the Beginner Show Division.  The points will be tallied and the winning school will take the bragging rights for one of 3 Grand Prize Cups. 1) The Nick Cerio Memorial Cup – awarded to the full time dojo with the most points. 2) The Private School Cup – awarded for the after school karate program at a private school with the most points. 3) The Public School Cup – awarded for the after school karate program at a Public school with the most points.

One of our most popular events is our Beginners’ Show Division.  This is an introduction to our Tournament for our youngest and newest members (ages 3-6 white belt / striped white belt, yellow belt / striped yellow belt).  This division allows the children to compete in an individual AND group format (think dance recital).  All competitors in this division receive a trophy for their participation.  These children may also compete in one of the other divisions for their rank if they choose to (+ $10 per division).

Carefully review the division times found on the cover sheet and be sure to arrive 20-30 minutes prior to your division starting time.  Also, it is mandatory in Self Defense Divisions that your Self Defense Partner/Uke is with you at the time your division starts, and must be at least your rank or one color belt higher.  In addition, they are required to wear headgear (provided) – NO EXCEPTIONS.

As always, we strive to make this event as successful as possible and appreciate you showing your support by competing and attending.  Just remember, that the important thing is not whether you win, but rather the fact that you came out and tried.  This is a personal achievement that your kids should be proud of.  With that in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you the best of luck and urge you to get out there and support your school!

Remember… Competition order and byes are awarded in the order we receive your application!  So take advantage and register early.

There are Five Categories for Competition:

  • Beginner Show
  • Empty Hand Kata (forms)
  • Grappling
  • Weapons Kata (All Ranks & Ages)
  • Self Defense
8:00 AM
Black Belt judges and volunteer staff meeting
9:00 AM
Beginner Show Division - White & Yellow Belts Ages 4-6 This division is designed for first time competitors in the 4-6 year old age group
9:45 AM
White / Striped White: Ages 4-14
Yellow / Striped Yellow: Ages 4-14
11:00 AM
Orange / Striped Orange: Ages 4-14
Open Weapons Kata: Ages 5-14
11:45 AM
Purple / Striped Purple: Ages 5-14
Green / Striped Green: Ages 7-14
12:30 PM
Blue / Striped Blue: Ages 5-14
Brown Belts and Junior Black Belts: Ages 7-15

Saturday, January 27th
1:00 – 3:00 PM
Lakewood Dojo

Come join us at the Lakewood Dojo for a FREE Tournament Prep Seminar for your student/ Instructors will walk the students through the “do’s” and “don’ts” of the Tournament, in addition to personalized instruction on the techniques each student wishes to show in competition. All students planning on competing in the tournament are welcome at this workshop!

Regular Competitor
$50 (for first 1-2 events)
Beginners' Show Division
$35 (White/Yellow Belt students 4-6 years old)
Additional Event(s)
$10 each
$5 for Adults and Children over 5. Children 5 and under are free
Tournament T-shirts
Late Fee
$5 (after February 3rd)

Tournament Etiquette

Or, “What do I do when they call my name?”

Competition can be a stressful and nerve racking event for your child.  That is okay.  One of the reasons for organizing these tournaments and especially the beginner show divisions, is to guide your child through this competitive experience successfully.  Not to remove all the stress, but rather to help them overcome their nervousness and have a safe, fun and successful event.  The idea being that they can build on this small success and carry their new-found confidence into other parts of their life.  Remember that this is probably one of the reasons you got them into Karate in the first place!

When you arrive, there will be a tent outside with the tournament registration packets.  Your child will be given their competitors wrist band (which they will wear for the duration), custom tournament shirt (if registered by April 13th), their registration form showing the events they are competing in and the order their paperwork was received in (to determine the competitor order).  They keep this registration form with them throughout the tournament (stuff it in their jacket).

When the judges are preparing their rings for competition, they will call out the divisions and the kids will bring up their forms to the judges table to ensure they are correctly entered for their event.  The form will be returned and they will then be asked to sit down around the ring and wait to be called.

In SELF DEFENSE and KATA, the first three competitors will be called out and perform their material without individual scoring.  When all three are finished, they will be called back to receive their scores.  This allows the judges to get a sense of the “field” and score more accurately and consistently.  From this point forward all competitors will be scored immediately following their performance.

Sit quietly in seiza (kneeling position) or cross legged.  Always remember your principles of conduct (effort, etiquette, sincerity, character and self control) to insure you behave properly and with respect.

The judges will call your name when they are ready for you to perform.

  1. Stand up tall, raise your right hand and in a loud voice shout: “Judges!”
  2. Walk to the edge of the ring and bow into the competition area.
  3. Run to the center of the ring and then turn to face the judges.  Bow towards the judges.
  4. Step out into a Ready Stance, Punch down with both hands, and Kiai loudly (Karate shout).
  5. Say the following, in a loud, slow and clear voice:
      • Judges, my name is …
      • My style is Kenpo Karate
      • I represent “sensei …” and the “… Dojo”
      • I will be performing …
      • With your permission, may I begin, Sir!
  6. The judges will nod for you to start.
  7. Bow to the judges and then move (without turning your back to the judges) to the area or space to perform your kata or self defense techniques.  Stand in front position, take a few deep breaths, relax, and then…
  8. Begin your kata or self defense techniques.
  9. Bow at the end of your kata or to your partner following self defense techniques.
  10. Turn to face the judges and then step out into a ready stance and kiai, and wait quietly for your score.  After receiving your score bow to the judges, and back out of the ring, bowing at the edge.  Return to your place but remember to NEVER turn your back to the judges.

When you are using an Uke for your self defense techniques, remember to pick him/her before the tournament, their job is to make you look good, so practice! Your Uke should stand up right after you have been called by the judges.  When you walk to the center of the mat, your Uke will stand in front position one step behind you to the right.  Do not forget to bow to your Uke before and after your session.  Self Defense techniques are done in the following order:  Punch Defense, Grab Defense, Weapon Defense.  You must announce each defense before you do it  “Punch Defense!” ……. then do the technique.  Remember good etiquette during your performance.

Have Fun and Good Luck!!

Division Rules


1.  Must be a Gasan Ryu Kenpo form in original format. No two forms together. No gymnastics.  Full karate uniform

2.  Judging based on:

  • Stances
  • Power
  • Focus
  • Mechanics
  • Presentation

Self Defense:

1. Three self defense techniques are to be performed.  The first is to be a punch defense, the second a grab defense and the third a weapon defense.  The attacker/uke must wear headgear (provided) & be the same rank or higher as the defender/tore.

2.   Judging based on:

  • Effectiveness (power, speed, flow)
  • Execution (stance, kiai, mechanics)
  • Etiquette (presentation, etc.).
  • The three parts to a technique that must be demonstrated: Block, Counter attack, Cover & Guard.

For weapons, you must take the weapon at the end of the technique!

Open Weapons Kata Division:

1.  Must be a Gasan Ryu Kenpo or Kung Fu weapons form in original format as taught at CSSD:

  • No two forms together.
  • No gymnastics
  • Full karate uniform

2.  All ranks will compete in the same division

3.  Student must provide their own weapons

4.  Judging based on:

  • Stances
  • Power
  • Focus
  • Mechanics
  • Presentation


1.  Done from a kneeling position, and based on control and a position demonstrating superiority.

  • 15 point lead gives automatic win.
  • Matches are two minutes.
  • Nails must be short.
  • Competitors will wear a red or blue belt to make it easier to differentiate for the referee.
  • The referee will raise his hand when a position is gained and award points at that time.
  • Points are called out verbally by the center referee to the score keeper.

2.  Points:

  • Note: To gain any points for a move or position the competitor must show clear control for the required number of seconds by the referee!  A control position that does not result in points is called an advantage – in a match tied on points the winner is determined by advantages.
  • 4 – for the mount, if held for a minimum of 3 seconds.
  • 4 – for a rear mount/back control, must have both “hooks” in (heels on inside of both opponents thighs), or opponents belly flat on the ground if you are on their back.  3 second hold.
  • 3 – escape from the guard into side control or mount.  No points if you just “escape”.
  • 2 – for a leg sweep reversal from the bottom (in the guard) putting you on top.
  • 2 – knee on belly with one leg posted on the belly and the other one extended with foot flat on the floor.  10 second hold.
  • 2 – any hold down or pin which immobilizes the opponent for 10 seconds (side control,  head control, kesa gatame/scarf hold, etc.)

3.  Penalties:

  • Striking the opponent
  • Choking
  • Joint locks
  • Neck cranks
  • Pinching,
  • Tickling or intentional / malicious contact

Any parent or instructor intervention will result in disqualification of the competitor