Two point sparring is also referred to as Nihon Shobu (two point fighting). Two point sparring is a very controlled form of sparring. The object is to exercise control when attacking your opponent with the focus on technique of the attacks employed. Each match is scored by at least two judges however a single judge of sufficient experience can be sufficient. The first opponent to be awarded two full points wins the match. The attacks that are employed must be of proper technique and controlled. Competitors that do not exercise proper control suffer a penalty of one point, if offences continue the competitor is disqualified and required to spar with the instructor so they can learn control!
Three-Minute sparring is much more grueling then two-point sparring. As the name indicates the sparring match last three minutes long. The difference is the fighting is continuous. Unlike Two-Point sparring, judges do not call points during the match. At the end of the match the judges will confer if necessary then announce the results. When the judge calls time (3 minutes) the sparring match ends and the opponents return to their start positions. Not stopping when time is called can result in a forfeit of the match by the offending party. Since the pace is faster and harder qualifying ‘points’ are more difficult to attain. This is not for the weak of heart.
Full Contact Sparring
Some one is going to get hurt! This is were control counts the most. While the term full-contact is used, restraint is supposed to be used. Full-contact sparring is rarely practiced without the proper equipment and the proper supervision. The educational value of full-contact sparring is questionable. A greater measure of Mastery of Karate is the demonstration of control. Three- minute sparring is often a toned down version of full-contact sparring with a greater educational value.
Points are awarded as full points Ippon of half points Wazari.
A full point is awarded for kicks to the head, strikes to the exposed back, a successful attack immediately following a block, attacks that the opponent completely fails to block or fails to attempt to block. Half points are awarded for all other attacks that are not successfully blocked.
Any valid technique can be employed in the sparring ring with few restrictions. Kicks above the waistline may not be used until the instructor gives approval for such moves. This limitation is placed due to the serious injury that can occur from the improper use and/or control of a kick. There are no illegal targets in the sparring ring unless specifically outlined prior to the match OR as a the constraints of your rank may dictate. Remember one of the strengths of the martial arts is that the entire body is a weapon and also a target.
Two Point sparring (as outlined above) is a semi-contact activity. Contact is allowed but must be strictly controlled. A main focus of Karate training is control, of ones self, surroundings and in a fight ones opponent. While moderate contact is allowed any lose of control is dealt with in the strictest manner. The punishment for a full-contact strike is left to the victim of the strike. Club rules dictate that the punishment can not exceed the offense, meaning anything up to a similar full-contact strike is a valid punishment. While the victim may set the punishment the instructor acts as a judge to insure the punishment is not excessive.
When a point is scored or a violation occurs one of the judges will stop the sparring match. When the sparring match is stopped both opponents return to their start positions. The judge will then award the point or issue a warning. Once the judge awards the points he will signal the match may resume, once the opponents bow to each other the match officially resumes. Two point sparring matches last for two minutes or until someone scores two points whichever is first.
Any member may spar any other member. No divisions are made for sex, age, weight or grade as is the martial arts way.