Black Belt Divisions

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The divisions for the black belts are set by the International Tournament Department and are designed to give everyone an equal chance. Divisions are based on gender, the age of the competitors, and rank. At the conclusion of each tournament season, the International Chairman of Tournaments will evaluate the number of competitors in each division and determine if any changes are to be made for subsequent tournament seasons.
The current Black Belt divisions for Traditional Forms, Traditional Point Sparring, Traditional Weapons, Combat Weapons Sparring, and all Creative and Xtreme events are:

Juniors

Junior Boys
8 & under 1st, 2nd & 3rd degrees
9 & 10 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
11 & 12 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
13 & 14 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
15, 16 & 17 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
Junior Girls
8 & under 1st, 2nd & 3rd degrees
9 & 10 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
11 & 12 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
13 & 14 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees
15, 16 & 17 1st degrees 2nd & 3rd degrees

Adults

Men
18-29 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
30-39 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
40-49 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
50-59 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
60 & Up 1st, 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
Women
18-29 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
30-39 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
40-49 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
50-59 1st degree 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree
60 & Up 1st, 2nd & 3rd degree 4th & 5th degree

Guidlelines for Dividing or Combining Black Belt Rings

These divisions will be strictly followed at National and World events. On a regional level, however, it is often difficult to strictly follow these divisions. Thus on a regional level, black belt divisions MAY be combined. The Regional Tournament Team Leader (or their assign) has the ability to combine divisions where necessary. They will follow the guidelines given them by the International Chairman of Tournaments.
Notes:

  • For black belts, genders may not be combined.
  • Junior black belt age divisions must never be combined.
  • Junior black belt rank groups can be combined when one or more rank group within that age division does not contain at least five competitors. This type of combing is only applicable for competitors of the same age and gender. Consider the following cases:
    • Case 1: One rank group has one competitor, and one rank group has 5 or more competitors. Combine for one ring of 1st/2nd/3rd degrees. If the combined ring has more than 16 competitors, line up by height and divide.
    • Case 2: One rank group has 2 to 4 competitors, and one rank group has 5 or more competitors. Do not combine.
    • Case 3: Both rank groups have 1 to 4 competitors. Combine for one ring of 1st/2nd/3rd degrees.
  • Adult black belt age and rank divisions may be combined.
  • Adult rank groups may be combined at the discretion of the RTTL to facilitate competition.
  • At regional events, all black belt rings, junior, and adult, will not be divided unless there are more than 16 in the ring regardless of height. Black belts are vying for World Champion points and need to have the experience of going against the taller or shorter opponent throughout the year.