Learn to be a Karate Official

Are you a Karate Sensei and want to get more involved in the art and sport of Karate? The KRA has created an officials training program to help you learn the rules and methodology in an easy to absorb format. Get hands on experience with some of the best Karate Officials in the country for Kata and Kumite officiating. With reasonable membership fees and courses available state-by-state, you can continue adding to your Karate career.

The KRA Concept

Looking at other competitive sports such as baseball, football, basketball, etc., the entry level training of their officials begins at the youngest, most inexperienced level of their respective sport. As they gain knowledge and experience as an official, they may progress to more advanced levels. For example, in baseball they start with t-ball, then to little league, high school, college, AA, AAA and so on to the Pros.

How the KRA Works

The KRA method uses a number of instructor levels. Instructors are individuals with varying years of referee experience. You may become a KRA instructor by submitting an application online at the KRA website available on the KRA Training Materials page/Materials for Officials. Your instructor level will be determined upon review of the information provided on your application and an interview, if necessary.

Welcome to the Karate Referee Association


The Karate Referee Association is a nationally based state centered karate tournament training organization. The K.R.A. provides all levels of referees, coaches, event staff and competitors with a self-governing educational system of karate competition rules and event organization training. The K.R.A. is focused on helping to build and support local/state karate tournament communities.


The K.R.A. offers local promoters, instructors and organizations the opportunity to pursue their tournament competition training with accessible K.R.A. educational modules, written materials, interactive training techniques, workshops and tools. The K.R.A. offers a step-by-step tournament guidebook to include basic competition rules, tournament set-up and organization, charting, and other tips for a well-organized local/state event. The K.R.A program can be used to introduce juniors and new recruits to officiating and to help prepare them for the national or international stage. Juniors, new recruits and senior officials track their local/state tournament work through the automatic passbook system. Senior officials can utilize the program and its materials to conduct workshops in their own school(s), or throughout the state as desired. The K.R.A. offers a user-friendly power-point presentation, interactive question and answer exercises, photos, diagrams, charts and a website to access the K.R.A. materials and to communicate with other K.R.A. members.


Karate competition rules can vary among the international, hemispheric, national, regional and local levels. They can vary based on karate style, modification, adaptation and event promoter’s preference. The K.R.A. utilizes an international-based rules model with modifications to accommodate state and local events. This program does not intend to replace or amend any other rules or training programs. It is designed to support internal local training, accommodate the needs of local/state participants and suggest and exchange ideas to enhance tournament participation and success.


The K.R.A. system is presented by senior member local officials and the progress of its members is recorded in the K.R.A. passbook. The K.R.A. passbook reflects local seminars, training experience and official local event participation throughout the participant’s karate tournament career. There is an automatic promotion system built into the program for referees, junior referees, and event staff. The K.R.A. training and recording system provides local tournament promoters with the officials’ and event staff’s training and experience record so as to effectively delegate responsibility among referees, judges, and other event participants.