The USA-IFKK holds two karate tournaments each year, which are open to all martial arts styles.
The American International Karate Championships, hosted by Kyokushin Karate Fitness USA, is held each Fall in Rochester, New York. Tournament events include Knockdown fighting, Semi-Contact fighting, Clicker fighting, Empty-Hand Kata, Weapons Kata, and Breaking.
Knockdown fighting is what Kyokushin Karate is famous for – full contact fighting with no pads.
Legal fighting techniques include any leg techniques (kicks, knee strikes, etc.) to the legs, body, face or head, and any hand techniques (fists, elbows, etc.) to the body.
The fighters are divided into weight divisions, and if there are enough fighters over the age of 32, a senior's division as well.
A Knockdown fight lasts two minutes, without stopping, and is won by a single point (Ippon 一本), which is awarded when a technique sufficiently stuns the opponent so that he is unable to resume fighting within five seconds. A half point (Waza Ari 技有り) can be awarded for a technique that momentarily stuns the opponent. If no point is awarded during the two minute round, the referee and corner judges will make a decision (Hantei 判定) to either award a victory (Kachi 勝ち) or declare a draw (Hikiwake 引き分け), which sends the fight into an overtime round (Saishiai 再試合). During the finals of an event, a second overtime round Enchōsen 延長戦) may be held if there is no winner after the first overtime.
Because of the stamina and endurance needed to defeat five or six opponents and win the event, it is often said of Knockdown competition that "there are no winners, only survivors."
The name "Semi-Contact" is really a misnomer for this event, since the competition is actually Knockdown fighting with pads.
Except for the use of pads, the rules of Semi-Contact fighting are essentially the same as those of Knockdown fighting, with some minor differences. Instead of weight divisions, the competitors are divided by rank. In addition, leg techniques to the face or head are not allowed in youth or lower-rank adult divisions.
Semi-Contact fighting is often a good way for inexperienced fighters to get a taste of competition before moving on to Knockdown.
Clicker fighting is Kyokushin's version of non-contact point fighting. Unlike the point fighting of other karate styles, where the competitors stop and restart after each point, a Clicker event lasts two minutes, without stopping. Each referee hold two counters, one for each fighter, and uses them to count the scoring techniques of each competitor (hence the name "Clicker"). The one with the most points at the end of the two minute round wins the fight. Clicker competition is also divided by rank and age.
Kata competition is divided by rank and age, for both non-weapons forms and weapons forms. Competitors from other martial arts styles compete in the same divisions as Kyokushin Karateka.