The Japan Karate Federation, which had been prohibiting the use of the kiai in competitions to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, has revised their guidelines. Competitors in sparring events may now kiai if they wear a protective face shield.
Kata competitors, who had also been prohibited from giving a kiai, will now be allowed to execute the shout without wearing a face shield as long as they remain a specified distance away from the judges. The new rules will go into effect at the Kanto University Championships on Sunday. The World Karate Federation is considering similar face shield guidelines for the qualifying events leading up to next year's scheduled Tokyo Olympics where karate will debut.