Full contact karate is a broad term used to differentiate competition formats of karate where competitors spar (also called Kumite) full-contact and allow a knockout as winning criterion, and those competitions which use light contact/semi contact point sparring where a knockout is regarded as a foul.
about FULL CONTACT KARATE
The term is also used by extension to differentiate between schools/styles of karate dedicated to such full contact competitions, and schools/styles that are not.
Full contact karate competition comes in several, and sometimes very different, formats. These different formats have different histories and were developed for the art of karate at different times in different places. Some developed independently, others developed out of other full contact rule systems or from light contact rule systems.
There are no major unifying organizations in any of the different formats, and the rule details may change drastically between the many rival sport/style organizations and different promoters. Some organizations stick rigidly to one set of rules.
Other use several rule formats harmoniously side by side. Some even have tournaments that switch rule formats between rounds of the same bout. Sometimes the differences between the different rules are large, and sometimes the only significant differences between different sport rules are the organizational structures that use them.