Flag Combaton: The dojo version of Combaton, the martial art team sport


All ages, male and female, can play this team game, and it is a great cardio workout while developing kicking skills, timing, speed and dexterity in utilizing the passing of the baton and scoring on the kick bag. But most of all, Flag Combaton can inject new enthusiasm into the school curriculum by creating a team atmosphere.

Objective of Game

The object of the game is for the offense, which has possession of the baton, to score on their opponent’s goal (kick bag) without having a flag pulled from their belt.

The defense must stop the baton carrier by pulling free one of the three flags on the baton carrier’s belt before he or she scores.

Scoring results when the baton carrier for an offense kicks their opponent’s bag solidly with a martial arts kick.

Each game is 5 minutes, and the clock stops only if there is a score or a time out or a foul is called.

Equipment Needed

2 wave master kick bags

1 baton

1 whistle

1 timer clock or stop watch

4 to 6 flag belts – each belt has three pull flags

The Flag Belts

The flag belts are designed so that one flag can be pulled at a time, as opposed to the flag belts that are one piece and disconnect the whole belt.

The problem with whole flag belts is that a player may have their flag pulled inadvertently when they do not have the baton in hand, which stops the game unnecessarily. Play must stop while the player reattaches his belt, which stymies the momentum and flow of the game.

*Players are encouraged to support the referee by confirming a call. This helps to instill the martial arts code of conduct by being honest and act with integrity.


Each kicking bag is placed at each end of the room, but with enough room behind it so that players can come in and around the bag for the best angle of attack. This should take up most of the workout space in the school.


The baton carrier (known in combaton as the “shooter”) can score with three different types of kicks:

3 point score is any standing kick with the support leg still on the floor

4 point score with any jumping kick

5 point score with any 360 degree jumping spin kick on the bag

The kicks must be hard or solid enough to rock the bag.


Teams can be 2 on 2 or 3 on 3, depending on the size of the school.

Match up the teams so that both are balanced in relation to size and ability.

The two basic age groups are 14 and under, and 15 and over.

It can be gender based or co-ed.


One or more officials are needed to blow the whistle to start and stop the attacks. The official is usually the instructor and/or assistant instructor. Two officials offer the best coverage. Each should have a whistle, while one keeps score and the other manages the clock.

The official will blow the whistle:

* When a flag has been pulled from the belt of the baton carrier

* When there is a score on the goal

* When there is a timeout

* When there is simultaneous possession

Game Details

Each game is 5 minutes in length

The clock stops when there is a score or time out or a foul called

Each team gets one 10 second time out

Each team gets one warning for foul play

A coin toss can determine who starts first with offense.

Offense gets a total of four attacks when starting a game or after a score. An Opening Attack, then three attacks (plays). Opening Attacks are used only to start the game or after a team scores. If a team does not score and the baton is turned over to the other team, then that team has three attacks in which to score.

The Opening Attack requires players to begin the game by touching their goal (kick bag) on their side of the field. This is to make sure that the players are locked into position before the whistle blows to begin.

The official blows the whistle to start the attack, and the clock begins.

If the offense scores, then the official states if it was a 3, 4 or 5 point kick. The teams reset for an Opening Attack with the other team getting possession of the baton.

If the offense does not score, then the baton is turned over to the defense where the last stop was made. This point on the field establishes the line of scrimmage. Now the defense becomes the offense and has three attacks in which to score on their opponent’s goal.

The Baton

The baton can be thrown or handed off as many times as necessary.

If the baton touches any player before touching the ground, it is live and play continues.

If the baton does not touch any player before hitting the ground, the baton is dead and the play stops.

Usage of the Hands

Players can stiff arm their opponent, but not to the face.

There is no forcible pushing and pulling on their opponent.

However, arm and hand extension for balance and maneuvering is acceptable.

Line of Scrimmage

If the offense does not make it past the mid-field line, then the point where they were last stopped will establish the line of scrimmage for the next attack to take place.

If the offense moves past the mid-field line during their attack, then they must reset each subsequent attack at that line, if they do not score. This is to allow enough space for players to maneuver for the best angles of attack.

If however, the defense backs the offense farther behind the mid-field line, then that becomes the new line of scrimmage.

Simultaneous Possession

If two opposing players have possession of the baton at the same time for two seconds, then the official blows the whistle, stops the clock, and calls “Simultaneous Possession”.

Similar to a jump-ball in basketball, the two players go to the nearest goal (kick bag). Each player is on one side of the bag. The official sets them up and instructs them on procedure.

The player with the fastest round-house kick to the bag wins. The official says “go” or blows the whistle to initiate.

If the players tie after 3 attempts, then they must shift position by jumping and reversing their front foot to the back foot, then kick. This added movement will usually give enough separation to determine a winner.

Tie - Overtime

If the game ends in a tie, then overtime will take place. Each team gets one attempt with 2 offensive players against 1 defensive player. The offense begins at the mid-field line.

If the offensive players score, say, a 4 point kick, then the other team gets an offensive attempt with two players against one. In this case, they will have to score at least a 4 point kick on the bag to continue the game, or to win with a 5 point kick. This will continue until a winner is determined, rotating the players at the defensive position.

Fouls and Penalties

Each team gets 1 warning. After that teams will be assessed a penalty for a foul.


* 1 or 2 points given to the other team

* Player removed from the game for 2 plays


* Bad behavior unbecoming for a martial artist

o Unacceptable language

o Unnecessary roughness

o Arguing with the official

Penalty: 2 points given to the other team and player removed for 2 plays

* Pushing, Pulling, Holding, Tripping

Penalty: 1 point given to the other team