Traditional Karate athletes who wish to compete in national and world level events begin in local tournaments, and progress to regional and national tournaments held by USA Karate and the AAU.
On April 14th, 1996, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors upon the recommendation submitted by the USOC Membership and Credentials Committee voted to sanction the newly formed USA National Karate-do Federation (USA-NKF) as a member. As the National Governing Body for the sport of Karate in the United States, the USA-NKF (USA Karate) responsibilities include representing the United States within the designated International Federation (I.F.) under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.).