I attended a tournament today and judged kata for black belts and for under black adults. I saw variations of the TKD patterns that we practice, variations of Japanese kata, and newer forms that might have been made up for competition or maybe they were part of grading I'm not sure because I'm not familiar with the style. There were a variety of different styles and schools represented. One style's kata had a lot of self defense related techniques in it. What I mean is I could see various take downs, throws, etc. etc. in this softer more flowing form. However it was very complex. The two JKA based (influenced, not sure if they were an official JKA school or not) did hard style Japanese karate kata. The American Karate/TKD participants did high level (high brown/black belt) kata. It was also rounded out with a couple of Isshinryu, and Gojuryu instructors and a Shotokan instructor. In the younger division the two JKA style (again I don't know if it was "official" JKA) took 1st and 2nd because their kata was powerful and precise. The softer more flowing school I graded down some because the one young lady was executing several high (what looked like axe) kicks and they lacked power. I was confused because I thought they sometimes looked like front kicks sometimes Axe kicks. The young man from the same school seemed to forget (looked confused and hesitated) during his performance. Anyway I spoke to them afterwards because I had graded them lower while the other senior instructors graded them higher I explained why I graded them lower. I asked about the axe kicks and they young lady looked confused and told me they were foot sweeps in the form. She told they changed the kata to make the sweeps higher to be more pleasing to the judges. I had been complimenting them on their kata, I had explained to them I saw the throws and self defense techniques etc. etc. and then told them that for me the high sweeps, which didn't really make sense in the form (as a foot sweep) as demonstrated, and that by changing them it worked against them because they looked like weak axe or unchambered front kicks to me. The American Karate TKD participants were really more independent, meaning even students doing the same forms from the same school looked very different in hand placement etc. etc. The Isshinryu and Gojuryu instructors took 1st and 2nd in the adult division, the Isshinryu instructor told me the form he did was a green belt form, where I think we do it at 2nd black or higher. I did notice that I generally ranked the participants lower than the rest of the judges, however I was consistent though in my grading so that didn't bother me.