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Kata judging certification How does it work in your country?? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Alnobak 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:47 AM

Hello everyone,

Whith Katas competitions getting more and more popular and the IJF officialy organizing World Championships, I am wondering how do judges get their certifications in different countries.
How do you get to be chosen to become national and international kata judge in your country? Is there any programs that you have to go through? Any exams? Are kata competitions judges the same that are on grading board?

I am curious to read your answers and the logic behind the way it works different countries.

Thank you very much.

Best regards to all,
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#2 User is offline   Steve Leadbeater 

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:21 AM

I took the Nage no Kata Judges examination for the State of New South Wales under the OJU rules, the panel consisted of Senior State and National Kata Judges with an IJF Kata Judge as the Convenor of the Panel.
There were a number of Candidates for Dan grading and Competitors for the State Kata Championship all demonstration on the same mat in the same competition, My scores were included with those of the Grading Panel and treated in the same manner .......eg, highest and lowest scores dropped....... and my scores were said to be within the area required by the IJF Judge to be acceptable, even to the point when the Judges approached the Candidates for Dan Grade I was allowed to give my verbal opinions as to their strengths and weaknesses along with those of the Grading Panel.........unusual of someone of a low Dan grade such as myself.........It was not an easy test, but I have found that all I do now is look for the errors I know that I still make myself and score accordingly.
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#3 User is offline   Judoturtle 

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 04:42 AM

My brother and I are qualified as State Kata Judges in both Nage no Kata and KDK Goshin Jutsu after achieving a high enough score in an international competition (Oceania)as competitors. The accreditation lasts two years. Neither of us have any interest in judging though - but I guess this is another way in Australia of achieving accreditation...judging exams or evaluations were not required in our case.

This is only at State level though, I don't know how it works for National or International.
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#4 User is offline   Steve Leadbeater 

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:15 AM

I gained my NNK Certification at a Kata Tournament when Judoturtle and his brother won the Stste Kata Title, I was one of the Judges for their performance.

I'm still waiting for the Cheque Steve................ :rolleyes:
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#5 User is offline   finarashi 

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:05 AM

AFAIK in the recent event in Italy one was able to certify itsel to International Kata Referee. The certification required demonstrating the kata in question both as uke and tori as well as answering some questions. Unfortunately one can not be at the same time a competitor in kata and a certified international referee. So if you compete you loose the license.
National kata referee examinations have been done similarily with national referee certification i.e. a course to get basic refereeing certification and evaluation of given scores with respect to other referees to verify that one knows what to do.
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#6 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:12 PM

In the U.S. Kata Judging certification is awarded after completing an exam consisting of doing the kata as tori and uke, judging an example of the kata, and a written test covering details of the kata, and a bit about the history and meaning of the kata. They award Class A (National level Judge), Class B (Regional level Judge), and Class C (local level Judge). I don't think you can get higher than a "B" on your first try and then can upgrade later after more judging experience.
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#7 User is offline   Alnobak 

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 12:07 PM

Hello everyone,

Thank you for answering to this question.

There are some points on which I would like to have more informations?

For Steve and JudoTurtle: Being State judge, what do you have to do now to get qualified to the National level? Is there any system developed where everything you have to do, demonstrate that exist and where you can refer to if you wish to keep on becoming judge at the national or international level?

Taigyo: Is the certification process under a committee or is it only one person (Takeuchi Senseï) has the responsability to qualify judges?

In your countries, are the people responsible of qualifying kata judges the same persons that are on grading board?
Is there anything that can be found on your judo association homepage that explain the process to become state, provincial, national and international kata judge?

Thank you for your comments!


Best regards,
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#8 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 02:16 PM

It is a committee.
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#9 User is offline   makoto 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:12 AM

View PostTaigyo, on 11 August 2011 - 04:12 PM, said:

In the U.S. Kata Judging certification is awarded after completing an exam consisting of doing the kata as tori and uke, judging an example of the kata, and a written test covering details of the kata, and a bit about the history and meaning of the kata. They award Class A (National level Judge), Class B (Regional level Judge), and Class C (local level Judge). I don't think you can get higher than a "B" on your first try and then can upgrade later after more judging experience.

I have never understood the requirement for a judge to physically perform the kata. Referees do not have to demonstrate proficiency in shiai. The ability to properly score a kata is very different than the ability to physically perform it. Many judges are At an age or have a physical/medical condition that limits their ability to physically demonstrate judo. Heck, in baseball they don't require potential umpires to be able to hit a 90 mph fastball.
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#10 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:38 PM

True that many older candidates for kata judging may have physical infirmities that limit their ability to actually do the kata. If it is the case that they have done the kata to a high level of proficiency in the past, then I would imagine they are cut a bit of slack. If for instance they decided to overhaul the entire U.S. kata judging setup and suddenly Fukuda sensei had to be recertified. Though she has a deep understanding of kata, she would be unable to do them because of physical infirmity.

However, for people that are physically capable, they should definitely be required to do the kata and show a relatively high level of ability. It is a direct demonstration of understanding of the kata and shows things that cannot be adequately demonstrated verbally or in writing. You cannot properly judge kata just by having a checklist and checking it off. You also cannot properly judge kata that is at a higher level than you yourself can do.

In the same way, referees should have some amount of competitive experience to properly referee a match. The ability to actually read a match cannot be gained from passive observation. To have insight into the players intent and action you actually need to have been there.

This post has been edited by Taigyo: 16 August 2011 - 04:39 PM

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#11 User is offline   JudoSensei 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 06:29 PM

View PostTaigyo, on 16 August 2011 - 09:38 AM, said:

However, for people that are physically capable, they should definitely be required to do the kata and show a relatively high level of ability. It is a direct demonstration of understanding of the kata and shows things that cannot be adequately demonstrated verbally or in writing. You cannot properly judge kata just by having a checklist and checking it off. You also cannot properly judge kata that is at a higher level than you yourself can do.

In the same way, referees should have some amount of competitive experience to properly referee a match. The ability to actually read a match cannot be gained from passive observation. To have insight into the players intent and action you actually need to have been there.



Other sports don't seem to have the requirement that judges or referees be top level athletes. Refereeing is a totally different skill than playing in most sports like football, basketball, baseball, and boxing. Refereeing a judo match or judging a kata competition certainly requires a high level of knowledege, commitment, and ongoing study, but personal athletic performance many years ago is not a very good predictor of success today as a referee or judge.

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Q: Do I have to be a really good skater (or even a skater at all!) or a skating expert to be a judge?
A: Technical knowledge of figure skating is essential, but each person starts with a different degree of skating knowledge. While former skaters usually have a broader base of technical knowledge when beginning the trial judging process, ability as a skater is not in itself the measure of judging ability. There are many good judges who just skated recreationally - in the long run, temperament and willingness to serve are of more importance. A limited skating background should not discourage anyone interested in becoming a judge. Individuals that are new to the sport must be willing to put in the hours necessary to acquire technical knowledge, from studying texts and attending judge's schools to skating themselves (preferably with quality instruction).

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#12 User is offline   Neil G 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:26 PM

View PostJudoSensei, on 16 August 2011 - 12:29 PM, said:

Other sports don't seem to have the requirement that judges or referees be top level athletes.
Maybe not, but I like the idea of being able to walk the walk, both as instructor and as judge. This happens in kendo too. Want to judge at worlds? First thing at the selection seminar is a good hard practice to make sure the candidates are all active practicioners.
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#13 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 07:30 PM

View Postmakoto, on 16 August 2011 - 08:12 AM, said:

I have never understood the requirement for a judge to physically perform the kata. Referees do not have to demonstrate proficiency in shiai. The ability to properly score a kata is very different than the ability to physically perform it. Many judges are At an age or have a physical/medical condition that limits their ability to physically demonstrate judo. Heck, in baseball they don't require potential umpires to be able to hit a 90 mph fastball.

x2

For kata judging/teaching awards, the ability to 1. be able to understand the purpose of a kata and 2. to teach it and its lessons properly are far more important than 3. the ability to personally perform it to a high standard, though it is difficult to be able to do 1 and 2 without having been able to do 3. at somepoint in one's judo career. Age, injury and physical condition impact on 3, they do not impact on 1 and 2. It is nonsense therefore to include 3 as a mandated criteria for qualification.
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#14 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:33 PM

Other sports are not comparable to kata judging. If you cannot do the kata, how can you know if it was done right? This is not just a matter of athleticism. A check the boxes approach to kata judging is the greatest risk to living kata from kata competiton. When Judoka go from trying to express the riai of the kata to merely pandering to a judges checklist then kata will be dead.
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#15 User is offline   makoto 

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:11 AM

View PostTaigyo, on 16 August 2011 - 08:33 PM, said:

Other sports are not comparable to kata judging. If you cannot do the kata, how can you know if it was done right? This is not just a matter of athleticism. A check the boxes approach to kata judging is the greatest risk to living kata from kata competiton. When Judoka go from trying to express the riai of the kata to merely pandering to a judges checklist then kata will be dead.


I respect your position, but I don't agree with the whole concept. I don't believe it would be correct to say that "if you cannot do a triple toe loop in figure skating, then how do you know if it was done right?" The ability to judge a form, to me, is different than the ability to physically perform it. I do agree that a kata judge requires a much greater understanding of the kata than just going off of a checklist, and those that I have met who do have a high level of understanding were able to physically perform kata well in the past. But the fact that they could not do so today does not, in my view, disqualify them as a kata judge today.

I was a national kata competitor about 15-20 years ago. I can't physically perform at that level anymore. I have done a little kata judging in the past few years. And while I'm sure I made some mistakes, I do not believe that those mistakes were the result of an inability to physically perform those movements at that time. I would prefer my judging certification level be based on my level of knowledge and understanding of kata rather than whether I could still get out on the mat and perform as I did 15+ years ago.
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