The Day of Judgment

Tournaments make for a very long day… for the judges. As members of a traditional martial art that focuses so heavily on etiquette we should really do our best to thank the judges. Unfortunately, I always hear a lot of complaints. I even remember doing some complaining myself. So, in the spirit of contrition, I am going to thank some judges right now. I’d like to thank Master Seitz and Master Simms for giving me contact warnings during sparring. I’d like to thank Master Jeff Green for not being fooled by flashy techniques, and I’d like to thank Master Kunz for making me do above the head spin-kicks without jumping. For all of you who are not judges I’d like to give you a peek at the judges’ world. I’ve heard many different systems by which judges do their judging. But the main thing I see is consistency. Remember, even if you do not understand what they are looking for, the judges are doing their best to be consistent. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here is my list of the top ten things you can do to impress the judges:

  • Etiquette – Every judge I know will give higher points to better ettiquette or down grade you for bad etiquette.
  • You Won Hwa – remember that Kuk Sool is a softer style, so if you do everything hard and jerky you will not score as high as someone who flows.
  • Do your techniques – The judges are looking at your techniques; a poor technique ending in a magnificent fall reflects more on your partners falling ability then your technique ability.
  • Do the techniques in the textbook!
  • Ettiquette: Formal bow (unless injury prevents), speak clearly, use a title, smile, do not turn your back on the judges, thank the judges for your score.
  • When doing form – look at your target, not the ground or ceiling. There are no answers or hints hidden there.
  • Hyung by-laws – Stances low and supple, hands fast and controlled, feet slow and precise, eyes bright and clear, mind calm and focused.
  • Control, Control, Control – I see too many students who want to spar hard at tournaments. Remember, if you want to spar harder, do it at your home school.
  • Weapons: If you only practice the form and ignore the basic spinnings and meditations, your forms will show it.
  • Etiquette: Did I mention etiquette?
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  1. Great post Psbn Steffen! I agree with all of your comments. I am a centre judge at the European Championships again in a weeks time and your pointers are all spot on.

    The only thing I would add (if you will permit me) is this:

    Enjoy the day! Its a great way to spend the day with like minded people who all share your love of this magnificent martial art. After all, the tournament is just another way of training and …..

    We all need more practice!

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