Are you signed up yet for the upcoming karate tournament on October 10? Will it be your first? Are you nervous? Well, here are a few thoughts on being judged (and how to experience judging yourself).
Judging martial arts at a tournament is both art and science. It takes experience (with few exceptions, only black belts serve as tournament judges). It takes a keen eye (you have to be able to see a skillful shift of stances throughout a karate form like Do San or Chung Mu; you also have to note mistakes or hesitations, like a split-second [whoops!] correction of a front punch into a ridge hand, which will cost the performer points).
There are strict rules and violations that judges have to have, so to speak, under their belts to score both forms and sparring matches. That’s the science part.
But ultimately it comes down to … well, personal judgement. You watch a karate form performance, you scrutinize, you deliver a score. But you don’t know what to expect from the next performer. Will it outshine the last? Have you seen the best black belt performance or is the greatest yet to come?
You also have to be sensitive to how each performance affects you. Were the stances so deep you could feel them? Were the punches so powerful you felt the jolt from the judges chair? Were the yells like bellows from an ancient horn of war? Score.
You can try this out yourself. If you haven’t cast your vote yet for best Ripple Effect Martial Arts instructor form, head here and watch your karate instructors in action. Kids, adults—anyone can cast their vote for best performance. It’s an exercise. Performing martial arts on stage and in competition is hard. Judging those performers is a whole ‘nother challenge. So head over and cast your vote.
Give it a shot. And while you’re at it, sign up for the upcoming tournament on October 10 (we’re still taking registrations). Judge and be judged. It’s all part of life as a burgeoning Black Belt.