Chelmsford SKC News Article

Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones and Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones, who are highly qualified KUGB Referees, organised a Referee and Judges Workshop on Saturday 21st February 2015 at Anglia Ruskin University.  The aim of this course was to give all invited Black and Brown belt KUGB members from our region a theoretical and practical session on the rules of Refereeing and Judging in any KUGB competition.

The course started with a brief introduction by the attendees and their reasons for attending the course. The majority were keen to know and understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ the Referees and Judges make decisions during a match.

Initially the competition rules were explained, this covered areas such as how to set up a competition match area, criteria for a decisive score and the different hand and flag signals. All participants were encouraged to take part in setting up a match area as per the rule book and pay attention to the hazards around the match area, as the safety of our competitors and everyone involved is of up most importance.  

25 February 2015: Richard Kheder's report on the Referees and Judges Workshop

Photo:  Front Richard Kheder demonstrates the Judges Signal for Aiuchi - where both fighters have performed simultaneous techniques

All of the required Referees and Judges signals were explained and demonstrated in depth using the correct Japanese terminology; however it was made sure that all attendees were not intimidated by the use of Japanese, and the equivalent in English language was also used as part of the learning process.  It was great to see that everyone was keen to say these new words, and practice both flag and hand signals.

25 February 2015: Richard Kheder's report on the Referees and Judges Workshop Photo:  Hansoku - Rosie Caddy (front left) and Jessica Steadman practice the signal for disqualification of the competitor.

Once all areas of the competition rules and flag/hand signaling were completed, attendees were invited to take an active role either as a corner Judge or as the Match Referee.  Initially these ‘lucky volunteers’ were apprehensive to take up their positions and carry on with the task in hand. However, with the excellent support from both their karate friends and our Senseis allowed them to relax and concentrate on the competition. 

25 February 2015: Richard Kheder's report on the Referees and Judges Workshop Photo: Maai - distance. (L-R) Richard Naylor-Jones, Richard Kheder and Eric Austin-Coskry practice the Judges signal for decding that a Competitors technique had not scored due to poor distance

The Match Referee and the Judges were asked to start the proceeding of a match following the correct procedure as per the KUGB rule book.  Sensei Richard and Sensei Jane took part in a fight situation and demonstrated different scenarios where those Judging were asked to give their decision and the reason for their decisions.  This process also included the Referee who was in charge the of the match. A lot of encouragement and guidance was given to all the participants to improve their awareness of the events on the match area, and to help them to make the correct decision on the day.

KUGB England Squad Member Eric Austin-Coskry also helped in creating different fighting scenarios with Sensei Richard to encourage the participants to apply what they had learnt earlier in the day.  On more than one occasion when they were asked to judge what they had seen during the match Corner Judges gave different decisions which led to a number of friendly debates. These scenarios replicated events from ‘real’ competitions to help and prepare all members in understanding the application of the competitions rules and both the reason behind and importance of decision making on the day.

25 February 2015: Richard Kheder's report on the Referees and Judges Workshop

Photo:  Kumite Match - Eric Austin-Coskry attacks Richard Naylor-Jones with a Jodan gyaku-zuki BUT does he score? .  Graham Skarott (far left) is the Match Referee.  Richard Kheder (centre background in Uniform facilitates the learning exercise).  Far right seated Lee Rifat is the Corner Judge with his Father Serdar Rifat standing behind observing before he too has to take the hot seat!

Similar scenarios were then created to highlight key learning points when Refereeing and Judging Kata competition.

The day was completed when I was asked to present each participant with an Attendance Certificate and a Group photograph.  After the event, everyone I spoke to expressed their delight with course but were surprised with the amount of the information needed for this responsible task.  Certainly the content covered today had provided a platform for which they could start to build from.

25 February 2015: Richard Kheder's report on the Referees and Judges Workshop Photo:  Workshop Participants gather together at the end for a Team Photo.

From a personal point of view, I was lucky to train under our great Instructor Sensei Charles Naylor (7th Dan) who not only advised me on the KUGB Competition rules, but was continuously encouraging me to take part in competitions so I could practice and develop my skills and knowledge.  Furthermore, I have worked with a number of KUGB Senior Referees (7th Dan and above) who were never critical and are always ready to  help and advise on how to deal with different situations. I feel that since I have had such an honour to both Train and Referee with such great Senseis, then I more than happy and willing to pass on my knowledge and experience to anyone who is keen to gain such valued qualifications.

My advice to the participants at the end of such an excellent course was never give up, keep practicing whenever you can, as the rewards are great and immensely satisfying. Remember when you are learning that in the KUGB there are always people around you who are ready to support and guide you.   At the end of each competition, I always say “Perfect ending to a perfect day” 


Article written by Richard Kheder - (3rd Dan), KUGB Referee, KUGB Long Standing Member  30 Years, Chelmsford Shotokan Karate Club.