** The promoter is responsible to the competitors in making sure that the senior officials, as well as the center judges and corner referees, have been made aware of the tournament rules. For this reason all promoters should hold black belt meetings before the competition commences. Inevitably, it is the center judge who determines the validity of the tournament rules. Be fair but firm on your calls. **
In point tournaments it is very important that the competitors feel that they have gotten a fair evaluation when it comes to sparring, forms/ kata, weapons, self-defense competitions. Why? It is because poor judging can stop a Martial Artist from continuing at tournaments and/or the Martial Arts all together. Poor and unfair judging can make a potentially great Martial Artist feel that they have been “shortchanged.” Of course a student will never reveal why he/she has left the arts other than to say, “Something came up,” or “I just didn’t have the time.”
To my fellow Blackbelts (judges, center judges, promoters and officials), we must remain unbiased and make sure that we score competitors without reservation as to whose student is competing, including our own. We must call the sparring point and forms technique score based on what we see and judge the forms and weapons from a view that considers all of the competitors and what their rank level of difficulty allows.
Although I will admit that things have gotten much better since the tournaments of the 1970's. Let us the Blackbelts guarantee the competitors that we will be honorable and accurate in our calls and in our judging decisions.
To those competitors who feel that they have to hit extremely forceful or break someone’s leg, remember that this is not full contact, this is a point/light contact/sport karate tournament. Competitors please keep your kicks and hand techniques within control. Disqualification results in a waste of your time and travel and giving your money to the promoter.