A clash, a kick blocked by a shoulder,
a punch 8 inches from its target, a ridge hand blocked by a forearm, and finally
a kick blocked by a knee. Two competitors in a sparring competition and so
entangled in a clash it is impossible for the referee and all the corner judges
to clearly see what technique if any is justified in scoring a point.
How many times has a clash resulted in
a point being awarded yet the call resulted in controversy. How many times
have we heard the spectators, fellow students, instructors and just plain
hecklers loudly share their disgruntling opinions about the calls in the ring.
Lets call what we see and disregard the
cat calls. As I have said to masters, grandmasters, parents, spectators
and to my own students, I only call "clean shots". In one sparring
competition at a recent PKC event the two brown belt competitors must have
thrown at least 10-20 hand and foot techniques without either of them scoring a
point. Actually, it was before the division had started that I had spoken
with the corner judges to insure that we were all on the same page and would
only call a point when a "clean shot" was scored. The one hundred
or so spectators seated around the ring seemed to appreciate the sparring
competition because cat calls were on that day non-existent. That specific
day, in that ring, was a very good day for sport karate.