Advice for a guest judge?

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,188
Reaction score
2,341
I have recently joined a new TKD school, and I am immediately one of the senior students. In fact, my Dad and I are the highest ranking non-staff members, which include the owner, his wife, and another Master under their employ.

I have been asked to help judge the belt test later this week. I am still in the early stages of learning the school's protocols and curriculum. I barely know any of the students yet. I also don't know the Master's expectations for each belt level.

Even though I am now a member of this school, I feel as if I am a guest judge at this point, because I have barely more tribal knowledge of the school than a guest judge would.

For those who have guest judged or have used guest judges, do you have any advice for me to give the best outcome for the students I am judging?
 

HighKick

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2023
Messages
172
Reaction score
65
I have recently joined a new TKD school, and I am immediately one of the senior students. In fact, my Dad and I are the highest ranking non-staff members, which include the owner, his wife, and another Master under their employ.

I have been asked to help judge the belt test later this week. I am still in the early stages of learning the school's protocols and curriculum. I barely know any of the students yet. I also don't know the Master's expectations for each belt level.

Even though I am now a member of this school, I feel as if I am a guest judge at this point, because I have barely more tribal knowledge of the school than a guest judge would.

For those who have guest judged or have used guest judges, do you have any advice for me to give the best outcome for the students I am judging?
Especially since you do not know the 'tribal norms' or their curriculum, I would take the slave position in a parent/slave relationship. Look over the grading material or forms to make sure you understand them. Talk to the other judges and make sure you understand procedurally how they are doing it. Scoring on a 1-10 scale for example, where no one gets a zero and no one can perform at a 10. Get a feel for the subjectivity quotient. Openly share the first few gradings with others to make sure you are on par with the norm. From there, you are in evaluation and discovery mode. Learning from a new environment, experience, and level of responsibility. It is a neat position to be in.
You can assess a 'good' down block from your own experience compared to what you see on the floor and evaluate how it is being graded, and of course, give your own grade based on your experience. But doing it this way alone is not a fair way to grade.
What I do not recommend is being overly biased based on your experience. Because it looks different to you does automatically make it wrong. Until you have learned their background and way of teaching 'block X' it is not fair for you to make a negative assessment because it 'looks different'.
Given the circumstances, in every sense, it is an honorary and respectable thing for the instructor to do. So, assimilate and integrate into the process and you will be fine.
I would look at it as more of a learning experience than anything else. Best of success.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,188
Reaction score
2,341
Especially since you do not know the 'tribal norms' or their curriculum, I would take the slave position in a parent/slave relationship. Look over the grading material or forms to make sure you understand them. Talk to the other judges and make sure you understand procedurally how they are doing it. Scoring on a 1-10 scale for example, where no one gets a zero and no one can perform at a 10. Get a feel for the subjectivity quotient. Openly share the first few gradings with others to make sure you are on par with the norm. From there, you are in evaluation and discovery mode. Learning from a new environment, experience, and level of responsibility. It is a neat position to be in.
You can assess a 'good' down block from your own experience compared to what you see on the floor and evaluate how it is being graded, and of course, give your own grade based on your experience. But doing it this way alone is not a fair way to grade.
What I do not recommend is being overly biased based on your experience. Because it looks different to you does automatically make it wrong. Until you have learned their background and way of teaching 'block X' it is not fair for you to make a negative assessment because it 'looks different'.
Given the circumstances, in every sense, it is an honorary and respectable thing for the instructor to do. So, assimilate and integrate into the process and you will be fine.
I would look at it as more of a learning experience than anything else. Best of success.
My previous Master did alleviate my initial judging anxieties by telling me the ultimate decision is still with him, and I am merely advising that decision. I still want to do the best job that I can, though.
 

OutcastSix

White Belt
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
4
I have recently joined a new TKD school, and I am immediately one of the senior students. In fact, my Dad and I are the highest ranking non-staff members, which include the owner, his wife, and another Master under their employ.

I have been asked to help judge the belt test later this week. I am still in the early stages of learning the school's protocols and curriculum. I barely know any of the students yet. I also don't know the Master's expectations for each belt level.

Even though I am now a member of this school, I feel as if I am a guest judge at this point, because I have barely more tribal knowledge of the school than a guest judge would.

For those who have guest judged or have used guest judges, do you have any advice for me to give the best outcome for the students I am judging?
Interesting dynamic on a couple of levels but I wouldn't put too much thought into it. Be yourself. I've recently been doing this at my current gym after a 30+ year hiatus from physical training.

Being fairly new to the school may mean that you are somewhat of an unknown to the students. This situ will naturally add a level of pressure/stress to the students in what can be an already stressful situ so I'd recommend giving them the impression of encouragement, i.e. a simple gesture of a smile, head nod or a thumbs up can go a long way in terms of motivating a person to do well.

In terms of expectations of each rank, I'd recommend discussing that with owner, his wife and/or the other instructor offline. This helps level the plain for you in becoming familiar with protocols and tribal background. It will also give them a better understanding of your level of experience and philosophy.
 

wab25

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
1,318
Reaction score
1,175
I would take this as an opportunity to learn what their expectations are. This is more about preparing you for the next exam and so you can calibrate to their system.

I would generally agree with whatever the other judges give. The only things I would point out would be things where I thought the student was really good at doing, that maybe they did not vocalize. Let them bring up any issues with people not making the cut. Once you know their system and where they draw the lines... then you will know better how to judge next time.

Being given this opportunity means that they definitely value you as part of their school. Be humble and positive and you will be fine. Take lots of notes about their expectations and you will be prepared for the next one.

Take this as an opportunity to get to know the other judges.
 

andyjeffries

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
326
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
Scoring on a 1-10 scale for example, where no one gets a zero and no one can perform at a 10.
That feels weird to me, why say the scale is 1-10 if no one can get a 10?

I can imagine some feeling that "no one will ever get perfection", but is 10/10 meaning the same as 100.000000% or does it mean "in the top 10% of all students (in your dojang's history)"

I certainly would give 10/10 to someone if it was justified.
 

andyjeffries

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
326
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
If we invited a guest judge (that's not a 4th Dan+ yet), then it would be as a learning experience to see how they scored people, discuss why the scores differed when it did. We wouldn't take their scores in to account. We only use it to get them used to how we score and what we're looking for.
 

Hyoho

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
741
Reaction score
336
I have recently joined a new TKD school, and I am immediately one of the senior students. In fact, my Dad and I are the highest ranking non-staff members, which include the owner, his wife, and another Master under their employ.

I have been asked to help judge the belt test later this week. I am still in the early stages of learning the school's protocols and curriculum. I barely know any of the students yet. I also don't know the Master's expectations for each belt level.

Even though I am now a member of this school, I feel as if I am a guest judge at this point, because I have barely more tribal knowledge of the school than a guest judge would.

For those who have guest judged or have used guest judges, do you have any advice for me to give the best outcome for the students I am judging?
When did personalities become a part of judging? You should be totally non biased.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,188
Reaction score
2,341
When did personalities become a part of judging? You should be totally non biased.
I don't even know what the point of this comment was. It seems wrong, but I can't even tell what's wrong about it because I can't tell what it even is.
 

Hyoho

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
741
Reaction score
336
I don't even know what the point of this comment was. It seems wrong, but I can't even tell what's wrong about it because I can't tell what it even is.
What is so difficult about it? It means showing no prejudice or favoritism for or against. in national or international judging. There should be national standard that you judge by.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,188
Reaction score
2,341
What is so difficult about it? It means showing no prejudice or favoritism for or against. in national or international judging. There should be national standard that you judge by.
There isn't a national standard. I don't know how favoritism could apply in this situation.
 

HighKick

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2023
Messages
172
Reaction score
65
That feels weird to me, why say the scale is 1-10 if no one can get a 10?

I can imagine some feeling that "no one will ever get perfection", but is 10/10 meaning the same as 100.000000% or does it mean "in the top 10% of all students (in your dojang's history)"

I certainly would give 10/10 to someone if it was justified.
Inferring it is not possible is simply saying it is extremely unlikely and rare. Far from the participation trophy mindset.
 
OP
skribs

skribs

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
7,188
Reaction score
2,341
Inferring it is not possible is simply saying it is extremely unlikely and rare. Far from the participation trophy mindset.
There are some teachers who only give an A- on midterms because you can't improve from an A.
 

HighKick

Green Belt
Joined
Apr 8, 2023
Messages
172
Reaction score
65
There are some teachers who only give an A- on midterms because you can't improve from an A.
Yeah, I would call that a very similar example. A 10 is doable, but since I feel I have only seen it a handful of times it is nearly exempt.
 

Gwai Lo Dan

3rd Black Belt
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
922
Reaction score
140
What is so difficult about it? It means showing no prejudice or favoritism for or against. in national or international judging. There should be national standard that you judge by.
Isn't "favoritism" in a way part of the accepted nature of TKD?

For example, the athletic 20 year old is judged differently than the non-athletic 50 year old.

I read the comment on knowing people as being in regards to their physical possibilities / limitations.
 

Hyoho

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
741
Reaction score
336
Isn't "favoritism" in a way part of the accepted nature of TKD?

For example, the athletic 20 year old is judged differently than the non-athletic 50 year old.

I read the comment on knowing people as being in regards to their physical possibilities / limitations.
Our goals in what we do in the arts are different ie. 30/40 40/50 etc. Older people strive more for perfection than quantity. In Japan we even put people of the same age against each other. But due to lack of MA population in the West this is not possible. This the job of a judge. To judge people based on certain limitations. to judge them on what they can do not on what they cant do.
 
Last edited:

Hyoho

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
741
Reaction score
336
There are some teachers who only give an A- on midterms because you can't improve from an A.
This is why they started to put tags on belts. Not quite there is a tag but still offers kids a sense of achievement. Some don't have tags. My student just came back from Japan with Yondan. But to me he did not look to be quite there. He is now after a few months training. These things happen.
 
Last edited:

Hyoho

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
741
Reaction score
336
There isn't a national standard. I don't know how favoritism could apply in this situation.
Then you answered your own question. Just judge to the best of your ability! But for sure I would not refer to anybody as a "master" unless he had a degree in education.
 
Last edited:

andyjeffries

Senior Master
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
2,014
Reaction score
326
Location
Stevenage, Herts, UK
Isn't "favoritism" in a way part of the accepted nature of TKD?

For example, the athletic 20 year old is judged differently than the non-athletic 50 year old.

I read the comment on knowing people as being in regards to their physical possibilities / limitations.
But that isn't really favouritism but judging people on their life stage, it's not favouring one over the other but being realistic.

I accept/understand that, but in our gradings we have technical standards and mark promotions as objectively as we can, and from memory I don't think any of the criteria would really distinguish between the two.
 
Top