Firstly lets discuss the poll from the past week where I asked the question "Should Black Belts be required to participate in referee clinics?" Only nine readers chimed in (come on guys, I get over 250 unique hits a day, so I know a few more then nine over a week have seen the poll!) and the results were as follows:
Votes so far: 9
I voted "yes" black belts should be required and I felt strongly about that prior to Sunday's clinic, but after attending and having a few days to bask in the info I was offered I now feel ANYONE, of ANY rank should be REQUIRED to attend at least a few ref clinics on their BJJ path. In general I would (overly) confidently say I have a pretty firm grasp of the points, positions, and general rules. Driving home from Kent (thanks Coach Foster for letting us use your place!) I felt like a complete NOOB and I have been in how many tournaments... at least 20!!
I do not have the time, space, nor knowledge to go into everything I took away from Sunday. Jeff's delivery is always spot on clear, humorous, and to the point. I actually picked up a number of verbal cues and analogies from him that I shall be stealing and using when I coach! Thanks Jeff!
But here are a few pointers I want to stress to my readers:
- Quite simply if you do not KNOW the rules of the sport you are participating in, then you are not fully committed nor involved in said sport!
- I can promise you no matter how well you think you understand the sport, you do not understand it as well as you could!
- Jeff's own admission: the hardest fighters to ref are the ones who are referee's themselves. They know how to use the rules in their favor!
- I don't see how someone can call themselves a coach and never had made at least one seminar / clinic / workshop on refereeing.
- Familiarize yourself with the IBJJF Rules (this may take a moment to download, it is 42 pages long) as you will need to adhere to them at pretty much every event in 2013 (yes, that includes local events!).
- Drill and practice scoring and tournament rounds at your dojo. I know we do not do enough of it!
I am not clear as to how open these clinic's are to the general populace, but definitely contact Jeff over at Liberty Events, or also the IBJJF as they hold referee clinics the day before just about every major event they host. Knowledge is power and if you are going to invest all your time, money, energy and effort into a sport don't you think it is worth it to know the rules inside and out??
Train Hard. Train SMART!