Last Friday we used our practice to focus on refereeing matches. Akagi sensei watched our practice and provided important guidance and commentary.
Then on Sunday Sato sensei led a seminar on refereeing at Honbu Dojo. Here is a handout that Sato sensei passed around to the participants. (Click to enlarge.)
Here in Hawaii, refereeing is typically not a required part of kendo study or practice until the 3dan or 4dan level. However I would like Meikyokan students to study and practice refereeing as much as possible, as early as 1kyu/1dan level. We can expect the practice to be rough and the consistency of the decision-making to be very uneven, but that's fine. Doing good shinpan work is difficult and requires all kinds of skills and understanding that can only be developed through repeated practice, over a long period of time. I don't think beginning training at 3dan/4dan is producing adequate results, especially since we have so few tournaments nowadays.
Posted by Shishido.
End note: During the shinpan seminar, Sato sensei mentioned an English translation of the Kendo Shiai - Shinpan - Administration Essentials Guide by Robert Stroud Sensei (Idaho Kendo Club). I was hoping to post a link to this document, but for the time being the Idaho Kendo Club website is being reworked and it looks like the document is currently offline. I've e-mailed Stroud sensei and requested a copy. [ 2016 Oct 21 note: No reply yet. ]