Last Night, Auburn Bob, invited me to Fight Night at Zenyu. It was really cool to watch. In the Zenyu Mat area there is already a Fight Square. They then brought in 2 national judges in their suits who would referee the matches. In the corner, Zenyu had an honest to goodness electronic scoreboard that is used in some of the regional and national matches. And they even had a technical staff bracket man, fans in the peanut gallery, 2 official photographers, awards, and cupcakes in the end! The only thing missing would be T-shirt vendors and a concession stand.
Now I know how Zenyu can have great technical staff, as they run these Fight Nights once a month, every third Thursday or so, except for this Tuesday which was more convenient for all those involved.
The matches were 2 minutes long, and if no score, they would go into golden score overtime. Overall they managed to cram in 7 divisions of 3-8 people in a span of 3 hours. Quite efficient indeed. The Fight Night was run very smooth, and the action constantly flowing.
It was actually great to see the National Level Judges, referee the fight. And I learned even some of the finer points of judging. Judging is hard, and is under a lot of pressure. It was a lot of fun to watch the different calls being made, what was a wazari, koka, yuko or ippon.
Some of the finer things in judging/rules I learned. When the judge tells you tuck in your gi. You ONLY tuck in your gi. If you untie the belt, then tuck in the gi, then it's a penalty. The judge will let you know when to retie your belt, which would be apparently obvious. One of the judges gave a newaza pointer about controlling the head on the mat, you control the head an it's easier to keep your opponent down on the mat.
Overall, this was great to see. Zenyu has an awesome program especially for the up and coming judo players. Fight Nights was a way to prep club members in Judo Tournaments and also allow a friendly tournament atmosphere for those that can't make it to the tournaments.
It was a lot of fun and it was exciting. I think Zenyu has a great program going and it was quite fun to watch.