Over 60 Attendees Listen, Watch, and Learn at the 2016 Shufu Rules Clinic at Georgetown University

February 6, 2016
Attendees at the 2016 Shufu Rules Clinic, Georgetown University

Attendees at the 2016 Shufu Rules Clinic, Georgetown University


The 31st annual Shufu Rules Clinic was held on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  The Washington Judo Club’s dojo in the Yates Field House afforded plenty of room for a full-sized mat and a lecture area, accommodating more than 60 judokas from scattered points along the east coast.  The attendees hailed from Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.


Sharon Landstreet, Roy Englert, Karl Tamai

Sharon Landstreet, Roy Englert, Karl Tamai


The head clinicians were IJF-A referees Sharon Landstreet, sensei at the Arlington Judo Club in Northern Virginia, and Karl Tamai, sensei at the College Park (Maryland) Judo Club, both in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.  These new IJF-A referees joined an illustrious line of clinicians from across the country who have been guests of Shufu for this highly anticipated annual event.


Roy Englert, Dedicating the Day to Gail Spadin and Jim Takemori

Roy Englert, dedicating the day to Gaile Spadin and Jim Takemori

Roy Englert, IJF-A referee and chair of the Shufu Referee Committee, opened the day dedicating the event to Gaile Spadin, the founder of the Rules Clinic (formerly the Referee Clinic) and its leader for the first 11 years, who was the United States’ only female Olympic Judo Referee, and to James Takemori, the nationally prominent and internationally acclaimed sensei who passed away last year.


When asked later to reflect upon the 2016 seminar, he said, “This is my twentieth year leading this seminar, and I am thrilled to be starting the transition to the next generation.  I’m not going away yet, but I want to work with Sharon and Karl as the next generation of refereeing in Shufu”


Mr. Tamai and Ms. Landstreet guided the group through a highly informative day, beginning with a wide range of

Sharon Landstreet

Sharon Landstreet

presentations and discussions including the ratings of referees, advice on advancing through the referee hierarchy, being effective in national and international refereeing situations, and other matters that extended even beyond the strict definition of “rules”, but very important in ensuring the best opportunities for advancement.


Other topics included pre-tournament preparations, interactions with table workers, examining the physical characteristics of the mats, and even the topics of reviewing one’s own hand signals and body positioning by downloading one’s own matches onto a small flash drive, creating a personal portfolio of matches to review, have critiqued, and to learn from.


Dr. Clancy, Suppressing her horror at Tad Nalls' demonstration of Kappo

Dr. Clancy, suppressing her horror at Tad Nalls’ demonstration of Kappo


Just before the lunch break, Cathleen Clancy, M.D., Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology, and a black belt at the Washington Judo Club, reviewed the topic of safe resuscitation of individuals who had been rendered unconscious by shimewaza, advising referees to take a careful, unrushed approach to the judoka.  Of particular importance was the lack of medical basis, and the danger, of Kappo, the traditional Japanese method of reviving judokas.

Dr. Clancy explaining what to do (and not do) with an unconscious Edwin Vallejo

Dr. Clancy explaining what to do (and not do) with an unconscious Edwin Vallejo


Dr. Clancy also spoke briefly about the recent revisions of basic life support (BLS) programs, particularly the absence of assisted breathing which is now considered unnecessary or even possibly harmful during resuscitation.


Pizza was served for lunch, rapidly consumed by the judoka hungry for knowledge as well as for carbohydrates and pepperoni.


The afternoon was conducted on the mat, with instruction in many of the subtleties of rule interpretation, with the able assistance of Steve Matias of Pure Performance Judo in New Jersey and Edwin Vallejo of the Washington Judo Club.

Steve Matias and Edwin Vallejo

Sharon Landstret, Steve Matias and Edwin Vallejo


Finally, the group reviewed selected video selections of the most recent annual IJF Referees and

Steve Matias preparing to rip Edwin Vallejo's arm off

Steve Matias preparing to rip Edwin Vallejo’s arm off

Coaches Seminar held this year in Tokyo, Japan, and other selected clips from international tournaments as well as from local events.  The group appeared to enjoy the videos of real matches and how real-life, difficult

questions of accuracy in refereeing can easily arise no matter what level of judo is being contested.


Viewing and commenting on video examples

Viewing and commenting on video examples


As the participants were combining efforts to put the mats away and clean the room, Karl Tamai considered the importance of the annual event.  “The important thing about having a referee/rules clinic is to try to get us all on the same page.  We would like to have consistency here in the U.S. with what’s happening internationally.  So by disseminating both difficult as well


 as easy situations we can use that as a measuring stick so that we’re all evaluating throws and penalties in situations in the same way.”


And when asked to give a quick snapshot of the position of the U.S. referees internationally, Tamai said that “We have a number of high-level referees that are working in the international circuit in an effort to qualify to referee at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. That’s the ultimate goal of any referee, to referee in the Olympics, and we have a referee that is potentially eligible to go.”


Sharon Landstreet, still energetic and rushing about taking care of the video and other electronics after the adjournment, also reflected on the annual series of clinics. “We’re trying to get all the coaches, athletes, and referees on the same page. When there’s a better understanding, we all work together to understand why things are called, and how to look at them. Then when it happens on the mat

Landstreet explaining the subtleties between a Yuko and  Waza-ari

Landstreet explaining the subtleties between a Yuko and Waza-ari

there’s a little bit more understanding between the referees, coaches, and athletes.


“It also gives them a chance to see resources you can use to prepare for (matches).  If you know and understand the rules, it helps (them) train better.


“This is important for Shufu to get people to come in and share opinions so that we grow as an organization and understand the judo from the bigger picture.  To take the experiences that people have when they travel, both from the referees’ and the coaches’ perspective helps everyone grow as competitors and gives them someone to look at and to develop.


 above story, photos by Chuck Medani

Roy Nanjo’s Photos

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3


Shufu Shinbun is BACK !

This newsletter is presented in memory of Malcolm Hodges who was a dedicated Shufu and Washington Judo Club member for many years and wrote and was the editor of the monthly Shufu Shinbun newsletter.




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Coach Certification

SafeSport Certification is now required for all USJF registered clubs. If you have already completed the course and submitted a copy of your certificate, you do not need to resubmit. For more information or to take the course, please visit https://athletesafety.org/

Heads Up concussion training, through the CDC’s website, is a requirement for all members of your USJF registered club who function as teachers at any time. Please advise all of your instructors and assistant instructors of this requirement. The training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/

Hilaire Notewo Seeking Donations for Judo Programs in the Ivory Coast, Needs Gis and Equipment

Longtime Shufu Judo member Hilaire Notewo is planning to relocate to Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Africa in late November/December. He will be supporting judo programs, but equipment (esp. judo uniforms) are difficult to come by.  Hilaire is looking for gently used judo gis and other equipment.  Hilaire will also be visiting and donating goods to orphanages.  Should you have gently used shoes, clothes for teenagers, youths, and toddlers, kindly make them available to Hilaire.

If you would like to donate to this effort, you can send your donation to the following address:

Hilaire Notewo

7401 New Hampshire Ave. #1003

Takoma Park, MD  20912

Or contact him via his email address: hilson79@gmail.com 202 945 3781.