Shufu Kata Instructors Teach Clinic on IJF Kata Evaluation Criteria in Seattle

December 11, 2015

By Diane Tamai Jackson

Shufu Kata Chair


On November 5th and 6th, Karen Whilden and I presented a clinic on the International Judo Federation (IJF) Kata judging evaluation criteria during the USJF meetings in Seattle, Washington.  This clinic was the next step in a series to support the US transition to the IJF Kata standard and evaluation criteria, and was well attended by judges as well as many yudanshakai representatives.


Diane Tamai Jackson

Diane Tamai Jackson

In March 2015, Eiko Shepherd (7th dan) led a US delegation to participate in the 2015 European Kata Judging seminar and examination held in Rome, Italy.  Several weeks later, at the 2015 Senior Nationals kata clinic, Eiko Shepherd, Karen Whilden, and I presented and discussed insights from that EJU seminar.


This Seattle clinic began with an overview of some of the commonalities between the US standard and the IJF standard. Of note, both standards are based on the Kodokan kata handbooks, both scoring systems are based on a 0 to 10 scale, and both systems look at errors to deduct from the perfect score.


There are four types of errors in the IJF evaluation criteria: Forgotten, Big, Medium, and Small. The group discussed definitions and some examples of each of the errors.


There are only three errors for which a judge would mark “Forgotten” or -10 points. There are only six errors that would constitute a “Big” mistake (-5 points). Small errors are “imperfections” (-1 point). Most errors in the IJF evaluation criteria are either medium (-3 points) or small-to-medium (either -1 or -3 points).

Karen Whilden

Karen Whilden


Parallels of the USA criteria to the IJF criteria were then discussed. In both systems, 10 is a perfect score and the minimum is 0.  There are several parallels between kata scoring and shiai scoring. For example, the execution of the whole technique should be observed before giving a score, and judges should start at perfect (10 or ippon) and work down to the score.


Several unique features in the IJF criteria were also discussed. For example, in Nage no Kata, right and left sides are scored as one technique.  Another example is that the starting position for each technique is defined in most of the katas.


The next steps for the US transition will include the application of the US scoring system with consideration of the IJF evaluation criteria at the 2016 Senior Nationals, followed by the full implementation of the IJF scoring system and evaluation criteria at the 2017 Senior Nationals.


The spring 2016 Shufu clinic will present similar information on the IJF scoring system and evaluation criteria. Shufu will be transitioning to the IJF scoring in 2016, beginning with the single score for Nage no kata and use of the IJF scoring sheets.


The slide presentation as well as the IJF evaluation criteria and other kata resources are available on the Shufu Kata webpage (

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

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:

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: 202 945 3781.