THURSDAY, December 30th, 1999, 11:20 AM

Judging...Getting the "Point"

by Johnny "Superfoot" Davis

Kickboxing has made many strides over the years. It's also had its share of set backs. One of the areas that needs great improvement is that of fair and accurate judging. One of the worst things that can happen to a fighter is to lose based on bad judging. It effects a fighter for the rest of his/her life. They are haunted by the mere fact that they trained hard and did what their corner thought would be enough to win - only to learn they had lost. This can be devastating! As a former fighter, I've lost at least three of my thirty six bouts by what I termed as bad judging. Today, twelve years later, I am still affected by those decisions.

My vast experience in Kickboxing (Winner of Two World Championships) and a very successful Point Karate Tournament background (Winner of hundreds of trophies and numerous Grand Championships-including the largest Point tournament on the East Coast - The Battle of Atlanta) should allow for additional insight in judging fights.

The question must be: How can we get better judging when it is subjective to ones opinion of what it takes to win a fight? This is the real issue that effects both Kickboxing and Boxing. There should be a general judging criteria that put judges on the same "page" when viewing fights.

I would like to suggest that we get back to the basics, if there is not a knockout then the bout is a Point Match! Those of us who have competed in Point Tournaments understand the essence of the Point, it must hit an area that would stop an attacker in a real situation. This means that the strike (be it hands or feet) must land in vital areas...the chin, nose, ribs...etc. A strike in either area could cause severe damage and stop an attacker. Although, from a sporting point of view, we are not trying to severely damage our opponent. However, we are trying to win the fight. The fighter is required to strike in vulnerable areas to get the maximum benefits. Clean strikes to these designated areas should Accumulate Points.

Additionally, the judge should look from the perspective of what is actually connecting in vital areas and not looking at a fight like a fan. The fan may enjoy the sound or the flurry of fighter A's five punches in rapid fire that look great but, in actuality only one of those five punches landed in a Point area. Now fighter B comes back and throws a kick at the ribs that is blocked and a right cross that lands squarely on the chin-followed by a left hook that is slipped - the Cross is the only punch that lands in a Point Area. You would now have an even fight. It shouldn't "ONLY" matter that one fighter is slightly more aggressive.

"It should be a matter of who's being more effective at landing in vital Point areas."

Finally, leading organizations need to be more aggressive in providing proper training seminars for judges. We have gotten away from the basics of what it takes to win a match. As a result, fighters have changed the way they train. They are more in to the fanfare then the actual bout. (i.e.DeLa Hoya/Trinidad) Fighters must remember-Its not the shuffle in the corner, the hitting of the arms, throwing punches in the air or who the crowd is cheering for...etc. Its simple.

"Barring a knockout, you must land in the designated striking areas more than your opponent to win a bout. Get the Point!?"

Any THOUGHTS on this subject? If so, they would be greatly appreciated. You can E-Mail Mr. Davis At

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