Ten Winning Tips from a Kickboxing Tournament Judge

Lessons From a Kickboxing Judge to Help You Win Your Next Match

I volunteered myself to be a judge at our K-1 kickboxing tournament yesterday, the 26th of March of 2018. I would have competed if it weren’t for the unfortunate fact that it is difficult to find female opponents. At least I got to participate in the tournament in a meaningful way by taking on the role of the honorable Judge Estelita Scott.

It sounds all posh and glamorous, but be warned, the job of a kickboxing judge is not easy. I was so nervous, myself. I mean I am pretty new to kickboxing and I don’t even know all the rules yet. Plus I almost didn’t know what to do with the score sheets, pen and those two point counters. Talk about stress! Anyway, I figured it all out pretty quickly, and in the end, I made a great judge.

So what tips can I give you from my experience as a kickboxing tournament judge?

Judges are only human. They cannot press pause, rewind or replay. So, you have to let them see and hear the impact of your strikes by fighting in a way that is easy to judge for points.

Here are 10 tips to score more K-1 points.

  1. Don’t strike when standing too close. Give your opponent breathing space. Keep a good fighting distance. When you strike at a short distance, there isn’t much impact, even if you hit the target and you will forfeit those points.
  2. Have breaks and distance between strikes. Don’t just keep throwing repeated jabs and combinations at a fast pace. Firstly, the judges will miss some of those strikes. Secondly, you’ll be wasting energy and not hitting with enough impact. No impact = no point.
  3. Keep the fight in the center of the ring. If the fight keeps moving to the other end of the ring, some of the judges won’t see your strikes. You can’t get points for strikes not seen.
  4. Keep your combinations simple, stupid. Don’t use fancy combinations that have low impact. A double side-thrust mawashu kick might look cool, but, with no impact, is pretty useless and takes too much energy.
  5. You get no points for trying. If you’re going to be doing something as difficult as a flying, spinning or tumbling kick, make sure you hit your target, because you get no points for failed attempts. You only get points for successful strikes that hit the target with high impact.
  6. Foul strikes only waste energy. You get no points for hitting your opponent in impermissible body areas, and your opponent gets two points.
  7. Punch and kick correctly. You get no points for using the wrong punching or kick techniques. So don’t punch with the inside of your glove, for instance.
  8. Don’t react to your opponent’s strikes. Hold your ground. Try not to flinch if you get hit. Your opponent won’t get a point if his strikes have no impact on you.
  9. Don’t move voluntarily after/while you get hit. For instance, say, if your opponent hits you in the face lightly and as his fist touches your face, don’t jolt your head backwards. The judge might mistakenly think that you got hit so hard that it made your head jolt backwards, giving your opponent a point.
  10. Don’t hesitate to strike. Don’t play mind games. You don’t get points for looking aggressive or doing false or soft strikes. left hand jabs, for example, don’t win you any points. Go hard or go home a loser.

I think that’s all from judge Estelita Scott, for now. Hopefully, these tips make you a better fighter in the ring.