CENCO Referee Clinic led by Olympic Referee Gary Takemoto



In conjunction with Palo Alto Judo Club’s annual tournament, CENCO will be offering an exciting Referee Clinic led by Gary Takemoto on 11/12/2016 (USJF SANCTION # 16-11-10).

Sensei Takemoto was the only U.S. referee selected to officiate at the Olympic Games, a rare honor indicative of his status as one of the U.S.’s most highly regarded referees.

This Referee Clinic will be hosted by the Palo Alto Judo Club on Saturday, November 12th from 10am to 4pm at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, 2751 Louis Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

As you may know, from this November forward, CENCO will require Dan candidates to be certified as referees.  For those seeking local or regional referee certification, a test will be administered at the end of the Saturday clinic and then a practical examination will follow during Palo Alto’s tournament on Sunday November 13th at the Menlo-Atherton High School gym.  The tournament Officials meeting on Sunday will start at 9am.

The cost to attend this clinic for CENCO members will be $35 and $40 for members of clubs outside CENCO.

The clinic will cover both current status and possible future directions for rules and will be of great value for Referees, Coaches, and Competitors alike:

  • Referees: Improve your “game” and get ready for further advancement
  • Coaches: Learn how Referees are being guided and prepare your athletes accordingly
  • Competitors: Learn how you can seek ethical advantages and avoid surprises on the mat
  • Questions: Please email max.rayner+refclinic@gmail.com
  • Participants may bring their own lunch or elect to join an order for sandwiches which will be organized when the clinic starts.
  • Dress code is business casual: polo shirt and slacks, no sweats, no short pants, no gym gear.  Attendees may want to have a gi in their car just in case, but we expect few if any will be asked to suit up with a gi.

Clinic registration and liability waiver is attached – please share!

CENCO Referee Clinic Enjoys Record Attendance

Graduates Already Serving as Tournament Referees

CENCO’s referee development efforts are paying off, and not just for CENCO but also for other Yudanshakai. Recent CENCO referee clinic graduates were among those refereeing at the East Bay Judo Institute’s tournament held on Sunday, September 18, 2016.

The addition of graduates from CENCO’s 2015 and 2016 Petaluma Referee Clinic helped beef up mat referees and this is expected to continue into this and future tournament seasons.

Cal Kitaura, head of referee training and chairman of the Board of Examiners for CENCO, commented “We are stepping up our efforts in order to assure a steady pipeline of new referees and also to provide a ladder up for technical development among referees. In addition to the Petaluma Clinic, this year we will host IJF-A and Olympic referee Gary Takemoto at a referee certification clinic during Palo Alto’s annual tournament. This Referee Clinic will be held on Saturday, November 12 th from 10am to 4pm at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple (2751 Louis Rd, Palo Alto, CA) with a practical examination to follow during Palo Alto’s tournament on Sunday November 13th at the Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, CA.”

CENCO’s most recent Petaluma clinic took place on August 27th and 28th, 2016 and enjoyed record attendance: twenty-four participants joined both the clinic on Saturday the 27th and the practical exam at DeLeon’s developmental tournament on Sunday August 28th. Cal Kitaura, head of referee training and chairman of the Board of Examiners for CENCO, and Max Rayner, secretary of CENCO’s Board of Examiners, led both a practice session and a multi- media clinic where attendees were treated to:

  • A practical demonstration session
  • A review of video highlights of IJF’s January 2016 Referee and Coach Seminar
  • Selections from Rio’s 2016 Judo Olympic matches
  • A written reference text “Refereeing Judo – Introduction and Abridged Rules” which was co-authored by Mr. Kitaura and Mr. Rayner based on IJF and USA Judo public domain content to provide beginning referees with appropriate guidance on both rules and the refereeing process.

The following day, Jim Pennington, vice-chairman of the Board of Examiners for CENCO, and Larry Okumoto, national referee, led a practical examination which together written test scores determined the level of certification for each participant.

Mr. Rayner concluded “It was great to help deliver the training, but even more gratifying was the opportunity to see several of our graduates from clinics in 2015 and 2016 already making a positive difference in both CENCO tournaments and in other Yudanshakai’s tournaments.”