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Thread: doing my koi homework

  1. #21
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Judges have always been the main source of education about nishikigoi. They have been providing that in the USA since AKCA and the local ZNA district were formed. Until some very unfortunate circumstances happened in the past few years, many of the koi judges were were on many of the koi BBSs discussing and teaching. Now only a very few judges are more than visitors to the koi BBSs. Very sad circumstances indeed. But it seems the ony way to limit the legal exposure to the judges and their respective koi organizations.

    But for those that want to learn, build up a good koi library. There are many very good books, magazines, and videos on koi and the arts of breeding, raising, showing, and appreciating nishikigoi. Join local clubs and attend local koi shows.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  2. #22
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Judges have always been the main source of education about nishikigoi. They have been providing that in the USA since AKCA and the local ZNA district were formed. Until some very unfortunate circumstances happened in the past few years, many of the koi judges were were on many of the koi BBSs discussing and teaching. Now only a very few judges are more than visitors to the koi BBSs. Very sad circumstances indeed. But it seems the ony way to limit the legal exposure to the judges and their respective koi organizations.

    But for those that want to learn, build up a good koi library. There are many very good books, magazines, and videos on koi and the arts of breeding, raising, showing, and appreciating nishikigoi. Join local clubs and attend local koi shows.
    Now you tell me. I did not limit my legal exposure and was asked to leave AKCA to limit their legal exposure. Sounds like a lot of exposure problems to me. Too many lawyers and not enough Koi.

  3. #23
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by chang26k View Post
    Since the (Butterfly) Koi Gods and Goddess are Koi Judges in America, isn't it their fault for not being a good Judge.

    "I think for the US let people enter what they like. they will anyway. It is up to the Judges to protect the Standards and educate. Let the Judge Gods sort it out. Then eventually people will have to see what they can get away with and what not to bring. "

    With this being said, it is the judges fault for not educating the general public about Koi and Koi standards. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who wants to learn about koi, so stop being Japanese (and Americans stop bowing) and start sharing instead of selling your skills, education and experience.

    So to sum it up, blame yourself (Gods) for not educating the non Gods and wanna be Gods.

    And JR is right, how do you expect to ever raise or hold the standard of Koi if Deform kois are Loved by Judges. And again, it's the Judges fault first because they are the all mighty Judge. How do you expect a newb to learn the hobby if there is not enough resources to learn from.

    From My experience, I want to learn koi.
    This by far is the best online forum to learn in. JR is also by far the best poster to learn from. But there is no archive that has a compiled learning section. Again, the I am a God part "Straight from Japan... For the Serious Hobbyist!". Look, Seriouse Hobbyist don't mean that you already know all there is to know... instead, there could be Seriouse Hobbyist that knows very little about koi... thus the search for knowledge. And I can't wait for JR's book. I hope its not too much Japanese culture history. However, I do want to know more about the lines/history of the gosanke.
    How far we can go to educate is dictated by the Judging program and secondly by the show itself. We were told what we can say and not say to hobbyists by the AKCA program. We were told what we can disqualify and what we have to not. We were told words we could not use. We are told many times by the Show Chairs to not DQ any fish and no matter what a fish looks like, if there is no competition, it gets first prize. So what are the hobbyists to believe when they see a bent pond grade koi take a first place ribbon. Do they learn from that? We were even told that after the show, you tell the hobbyist what was right with his koi, and avoid the negatives as to bring them back to show again next year.I did not follow these rules. I was a rebel. And rebels have a price on their head. I was sought after by hobbyists to judge shows and to especailly do learning judging shows. Learning shows I did about 10 of before RETIRING as an AKCA judge. There the hobbyists are allowed, if they own koi in the show, to follow you around from tank to tank and talk to you WHILE you are judging. I even did them as judging exercises while we were talking. After I went over the positive and NEGATIVE points on each koi we have a vote for first and second. Then I tell them they are right, if I did my lesson right, or why I think different. People loved this and actually got more people to show, because they were not allowed to talk unless they had fish in the show. I enjoyed this very much. I have always enjoyed telling people what I think and explain why I pick a certain fish. Well the hobbyists liked this but the judging program was not too happy with hobbyist talking while judging. It is supposed to be a big secret and if you have something negative to discuss as a judging group, you better go over in a corner where no one can hear. This all rubbed me wrong and it was against all ways of learning for me. Guess that is why JR and I are allowed to be here teaching, and neither one of us are no longer AKCA judges. Ex judges can talk. Too structured and too many rules for me. I think we like the ZNA format a little more, where we can open up and not have people looking over our shoulders as to what we say and do not say. No one has threatened YET to sue ZNA for the way I teach. BUT I RAMBLE, JR taught me this. You opened up a tough subject for me and one dear to my heart. I like to teach but many times, I get into tough love. For 90% of the people that is what they want to hear. Now if we could just get the other 10% to not have lawyers.
    Hey JR. What did you learn when your Hi Shusui won GC years ago. Do you know now how to pick a better pattern? I think it was picked by the Judge you quoted earlier that said Americans have their own way. Lets get some fish posted and talk fish. Only post if you want to learn. No cute fish remarks here

  4. #24
    Tategoi
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    MCA says join a club, koidoc says the AKAC Judging system sucks.

    Sounds like some business/government men took over AKAC and other Big Koi Clubs. AKAC judging system sounds like the public school system.

    My library is the Internet, books.google.com has lots of carp books. I haven't subscrib to any koi magasine yet as the internet already has more then what I can handle. Koi Bito a lone already have lots of information. The books that I have about koi just sucks. It talks about the different koi, filter, pond, nitrogen cycle and other things that you can cut and paste to make a book. There is no "inside knowledge" or really useful information. For example, it took me over a year to understand that its all about water and not koi when you have a pond. Take care of the water, and the koi will take care of themself. Now it's time to learn koi. I thought skin was the first thing to look at but now it's not. Its all the regular fish body part first. Make sure that the koi look like a carp. Make sure the carp has fins. Make sure the carp has eyes. Make sure the fish is real. make sure the fish alive. Make sure the fish has a tail. Make sure it's not a dragon. I guess in the long run, you have to go to the basic before you can advance beyound the basic. Now I will start studying carp and koi body and formation. the basic before skin, color and other stuff. Why is red eye a default? Just because Japs don't likem?

    I do support my local koi club. I'm not a member but I know those who are.
    Akitsushima Tombo

  5. #25
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by chang26k View Post
    MCA says join a club, koidoc says the AKAC Judging system sucks.

    Sounds like some business/government men took over AKAC and other Big Koi Clubs. AKAC judging system sounds like the public school system.

    My library is the Internet, books.google.com has lots of carp books. I haven't subscrib to any koi magasine yet as the internet already has more then what I can handle. Koi Bito a lone already have lots of information. The books that I have about koi just sucks. It talks about the different koi, filter, pond, nitrogen cycle and other things that you can cut and paste to make a book. There is no "inside knowledge" or really useful information. For example, it took me over a year to understand that its all about water and not koi when you have a pond. Take care of the water, and the koi will take care of themself. Now it's time to learn koi. I thought skin was the first thing to look at but now it's not. Its all the regular fish body part first. Make sure that the koi look like a carp. Make sure the carp has fins. Make sure the carp has eyes. Make sure the fish is real. make sure the fish alive. Make sure the fish has a tail. Make sure it's not a dragon. I guess in the long run, you have to go to the basic before you can advance beyound the basic. Now I will start studying carp and koi body and formation. the basic before skin, color and other stuff. Why is red eye a default? Just because Japs don't likem?

    I do support my local koi club. I'm not a member but I know those who are.
    Yes DO SUPPORT your Local Club. This is more personal anyway and do not believe everything you read on the internet or books either. Read them all and make your own decisions based on experience, what you see and what you feel is right. Do not hesitate to ask questions. I did not say AKCA Judging sucks. I said AKCA judging can be too constraining given the American system of being politically correct. That is not to say an American Judge can not pick Koi. It is just very restraining when it comes to teaching when only positive words are used. If a fish sucks, bent, scarred poor color and someone asks me about it and I have to tell the truth and can only say it has a good tail that is restraining.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    we don't want to see koi shows become 'no keeping score kids soccer games where everyone gets a trophy at the end of the game, lest we damage some kids self image!
    pointing out a defect can upset and embarass a budding exhibitor- no doubt. And that is harmful to the ambitions of a local chapter who's goal is to grow membership and the hobby. On the otherhand, to dance around or avoid the lesson is to misteach for a 'higher good'. But is that good really higher?

    When I was an active exhibitor many years ago now, I would want a judge to tell me exactly what was good and not so good about a koi I thought was great. As I look at the old pictures of my past winners, I can now very easily see what was I liked about them and what they lacked. I don't think I would have gotten to this point if I was always told how wonderful my fish were ( and spared the obvious defects). I'd have a bigger ego of course ( if that is even possible LOLs) but I'd also feel like I was coddled and as a result, once I found out the truth, I'd feel like I was
    played as a fool. IMHO. JR
    thats exactly how i feel, give me the truth, or else i will never learn. very good point

  7. #27
    Daihonmei
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    So next time you stop by the house I'll give you an ear full! Jim R

  8. #28
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    So next time you stop by the house I'll give you an ear full! Jim R
    Sounds good to me, just let me I know when, I'll be there

  9. #29
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    I guess my limited experiences at koi shows differs a bit from some of the underlying 'drift' I'm picking up here. As a relative newbie, I may perhaps be excused for being a bit of a 'Polyanna' on the subject. I've only placed fish at three AKCA sanctioned shows to date. But in every case, the 'Sunday morning walk around' was prefaced by a request from the judges as to how 'detailed' we participants wanted to hear the critique of the fish on exhibit - code for how thick is your skin when it comes to criticism of your fish? To the credit of my fellow koi owners, in each of these three competitions they wanted everything discussed --- 'warts and all', as I call it.

    There is a diplomatic way and a 'blunt instrument' way to deliver the news about faults and failings on a fish, and let's face it, beyond obvious missing body parts and detectable deformities, much of what these judges expound upon would be considered quite subjective by many. It's also human nature to listen most intently when the judges make it around to your show tank and YOUR fish. But for me personally, I cannot overestimate the value of what I can pick up from a friendly, well meaning, but truthful and EARNEST description of a judge's opinion on each and every fish on exhibit, not just my own koi.

    Some are better at this than others, but I have appreciated these judges, one and all, for the willingness to be straight shooters, to educate, and help advance both the quality of the fish and fish husbandry within the hobby.

  10. #30
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgeorgia View Post
    I guess my limited experiences at koi shows differs a bit from some of the underlying 'drift' I'm picking up here. As a relative newbie, I may perhaps be excused for being a bit of a 'Polyanna' on the subject. I've only placed fish at three AKCA sanctioned shows to date. But in every case, the 'Sunday morning walk around' was prefaced by a request from the judges as to how 'detailed' we participants wanted to hear the critique of the fish on exhibit - code for how thick is your skin when it comes to criticism of your fish? To the credit of my fellow koi owners, in each of these three competitions they wanted everything discussed --- 'warts and all', as I call it.

    There is a diplomatic way and a 'blunt instrument' way to deliver the news about faults and failings on a fish, and let's face it, beyond obvious missing body parts and detectable deformities, much of what these judges expound upon would be considered quite subjective by many. It's also human nature to listen most intently when the judges make it around to your show tank and YOUR fish. But for me personally, I cannot overestimate the value of what I can pick up from a friendly, well meaning, but truthful and EARNEST description of a judge's opinion on each and every fish on exhibit, not just my own koi.

    Some are better at this than others, but I have appreciated these judges, one and all, for the willingness to be straight shooters, to educate, and help advance both the quality of the fish and fish husbandry within the hobby.
    I have been entering koi in shows for 20 years. I really appreciate the judges who have a special ability to tell the truth "kindly!" Some are much better at doing this in a manner that meets the owners goals than others. It is important to determine a new owners experience level before deciding how much to say or not say. Not everyone wants to hear the negatives and wants to hear only the positives about their koi. It is not easy to tell someone their koi are much less worthy than they had hoped. There is definately a skill level needed in this regard.

    One issue that can cause unnecessary difficulties is the tendency of some to speculate beyond the facts and issues regarding the koi in front of them. It makes little sense to me to try to guess at the cause of a issue
    and it often leads to the entrant missing the opportunity to solve a issue completely.

    Here is a example that I have seen. A koi with yellowish white is pointed out and the judge speculates that this is an obvious example of a hobbyist feeding too heavily color food or not stopping color food early enough before the show.

    In reality there are lots of reasons the white skin on a koi looks yellowish and it often is a combination of genetics, water quality, too much food or too much protein in food for the water temperature, etc. etc. These situations require a dialogue and some problem solving skills to help the hobbyist discover for themselves some of the potential causes and possible solutions of his koi not having better white quality.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

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