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Thread: what and WHEN do we learn from a koi show?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    what and WHEN do we learn from a koi show?

    With our ten ZNA chapters soon to expand to thirteen, we continue to put a great emphasis on the koi show as the center of the koi appreciation experience. And along with the competition comes a deep desire to do 'better' by our koi with greater interest expanding into health, high filtration technique, nutrition, pond design and maintenance. And also those 'secrets' regarding how to choose best tosai and bring them along-- all good things.

    But with all these good things sometimes a heightened sense of competition, which is also great fun, yet if too blunt or one dimensional, can be a distraction from the other major point of having a ZNA koi show -- and that is, Education By Illustration.
    Education By Illustration, a distinctly unique ZNA concept, is what your judges are doing during the judging itself and during the Sunday morning walk around with exhibitors and koi students. Indeed it is a very good idea that even if you did not enter into the show, but bought a fish from a vendor, do the Sunday Morning Walk Around in order to see if your purchase would have stacked up to the competition of the day!

    In short, Education By Illustration is the practice of comparing three or four entries to one another and by ranking, demonstrate which koi are the best of all on a given day . By definition then, second and third are close (or not so close) runner ups in that ranking. And runner ups for a reason. Often the differences are only sight and even subjective. But just as often there are real reasons and lessons to be gained for both the serious exhibitor and the pure consumer.
    There is nothing more wonderful and more rewarding for a judge than to hear a winner exhibitor describe how he keeps his/her koi and how they brought them to the point of near perfection. For the second place winner exhibitor however this is a moment to learn exactly why there koi was ranked second. This is of great value to the future of the exhibitor and to the future quality of entries to the chapter. Ironically, the winner is receiving confirmation as to the value of the fish. But the second and third place winners are receiving something more valuable than the trophy—that is, a real education in details of koi appreciation. It can ‘smart’ but like working out, it is good for one in the long run.
    Sometimes the issues are simply down to a defect. Often the lesson is down to pure genetics. And just as often it is due to details that come from conditioning and care. That is where the ZNA exhibitor excels! During this past weekend, our ZNA chapter in Long Island featured a major competition. A grand competition but also a great educational moment for all. Particularly educational was the trough competition between Grand and Reserve ( mature in this case) also between the baby champion and its best competitor. In that baby class, there was a classic difference between 1st and 2nd that gave us the Baby champion. It is a lesson that every new and small size specialist exhibitor could have profited from big time. And there it was, right before our eyes—the key thing that made one gifted koi 1st choice and the other 2nd choice.
    Even more interesting was the competition for Grand B and Jumbo. In ZNA jumbo is not the longest fish ( although it can be). If that were the case, then the jumbo award would best be given by the head of the benching team and then sent home! J In ZNA, the jumbo award goes to the biggest ‘Best’ fish in the koi show. Like ginrin or hikari varieties, emphasis in on the ‘feature’ . Jumbo emphasis the jumbo fish. But it must also be a ‘good’ fish. This means it must represent its variety well in addition to its length and girth. This definition made for an interesting moment at our Long Island ZNA show when selecting grand Champion B variety and also jumbo. What an educational moment and one to consider at future ZNA chapter shows !
    The point of this post is to remind all ZNA members across the country and around the world, that each fish has a ‘time’ and a destiny in the sense that ‘awards’ are best awarded to fish that fit the description of that award. It is very unsatisfying to give an award to a fish that doesn’t reflect that award. Equally unsettling is when a WONDERFUL fish has no competition in the show. In the case of a world class fish competing against pond fish, this can be a true shame! This is all under the topic of educated exhibitors/members and the information they have gathered at these Sunday morning walk arounds.
    Indeed, looking at the winners without knowing the competition is one dimensional. In other words, the awarded fish teaches nothing in and of itself ( as it often doesn’t reflect the standard for that award) , it is the competition that exposes the lesson. So the competition ranks the fish and brings us the lesson.
    Friendship thru scales, JR

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    [COLOR=black]. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3]Even more interesting was the competition for Grand B and Jumbo. In ZNA jumbo is not the longest fish ( although it can be). If that were the case, then the jumbo award would best be given by the head of the benching team and then sent home! J[FONT=Calibri] ]
    Friendship thru scales, JR
    I expect this was a very interesting call. I have only seen photos, unfortunately. On the basis of refinement, the Karashigoi was inherently inferior. But evaluated as an example of its variety, she was as near perfect as photographic art can show. If her photos reveal her reality, I expect there were many in attendance who would prefer her in their pond over any other koi in the competition, including the grand champion, simply because such perfection is so impressive. Rather like judging Cher when she had her Las Vegas show against Sarah Brightman in concert.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I expect this was a very interesting call. I have only seen photos, unfortunately. On the basis of refinement, the Karashigoi was inherently inferior. But evaluated as an example of its variety, she was as near perfect as photographic art can show. If her photos reveal her reality, I expect there were many in attendance who would prefer her in their pond over any other koi in the competition, including the grand champion, simply because such perfection is so impressive. Rather like judging Cher when she had her Las Vegas show against Sarah Brightman in concert.
    Morning Mike, wish you were there. It was an amazing and fun 'delemma' for our judges and a real 'work out' for our newest star judge trainee.

    I think it was round show 60 that it became obvious to me that there is a koi to fit right into an award description. The GC in Japan for instance is a certain type fish. having gone to a dozen plus All Japan shows in my time and a handful of ZNA Nationals I think it was one of those 'V-8' head slamming moments when it finally hit me.

    This fish IS a 'best jumbo' and also a best B in that particular show. The was another very worthy jumbo just not as 'long' as the kigoi. it the end, the fish fit the awards. But very really do you see a move up in apex awards. That is another reason why B champions is an overlap and throws a monkey wrench into the logic of ZNA awards. But we are here to learn and to sort out the chips as they fall! The chips lined up perfectly after some weighing of the awards ( the awards rank and the fish rank followed) and the competition. JR

  4. #4
    Jumbo DavidSoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Education By Illustration, a distinctly unique ZNA concept, is what your judges are doing during the judging itself and during the Sunday morning walk around with exhibitors and koi students. Indeed it is a very good idea that even if you did not enter into the show, but bought a fish from a vendor, do the Sunday Morning Walk Around in order to see if your purchase would have stacked up to the competition of the day!

    In short, Education By Illustration is the practice of comparing three or four entries to one another and by ranking, demonstrate which koi are the best of all on a given day . By definition then, second and third are close (or not so close) runner ups in that ranking. And runner ups for a reason. Often the differences are only sight and even subjective. But just as often there are real reasons and lessons to be gained for both the serious exhibitor and the pure consumer.
    There is nothing more wonderful and more rewarding for a judge than to hear a winner exhibitor describe how he keeps his/her koi and how they brought them to the point of near perfection. For the second place winner exhibitor however this is a moment to learn exactly why there koi was ranked second. This is of great value to the future of the exhibitor and to the future quality of entries to the chapter. Ironically, the winner is receiving confirmation as to the value of the fish. But the second and third place winners are receiving something more valuable than the trophy—that is, a real education in details of koi appreciation. It can ‘smart’ but like working out, it is good for one in the long run.
    Friendship thru scales, JR
    Good Day Brother JR ,

    Seems we have some common thoughts . Trust me , I posted earlier this afternoon Singapore time in our regional forum touching on " What can we learn from show " and I will be bringing exactly what you had just posted on Education by Illustration , into a real discussion tomorrow with a group of hobbyists , including most of our local ZNA Chapter Judges and members . "Learning with the best visual aid - Koi Show " ...

    Wish me luck Brother ...

    David

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidSoon View Post
    Good Day Brother JR ,

    Seems we have some common thoughts . Trust me , I posted earlier this afternoon Singapore time in our regional forum touching on " What can we learn from show " and I will be bringing exactly what you had just posted on Education by Illustration , into a real discussion tomorrow with a group of hobbyists , including most of our local ZNA Chapter Judges and members . "Learning with the best visual aid - Koi Show " ...

    Wish me luck Brother ...

    David
    Wonderful! Look forward to their feedback. I like to think that we all see koi the same way. But there are truism such as cultural differences and tregional sensibilities. In this regard, koi does bring us together in that we can speak 'a common language' and maybe sometimes, surpress our cultural conditioning and open up to what living art is. in that sense, we are all one world. Long live Education By Illustration!

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