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Thread: where body shape standards and body type collide- or- when is type a negative

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    where body shape standards and body type collide- or- when is type a negative

    Koi is a wonderful hobby in that you never 'get to the end'. It is therefore a hobby that can last a life time for those with a love of nature, a wonderment of life and a curious mind.

    In truth, I think I have stumbled on the right mix of avenues for studying koi (six avenues that give maximum understanding) but that is a conversation for another time.
    But one of these avenues or drills is to SEE a LOT of koi over an extended period of time. ALL kinds of koi! "kinds"??? Varieties, grades, qualities, sizes and age groups and lines-- over and over, year after year. This is a must because looking at pictures and at one's own pond is simply not enough to become aware. And certainly standing behind a head judge for five shows is not enough to be called a well rounded judge.

    One area of understanding is about a koi's fundamental shape. This frame or canvas is the very foundation of skin, color and pattern. Without it being sound and proper the rest is worthless.
    But nishikigoi is an illusion! The family is made up of different body types with different shapes. The standard calls for an ideal and along the way we see many different body types dominate the show due to a 'feature' or style of a line or of an ancestry.
    So when is a fish OK to be a type or style and not misshapen??
    Well, for the amateur judge, first we need to:

    1) know the four or five body types out there and become familiar and comfortable with those unique characteristics. Concentration on the gosanke body as a standard as it is the most refined (yet still some lesser grades will show you a handful of body types).

    Do appreciate that there is difference between genetic body types in the whole nishikigoi family and lineage body types ( A.K.A. food fish or doitsu body type) of a true breeding line ( A.K.A. matsunosuke). This is a matter of placement/introduction in the family tree as a foundation of the entire population Vs. The unique characteristics of an isolated line of one variety to produce unique characteristics.
    2) Once we understand the four or five body types we need to have the experience and exposure to each type so that we can judge how extreme ( departure from ideal standards) the unique features of a body type are. So for example, a food fish body can deliver a ‘hump’ or a ‘tall’ shape to the shoulders of a koi. With the hump comes a very strong back bone. But when is a ‘contribution’ to a look excessive and make the fish looked burdened and cobby and not of the image of a nishikigoi. Many a trainee judge has struggled with learning a rule on such things. This is the art of judging and not a measurement or a tape measure of an individual fish. The answer comes from constant exposure to that body type and a keen understanding of the universal standard.

  2. #2
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Thanks for the topic JR! Do you have any illustrations of the 4 or 5 body types to help us understand them better?

    Regards,
    Sunny

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tosai_Sunny View Post
    Thanks for the topic JR! Do you have any illustrations of the 4 or 5 body types to help us understand them better?

    Regards,
    Sunny
    Good morning Sunny! I do! Now the trick is to get it together in order to dig them out of the library and get them scanned and posted!

    The variations of body shape that are recognized within ZNA judging committee and programs are tracked back in the koi family tree of varieties. The wild type body ( ideal type), the domesticated body type ( most common type), the doitsu body type ( most common in lower grade types), the deep bodied type and from these we see the mixed type ( peppered throughout the tree).
    Examples of the line body type would be the matsunosuke sanke type ( long and exaggerated in the nose to dorsal), the ogon line type ( big naturally full body) and the showa type( ( classic strong powerful body in shoulder and body line) to name a few variety themes and line themes.

  4. #4
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Your discriptions are good enough for now. When you publish your book, please make sure those photos are in there. :-) I think it would be great if you, MikeM, and other senseis on here could colaborate on a book. Brady, with his skillful camera shots, can be the illustrator :-)

    Sunny

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