Official Development Program
One of the benefits for competitors at OKF events is the quality of the officials (also referred to as Judges or Referees). This team of highly trained and knowledgeable karate-ka bring a high level of professionalism to any tournament. There are many opportunities for individuals to join the ranks as a tournament official.
The Ontario Karate Federation (OKF) is the governing body for the sport of Karate in Ontario, recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. It is also a member of Karate Canada, the organization governing the sport of Karate in Canada and recognized by the Canadian Olympic Committee. Karate Canada is a member of the World Karate Federation (WKF), the biggest Karate federation, with members in 197 countries all over the world.
Two levels of qualifications for Kata:
Each progressive level of qualifications allows its holder to execute certain functions during a Karate competition, with higher licenses requiring more skill and responsibility.
Being OKF Judge or Referee requires a lot of the same skills Karate students develop during the training: focus, stamina, reaction, good knowledge of style basic techniques, respect and humility, etc. Therefore, becoming a referee can become a great personal development tool for someone with considerable experience as a Karate practitioner.
OKF provides the Ontario Karate community with the highest level of elite Karate competition with the opportunity to qualify for the Ontario Provincial team and subsequently for the Canadian National team through competing at the Karate Canada National Championships. Members of the National team can represent Canada at the Pan-American Karate Championships and World Karate Federation Championships. OKF officials are responsible for selecting the Ontario Provincial team at the Provincial Championships, and, like the elite competitors, can progress to obtain National-level qualifications at Karate Canada National Championships or International-level (Pan-American or World) licenses at the Pan-American or World Championships.
Licensed OKF Officials receive compensation for their participation at the OKF tournaments; coffee and lunch is also provided.
OKF Officials with a full provincial license (Judge A Kata and Referee A Kumite) also receive compensation for the participation in the Karate Canada National Championships.
OKF Officials proudly represent Ontario Karate Federation at the National, Continental and World-level championships. They are encouraged to achieve the National and International Judge and Referee licenses, and bring their valuable experience back home to help raise the level of Ontario and Canadian athletes to higher international standards.