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Judo winners

11 Comments

From left, silver medal winner Ryunosuke Haga of Japan, gold medal winner Henk Grol of the Netherlands and bronze medal winners Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan and Martin Pacek of Sweden stand on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men’s 100-kilogram category in the Judo Grand Prix Budapest 2014 international judo tournament in Budapest, Hungary, on Sunday.

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Judo federation has been hijacked by the Europeans. Rules changed and became a boring sports.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Can you elaborate for those of us who may not follow judo? I remember hearing last year that the new Judo rules favour the traditional Japanese style?

Wow so many logos! Who isn't sponsoring this? I can hardly see who's products I should buy!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@T_rexmaxytime

Judo federation has been hijacked by the Europeans. Rules changed and became a boring sport.

Actually the opposite is true! They changed the rules like M3M3M3 said in hopes of favoring the Japanese players because they were offended that so many Gaijin were winning at their own traditional sport, thus attacking their culture.

The fact of the matter is many Foreign Judoka have wrestling-based backgrounds like in Sumo. They have competed at higher levels before in other sports which skillsets carry over well into Judo. Many Japanese Judoka can't say the same. In addition, most of the talented Japanese athletes go into more lucrative sports like baseball. This reduces the talented pool like in Sumo.

Japanese Sumoka and Judoka are analogous to Sony which all suffer from a very common problem in Japan. All three look only inward to the Japanese market never looking outward to the international market, therefore they all produce athletes and products no one wants. This is the major reason why they are getting killed by international competitors.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The changes are both driven and not driven by an idea of Japan. The driving forces behind the major changes from 2008-now have been driven by European members of the IJF. In fact, last I checked, Japan didn't even have a member on the senior board levels of the IJF.

That being said, a lot of the changes being driven by the European members are as mentioned, an attempt to make Judo "purer", or more analogous to what is seen as "Japanese style." Basically, they are trying to out-Japanese the Japanese. Why? I don't know. But you could hear the derisive commentary when people were caught using "wrestling style" judo of "oh, that's not REAL judo."

Really? Because I have a picture of Jigoro Kano (the founder of judo) doing the exact same "wrestling style" throws that were so derided. Funny, huh?

That being said, this idea to have "pure" judo forced the outlawing of many different techniques purely for "purity" reasons. First cross-gripping was outlawed back in the late 1990's. Then certain other grips. And of course, ground fighting time was consistently lessened in some attempt to make sure judo did not look too much like wrestling or Brazillian JiuJitsu. The biggest changes however occurred about 2008, when first all leg attacks (with a very minor exception that is rarely seen and the physics of which is difficult, and is often mis-called by the judges anyway) was declared a first penalty disqualification. Yes, even TOUCHING someone below the belt was deemed an automatic DQ.

About two years later, another rule was again passed that more or less made all bear-hug/body lock type grips also illegal. Not an automatic DQ, per se, but a penalty.

What is left? Well, more or less what is left was not the judo I started in 2000, and left in 2012 as a 2nd degree black belt. As I jokingly noted to another judo old-timer (a retired Japanese 6th dan who also refuses to interact with the current judo world) "What I started was judo. What I quit was Japanese style pajama dancing." The 6th Dan turned red laughing so damned hard.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Glad for the Dutchman, 43 -44 years ago the Dutch were one of the first Nations to win World Judo Championship ( Geesink if I am correct?. He was revered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Japanese style pajama dancing" Nice one!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@T_rexmaxytime LOL actually the foreigners where complaining the rule changes suit the Japanese style of Judo, whatever way you look at it foreigners in general are training harder and have better coaches than they did 20years ago. Japanese will just have to get use to the idea that more medals will be won be foreigners and Japan wont dominate there sport as they once did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@David Varnes

Thanks you for the very detailed information. So after reading your comment and another story about this, if I understand correctly:

1). The rules are being set and changed by Europeans who control the IJF.

2). The rule changes benefit Japanese competitors because the resulting form of Judo is more technical rather than physical which is the style of Judo currently taught in Japan.

3). Both Europeans and Japanese claim this technical Judo is 'pure judo' because it is less like wrestling. It outlaws certain throws, grips and leg attacks.

4). But the truth is real traditional Judo did incorporate many 'wrestling style' throws and grips from its inception and these 'technical judo purists' are in fact charlatans and usurpers.

I hope I got that right? From lay spectator's point of view, the high number of technical disqualifications (which I don't understand), make Judo quite perplexing to watch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My only correction, M3M3M3, is the common misconception that this "Japanese style" is more or less technical than a "wrestling style" or that "judo throws" are more or less technical than "wrestling takedowns."

As someone who has competed in both, as well as submission wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA, I can say that ALL of them require technical skill. Of course physical tools are important. For all of the mystical BS, the fact is that an in shape 90 kilogram athlete will more often than not beat a 60 kilogram athlete, skills being equal.

The balance, control of bodyweight, off balance needs, and overall technicality of wrestling style and "Japanese style" are equal. If you do not have off-balance and control, you cannot throw someone with either a harai goshi sweeping hip throw, or a double leg wrestling takedown, simply put.

What made judo interesting for me in 2000 was the idea that, if you cannot stop someone doing a double leg style takedown on you, the fault was not in the skill of your opponent, but rather in your inability to stop it. Additionally, it is almost impossible for someone to be equally skilled at stopping all style of throws and still be offensively capable. So it made matches a very interesting physical chess game.

The new rules took the chess game and reduced it to a game of checkers. Still there is of course strategy involved, but with everything so homogenized, a lot of the interest in the game is gone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

rexmaxytime: "Rules changed and became a boring sports."

This is always the excuse I hear from Japanese if the subject comes up and Japan has not done well overall in the art. One was extremely angry a few years back and said "It's 'judou', not 'judo'! It's not the Japanese way! They've changed it so gaijin win!". It was embarrassing to watch and listen to him. And in any case, as has been pointed out, the rules were changed to favor the Japanese, so what's the excuse?

I'd say not having the sport dominated by anyone nation makes it all the more exciting, not more boring.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@David Varnes

Thanks again for the inside information, its really useful to know. I hear alot about this but haven't understood it up until now.

I can now better understand @T_rexmaxytime's comment. I think many people wrongly assume, like I did, that Europeans would be changing the rules to benefit European athletes, but the opposite is actually true.

He is saying that the Europeans have made Judo boring by deliberately making it closer to the style that is currently practice in Japan under the guise that it is 'pure judo'. At first blush it seems like he is supporting the Japanese, but actually he is not since the Europeans and Japanese are allies in pushing for the changes. Wow its pretty complicated!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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