Judo Gripping and Other So Called Rule Changes

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I like some of the new Judo Competition rules

For example: the gripping rules.

Because there is nothing more boring than watching two fighters, standing in the middle of the mat, making complete idiots of themselves, playing Patter-Cake whilst they try and get a grip.

Not to mention the humiliation judo experiences when other Martial Arts try and figure out why grown-ups are playing kids games on a judo mat.

This is a stupid modern innovation by judo players and coaches world wide, who were under the delusion that there was some sort of advantage in getting your desired grip and at the same time stopping you opponent from getting theirs. In fact all it did was make judo look stupid. It had to be stopped.

If judoka are to continue being people who learn the most advanced fighting system in the world instead of a laughing stock, then they have to learn to fight no matter what grip they or their opponent takes. Judo fights are won by good judo not by good grips. Always has been, always will be. If this were not so why do you see so many videos of judo fights where the person with he perfect grip losses. I could never work out why coaches and players didn't see that. If the grip was so all important why doesn't the person with the best grip always win?

Some years ago I took a break from judo competition. When I came back I was staggered to see the development of this fighting for grip rubbish. Fight after fight I would stand there, sometimes getting a Chuie (old low for of penalty) whilst waited for my opponent to come and take their grip. I'd stand there and hold out my sleeve and open my arms for them to grab my jacket in any way they wanted, just so we could get on with the fight.

And you know what? Most times I beat the pants off them. Why? Because they had no idea how to fight someone who wanted to do judo instead chess. Tai Kwon Do is a chess game and whilst I respect those that practice it I find it boring to watch. Judo should never be that boring.

I like chess and whilst I concede that there is an element of chess in judo, it's something you do in your head. Your body should respond to your mind with it's own muscle learned control. You should not be thinking about your throws or your grips, that just slows down your reactions and sets you up to loose. Your mind is there to pass on strategy to your body but it should let your body do the rest. The best Judo players I've ever seen, just do. They are so fast because they don't over think things and that's why they win.

The following video explains the latest rules changes. I think it is pretty clear that I approve of most of these. The complains coming from a section of the Judo community are not valid because despite the title of "New" most of these rules are not new but clarification of existing rules that were so poorly understood or ignored previously. All of these new changes in my opinion have been desperately needed for such a long time. They should not have been necessary I agree because non - commutativity is fairly obvious to some of us. But it seems that the need to win is so pervasive that technique, integrity take a back seat and players will manipulate rules that are not specific as to leave the referees debating what is legal and what is not. Well now there is no doubt. Live with it those who object to it probably created this situation.

To the charge that this is not in the spirit of judo. Wake up! The spirit of Judo is "Maximum efficiency for minimum effort and mutual welfare and benefit". The grip playing game can in no way be described as "Maximum efficiency for minimum effort". In fact as I have stated in my example of losing fight despite it I have shown that it is inefficient. And because it creates false perceptions of efficiency all those who are taught it do not benefit; so there is no "mutual benefit". In fact it is the people who have been playing this stupid game that are getting most upset and the reality is they are the ones not in the spirit of Judo.

To the claim that the grip escapes are good self defence. They are; if you need to run away but if not you knowing how to fight regardless of the grip is surly a better self defence. Practice them in the club and train for the Judo competition.

For those in MMA and UFC that are complaining about the rules, can I just say, Huh? If your training for MMA or UFC then the judo completion rules are irrelevant to you. What are you on about?

All in all these are good rule "Changes"; some of the best. Unlike the stupid leg grab rules.

Enjoy
Sensai Richard

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