Stupid Rules and The New "Two-Hand" Rule
There are rules in contemporary Judo competitions that I think are really stupid. The new "two-hand" rule is, not, one of them.
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Stupid rules, including the "no leg grab" rule, are rules that are promoted as supposedly to make things safer for players when in fact they are not based on any data and actually do nothing to improve competition. But that is a discussion for another blog post.
Mind you it only does so because we have allowed grip fighting to develop to a ridiculous proportion of the contest. Something that can also be said for leg grabs that supposedly precipitated the introduction of the "no leg grab" rule.
Before the advent of the "two-hand" rule, I have been known to call out "Boring" from the sidelines over the top of others cheering for their fellow contestants. I can't understand why more weren't doing it. No one can honestly tell me that watching to Judo players play handsies, in the guise of grip fighting, on the mat is even slightly compelling.
Grip FightingThe first time I came across this "grip fighting" was after I came back to contest after a break from Judo for a couple of years due to studies. I could not believe that as soon as the referee calls "Hajima" my opponent ran away from me and then charged me and the ran away in order to try and get the grip they wanted. What was worse was that this persisted even though I was making no attempt to do the same.
In the end, I gave up trying to approach my opponent and just stood there, preferring to take the penalty rather than continuing to play this stupid game. I could not comprehend why my opponent's action was not considered non-combativity. Eventually, he realised that I was not participating in whatever he was trying to do and stepped in to fight. "Judo at last," I said to myself. To be fair, he had never been taught to fight with whatever grip presented itself and without his favoured grip, he lost.
Has judo really come to this, that if you don't get your prefered grip that you have already lost?
I am all for being an expert in a particular throw. In fact, I would expect it of any half-decent Judoka but do we really care so little about our own skill development that we can not fight without it and does that not apply event more so with taking a grip. Surely if you have a specialty throw, should you know how to do it from any grip that presents itself?
I am mystified that coaches are teaching grip fighting. I think it is detrimental to Judoka development and Judo as a whole.
Never-the-less as I have said in a previous post the new "two-hand rule" is a rule that I approve of because it helps to stops time-wasting. Even if that time-wasting should never have been allowed to develop.