Monday, October 12, 2009

New Rules for Judo

Recently the international judo federation have implemented some new rules into international judo competitions. The main rule that is being trailed at next weeks junior world championships is the abolishment of direct hand attacks to your opponents legs.
IE No leg grabs no direct kata gurumas (firemans carry) and no direct te gurumas (high crotches) or footy tackles either.

This rule is being implemented due to the fact that at this years Cadet World Championships saw alot of fights being won and lost on leg grabs as well as a high percentage of attacks being leg or 'wrestling' style techniques.

The new rule simply states that if you attempt a hand attack on the legs you will be penalized once, and on the second time you will be forfeited from that fight.
Although if you use a hand attack following another attack (eg foot sweep into kata guruma) this will be allowed. Hand attacks (eg te guruma) will be allowed but as a counter not as a direct attack.

The quote below from the IJF Media director states that too many Wrestling and Sambo techniques are being seen more and more in judo opposed to judo techniques. For one i think this is ridiculous remark for the simple fact that a throw is a throw thats all that matters. There is no difference from a judo morote gari, a wrestling double leg and a tackle in rugby league. Its the same technique so to say one is judo one is wrestling and one is rubgy league is absurd, its the same thing.

The fantastic aspect of judo is that fact that judo invites sambo, wrestling, bjj and any other style of wrestling and says come along and fight our sport... but we will still beat you. Plus it adds variety and styles makes awesome fights. Maybe we should ban left on right fights.. because they are boring to sometimes.
In taekwondo it used to be legal to punch in the head. But then taekwondo found that amatuer boxers were coming in and blocking all the head kicks and walked in close and knocked out all their opponents. Taekowndo found that people were winning their competitions without throwing a kick. A bit of a joke of the sport considering it involves mostly kicking. So they changed the rules, No punching to the head. In doing this it excluded all the boxers main weapon resulting in them losing every match because they could only punch in the body and weren't knocking anyone out.

Is judo doing the same?

Just because wrestling techniques are winning some fights, if we exclude them then we are really eliminating countries such as Azerbaijan, Kirghistan, Mongolia and all the eastern bloc countries that have a big wrestling culture. This will result in judo bing nowhere near as worldwide and diverse as it once was.

The reason why double legs and kata gurumas and leg grabs are getting more popular is because the level of judo competition is getting too high. If you turn in for a half hearted throw against an international player you are going to get picked up and dumped. But you can quite happily turn in for a half hearted morote gari or kata guruma or leg grab and know that you arent going to be countered because its a very hard throw to counter. So these days why not play it safe and do 10 kata gurumas and never get countered then to enter with 1 uchimata and get picked up and thrown for ippon.

Another big problem the IJF have done is overnight changed a rule that significantly changes nearly every modern day judo players game plan, (especially lightweights.) The IJF have all of a sudden changed the rule and let no athlete change their training strategy to suit. Its almost like the international cycling federation changing the tour de france riders to ride unicycles over night. Yes they can do it but its gonna take a least 1 year to change their training to fit the new rule.

All international judo players are talented enough to easily stop a technique and start a new one, But it takes years and years of repetition and practice of 1 technique and 1 entry in order for it to work Nationally. Double or triple that for international competition.

My argument is 1 of 2 things.
1- let the rule stay but don't implement it for another year. Let athletes work on other techniques because it takes tens of thousands of hours to get your entry to an international level.
2- Start penalizing for bad kata guruma attempts. eg back in the day everyone was doing a drop seoi nage that was executed poorly. So referes implemented a rule stating that if you drop with no kuzushi (breaking of the balance) and no rotaton you will be penalised. Why cant kata guruma attempts and pickup attempts be the same? This will stop half hearted attempts at pickups and low countering technqiues.

The second thing the IJF are going to implement is 1 referee on the mat. This does make alot of sense for spectators etc (as well as safety for the athletes landing on the ref in the chair.) But with 1 referee it could become very biased in the golden score period.
I think they should keep the 3 referees but have 2 of the referees off the mat but still on the corner of each side of the mat.

In the judo (like many sports) is evolving and will continue to evolve. Techniques fade in and out of fashion. Already we are seeing variations of throws and entry s and setups i have never seen before. But thats what sport is all about. Especially judo..its a chess match. If you know and entry or setup that your opponent doesn't know you will probably win. But by eliminating the different styles and diverse range of judo techniques we are potentially going to make judo a more boring sport to watch.

Many people are saying that someone made a video that superimposed jud and wrestling techniques and they looked the same... but couldn't i do that for rugby league and union.. could i do that for gailic football and Australian rules football. Its pretty easy to cut and paste aspects of sports and make them look similar.. especially grappling. an armlock from guard in judo, bjj, pankration and submission grappling is the same armlock.. just different settings and sports. Thats the exact same as judo throws.

Here is a propaganda video for being against the ijfs new rules.. watching this video you can see the awesome variety of modern day throws we will be eliminating if the new rule stays in.
here is a video of jimmy pedro and rhadi on the new rules.

And a thread on the judo forum

IJF Website media release

The International Judo Federation Refereeing Commission announced one change in the rules of judo during the IJF Ordinary Congress in Rotterdam/NED, last Sunday (23rd August).
All techniques below the belt line will not be allowed anymore.

Any athlete trying to grip the opponent´s leg will be punished with a shido (first time). If another try happens, he will be banned from the combat (hansokumake) and the victory will be given to the opponent. Only techniques using leg against leg will be allowed, or if the hand grip in the leg is the continuation of another technique tried (example: ouchigari which can develop into kataguruma).

“We don´t want our sport to be mixed with other martial arts. Judo is judo, and all IJF wants is to come back to the true judo”, explains the Head of the Refereeing Commission, Mr. Juan Carlos Barcos. “We may lose a few techniques with this decision, but on the other hand we will be awaking some techniques who we don´t see any more in the combats due to the sitting position the athletes take while they try to grab the opponents leg”, adds Mr. Barcos.

The IJF concern is that more and more often, wrestling and sambo techniques are seen during judo combats.

“That is not good for the future of our sport in the Olympic Games”, says Mr. Barcos.

This change will be tested during the World Junior Championships, to be held in Athens/GRE, in October 2009. If it is approved by the IJF Refereeing Commission, who will also argue coaches and athletes, it will become official rule for all IJF competitions.

The Refereeing Commission also announced that another step will be taken to modernize and professionalize the sport: the use of only one referee per mat (instead of three) is also to be tested in Athens during the World Juniors.

“This aims to raise the quality of the referee´s level. It is easier to find 20 good referees and to work to prepare them better and improve their skills than to have 40 referees at the same level in one time”, explains the Head of the Refereeing Commission.

But they are not to be left alone on the mat. Technology will be used even more than it is today to help them take their decisions and avoid mistakes. The IJF Refereeing Commission will continue to have live recording of all fights and will replay it as many times as necessary to clarify the doubts.

“We are currently using the video replay as a helping device in case of difficult decisions, since judo is a very fast and technical sport, which enables several techniques and has details that are difficult to see at once. In Athens we will have the referees using also head phones so that we can immediately communicate with them in case of need”, continues Mr. Barcos. “Our objective is to make judo more professional and the refereeing needs to be in a very high level as well”, completes the Head Director.

Another point observed is that with less two people per mat, the competition area will look cleaner for the public and for tv.

Manoela Penna, IJF Media Directo

We will see what happens

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