Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colin Carrott responds To Judo Rule changes

Hello Martin,

I write in response to your recent Blog site article and the IBF coaches revalidation course in January. You pose some interesting questions as to the future of IBF refereeing and interpretation of rules, and I would like to add to this discussion, with some thoughts of my own.

1) Should we stick to the letter of the IJF rule book, follow BJA guidelines or introduce new or different rules to try to modernise Judo?

With the success of the under 8’s rule, I believe this shows that we can be innovative and that we should not be afraid to take the initiative. The experiment at The YJC 50th. Anniversary competition seemed to work well (i.e., entering ground work can only be done, following a successful scoring throw), perhaps this should be the first rule change to be adopted? Unfortunately, I can’t see that following BJA guide lines on age banded competition will work for us, as we just don’t have the numbers for this to work. Surely we would end up with only a couple of competitors in each pool?
If we are to introduce rule changes, either permanently or on an experimental basis, we must communicate this on entry forms, so that there is no confusion on the day, for different associations. Referees also need to meet regularly before competitions so that everybody understands and works uniformly on the interpretation of the rules, both old and new. I know that we try and do this already, but usually, there are only half a dozen officials present, then, through-out the day, others are co-opted to sit in the corners or take charge in the middle, who have not been at the meeting.

2) Scoring system.

I can’t see that changing the scoring system will work. If you try and mix the Japanese terminology with a numerical score, this surely will only confuse things even more. How do you explain to a parent, or novice judoka, that they have 2 Yukos and 10 points, but have just lost to their opponent who has one waz-ari and 7 points?
Points scoring only, would work if the scores were accumulative. But I don’t think this would attract players, as they would feel that for some reason, it was not “traditional Judo”.

3) Referee’s Uniforms

I for one, would love to see referee’s wearing something less formal then a blazer and tie. However, we have got to have something that is the same, worn by all. We have a lot of good, young referees at the moment, who generally look smart in suits, but every-one is wearing something different. Whatever uniform is decided upon, it must be fairly cheap and easily available, as many people just will not go to the expense of buying it. I like the look and appearance of wrestling officials, but perhaps, again, we should try to be different? How about, for example, trying the traditional referees outfit, but with a modern twist? White judo gi trousers, with either a red sombo or green kurash style jacket? Referees could then wear their judo grade belt, or even one of a neutral colour? Nearly every-one will already have this clothing, even if they have not worn it for a while!

4) Grading

Maybe we should take grading a step further, and recognise competition. A judoka could be of a certain grade, but have letters after his/her belt description. E.g. a blue belt E.C. would be a European Competitor. N.C. for National Competition player, E.M. European medallist, N.M. National medallist etc.

Colin Carrott.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Rules For Judo


For the first time I could not attend the IBF UK National Judo Championships, I am told it was extremely well attended and well run, well done to all concerned. I am still waiting for the organisers to send in a report with photos when they come I will publish them on the IBF Website.

Two things were brought to my attention one was dress standards and secondly was the change of rules. It seems that some officials were under the misconception that the Junior Rules used at the Young Judo Club 50th Anniversary Championships i.e. “You can only enter Ne Waza if you had scored with a throw” were now standard IBF rules, this is not the case. IJF rules with the IBF amendments still are to be used in all IBF competitions.

Yet this mistake was enthusiastically welcomed by the majority of people present, so that leads me to the question “Should IBF UK abide by IJF rules or adopt their own”. As most of you are aware Judo in Europe is on a down turn and lots of very experienced Judoka and associations are looking for ways to revitalise our Grappling Art, IBF members have been very lucky in the fact that members also participate in other grappling sports such as Sombo, Kurash, Belt Wrestling and CombatSombo Wrestling, they have seen how different styles and their scoring system works. I have been involved in Judo for 52 years and the one thing I have come to realise that a lot of Judoka consider they and Judo superior to every other Grappling Sport, as Judoka they think that participating in other styles some how will create a virus in Judo which will destroy it.

Rules of Judo should be a topic at the IBF Coaches seminar in January and here a few ideas:

1) Continue using the rule where you have to score before Ne Waza, for years people have moaned that the high throws have gone and children just drag each other to the floor. The BJA concept of dealing with this was to restrict the amount of time in Ne Waza, this has led to competitions with hardly any Ne Waza. I was at the Kent International and if you did not get hold, arm lock etc in 5 seconds you were stood up, for those who understand Ne Waza will know it can take time to manoeuvre your opponent in position. After all in Tachi Waza you do not attack every 5 seconds.
2) Should we change the scoring system do away with Japanese terminology and use accumulative scoring, you may remember I tried this 15 years ago with some success. If we done this we could get the referees to dress the same as Olympic Wrestling Officials i.e. White tracksuits with coloured sleeves this is less intimidating and officious then wearing a Blazer.
3) For those who wish to keep the Japanese scoring what about indicating the points first then the Judo signal i.e. 1pt indicated closed fist with thumb raised followed by the Koka sign etc
4) Coloured Gi and Judo boots
These are just a few ideas but can I say I have just return from the World Sombo Championships and this was the most exciting Jacket Grappling event I have seen in 20 years, big high throws, brilliantly executed arm locks, continual action throughout the whole competition and most importantly easy to understand scoring. The British Sombo Federation was asked to take a Press Officer with the team, he had never seen any form of Jacket Grappling including Judo, within 30 minutes he could understand the scoring and by the second day he was questioning referee scores could this happen in Judo?

So I say to the entire Judo Fraternity wake up and smell the coffee other wise Judo will die.

I would welcome you constructive comments either via the Blog or by direct email

Martin Clarke 8th Judo Sombo Grandmaster

Inappropriate Clothing

Dear IBF Members

I am told the IBF National Judo Championships were very successful, so I would like to thank everyone involved especially Ian Parker and his Club members who made the whole thing possible.

The IBF did however receive several complaints about the hygiene of some competitors, make up and inappropriate clothing. Can I bring to your attention?
1) All competitors must have clean bodies, hair, finger nail etc.
2) All competitors must have a clean gi which must be worn in the correct manner.
3) Female competitors must wear white T Shirts and shorts under their trousers
4) Make up and piercing rings etc are not allowed
These rules are fundamental for the Health & Safety of the individual and their opponent.

Yours Faithfully

Martin Clarke 8th Dan
IBF President UK