Friday, August 29, 2008

Judo Olympics

Four Year budget: £6.947m
Medal Target: 2
Medals: 0
An other disastrous Games. Needs to find players who can throw or coaches who can teach them

Mark: 4/10

Daily Mail August 25th
So what has happened to Judo? I was lucky enough to be competing in the late 60’s 70’s and early 80’s when there were British stars like Brian Jacks, Dave Starbrook, Keith Remfry, Arthur Mapp, Neil Adams, Chris Bowles, Billy Ward, Paul Radburn I could go on, this was the hey day of British Judo so what has happened since then to make the Daily Mail make such terrible comment. The first question come to mind these guys received little or no money in their quest for Olympic fame most like myself had to work and feed a family, some had very generous parents but they could win Olympic medals. All the regulation that surrounds Judo today seems to be suffocating the art, some regulations make sense but the things like Club Mark and UKCC may be good on paper but in practise they restrict the introduction of new clubs, how many people are on the payroll of the BJA? Some I know are doing a good job especially those working with schools but what about the rest?
Yet after saying that is it really the BJA who are to blame for our failure I am not so sure I believe it is the rules of Judo and the referees who interpreted those rules for instance:
1) With hardly any groundwork would Neil Adams have time to apply his famous Sanku Techniques?
2) With grip changing become like a fair ground Kangaroo Boxing match would Dave Starbrook be able to do his legendary Tia Otoshi
3) With competitors scrabbling about on their knees would Paul Radburn get that big O Goshi which he was a famed for
Judo Competition has changed beyond recognition from my day and I would suggest that the IJF look closely at what was happening 20 years ago:
1) Upright Judo should return, as the restrictions where you can hold makes bent over Judo very negative. A lot of people complained that the Judo in the Olympics was like Sombo. All I can say these people have never seen World Class Sombo Wrestling it has devasting throw and is much more audience friendly.
2) More groundwork should be allowed this will stop players stalling by just dropping to their knees
3) Stop players attacking from their knees
4) Allow a minimum grip fighting and then penalise for passivity
By all means bring some modern things in, allow coloured Gi’s, change the antiquated Japanese Scoring and Hand signals, bring in signals which the audience can understand, take referees out of blazers, which make them look to officious and put them in Track bottoms and Polo shirts with different coloured sleeves like they do in Olympic Wrestling.
The Olympics should have been a show case for World Judo, this it certainly was not especially with its appalling referee’s decisions; maybe the time has come to add Kata to the Judo Olympics to allow the World wide audience to see the artistic side of the Sport, lots of other sports allow this type of competition. Some how Judo has to be rescued from the Bureaucrats in the IJF who are ruining the Art
Martin Clarke