Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I am sorry to say I have stopped going to Major Judo Tournaments over recent years I have attended the British Open and Kent International and felt very disappointed in what I saw. For those who do not know my history I was a reserve for the 1980 Olympics and am still involved in Judo, so why the disappointed? Well mainly the upright Judo of 20 odd years ago which facilitated some spectacular throwing has vanished as has Ne Waza (groundwork) yes there has been some good points the new mat area with a singled coloured square has alleviated the winning on penalties, Referees officiating in Polo shirts has taken away the over officious nature of referee and placed the focus back on the competitor but that is all. It seems most competitors are taking a very low stance (Jigotia) something you were penalised for 20 years ago and the only throw seems to be the drop Kata Guruma and picking your opponent of the floor rolling them over for Ippon again something not allowed 20 years ago. The talk of the recent competition was that one English competitor was winning with a standing Seoi Nage again a standard throw years ago, Ne Waza seems to be discouraged, not enough time is allowed to make a strangle or arm lock as for hold downs I can not even explain the criteria. Yet when I read the IJF rules not that much has changed I just wonder who interprets them. One thing is for sure Judo has never been a spectator sport and it certainly will not be now, some complain that it has become a variation of Russian Sambo as somebody who has been involved in Sambo for 35 years plus I have attended more World Sambo Championships then anyone in GB I can assure you that modern Judo is nothing like Sambo. The name suggested to me was Free Style Judo because it looking more likes poor Free Style Wrestling.

I have had my moan and no matter what I say things will not change and if you want to do Top Level Judo you will have to change, members of my club recently returned deflated from the BJA Kent Open with no medals the first time for decades we have not entered a tournament without winning a medal, in this Kent Open over the last two year we have come back with medals. I have now told them if they want to compete at that level they have to give up a lot and train harder by that I mean 5 days a week 4 to 5 hours a day as the lads they are up against are professionals some are getting £20,000 a year to train, they live, sleep, and play Judo. I had 4 years of this from 1977 to 1980 with out no money and it is not fun it is an obsession. Only very few make the very top so those who want to just enjoy their Judo will have to be content in just entering minor tournaments and playing Judo. In all honesty these Judoka will be in Judo a lot longer then those at the top and they will be able to Judo for many decades keeping the art alive. So we have a two tier art called Judo but there is a way the Governing Body can help the British Judo Association could organise a British Senior secondary Championship, this could be for the Club Player the backbone of Judo. Bar all those players who are in the top 10 and those who have won British or International medals, this would be a true Club Players Competition and give back something to the people who keep Judo alive Judo

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Joining the IBF/BCSA is a bargain

IBF/BCSA Summer Newsletter 2009
Times are hard and it is always the luxuries which have to suffer and I am sorry to Martial Arts is a luxury. So to get people to join us we have to tell them what we have to offer and why it pays to join us.
1) Every member has PA insurance cover included in their membership a very important factor in today’s compensation culture.
2) For one license you have a multitude of different Martial Arts in GB we offer Judo, Sambo, CombatSombo, Kurash, Belt Wrestling, Submission Wrestling, Karate and Jiu Jitsu just imagine if you had to pay for each Art.
3) Competitions home and abroad although a lot of people no longer want to compete we still organised the British Sombo Open, Scottish Open Judo and Sombo, members have competed in Germany and Holland already by the end of the year they will be competitions in Greece and Lithuania. Either the end of November beginning of December we will have an IBF Open Judo Tournament in Sittingbourne with the new mat layout and we will need your support for this. Plus the IBF Multi Nation Judo Championships will be in Hastings in 2010 and we will need officials for this. Just a note Miles Brown is attending a Judo Referees Course in July to get updated with the new IJF Rules, he in turn will run a course in September which will be free to all IBF Members.
4) All junior gradings and Senior till 1st Kyu can be done in the club, so no travelling from one end of the country to the other for a grading and the examiner keeps the grading fees which can go into club funds.
5) PI Insurance for Instructors and Coaches, the IBFBCSA are unique in the fact we recognise the fact that to be a good instructor you do not need to academically gifted, so we arranged practical examinations on the Job qualification. Plus do not forget Club PL Insurance.
6) Courses can be offered all over the country all you do is ask. Our Annual Summer camp is world famous already many took the advantage of paying before the end of April and getting £50 discount of the price of £250
7) Most importantly all clubs get a £5 discount on licenses which help to fund the club.

So not everything is doom and gloom IBF/BCSA still offers excellent value money.

Martin Clarke 8th Dan
IBF UK President