Thursday August 2nd 2012 the day International Judo was saved
I have until today watched the Olympic Judo with dismay, disgust and bewilderment; this was nothing like the sport I took up in 1955, making reserve Olympic reserve 1980 and World Master Champion 2001. All I saw was so called Judoka spending 8 minutes fighting for grips looking more like a pair of boxing kangaroos, then winning on Hantei, , scores of Ippon for rolling someone on their back, disqualification for grabbing the legs and then someone scoring for grabbing the legs. Now if I cannot understand the rules of Judo how can the public yet the stadium was full? Fantastic until the commentator said Judo was the only sport where all the spectators were Judo supporters no general spectators, that must say something about JUDO?
I had enough I told every one I can not bear to watch this rubbish lets return to the days of Dave Starbrook, Brian Jacks, Neil Adams and Yamashita. My son John telephoned me and said you must watch the women’s u78k especially the rank outsider GB Judoka Gemma Gibson she is mustard, so I did watch. That is when my faith of Judo returned here was a British Judoka who could throw players and did not spend the whole time gripping her throw on the French girl in the Semi Final was what an Ippon should be a perfect throw to the back with impetus, my father Nobby Clarke 6th Dan always said 6ft up 8ft down is what an Ippon is and that is exactly what she done. This was an Ippon of 30 years ago proper Judo not a mamby pamby roll on the back or side but the throws did not stop there, as there were more Ippons to come from the women, never thought I would enjoy women’s Judo so much.
The men’s u100k also proved a great feast with the German in the Bronze fight treating us to an excellent Waza-ari and then came the final with Russia fighting Mongolia I have been to well over 20 World Sambo Championships so I was used too seeing these two nations fight and knew it was to be a tough one. Until this final I thought Gemma’s Ippon was the throw of the Olympics but the Russian surpassed her with a terrific Drop Seoi Nage and from a big man as well.
I thought at first Judo would be finished and be taken over by the Arse Kicking Taekwondo but know once people have seen today’s display I am sure we may see a bit of rival in Traditional Judo