As a follow up to my last post (Show me the evidence!) I’m happy to announce that I’ve created a Facebook group, which is dedicated to bring together the Judo community that is disenchanted with IJF’s misguided leadership. The group is called the International Judo Freestyle Alliance. The idea for this group comes from Steve Scott, the founder of AAU Freestyle Judo rules. He picked my brain, asked me what I thought, and voila! A voice of sanity.
Several months ago, I had a heated discussion with my assistant coach who happens to be an international referee. As usual, the conversation revolved around the silly IJF rules, and how he could not support my transition away from IJF rules Judo to my own version of Judo competition, which is similar to AAU Freestyle Judo. Upon telling him that I needed to move on in order to keep Judo relevant, and that lots of people had similar concerns and had made the same decision as I had, he demanded that I show him the evidence. Furthermore, he stated that he wasn’t interested in Judo that can’t be done outside the dojo. Small mind.
For those of you who have been turned off from competing under the restrictive IJF rules, the National AAU Freestyle Judo Championships, which take place on March 23-24, 2012 in Kearney, Missouri, offers you a great opportunity to compete under more sensible rules that allow the full complement of Judo skills.
Happy New Year! Let’s start off 2012 with a bang! Here’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I know my ideas probably won’t get very far officially, but it’s important that we at least discuss them to see if they make sense for general skill development and self-defense.
I’ve noticed recently that many coaches are thinking about running a “good” tournament. I’m not sure what “good” means, but it probably indicates that most tournaments have lots of negative aspects to them, which leads many to think that they can do better. I do know that it’s very difficult to get a good turnout for your event, especially if it’s your first. Couple that with what’s typically a lack of support from the local clubs, assuming you even have other local clubs besides your own, and the prospect of renting a facility, getting awards, and running an event that doesn’t take money out of your pocket is a scary proposition.
Two weeks ago, I emailed four IJF officials asking what prompted the latest IJF edict against coaching from the sidelines. Marius Vizer, IJF President, and Vladimir Barta, IJF Head Sports Director, responded to my inquiry, for which I am grateful. This is what Mr. Vizer had to say: