As more people become disenchanted with IJF, and now EJU, the word “mafia” is starting to be associated more often with these organizations. Coaches and players are feeling the brunt of the economic demands imposed by IJF and EJU. We in the United States also got a taste of this “stay in the hotel we designate or else we’ll charge you a ridiculous sum of money to compete in our event” mafia mentality. Here’s what Kent Gustavsson, a courageous coach from Sweden, has to say on the subject. He posted his comments on EJU’s website.
Where is international judo to go? The latest and most idiotic I found out was that participants in a training camp and competition in Poland, was forced by the EJU to stay at designated hotel, or they each had to be fined 100 euros, to the delegates on the EJU charge filthy overcharged is widely known, and that the requirements they have when they are attending a tournament or the like, are at a level that is frankly ridiculous, private chaff 24 hours, private secretaries, first class in everything imaginable, one can almost believe that international judo is a multi-billion in business, corruption and scratching each other on the back mentality, a daily reality in the EJU, I think it is time for all judoka, coaches, officials and clubs say no, all this track with the size of the code label from the back or any stripes on the shoulder of the suit, this just to suck money out of clubs, many clubs around Europe are not in the vicinity of the economy that EJU seem to believe, most coaches, like myself may not charge fees, everything is at a voluntary basis, but it is Smaller Club receiving the heaviest responsibility.
Judo is becoming a rich man’s sport, once the clubs can not afford to be with anymore, I really do not think our High Honoured Jigoro Kano would accept today’s mentality in judo hirarkiska mazes, EJU becoming more and more like the same old sandbox for the rich man’s child; everything just about money, it is about time that someone or some say no, why not simply start a new international covenant, so may EJU sit there and create one idiot rule after another.
It must be possible to remove those who are creating misery and discomfort, rather than the ache of judo progressive and philosophy, with so much money rolling in the corridors, it is not surprising that some people are affected by greed, but they must be removed before judo is completely destroyed, the clubs must be advised to participate in competitions and camps without EJU constantly interfere in everything, and ask a lot of unreasonable and insane demands on the participants.
If I go to camp or competition, so it is well in my interest where I want to live! And the designated hotels, etc. is very expensive, proves that it is only money at stake, when I can stay with acquaintances or friends at no cost, which therefore means that I can afford to participate in more competitions and camps, and hopefully become a better judo fighter, today it is not judo quality and development involved, it is money, and how much I can carry in my pocket!
I will probably get a lot of crap and criticism for this, but it does not matter, I’ve trained my whole life, and will never stop, for me, judo is, a way of life.
Kent suggests that we should start another international organization. I had actually come to the same conclusion months ago, so I think it’s a great idea as long as we don’t become another IJF or EJU. Well, guess what? A new international Judo organization, the World Judo Federation (WJF), is being born as I write this! WJF will have its inaugural meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August followed by the 1st World Judo Senior Open Championships on August 26-28.
Not much is known about WJF since it’s so new. I’ve been told that the impetus for its creation comes from former Pan-American Judo Union (PJU) members. You will recall that PJU was decertified by the IJF mafia in 2009, and a new continental entity, the Pan-American Judo Confederation (PJC), was born. I also know that USA Traditional Kodokan Judo (USA-TKJ) has been asked to be the United States’ representative to WJF. What I like about USA-TKJ’s competition rules is that ippon doesn’t end a match, and scores are numerical and cumulative. Whether USA-TKJ will have any influence regarding the rules is anyone’s guess.
I’m not sure whether WJF will be good or bad for the greater Judo community since we lack enough information presently. One thing is sure though. It’s good to have options when it comes to international competition. Perhaps WJF can put back the Judo that has been cut out by IJF. That alone would give me hope that Judo may survive.