During a recent coach education course that I attended as an observer, one of the participants asked the clinician what type of mats would be best for Judo. The clinician replied that his own preference was for getting the hardest mats possible. The reason? To ensure good ukemi! That response nearly knocked me off my chair. Here was yet another piece of information that in my mind was clearly a great disservice to all the coaches present, and ultimately to Judo itself. Let’s examine why this statement was not in our best interest as we try to hang on to a diminishing segment of the martial arts market.
I’m dumbfounded by those who insist that 6-year olds should have to play our sport by the same rules as Olympians. I keep hearing stupid things from some truly smart people, like this statement: “There is no point arguing rules that are already in place and being run at all levels in all countries.” Not only is it un-American to suggest that it’s pointless to argue against any form of world government like the IJF, more importantly, from a development viewpoint, it makes no sense to treat kids like adults. Yet the author of the above quote, a member of one of our national coaching committees, ignores “age appropriateness” and supports IJF rules lock, stock and barrel for everyone. It’s safe to call this person an IJF elitist.
My last post elicited demands for more information, ranging from videos to full curriculum, on how I handle beginners and people trying Judo for the first time. Rather than give you the whole enchilada, I’ll take the proverbial route of “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Several weeks ago, I had a visit from an entire Japanese family: two kids, two parents and two grandparents. Grandpa had done Judo at the university level in Japan, and mom had a very good knowledge of the turmoils the Japanese Judo team was going though.
In my last blog post, I offered up the idea that national promotion committees were not the only game in town, and suggested that those of you fed up with the politics of rank could and probably should look into creating your own promotion committees. This resonated well with many of you. Now, my fear is that some of you will engage in the behaviors, favoritism, and nepotism that have made national promotion committees a farce. Here are my suggestions to prevent that.
With the latest scourge coming from the IJF, discussions are heating up, and more and more disgruntled coaches and players are ready to go in different directions. Some are leaving Judo outright, because they are unable to comprehend that options short of quitting Judo are available. Some are saying that they are not leaving Judo, but that Judo has left them. Fair enough. Thankfully, many more are discovering Freestyle Judo and realizing that FSJ offers a return to the way Judo ought to be played, and that the Judo community doesn’t revolve around the IJF.