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.
I’d like to start off my first post in 2013 by wishing you a Happy New Year, and by thanking you for your continued interest and support of my blog.
You’re probably not going to hear me say this very often, but the IJF’s latest decision to allow armbars for 15-16 year olds is a good move for a change. USA Judo promptly followed suit since it never preempts or contradicts the IJF. Players competing in the Juvenile B (USA Judo) or IJF Cadet division can now do what thousands of BJJ fighters and submission wrestlers participants have been doing all along- straightening arms out or bending them. Participants in these divisions must hold the rank of sankyu though.
I admit it. I’ve been missing in action for more than I wanted to be. Several of my readers have reminded me that I haven’t posted anything in over a month. Time flies when you are busy. I’ll have a lot to discuss in the coming weeks. In December, I spent 12 days in Japan watching the Tokyo Grand Slam and teaching here and there. I recently received The Second Life of Judo, a new book by Alan Rafkind, who’s one of my fans. I’ll have more to say about that soon. And then, when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, there’s the IJF with its latest version of how to make Judo even more irrelevant.
I was talking to one of my judoplayers about our women’s soccer team win over the Japanese at the London Olympics, and I told her we won, but we didn’t play very well. Her mom was sitting nearby, and said “Who cares? We won!” She was, of course, right…but also very wrong, especially with the message her daughter heard.
Several months ago, Jeremy Williams, a young man who had attended my club years before while in the U.S. Marine Corps, reconnected with me. Much to my chagrin, I found out he had been wounded in Iraq and had gone through some tough times once medically discharged. He told me that Judo had been his saving grace. Immediately, knowing the power of exercise and Judo in particular, I recognized a teaching moment, and encouraged him to put his thoughts to paper. This is part one of his story.