Whether you call it Judo culture, or mentality, or mindset, one thing that’s clearly MIA- missing in action- in our sport is skepticism. In other words, most of us are meek sheep following some leader who is often misguided, ill-informed, or just simply lost. We keep marching to the tune of our Judo Pied Piper almost never questioning whether what we are doing makes any sense. Even when it does dawn on us that what we’re doing is crazy, there’s almost no attempt to discuss issues and remedy our lot. Chalk up this behavior to our traditional hierarchy that instills in the lower ranks unwavering (and unquestioning) respect for our senior ranks.
AnnMaria De Mars and Jim Pedro, respectively the president and vice-president of the USJA, resigned a few weeks ago. Pedro did so during a conference call meeting of the USJA Board of Directors, and De Mars resigned the following day.
Emotions are running high. Some USJA members are threatening to pull out of the USJA and join USA Judo. Makes sense to me- NOT. If there was ever a dysfunctional, worthless group to join, it would have to be USA Judo. So guys, knock yourselves out and join USA Judo if you think it’s going to care more about your opinions and welfare.
A few days ago, I stumbled across a review of a coaching conference, at which I was one of the technical, on-the-mat clinicians. The author gave a fair assessment of the five presentations that were offered. I thought his comments on my presentation were positive, except that I was labelled one of the most ‘controversial’ figures in U.S. Judo, and that some of my ideas were “outrageous” by conventional ideologies. Both perhaps true, but nonetheless bothersome. What gives?