A few weeks ago, Steve Scott emailed me wanting to get my opinion on whether the AAU should have a third set of competition rules to attract more grapplers who may not dig our stand-up game and the fact that in Judo it’s one good throw and you lose the match. After much discussion, we came to the conclusion that Freestyle Judo rules were all that we needed for mainstream competition. The only thing left to do is tell more people about Freestyle Judo.
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.
A few weeks ago, Japan’s women’s soccer team won the World Cup beating the favorite American team in a penalty shootout after twice coming from behind. Along the way, Japan had eliminated another favorite team: Germany, the host of the 2011 World Cup and winner of the last two Cups. What’s remarkable is that just twelve years ago, Japan was routinely losing to the U.S. by scores of 9-0 and 7-0. So how did the Japanese close the gap so quickly with only 25,000 females playing the sport, while 7 million do so in the Unites States? That’s a story that should be of interest to American Judo.