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.
Last month, many of us received this announcement from USA Judo. “As you may have already heard, the International Judo Federation, due to the respect United States has earned in developing and promoting Judo has been awarded the hosting of one of the IJF World Cup which is an Olympic Qualifier for the 2012 London Olympic Games.” I nearly choked on my raspberry-filled doughnut when I read that. The only thing the IJF respects is how much money it can make off national Judo federations, and how many of their votes can be bought off though minor gifts like hosting one of a plethora of World Cup events.
It’s no secret that high dan promotions have been spiraling out of control for decades in the United States. Formerly, the USJA was pretty much the sole culprit when it came to issuing unmerited high dan promotions. Recently, however, I have noticed some questionable promotions made by the USJF and USA Judo that make me think that the floodgates are now wide open on all fronts.
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?