Several months ago, I had a heated discussion with my assistant coach who happens to be an international referee. As usual, the conversation revolved around the silly IJF rules, and how he could not support my transition away from IJF rules Judo to my own version of Judo competition, which is similar to AAU Freestyle Judo. Upon telling him that I needed to move on in order to keep Judo relevant, and that lots of people had similar concerns and had made the same decision as I had, he demanded that I show him the evidence. Furthermore, he stated that he wasn’t interested in Judo that can’t be done outside the dojo. Small mind.
For those of you who have been turned off from competing under the restrictive IJF rules, the National AAU Freestyle Judo Championships, which take place on March 23-24, 2012 in Kearney, Missouri, offers you a great opportunity to compete under more sensible rules that allow the full complement of Judo skills.
Winning on the Mat: Judo, Freestyle Judo and Submission Grappling is the title of Steve Scott’s massive (over 400 pages) book on Judo. Scott, a key leader in AAU and Freestyle Judo, is like me a rebel with a cause and admirer of Geof Gleeson. He feels that Judo gets no respect and is headed in the wrong direction. About a month ago, out of the blue, Scott was kind enough to send me a copy of his book. In return, he asked for nothing.
My colleague Steve Scott, recently wrote in his newsletter, “As an interesting sidelight to how history repeats itself, a variety of these techniques are used in various forms of submission grappling and mixed martial arts, although they continue to be illegal in judo competition.” He was talking about various forms of shime waza or constricting techniques, not necessarily neck chokes. Not very long ago, one of my readers commented, “Please correct me if I’m wrong; wrestling, Brazilian jiujitsu, and competitive sambo will allow all Judo throws of the Kodokan in competition. With the IJF rules, Judo does not. This is a disgrace.” I couldn’t agree more.