I have often voiced my concerns that current IJF rules are undermining participation in Judo in the U.S., and perhaps in other nations as well, although I don’t have any evidence to that effect. I’ve also touched upon from time to time how these rules are also undermining the technical development of our players. With that in mind, I’d like to present a case for eliminating the match-ending terminal ippon.
Back in January 2010, I announced that the USJA was going to create new rules for “developmental” tournaments. That was great news. I thought that some sanity would return to our sport after the IJF’s latest, and drastic, rule changes were announced. Well, the results are in, and I am very disappointed, but not totally shocked.
There’s an old saying in team sports that good defense wins games. I’ve never heard any similar statement applied to Judo but I think it should. If good defense does win games, why shouldn’t it also apply to winning matches in Judo? I can’t come up with a rational reason why it shouldn’t. To be more competitive at the international level, it’s time we change our training paradigm on a national scale to reflect this adage.