The International Freestyle Judo Alliance

As a follow up to my last post (Show me the evidence!) I’m happy to announce that I’ve created a Facebook group, which is dedicated to bring together the Judo community that is disenchanted with IJF’s misguided leadership.  The group is called the International Judo Freestyle Alliance.  The idea for this group comes from Steve Scott, the founder of AAU Freestyle Judo rules.  He picked my brain, asked me what I thought, and voila!  A voice of sanity.

The IFJA is appropriately named “alliance” rather than federation or association because we don’t seek to politically control any person or entity.  We’re a support group of like-minded coaches, players and clubs.  We’re interested in making it easier for you to transition from IJF to Freestyle rules.  We want you to know that others share your IJF-generated misery.  And we definitely want Mr. Referee to see the evidence that we’re fed up with the IJF and we’re doing something about it.   Finally, we seek to empower you to take the first steps towards a more meaningful approach to Judo competition.

Steve and I have also discussed the idea that while the AAU Freestyle rules serve as the springboard for the IFJA, there’s room for other ideas.  I’m personally in favor of ippon not terminating a match.  This has historical precedence.  Syd Hoare states in A History of Judo:

One noteworthy fact about these Butokukai and Kodokan rules is the absence of any reference to Kime-waza or decisive technique.  The ippon throw is usually thought of as a real combat deciding technique, but clearly fighting for the best of three ippons sidesteps that definition.  Kano said that competition and randori rules were to test the ability of the contestants in standing and groundwork.

I’m sure that many of you have good ideas as well.  Share them with us on Facebook.  If you have run tournaments (no matter how big) with alternative rules, tell us what your players and parents think about them. Let us know how your rules are helping develop sound combative skills.

I’m sure that our efforts will succeed in making Judo relevant once again.

7 thoughts on “The International Freestyle Judo Alliance

  1. Thanks for what you are doing Gerry. I hope others get involved and host freestyle judo tournaments in their areas. The Facebook group will help everyone coordinate activities. Gerry’s right, by the way, in the fact that we have an alliance that can serve as a network of like-minded people working to develop freestyle judo both in the United States and internationally.

  2. I agree with your efforts to promote judo based on a rule set that is more consistent with the roots of classical judo and with what martial arts consumers want. However, it may be too late for this as a stand alone tournament venue. You have too many people in judo that are split along ideological lines – those who would isolate judo in order to emphasize the impressive and dramatic forward throws that reflect the “spirit” of judo vs. those who are interested in judo as a vehicle for learning takedowns that can be used in a variety of sport, entertainment and self defense situations. You would be further splitting a very small group of judo competitors and losing some of the people that are actually important contributors in running judo tournaments. So you may end up with only a few competitors at events run by people without tournament management experience. You may be better off running a joint tournament with a BJJ or grappling organization. If you had a competitor friendly rule set, the participants could cross over into the judo competition. And, in my opinion, judo matches without all the technical rules are much more exciting and fun to watch than BJJ (emphasize not better, but more exciting). IBJJF just ran a tournament in Long Beach, CA in conjunction with the World Martial Arts Expo. Would be ideal to have a judo tournament running at the expo at the same time. And if an IBJJF event is not the proper venue, there are private companies running grappling tournaments that may want to add another revenue stream.

  3. I respect what you said about current Judo rules. It is time to do Judo as Jigoro Kano visualized. IJF has taken Judo competition to a low level. We most take Judo as we do years ago.

  4. You need Ippon to terminate a match in Freestyle Judo. Whether by throw, hold-down or submission. This is consistent with a knock-out in boxing or a pin in wrestling. Freestyle Judo should restore Judo to the “way it oughta be,” not make up new screwy rules like the IJF.

  5. Pins do not terminate a match in FSJ. Remember that in the old Kodokan days, two ippons were needed to win a match.

  6. Whoever posted this, I sincerely respect your opinion. However, I get what you are saying, but I can’t seriously take of you and what other geezers commented on this. Let me ask you. Do you all really think that IJF degraded the history of what Jigoro Kano created/invented? Have you all even studied or learned why IJF has been changing the rules over time? I have read and watched a couple of stupid freestyle judo instruction and matches. Do you really think that the Judo that you have been teaching to poor children/geezers is the ideal judo of what Jigoro Kano dreamed of? USA’ overall Judo level is way down to where the hell is, besides Harrison, Pedro and Stevens(there may be a couple more; I respect those a few). You students’ levels are under the hell. You all need to find some sources on Google to see why IJF has changed the rules over time. Some of stupid geezers use the quote of what Rondy Rousey’s mum said. Do you think that counts of how Judo should be? Did she really compete in the level of Olympic or close to that? Have you wondered why Jimmy Pedro, Kayla Harrison or Travis Stevens do not mention anything about freestyle judo or not transited to freestyle judo? I definitely get why you all do see the current JUDO rules as stupid or something like that because you all could not be an olympian athlete, yeah? All I see is a bunch of dumb people who try to use freestyle judo as their moeny stream. If you try to use an example of how Freestyle Wrestling created, please do not even try. The freestyle wrestlers went through top-levels of competition in Greco-roman and they found an effective way of throwing and pin. Do not even try to compare IJF to your stupid association.
    Thanks !

  7. I’m posting your disrespectful comments only to show that critical thinking is lacking throughout our Judo community. FSJ wasn’t developed to create money streams. It was created to keep as much of Kano’s Judo as possible within Judo competition rules, and to keep Judo relevant within the larger grappling community.

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