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.