Is Judo Dying?

Discussion in 'Jujutsu / Judo' started by Patrick Skerry, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. I also thought this British article would be appropriate for the Jujutsu/Judo thread; entitled: 'Judo Is Dying'

    http://www.budo-kan.freeserve.co.uk/letters.htm

    Does anybody agree or disagree with the theme of this article?
     
  2. auxprix

    auxprix Guest

    Disagree. Sure, it's less popular than the 50's and 60's, but I believe that is more due to the exposure of striking arts and the addition of competing arts.

    Judo has NO chance of being dropped by the olympics. I don't care what he says. There's no evidence for it, and Judo is still relatively popular around the world. IMO this is an old timer who Longs for days that will never and can never return.

    I'm going to counter a few things:

    "Under the traditional rules you were only allowed to take hold of the Jacket and only certain hand grips were considered legal, the grabbing of legs could rapidly lead to disqualification."

    Forgive me, but I think that not being able to grip the legs would limit Judo immensely. I am a fan of the double leg sweep because it keeps Judoka on their toes. If you aren't careful, you're going to get tackled. It also benefits Judo in self defense to not have excessive grip rules. In the real world, their are no grip rules, and the arm reap would be common in people with or without training in grappling. So I think that it is important to incorporate the leg grips to keep judo more 'real' in some respects. The double arm reap can be countered (quite easily, actually) and reversed (a little harder). I will agree that there is often confusion over whether the Ippon goes to the reap or the counter, and it is frustrating. IMO, when in doubt, the point should go to the counter.

    "Get a Koka, Hold on to it, Get a Medal".

    Wrong. You can win with Koka, but most players want a little more insurance with points. None of the olympic matches I have seen have displayed this behavior.

    "Grip Judo" of which the predominant feature is strength!"

    This is why I prefer Judo over Aikido, actually. In Judo, it is accepted that strength is a factor, while Aikido makes it SEEM negligable. Strength matters in all sports (ok, maybe not marksmanship) and it's naive to pretend like it doesn't. Strength, however, can be overcome by technique, but it can be hard. Olympic Judoka usually excell at both. I saw footage of a PERFECT seoenage by Pedro, and it was beautiful to behold. Read my post "An extremely humbling experience" for more.

    "The very thing that made Judo so popular from it's inception in 1882 until the decline began in the 60's was that people enjoyed doing it, it was energetic, exciting and SAFE to practice, injuries were virtually non-existent, it was a good night out, you had a good sweat, then a pint at the local while the post-mortems were held, then off home tired but happily non the worst for wear, a good nights sleep and then ready for work the next day."

    How is it any different now?

    In short, this article is more of a cranky rant than anything. The arguments are weak and unsuported. In the end, though, it's an interesting reading, and I'm glad you posted it, Skerry.
     
  3. Hi Auxprix,

    One of the things that struck a familiar cord with me from this article was the observation of the dwindling numbers showing up for practice. I attended two Tsukinami shiais this month where only seven competitors showed up. I visited a well known Judo dojo here in the Boston area and there were only two people, a student and the instructor, in class. I am going to a Newaza tournament this Sunday, October 3rd, and will be curious as to the numbers.

    Also, this could be due to the season, the colleges are just reving-up and a lot of the judo players tend to be students.

    So I think its true that a lot of other hybrid martial arts have siphoned off a lot of the judo students. Judo may not be dying, but it appears to be dwindling.
     
  4. Steve Scott

    Steve Scott Guest

    Auxprix is right on the money in his observations. I'm considered an "old-timer" these days but still find judo to be as technically competent as it has ever been. I've heard similar comments that this British fellow made from other people in the past and Auxprix is right in his observation that it's a cranky rant.
    There is a difference in the approach to sport judo and classical judo. In training for a judo tournament, you train to win. Winning by a koka is winning...nothing wrong with that. Mike Swain won his world championship on a koka (if I remember correctly) in 1987 over Koga. A koka win over a guy like Koga is impressive...period.
    I do believe that judo is not growing for several reasons, but the activity itself is still vibrant and exciting.
    Steve Scott
     
  5. Hello Steve,

    I too can see that Judo is not growing, and I am on the verge of leaving Judo because of the blue gi and golden score. To me Judo is not a sport, yet it is being blatantly 'sportified' with both the blue gi and sudden death overtime. I do not want to leave Judo, but I have no intention of ever putting on a blue gi and I dislike the golden score intensely, and all I see is conflict for me down the Judo road.

    The overt sportifying of a martial art is what I see as causing people to avoid Judo. Shiai is necessary for rank enhancement and technique testing, but the attitude of winning is the only thing is strictly little league.

    The article 'Judo Is Dying' may be more of a cranky rant, it sounded a bit prophetic to me, since it was written in 1998 in a different country, and I have been making similar observations without ever having read that paper before. I don't think forcing judo to be a sport, with multi-colored gi's and sudden death overtime, making Judo a spectator event, is good for Judo or the martial arts.
     
  6. Steve Scott

    Steve Scott Guest

    I understand your frustration Patrick. I prefer the white judogi very much and have avoided wearing the new blue judogi. However, I would encourage you to stay in judo, even for your own enjoyment. I'm out of the mainstream in judo these days, prefering to coach in my club and also work in John Saylor's jujitsu organization as well.
    I have no problems with judo being a sport, as judo is the type of activity that can be both a sport and a martial discipline. The big problem with judo in this country is that just about every club pushes the sport aspect of judo. I've traveled in Europe and can tell you that in France and Germany, there are many dojo where they have specific classes for specific groups. In the same dojo, you can find a class meeting twice a week emphasizing in kata and in the same dojo, you can find a team training for tournaments. Then, you can find a basic kids' class and a class specifically for adults who want self-defense. I'm not a real fan of the French, but they do know how to teach judo and learned a long time ago that not everybody wants to compete. There is plenty of room for everybody in judo there.
    Most U.S. clubs have limited time for training anyway, so the coaches push the competitive side of judo, but the big problem is that most U.S. judo people only think of judo as a sport, and a competitve sport at that. There is little time for the middle-aged adult who wants to do judo for the physical education or recreational benefits of it. This is one reason why many people have gone into jujitsu or other martial arts in the United States.
    I've coached competitive judo and when I did, my athletes trained to win. But I also coached recreational judo for those who weren't interested in training that hard or who weren't interested in competition.
    Stay in judo. It needs good people.
    Steve
     
  7. auxprix

    auxprix Guest

    To me, this article wasn't arguing Sportification so much as the change of rules and ballance. The writer called for a stricter set of grappling and non-combative rules. As far as I'm concerned, the more rules = the more sportlike.

    the problem isn't so much that judo is being reduced to a sport, it's that the exposure it gets is only in the sporting relm. Am I saying they shouldn't televise Judo as much? Of course not. I just would like to see martial art Judo get more coverage. But you can't order the media to cover one thing or the other, so I'll take the Competition Judo and long for better coverage.

    One more thing. Skerry mentioned that Judo is waining in America, and he's correct. This article is in Britain, where Judo is apparently also experiencing dwindling numbers. But there are many countries out there in which Judo is thriving. I just joined a Japanese dojo here in Japan with 30+ stable adult members. I also know that Judo is huge in Russia and other territories of the former USSR. I've also heard that France is a hotbed for the art. Dwindling Judo is more of a localized problem than a world problem. So maybe it's not the way Judo is being played, but the way our culture sees it.
     
  8. auxprix

    auxprix Guest

    Hah. Looks like Steve beat me on a couple of my points.
     
  9. Thank you Steve for the words of encouragement. Your mentioning of AAU Judo has renewed my interest and I've been spreading the word about Judo in the AAU around the Boston area. Like myself, almost all the people I contacted were totally unaware that the AAU had renewed its interest in Judo. But I did find out that AAU competion is not recognized for promotion points by the USJF.

    I think there should be AAU tournaments here in the Boston area. So I am asking about it at various USJA dojos.
     
  10. mj_lover

    mj_lover Blue Belt

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    i found very little evidence to suport his claims, judo on the decline, sure, its not very flashy, people like flashy tings, like karate and tkd. the media coverage (at least up here in ontario, stinks) its shrinking, but i don't think it will ever die out.
    I also don't see any problems with the blue gi, or some of the rule changes, lets face it, some of the old rules allowed techs in shiai were downright dangerous if improperly executed (ie. flying siccors (sp?)) also the blue gi? i personally like it, helps see who is who. anyway, thats my rant, hope it makes sense.
    later dayz
     
  11. Erik

    Erik Guest

    Spectators like flashy so the rules for Judo have evolved in the direction they have partially for the spectators. Also for safety.

    Some people are frustrated by the rules, by the lack of ne waza time, and the like. I know I am (I like the groundfighting best, but that's just me).

    Judo is a sport and was since Day 1. It's also artistically, spiritually and culturally robust, but to make it as a sport (read that: in the Olympics and with athletes over spiritually-minded-Aikido-types), it needs sport rules. That means competition safety and spectators. Average spectators don't like (or understand) many of the subtilties, unfortunately.

    Me too, for that reason exactly. Besides, blue looks just as nice as white. It's elegant.
     
  12. Shogun

    Shogun Master Black Belt

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    No.
     
  13. SammyB57

    SammyB57 Guest

    I just wish there was more time for groundwork.
     
  14. cashwo

    cashwo Green Belt

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    Is Judo Dying?

    At my school the Judo class is right before my Aikido class on Monday's and Wednesday's. For the past few weeks I've been coming in a little early to watch the class and I was amazed. Last night was my first class and I LOVED IT!!! I am now VERY hooked.
     
  15. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    Yes, and Bjj is killing it.

    A recent article states that Bjj will overtake Judo in popularity by 2020, and there's plenty of Judoka out there blaming Bjj and MMA for their dwindling student population.

    Simply put, Bjj is like Judo in a more accessible package, and people prefer it to the alternative. I will also say that Judo did itself no favors by purposely limiting its ruleset at a time when Bjj was expanding its curriculum to embrace leg locks and no-gi throws.
     
  16. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Was there a reason you responded to a 14 year old thread with BJJ vs Judo? Is there any purpose besides trying to start an argument? Especially when in another thread you listed both arts as arts useful for fighting?
     
  17. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    In the last 14 years there's been a slew of articles about this topic. I was actually about to start the topic myself, but I just decided to continue this one. In more recent years, Judokas have pinned the general decline of their martial art on BJJ and IJF rules that have hindered the MAs ability to adapt to a changing MA landscape.

    No one is saying that Judo is ineffective, quite the opposite. However, it is being cannibalized by its sister art because the latter is seen as being easier to learn, safer, more adaptable, more avenues to go professionally, and more profitable.
     
  18. now disabled

    now disabled Master Black Belt

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    I kinda think you might have a point in the argument stakes
     
  19. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    I don't think that is the reason, judo has always bean a fringe t activerty, even going back 40years, it was generally the ma or choice for fat kids who couldn't box or karate kick.

    It has also lacked a pr,film or tv show to publicise its benifits, no Rocky film, no enter the dragon, no Saturday night competitions on tv, it's main Problem it's perceived as as dull , unexciting and lacking any well known faces to be hero's to emulate ,its the table tennis , of martial arts
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. Hanzou

    Hanzou Senior Master

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    That's definitely part of it too, but it can't be denied that Bjj fills Judo's void almost completely. One example would be the interest in No Gi Judo that occurred after the rise of Rhonda Rousey in MMA. Where could you go to learn No-Gi Judo? Not at a Judo dojo, you had to learn it at a Bjj gym.

    Bjj has a knack to eclipse and then slowly absorb any rival grappling system that emerges to challenge it. For example, Sambo and Catch Wrestling both attempted to make in-roads into the grappling scene earlier in the decade. Instead of ignoring the challenge, Bjj instructors wisely began bringing Sambo and Catch Wrestling instructors into their gyms to teach their students. Before you knew it, Bjj guys were doing leg locks and Catch Wrestling holds all over the competition circuit, effectively making the learning of either of those other grappling systems superfluous. Bjj is now starting to absorb Judo as well.

    You are correct though. I think a big problem Judo has is that Tachi Waza is a lot harder to learn than Ne Waza, and frankly wrestling's takedowns are easier to learn and combine with Bjj and MMA than Judo's throws are. Unfortunately, Judo instructors frown on you bringing wrestling takedowns into Judo.
     

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