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View Full Version : Judo: Japan kicked off judo's ruling board after 55 years



PizDoff
9/11/2007 11:05am,
Judo: Japan kicked off judo's ruling board after 55 years
TOKYO - JAPAN rued being kicked from the corridors of power in judo - a sport they gave to the world - after legendary Yasuhiro Yamashita suffered a rare political defeat.

Yamashita lost his seat on the International Judo Federation (IJF) executive committee, leaving it without a Japanese representative for the first time since the country joined in 1952.

'It is inevitable that Japan's voice will decline on the international stage,' said the major daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

The former Olympic and world champion had sought re-election as education and coaching director at its congress in Rio de Janeiro on Monday ahead of the World Judo Championships there this week.

But he lost 123-61 to his deputy Mohamed Meridja of Algeria who had been backed by European Judo Union head Marius Vizer, the newly elected IJF president.

'The margin of vote was more serious than expected,' 50-year-old Yamashita, who did not lose in 203 straight bouts leading to his retirement in 1985, was quoted as saying by Japanese media.

'It will become difficult for Japan to obtain information. I fear we will have to struggle in catching up with the trend of the world,' he added.

Japanese media feared the absence of a Japanese on the ruling board could lead to changes in rules, formats and Olympic quotas in a way unacceptable to the birthplace of judo.

For example, there is a move to institute a points system based on the degrees of perfection shown in the execution of judo techniques, whereas Japan emphasise a perfect 'ippon' victory.

Ippon means victory by the perfect execution of a throwing or grappling technique, the mainstay of judo which evolved from the feared fighting skills of unarmed samurai.

Even the words 'ippon' or 'waza-ari (almost ippon) in traditional judo lexicon are feared to be replaced by simple points.

Japan still regrets that in 1995 they lost the fight to keep judo's uniforms white, after Europeans insisted that one contestant should wear blue to make the bouts easier to follow, especially for television viewers.

Yamashita's ignominous exit was also attributed to a power struggle with the European bloc.

His re-election bid was made difficult by the sudden resignation of South Korean business tycoon Park Yong-Sung last Friday as IJF president although his term was due to last until 2009.

Park said he heeded 'demands for changes' and wanted to 'help prevent rifts' within the governing body.

Yamashita supported Park's bid for president in 2005 in a fierce contest with Vizer.

The Romanian-born Austrian was elected as new president on Monday to serve six years - Park's two remaining years and another full four-year term.

'I think I have lost to President Viser,' Yamashita was quoted as saying.

The European union was reported to have backed Kuwait's Obaid Al Auzi last May when he was elected head of the Judo Union of Asia by beating Nobuyuki Sato of Japan.

But the IJF, which counts on Japanese television money and sponsors, is unlikely to 'make light of Japan', the influential daily Asahi Shimbun said, quoting a senior Japanese judo official. -- AFP

http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest+News/Sports/STIStory_156915.html



Japan kicked off judo’s ruling board after 55 years
(AFP)

11 September 2007


TOKYO - Japan on Tuesday rued being kicked from the corridors of power in judo, a sport they gave to the world, after legendary Yasuhiro Yamashita suffered a rare political defeat.

Yamashita lost his seat on the International Judo Federation (IJF) executive committee, leaving it without a Japanese representative for the first time since the country joined in 1952.

‘It is inevitable that Japan’s voice will decline on the international stage,’ said the major daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

The former Olympic and world champion had sought re-election as education and coaching director at its congress in Rio de Janeiro on Monday ahead of the World Judo Championships there this week.

But he lost 123-61 to his deputy Mohamed Meridja of Algeria who had been backed by European Judo Union head Marius Vizer, the newly elected IJF president.

‘The margin of vote was more serious than expected,’ 50-year-old Yamashita, who did not lose in 203 straight bouts leading to his retirement in 1985, was quoted as saying by Japanese media.

‘It will become difficult for Japan to obtain information. I fear we will have to struggle in catching up with the trend of the world,’ he added.

Japanese media feared the absence of a Japanese on the ruling board could lead to changes in rules, formats and Olympic quotas in a way unacceptable to the birthplace of judo.

For example, there is a move to institute a points system based on the degrees of perfection shown in the execution of judo techniques, whereas Japan emphasise a perfect ‘ippon’ victory.

Ippon means victory by the perfect execution of a throwing or grappling technique, the mainstay of judo which evolved from the feared fighting skills of unarmed samurai.

Even the words ‘ippon’ or ‘waza-ari (almost ippon) in traditional judo lexicon are feared to be replaced by simple points.

Japan still regrets that in 1995 they lost the fight to keep judo’s uniforms white, after Europeans insisted that one contestant should wear blue to make the bouts easier to follow, especially for television viewers.

Yamashita’s ignominous exit was also attributed to a power struggle with the European bloc.

His re-election bid was made difficult by the sudden resignation of South Korean business tycoon Park Yong-Sung last Friday as IJF president although his term was due to last until 2009.

Park said he heeded ‘demands for changes’ and wanted to ‘help prevent rifts’ within the governing body.

Yamashita supported Park’s bid for president in 2005 in a fierce contest with Vizer.

The Romanian-born Austrian was elected as new president on Monday to serve six years -- Park’s two remaining years and another full four-year term.

‘I think I have lost to President Viser,’ Yamashita was quoted as saying.

The European union was reported to have backed Kuwait’s Obaid Al Auzi last May when he was elected head of the Judo Union of Asia by beating Nobuyuki Sato of Japan.

But the IJF, which counts on Japanese television money and sponsors, is unlikely to ‘make light of Japan,’ the influential daily Asahi Shimbun said, quoting a senior Japanese judo official.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/sports/2007/September/sports_September299.xml&section=sports&subsection=miscellaneous

Wolf
9/11/2007 11:13am,
how the hell do you have a governing body of judo without japan?! I admit to being farily ignorant about Judo, but that just seems weird to me.

partyboy
9/11/2007 11:16am,
does this mean the gracies may someday not be a part of BJJ? oh-heavens-no

also, concerning the rule changes japan was against:
blue & white gi's - good!
point sytem - bad...

juszczec
9/11/2007 11:21am,
Somewhat ironic - but judo hasn't been a Japanese only sport for a long time. When ya give something away, you can lose control of it.

Ming Loyalist
9/11/2007 11:36am,
once they stopped requiring it in school, they lost points in my book.

i think it should be required in schools everywhere, as it teaches skills that everyone will eventually need (and by this i mean learning to fall properly) people may never get into a fight in their life, but everyone falls down, and knowing how to fall can avoid a broken wrist or worse.

Tomas Drgon
9/11/2007 1:29pm,
how the hell do you have a governing body of judo without japan?! I admit to being farily ignorant about Judo, but that just seems weird to me.

This is the history of IJF presidents:

Aldo Torti, Italy, 1951
Risei Kano, son of Professor Kano, Japan ; 1952-1965
Charles Palmer, Great Britain, 1965-1979
Shigeyoshi Matsumae, Japan, 1979-1987
Sarkis Kaloghlian, Argentina, 1987-1989
Lawrie Hargrave, New Zealand, 1989-1991
Luis Baguena, Spain, 1991-1995
Yong Sung Park, Korea, 1995-present

IJF was never really "Japanese", they instituted the blue gi for high level competition, in spite of protests from Japan, etc etc.

Japan is still a member of the IJF, it just does not have a member in the ruling board.

Tomas

Roidie McDouchebag
9/12/2007 1:23am,
I think getting rid of "Ippon" would be exceedingly gay...it's my favorite thing about Judo...

IiiiiiPPON!