1. #1

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    Books/resources on mid-to-late 20th C judo

    So I was listening to a podcast a while back and they mentioned the turmoil and changes that competition judo went through between the fifties and seventies, when a bunch of Chechens, Dagestanis, and ethnic Russians who weren't quite good enough to make their national/Olympic wrestling teams competed in Judo instead, racking up a bunch of wins and forcing the European and Japanese players to adapt to shoot-style morote-garis as well as a lot of hunched, unorthodox grips. I also know that these techniques never settled well with the kodokan, and they restricted it in spurts and fits before essentially banning leg grabs entirely a few years ago.

    Does anyone know any good books that cover these post-WWII changes? Either from the perspective of the Eastern Europeans and Central Asians who entered the sport, or the Europeans and Japanese who had to adapt to them?

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    Holy Moment's Avatar
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    ...Okay, these are fascinating, but I'm cursing black belt mag for not having a table of contents for each issue. Gonna do some word searching, thanks for the tip!

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    If you can find a copy or a pdf "Russian judo" in the judo master class series goes into some detail about the stylistic differences. It's a pretty rare book though.

    There's also "Judo from a Russian perspective". Also rare, I'm looking for that one myself. If i find an online copy I'll let you know.
    Last edited by MJCromwell; 7/02/2018 3:49am at .

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    Quote Originally Posted by kultist View Post
    So I was listening to a podcast a while back and they mentioned the turmoil and changes that competition judo went through between the fifties and seventies, when a bunch of Chechens, Dagestanis, and ethnic Russians who weren't quite good enough to make their national/Olympic wrestling teams competed in Judo instead, racking up a bunch of wins and forcing the European and Japanese players to adapt to shoot-style morote-garis as well as a lot of hunched, unorthodox grips. I also know that these techniques never settled well with the kodokan, and they restricted it in spurts and fits before essentially banning leg grabs entirely a few years ago.

    Does anyone know any good books that cover these post-WWII changes? Either from the perspective of the Eastern Europeans and Central Asians who entered the sport, or the Europeans and Japanese who had to adapt to them?
    Which podcast ?

    The International Judo Federation was formed in 1951. The "leg grab ban" was instituted by the IJF, not the Kodokan. In the big scheme of things, that was a fairly small part of the rules and rule interpretatin changes that have happened. The IJF has been setting rules for their competitions for a long time.

    More recently, the IJF began instituting significant rules changes. Main purpose was/is to make Judo more interesting to non-judoka, in a quest to make money, as part of sports-entertainment business (Olympics, etc).

    I don't know of any books along the lines of your request.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Main purpose was/is to make Judo more interesting to non-judoka, in a quest to make money, as part of sports-entertainment business (Olympics, etc).
    Its kind of interesting to me, cause there are a number of for profit BJJ promotions that seem to be doing just fine, and BJJ isn't inherently more exciting.

    Maybe the should go for using these rules http://judoinfo.com/rules/

    Also the OP might be interested in reading this:
    http://judoinfo.com/rules2/
    Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    Its kind of interesting to me, cause there are a number of for profit BJJ promotions that seem to be doing just fine, and BJJ isn't inherently more exciting.

    Maybe the should go for using these rules http://judoinfo.com/rules/

    Also the OP might be interested in reading this:
    http://judoinfo.com/rules2/
    IJF works in the guise of a not-for-profit, I believe, part of the Olympic Movement, being the IOC-level governing body for Judo...but you knew that already.

    There are a couple of things going on. A lot of "real judoka" believe that judo should have a certain look and feel to it. That would be your normal Japanese 'style' judo...upright posture, movement, action, light on the ne waza. Of course that varies per weight division, but it's all relative. Contrast that to the supposedly slower, leg-grabby, odd grip/angle judo of Europe/USSR(Russia), eastern Europe, etc. Of course, there are a lot of Europeans who like Japanese style judo, so it's not monolithic by any means.

    And truth was, Judo was getting to be pretty damned boring, with overtight uniforms, and tactical gripping, tactical play of out of bounds, etc., taken to extremes. There was a whole system of how to play the clock versus score, etc. I know because I used to teach that stuff to my HP athletes. It was a whole art unto itself.

    Then the IJF supposedly got a scare from the IOC about Judo being "just another kind of wrestling", perhaps a bit too similar looking to Freestyle/Olympic but wearing Jackets. There was some truth to that, as the IOC was trying (IMO, of course), to get all of the remaining shall we say "low profit/margin" sports in their portfolio (see what I did there) to fall in line and reorganize into the IOC business model.

    Remember when wrestling was out of the Olympics, supposedly ?
    Falling for Judo since 1980

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    I wonder what would happen to Judo if it lost its spot in the Olympics?
    Also I get why they are doing what they are doing, but they are going about it the wrong way.
    Its obvious that the excitement isn't purely in the form of just big throws.
    The 101 ippons video/s shows that all the ways to score can be exciting to people.
    The fact that EBI is on fight pass shows that submissions are obviously of some excitement to the public.
    So I am just saying they are playing this wrong, submissions are what separate Judo from the other olympic wrestling.
    Maybe they should be encouraging that more instead....
    Of the single rapier fight between valiant men, having both skill, he that is the best wrestler, or if neither of them can wrestle, the strongest man most commonly kills the other, or leaves him at his mercy.
    –George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    I wonder what would happen to Judo if it lost its spot in the Olympics?
    There might be an upside to that - a whole slew of new stripmall Judo dojos, each offering to teach the really real deadly. On the other hand, my daughters are synchro swimmers; I have no doubt that sport would cease to exist without Olympic support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    I wonder what would happen to Judo if it lost its spot in the Olympics?
    Also I get why they are doing what they are doing, but they are going about it the wrong way.
    Its obvious that the excitement isn't purely in the form of just big throws.
    The 101 ippons video/s shows that all the ways to score can be exciting to people.
    The fact that EBI is on fight pass shows that submissions are obviously of some excitement to the public.
    So I am just saying they are playing this wrong, submissions are what separate Judo from the other olympic wrestling.
    Maybe they should be encouraging that more instead....
    I agree, of course. But not all the guys who work on rules du jour at the IJF think that way, apparently, especially when all this stuff got started, back when I was still reffing and competing.

    At one point, the head of the IJF Ref commission was openly hostile to groundwork, mostly because he never did it himself, from what I was told by folks who new him. Of course, the head of the IJF was a Korean businessman back then, intent on really changing the look of Judo apparently, and he personally did not like groundwork as well.

    So there was a time when if you didn't fall into a pin, or opponent didn't basically strangle or armlock himself, you got stood up almost immediately. As players new that would happen, nobody bothered to even try to transition to the ground or attack defensive positions. And that was before ashi tori (leg grab) attacks were restricted (in various ways over time). The more draconian gripping restrictions weren't in effect either, penalties for out of bounds were still seriously enforced, so you had huge grip-fighting and see who can get the other guy out of bounds for a penalty wars. Exciting stuff, that was...

    A new head of the REf commission came along (Barcos), BJJ and MMA were coming on strong, and supposedly more time for ne waza was to be allowed.

    It was, sort of, but a lot of refs didn't know ne waza, or didn't like it, so the change was slow in coming .

    The the "Judo looks like wrestling" scare and pressure from the IOC came along, and we started down the path of supposedly more ne waza, but no leg grabs at various levels, gripping restrictions, out of bounds rules changes (for the better, amazingly enough), etc.

    There IS a resurgence in ne waza, partly due to rules changes, partly due to the popularity of BJJ. A lot of younger judoka take up BJJ as cross training, and you can see that when they compete, although usually it's not that spectacular, and you can tell they don't train BJJ THAT much.

    Of course, there are quite a few judo coaches who are decent on the ground, and teach some good stuff, with no BJJ influence, that works for Judo.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

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