In the Judo Olympics, did Americans scare people ?

So with this Olympics, the US judoka had their best medal haul and best overall performance, as we have seen a first ever gold, a bronze and 5th and 7th place finish. Some fans have said that this was among the worst Judo international competitions, at Worlds or Olympics, ever because of how much hesitancy and stalling there was. And that the Americans were often the only judoka who went at it.

Do you think this was because the established judoka were more nervous than usual because they had the usual pressure of defending their positions and titles and in addition rule changes and increased shido calling that gave them opportunities to be overly defensive that it was too hard not take advantage ? Or was it that the four American judoka who placed literally scared the competitors from Holland, Japan, France, Russia and Korea ? Over at Judo Forum, some judo fans have insisted this. One even went as far as to say

"USA Judo- our small band of brothers and sisters- went to London and were straight-up PROBLEMS for whomever they faced.

Instead of us being scared of "the Japanese" or "the Russian" or "the Frenchman" or "the German,"- WE were the problem for the others. They were sh-tting themselves over us most of the time- not the other way around." The link is here : USA Judo- WHAT MUST BE DONE RIGHT NOW! -

I think Nick, Kayla, Marti and Travis all did quite well for themselves but I wonder if that would be accurate or getting too excited for it. For one, I while I enjoyed Marti, Nick and Travis a great deal, I personally wasnt convinced that Nick's loss to Wang Ki Chun, Marti's loss to Corina Caprioriu and Travis's loss to Ole Bischoff were complete screwjobs and certainly not cases of Americans being cheated out of victories simply for being Americans. These matches had close calls and decisions that could have gone either way but it was also a matter of luck not being in their favor and their opponents also doing the right things and executing proper defense to prevent scoring (as the US judoka have admitted in their losses).

And as I read that I realized I wasnt sure if what was happening was that the European and East Asian judoka were fighting not to lose and the Americans had more representation in the medal and pre medal rounds and simply had a more proactive style or if American judoka honestly struck fear in the hearts of the Russian, Japanese, French, Dutch and German judoka. I can't imagine the Japanese, Russian, Mongolian, Korean and Eastern European judoka were actually intimidated by American judoka any more than they were intimidated by each other; in particular, Japanese fighters, Mongolian fighters and Russian fighters, esp from the Caucasus, arent intimidated or scared of anyone, at all, ever. But maybe I am wrong; what do you think caused other judoka to be more hesitant ?

And in general, put of all the men and women judoka from Holland, France, the US, Russia, Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Eastern Europe, which individual fighters stood out to you the most above all others in terms of mental toughness, fighting prowess and showing the warrior's spirit ?

You posted a lot of questions. MVP for me was Jae Bum Kim of Korea in 81K. So dominant no one came close to beating him if ever scoring. The Amercians came with a tremendous fighting spirit. Many of their opponents they have already faced in other events so they knew what it would take to win, aggresiveness. I saw many matches in the quarter finals that the winners were trying to win by shito penalties and or golden score to get to the semi's and finals. It was a strategy that worked. But take nothing away from them they were better judokas who can beat you by ippon/shito's/golden score. I look at Ole Bishof and that guy knows how to win the close fights with his grip fighting. But also has excellent all around judo skills. You need to have both to win at the highest levels. You can't ippon all the top level judokas in your weight category. Many of the tough fights will be be won by yuko.

 The simple answer is "No".  The competitors from those countries were not scared of the USA.  What has been evident for some time is that in more categories than ever before, USA Judo has been very competitive for the last few years. 

There were 4 members of the team that had a serious chance of taking a medal.  Three of them made it to the  medal rounds and DelPopolo made it to repechage.  Travis and Kayla knocked off the #1 seed in their divisions. Marti beat the the #2 seed and defeated the previous Olympic Gold medal winner in the bronze medal match.  Nick DePopolo, though defeated in the pool finals took the #1 seed to flags.

The Stevens-Bischof match is discussed on another thread on this forum. The thread title is Travis Stephens Robbed!  The short answer is "no he wasn't".  It was the correct decision.  You can read the thread and learn exactly why he wasn't robbed.

While I believe that a shido should have been assessed in the Malloy semi against the Romanian, it wasn't.  Marti made a mistake in her attack and got countered for a definite ippon. No controversy.  I missed the DelPopolo pool final, and haven't seen it yet, so I don't have an opinion there.

The athlete that stood out in my mind that defined the warrior spirit is Joo (HUN) in the -78kg division.  She was up by waza-ari against Kayla and then got injured.  Kayla came back and defeated her by ippon to go to the semi-finals.

But Joo came back in the repechage and though she could barely put any weight on her leg, defeated the POL competitor by ippon with her uchi-mata after being down in that match.  She could not overcome Tcheumeo (FRA) in the bronze medal match but she showed true fighting spirit from the pool finals through the repechage and bronze match IMO.


I don't think these athletes are scared of anyone, but they are a little more hesitant to attack than normally due to the stakes at hand.

I agree with OC about Joo (HUN). IMO, if she did not get injured, she would have won the gold medal. Super unlucky break.

i swear i want kayla to have her way with me tho

supersaiyan - i swear i want kayla to have her way with me tho

Yeah...hate to break up a serious convo but I agree with this. Phone Post

man that girl is stacked nicely with that physique... i saw her training in a couple videos and she took off her gi top and i was like OH DAMN!!!