Judo's Rule Changes........

I am in the midsts of putting together a judo history and timeline for an article I am writing.In alot of what I am researching and reading I can not help but notice a disturbing trend in Judo.

It seems that through time,starting with Kano himself,the rules have been making a tighter and tighter noose on a once open grappling philosophy.

Kano's Original rules are what we are doing today in submission wrestling pretty much to a T despite the throw ippon,

(which in that day and age was much closer to the total victory throw of sambo than the "wazari" throw ippons of sport judo today)

This of course is not the alarming part.The Alarming part is that the rules have changed chronologicly parallel to (term edited to be p.c.) judoka getting their butts kicked.

Judo is stopping it's own evolution....

More to come,

Stay tuned for a debuting article....

Feel free to discuss this issue though as I'm trying to stay away from making controversial claims in the article itself and sticking to laying down the facts and this probably won't be covered.Just something disturbing about Judo I noticed,have researched and feel needs discussion.

Here are my questions...

Are we still able to accept the kodokan judo as true "judo" in a grappling scenario?

Can we still follow the principles of old and keep true to the definition of judo without conflict of interest with snooty classical judoka ?

Or, are we destined to the shelf due to the strangulation of the noose?

Sometimes I wonder.

I'll agree it was a relative butt kicking,but I think any butt-kicking is and was too many for "them".I believe they changed the rules after their japanese peers beat them as well.

yeah, my theory about that...

it has been pointed out to me that it doesn't take that learn to learn MT vs. BJJ (samboboy pointed out that it only takes 6 months to prepare from scratch for a pro fight in Thailand vs. amount of time to win a bjj championship being greater (assuming no previous training))

It is also true that judokas switching over to bjj (like Leo Leite) have won the Mundials, whereas, bjjers don't seem to pick up throws as quickly as judokas can pick up the newaza game of bjj...


Kano wanted a throwing based game because throws teach you the most body co-ordination. Once you can pull-off throws, you can learn subs a lot easier than someone who does the reverse. Striking isn't as hard to pick up as the other two and thus gets the least priority.

Since judo was supposed to be a form of education, making throws the most important was useful for that purpose (for the purpose of winning duels, obviously the Maeda or Gracie method kicks ass).

So that was the reason for the rule change IMO...but I'm guessing here to a large degree (although I am more co-ordinated since starting judo).

About the Japanese getting their butts kicked...as popular a notion as it is, it was a relative butt kicking.

There has never been a world or olympic games (other than Moscow) where the Japanese didn't win more medals than the Soviets or anyone else. Even in 64 when the Soviets were 'fresh', they came away with 4 bronzes, to 3 golds and 1 silver by the Japanese. In 1972 the Japanese won more than the Soviets or anyone else, etc.

It is true that the rules have been changed, but even before that the Japanese were winning and the greatest champion of the modern era, Yamashita, won without the rule changes and using traditional Japanese-style throws and newaza.

ps. I prefer the Russian judo wrestling style myself since that's what I can pull-off, but it isn't always better...

I will check it out Reilly!!

Thanks everyone,keep your ideas and oppinions coming.


humm perhaps we can construct aq parrell theme related to the development of sport bjj.........

I went through this same thought process about 4 years ago - wrote it down then and posted it on my web page - it is still there and still true.
http://bisons.net - under training, under Judo

"From: wasabi
Date: 06-Mar-02 | 06:58 PM

They should have a Q&A: Judo on this site. "

What a great idea......

They should have a Q&A: Judo on this site.

I have been told by people within the various US Judo organizations that they are trying to make judo more television friendly, hense the lower osakomi-waza time, the lower tolerances for grip fighting, the lower tolerance for positioning (read stalling), etc. All in all I think it is a huge deteritment to the sport and that in encourages sloppy judo at best.

I, for one, am very dissapointed with the direction that US Judo has turned.


the judo place i train at continues with the Kano way, with randori consisting of submission style rules once on the ground, with the exception of Pins....

That goes back to what pjstroff1 said about it being based more on the individual's natural talents. Royce, no matter how much he trains, isn't going to be a great striker. Same thing goes for some wrestlers; like Severn for instance.

Jiudo has got alot to learn from BJJ. I feel some top jiudokas will start competing both in jiudo and BJJ, and it will do good to both sports.

I have only nailed one really stellular throw in competition that I am proud of.

In the 198lb division this year,this dude fit in for uchi mata and had me about 75% gone and I finally got my grip,set my feet, lifted and I absolutely buried him with a kiai'ed russian style twisting uranage and followed it all the way to the ground looking up at the crowd....I was a badass til I got chucked on my butt with ouchi the next round:) and dq'd from the match after that:)

My worst? I went out in a team tournament once and got thrown by left side uchi mata, then went out the next round and got thrown by right side uchi mata...lol

actually one of the cool things to me is that some judokas did go in and win sambo comps...

it seems that back in the 70s everyone was cooler and if you slapped a judokas face (as a sambist) by winning a judo tourament, they returned the favour...

why chokes aren't allowed? I think I've read some stuff from the Ameross site and from a MA Journal...

from what I could tell there are two versions as to why...

1) Oschepkov continually allows more and the format allows chokes and leglocks, but when he is killed, and Khlarmpiev (sp?) takes charge, a decision is made to differ sambo from judo and the rules are made to reflect this

2) It is more beneficial to break a soldier's leg than anything else. He is out of the fight and his comrades need to take him back to base (medical care, etc) and they are out as well. Breaking his arm can lower his morale which can add up at the base. Killing a soldier doesn't do either...so for those reasons the limb breaking was in, but not the chokes.

I kinda believe the first myself, but I haven't done much reading on it really...

yeah, lol, combatives bores me too. I'm only into martial arts for two things: get in shape and learn to throw just 'cause I like throws...I got the first one okay, but I just can't pull off a big throw it seems! =)

pure bred, If you read on jigoro,you will find that this is the way he started for sure,then he started tightening the noose and creating the restrictions himself as well though.

I'm thinking he was trying to deal with the reputation of the Kodokan (Anyone who believes jigoro was above ego is blind). judo had grown so much that people where doing things even his guys could not stop.As this happened,in order to keep the kodokan at the top,I believe he started changing the rules to fit the exact mold of his personal players.I believe this has been a progressive tactic in sport judo to this day.

pjstroff1, Leo Leite was a Pan-Am judo champ who took up bjj (yes, they learnt bjj), got his black belt and won the Mundial (btw, he is going to try and make the 2004 Olympics at 100kg for Brazil as he is still on their national team but not the #1 guy...killer newaza if he can do it!)

Rhadi Ferguson (#1 or 2 guy at 100kg for USA in judo) got 2nd in the purple belt Mundial, and he seems to have learnt bjj faster than most elite bjj athletes...

I can't think of many people who did the reverse though...it seems that training your body to learn how to throw really helps co-ordination.

Now that doesn't mean that your overall ground game is better, because it won't be, but your ability to learn both rapidly may (note I said MAY) be better...

maybe :o)

"Another thing I would like to hear your opinions on is did Judo actually exist during Kano's lifetime"

Liuke,in theory I believe it did.I don't think any of us can reach the pinnacle of what he created judo to be..it is alot like the theories of jeet kun do.Has anyone ever really done jeet kun do? Not in it's purest essence they havn't because, it is perfection.
I will say that the Gracies are the evolution of what the "original" Kano rules and principles where based on...They too are still not at the pinnacle but they sure are closer than alot of the rest of us.

Quincy, what do you think of the direction Oschepkov went? The formulation of Russian Judo into Sambo into Soviet Judo into Judo...

What does his formula reflect?