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    Strange Judo Practice ?

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    waza

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    Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:04 am

    Perhaps some of you could help me to understand something i consider a very strange practice which only really happens in the combat sport of Judo as opposed to other combat sports.

    We do randori in some cases once a week if you train at the cells against the very people you'll be fighting that very weekend,you can have training camps and do all the uchi komi etc but i don't think continuous fighting against your main rivals is the way to go especially if your trying to make the sport more exciting and spectator friendly.

    My reasoning is simple,when doing regular randori with someone in the same weight catagory in your club after a period of time your able to read and negate alot of what your opposition is doing and it very often ends up in stalemate. I have witnessed this numerous times in many clubs, so when you have your squad sessions or area sessions and randori your opposition the same thing happens,on top of this your fighting these very people many times during the year at ranking events etc which results in much fewer ippons.

    I can even remember the great korean Jeon on his dvd saying one of the reasons he went up a weight was it was getting harder and harder to defeat his main korean rival via ippon and lets face facts he was a throwing machine of the highest quality.

    Now lets take a look at MMA or Boxing to name just two, a huge MMA match takes place shortly between George St Pierre and Nick Diaz, they most definately will not train and spar with each other a few weeks or even months before they compete against each other, and in most cases unless training in the same gym and competing for the same team will never spar against each other. Now do their skills suffer from it ? answer not even slightly and their fight will be very exciting and full of action.

    Next lets take Boxing Lennox Lewis was once a sparring Partner for Mike Tyson however once Lewis became a contender rather than a nobody did he and Mike Tyson spar again with each other especially in the months leading up to their fight ? answer once agin no. Again the fight was very exciting to watch and resulted in a stoppage not a decision.

    I know judo is different but it does remain a combat sport so i see no reason to randori with your main opposition especially before big events ie nationals etc. At the end of the day i don't think it will effect the players skill level by not fighting the opposition evry week or month. The training camps can and should still take place throwing on the move with each other etc but fighting each other on a regular basis to me just makes for very boring competitions.

    Perhaps someone can give a good valid reason with good examples why this works and makes judo more exciting and spectator friendly ? If possible an example or two like i gave would be nice.

    I look forward to hearing peoples thoughts on the subjectso thanks for any valid replies in advance Smile
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    sodo

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by sodo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:48 am

    makes judo more exciting and spectator friendly ?


    who apart from the IOC and the IJF give a flying fig whether judo is spectator friendly ? Question

    Judo is a participant sport/art, the benefit and enjoyment is in doing it not watching Shocked

    There is so much that you do not appear to understand about judo but your post indicates that you should that I believe you may be trying to troll us scratch

    atb

    sodo


    Last edited by sodo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total


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    waza

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:09 am

    I'm sorry i don't know what trolling means my friend but no i'll feelings towards judo or the people involved in judo is meant as judo is the main sport in my household .... the reason i mention spectator friendly is at the moment there are lots of new ruls in judo which i believe waters our sport down as a combat sport in order to make it more spectator friendly and keep it in the olympics or at least that was the reason given by the IJF.

    Txt does come across as quite cold at times but i do love judo i just find some of the idea's from the powers that be strange hence my question which still stands unanswered.
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    sodo

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by sodo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:17 am

    Hi Waza,

    IJF competition or any competition for that matter is only a very, very small part of judo over all, therefore it is far more benificial to practice with the best partners possible rather than worry about winning the next contest or even looking spectacular.

    atb
    sodo


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    waza

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:02 am

    I agree with you from the none competitive point of view but not if your competitive and wish to be the number one,which is what i'm refering to ie the players who compete at national level etc constantly having to fight each other in training when they have to compete against each other the following week it just doesn't add up.

    You'll also find the players that train for mutual benefit and i would count myself amongst that group i might add are not on the squad and do not attend the training camps etc that i'm refering to.

    Thanks for your input though and as i said i do totally agree with you regards the none competetive players/recreational players Smile
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    sodo

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by sodo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:09 am

    Hi Waza,

    Anybody seriously training for national/international level would be moving around the clubs (even countries) to get as many high level training partners as possible.

    At the international training camps there are almost unlimited opportunities to train with other elite competitors.

    atb

    sodo


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    finarashi

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by finarashi on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:09 am

    If you want to be number one you want to win against foreigners. You can be smart and never train certain techniques against your local adversaries. But not to train with the best means you are doomed to mediocracy.
    IMHO the poor showing of American Judoka of lately was because they refused to train together like other nations.
    Please show me one good Judo nation where the top do not train with each other?


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    heikojr

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by heikojr on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:50 am

    So, if i understand Waza's (OP) question in short form it is why do judoka work out together with their opponents at camps, ect, while other sports don't? I have wondered this also. But i am not as interested/involved with other sports as i am with judo.

    Don't wrestlers have camps together? And don't other sports?

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    waza

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:22 am

    When you say name a judo nation that doesn't do this that is my point i don't think it wise, i can understand training camps abroad afterall your not fighting those people week in week out as alot do on the domestic front.

    Also watch any major judo comp and alot are decided by shido's proving my point,as i said earlier Neither Tyson nor Lewis sparred with top contenders in their prime and both were far from mediocre.

    Train with yes but leave the fighting untill competition time makes more sense to me.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:15 am

    waza wrote:I agree with you from the none competitive point of view but not if your competitive and wish to be the number one,which is what i'm refering to ie the players who compete at national level etc constantly having to fight each other in training when they have to compete against each other the following week it just doesn't add up.

    You'll also find the players that train for mutual benefit and i would count myself amongst that group i might add are not on the squad and do not attend the training camps etc that i'm refering to.

    Thanks for your input though and as i said i do totally agree with you regards the none competetive players/recreational players Smile

    If you are REALLY competitive and REALLY want to be "#1" then you are not going to allow yourself to be in the situation you describe. You will travel to various places to do Judo with the best judoka possible, wherever that might be. People in that position will do what it takes to get better, and if leaving the area is what it takes, they will do it.

    Also, once skill levels are pretty much equal, fitness/conditioning (physical/mental/emotional) becomes the primary difference between winning and losing as well as other factors that are perhaps more subtle and harder to control. Luck?

    Training with someone you know well can be just as mutually beneficial too, depending on what you think of a as a benefit.

    techman

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by techman on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:44 pm

    I'm not sure that a comparison between professional, and in some cases highly paid fighters in boxing and other contact sports can be made with judo players.One of Kano's concepts was "mutual welfare, mutual benefit"so it would follow that by training on a regular basis with someone in the same weight division both would improve.Are you also talking about contest shia when you mention randori training sessions? Remember they are different, and often confused with each other in club sessions.
    Top fighters may not train with each other in some contact sports, but they do watch films of each others fights with their trainers, to look for flaws in their opponents defences. Isn't that what some judo players find out by training with others of similar ablity?

    waza

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:57 pm

    Thankyou all so much for taking the time to read my post and for giving me your input.

    Ben although i respect and can see your point of view as i've already said other top level combat sportsmen and women do not fight each other on a regular basis and yet they manage to improve their game, therefore still can't see the logic in it, i've also seen first hand a very good player getting wins via flags and small scores only against a not so good player because they fought each other once a week at an area training session, the better player for reasons beyond their control couldn't make these sessions for a couple of months which resulted in an easy win via ippon against the very player where the stalemate waas taking place. I've witnessed this on more than one occasion with different players too.I agree all things being equal the fitter better prepared player should win Smile.

    Techman it is indeed constant contest shia that i'm refering to. I agree professional fighters watch videos of their opponenets but thats nowhere near the same as fighting them almost weekly i'm sure you'll agree.

    I know my comments may sound negative but i really don't mean them to be, i appreciate everybodys thoughts and comments even though i may not agree with them totally.I do think we could learn from these other combat sports and believe it would make a massive difference to our sport in a good way.


    Last edited by waza on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:28 pm

    What do you think could be learnt?


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    medo

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by medo on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:51 pm

    waza wrote:Thankyou all so much for taking the time to read my post and for giving me your input.

    Ben although i respect and can see your point of view as i've already said other top level combat sportsmen and women do not fight each other on a regular basis and yet they manage to improve their game, therefore still can't see the logic in it, i've also seen first hand a very good player getting wins against a not so good player because they faught each other once a week at an area training session, the better player for reasons beyond their control couldn't make these sessions for a couple of months which resulted in an easy win via ippon against the very player where the stalemate waas taking place. I've witnessed this on more than one occasion with different players too.I agree all things being equal the fitter better prepared player should win Smile.

    Techman it is indeed constant contest shia that i'm refering to. I agree professional fighters watch videos of their opponenets but thats nowhere near the same as fighting them almost weekly i'm sure you'll agree.

    I know my comments may sound negative but i really don't mean them to be, i appreciate everybodys thoughts and comments even though i may not agree with them totally.I do think we could learn from these other combat sports and believe it would make a massive difference to our sport in a good way.

    I do understand where your coming from. My friend(may he rest in peace) and I started Judo together we never fought each other in competition because he was a couple of weight groups up from me in practice and randori I could always catch him, when we met competitively it was always at gradings, over 10yrs he always beat me and he was always one grade ahead because of that. He knew how I fought, what techniques I used and he would nullifie them I would always loose by a holddown. Yet I would medal at competitions and he rarely did but he was my training partner we learn't together boy I miss him.... Crying or Very sad
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:01 am

    waza wrote:Perhaps some of you could help me to understand something i consider a very strange practice which only really happens in the combat sport of Judo as opposed to other combat sports.

    We do randori in some cases once a week if you train at the cells against the very people you'll be fighting that very weekend,you can have training camps and do all the uchi komi etc but i don't think continuous fighting against your main rivals is the way to go especially if your trying to make the sport more exciting and spectator friendly.

    My reasoning is simple,when doing regular randori with someone in the same weight catagory in your club after a period of time your able to read and negate alot of what your opposition is doing and it very often ends up in stalemate. I have witnessed this numerous times in many clubs, so when you have your squad sessions or area sessions and randori your opposition the same thing happens,on top of this your fighting these very people many times during the year at ranking events etc which results in much fewer ippons.

    I can even remember the great korean Jeon on his dvd saying one of the reasons he went up a weight was it was getting harder and harder to defeat his main korean rival via ippon and lets face facts he was a throwing machine of the highest quality.

    Now lets take a look at MMA or Boxing to name just two, a huge MMA match takes place shortly between George St Pierre and Nick Diaz, they most definately will not train and spar with each other a few weeks or even months before they compete against each other, and in most cases unless training in the same gym and competing for the same team will never spar against each other. Now do their skills suffer from it ? answer not even slightly and their fight will be very exciting and full of action.

    Next lets take Boxing Lennox Lewis was once a sparring Partner for Mike Tyson however once Lewis became a contender rather than a nobody did he and Mike Tyson spar again with each other especially in the months leading up to their fight ? answer once agin no. Again the fight was very exciting to watch and resulted in a stoppage not a decision.

    I know judo is different but it does remain a combat sport so i see no reason to randori with your main opposition especially before big events ie nationals etc. At the end of the day i don't think it will effect the players skill level by not fighting the opposition evry week or month. The training camps can and should still take place throwing on the move with each other etc but fighting each other on a regular basis to me just makes for very boring competitions.

    Perhaps someone can give a good valid reason with good examples why this works and makes judo more exciting and spectator friendly ? If possible an example or two like i gave would be nice.

    I look forward to hearing peoples thoughts on the subjectso thanks for any valid replies in advance Smile

    I held off responding to this question for a while to make sure I properly understood it.

    Basically, your question is one of tactical approaches in judo. There is no short answer to your question and this for a number of reasons. The situation is not as straightforward and generalized as you suggest, because (1) not all jûdôka do, (2) it is not true that other combat sports don't, it depends on the sport and the individual and the coach, and (3) it depends on the level.

    Ultimately, your question boils down to the dialectic tension that exists between tactical considerations and improving. What is the most important for judoka X who is in the same weight class as judoka Y ? Should they be training together and in this way improve or should they avoid each other for tactical reasons ?

    There is a difference between what should and what is, I think. One factor is how good you really are. But how good you really are in itself is a multifactorial question that contains at least 2 not necessarily identical factors, namely your chances to winning gold medals and your technical skills. As you know, there are judoka who are technically not so good who become champions and others who are technically outstanding who may not. This is of importance, since the needs --or at least how most judoka in either category appreciate their needs-- may be different.

    For example, when I was a 2nd and 1st kyu and still a junior I obviously was in a phase of development, but as I was actively involved in competition there was also a problem for training in my club. There were no people of similar age and rank who were good enough, and the seniors who were black/belts were mostly already "past career". The consequence was that I was throwing around people. My instructor (not my coach, since I never had a judo coach) basically started prohibiting me from doing several throws or really going at it because he felt that other juniors started staying away out of fear and that in this way his club started suffering. His response always was to make references to Hirano Tokio saying that Hirano Tokio was able to train with little children while sweating very hard. As you can imagine, this was extremely frustrating for me. One, I obviously was no Hirano Tokio and, two, Hirano Tokio for sure when he was in his prime was not fighting little children to prepare for major contests but instead took on the strongest judoka he could find. The problem for me obviously was that I was forced to "take it easy" during workouts only to then having to suddenly face the strongest judoka and national elite during important championships. This was an impossible situation. In our club there was, however, a superb world elite athlete at the time of whom my instructor was the coach. She did not have the same problem because (1) she was a woman and therefore the relative resistance which male judoka could provide her with was already more significant, and (2) she weighed only between 50-60 kg meaning that most male were also substantially heavier again causing her to find more "relative resistance" in our club than I could. In other words, club training was able to be more helpful to her than to me. This is what simply FORCED me to go elsewhere in order to be able to find sufficient resistance and prepare myself in a more realistic way for competition. Now, who exactly you choose to fight with when "seeking elsewhere" depends both on personality, character, and type of judo. At that time I was only visiting other strong clubs. National team workouts actually were established only at some point when I was a junior and from the moment they existed I started attending them. My personal choice was to choose some judoka and avoid others. Why ? One reason was because I was easily injured, and because my interest went mostly to people who were technically excellent rather than those who were only very strong, though obviously during randori you generally have no absolute choice. So, this was my experience as a judoka.

    Now, another example. During my development there was another judoka who later became very famous and became an Olympic champion years later. He was a half-heavyweight. He was physically already very strong, but his first Olympics had ended in disaster. Technically he was not very good, but he was trained very hard and both in terms of endurance and power was already so strong that nationally he found rather little resistance for the simple reason that no adversary was sufficiently strong for him to maximally benefit. Later, I had the doubtful honor to many times work out with him, which as a form of training probably was far more useful for me than for him. I was several weight classes lighter and thus was mostly "canon meat" for him. There were one or 2 other half-heavies who could provide more resistance, and one or 2 heavyweights who mostly due to their weight could physically rely on that advantage rather than I could being much lighter, but still to not much avail. In those days, the federation did not pay for athletes to go travel abroad to train, etc. Such sponsoring and monies simply did not exist. So what now ? What do you do when you can't find sufficient resistance in any club and you don't have money and you are determined to end up among the world's best ? In that case, finding work, dirty jobs that pay lots of money was the solution, and the money was used to go to Japan. In Japan, the situation was completely different and many excellent and strong judoka could be found. Certainly in those days when judo was still judo. International training camps as they existing in those days were mostly summer camps with a well known sensei, but not the kind of competition camps that exist today often in association with large international contests.

    In time though as such international camps were created it facilitated the situation to train with the best while not have to make extreme efforts to get there, and in time a couple of countries such as France for example would develop becoming a very strong judo nation, in this way taking away the need to travel all the way to Japan. Before the open sky agreements of the end of the 1970s, I believe, such travel was extremely expensive and not affordable for normal people anyhow.

    Going back to your question, When visiting international training camps you have different options that can coincide with what you are referring to in your question or not at all. It depends. I am very choosy, and I know damn well why, but others are not. I am choosy because I have a pretty good idea and always had about what I wanted to learn, and because I was very prone to injury. Others who are not very prone to injury, or whose focus is more on simply winning or being stronger without that necessarily implying improvement of technique, do not have to be so choosy. There is another factor though. In my personal opinion, you better use your brain when attending international training camps, for the simple reason that I have seen quite a bit of excellent judoka being destroyed there, and not all of them as accidentally as people would like to believe. I have seen several judoka end up with ACL ruptures there just a week before the Paris Open or a European or World Championship, so that is something to take into account. These are not 'pleasant' events. Many elite judoka have big ego's in the sense of ... they are only interested in their own success, not in yours. So, if they rupture your ACL, that's your problem, not theirs. Oftentimes, they will not even help you off the mat, but instead will be pissed off at you because now they have to wait for a couple of minutes before they can find another partner to continue with. Don't think for a second that they will feel bad or guilty if you end up being half dead. The climate there often borders the psychopathic. These camps are not fun. They are not places you enjoy and where you hang out and become friends with all those famous names. Many top judoka are near sociopaths with whom you can't have a decent conversation, and there interest includes judo and nothing else. Not saying there are no exceptions, but this is how it mostly was. If you were in a team, you could have been there for years without ever having exchanged more than 2 sentences with half the team. Educational level often used to be very, very low.

    Now, if you were at such a camp, would you elect to choose particularly your most important adversaries to work out with ? It depends. I know some world elite judoka half-heavies or heavies for example who had a go against the likes of Yamashita and Endo. I can understand that because they were rather clean judoka and one did not have a chance to win against them anyhow. There were others, like Parisi, who were 'clean', meaning you did not have to fear for your life even if you know you would not be much on your feet. The situation was usually quite different with regard to former Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, not to confirm the stereotype that they were all bad and dirty people, but the cold war was still going on and you could sense that. Some judoka were known as rather dangerous, and if you had any sanity you would avoid them like the pest. On the other hand and to be fair, there were a minority of them with excellent clean judo, the likes of Nevzorov or Iatskevitch. But it still does not address the part of your question if you would specifically go and fight those people IF there was a great likelihood and you were that good that chances were you would end up in the quarter final against them. I think it really depends on your personality, style, and also what your coach wants. In any case, even at that level strategy becomes very important, and even if you fight your most important potential adversaries some level of 'deception' and strategy might be applied. A notorious example of this is Neil Adams/Frank Wieneke. During the final of the -78kg of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Wieneke threw Adams for ippon in this way winning gold, but how ? Wieneke threw Adams with left ippon-seoi-nage, a technique he had never use before in a major contest or on Adams, in fact a technique that he had developed in secret, and that strategically was applied in the sense of "you get one chance, all or nothing". It was a success and Wineke took Adams completely by surprise with something Adams in no way was prepared for strategically. Maybe wdax knows more pertinent details about the underlying process of training and exactly how it went about, but the point I am making here is ... at that level tactics are crucial particularly.

    Is this universal ? No, because a factor in this equation is the technical know-how of the players. Both Adams and Wieneke were excellent judoka who actually did judo. If your techical level is very mediocre, sure you can still use tactics, but those tactics will likely be far less pure judo-based and more have to do with power, endurance. As such, that kind of tactics is likely less at risk for "being discovered" through working out with judoka you meet in contests, or at least "less critical". It also depends on HOW you fight in randori against people you might meet in shiai or important competitions. Essentially it depends on whether you are truly doing just randori or turning them into mini-competitions. In other words, it depends on how you use your brain. You can well fight as pure randori your strongest adversaries during camps or training sessions with the intend to taste their reactions, how they move, how they change grip, or ... you can forget about that, like unfortunately many do, and get completely gungho on throwing them no matter what. It is here that the coach CAN play a role. These days I see coaches getting younger and younger and many of them have just finished a competitive career. Their insight in terms of ... "adaptive coaching" often is far less than that of seasoned elderly coaches. They are gungho, and that in combination with the current development of judo, seems to less and less geared towards optimally using randori for reasons other than pure physical conditioning and winning.

    Personally, I have found individual anonymous training in Japan and Korea far more useful than attending major camps. The atmosphere is totally different, very judo-authentic, you meet more real judo, far less injuries, different taste with excellent technique, and the present of an osmotic push towards good technique and technically improving. However, if you are an elite athlete, most federations do not provide such a structure where you get carte-blanche, and they will pay for whatever you go do as an individual. The athlete himself does not have the knowledge, does not speak Japanese, does not have the network yet, and the coach has to focus on many more athletes. Instead people at the federation understandably follow the much easier route, where they just have to look on an IJF or EJU calender plan an announced training camp in association with some major international tournament, and that is that. Even if that isn't an ideal solution for you it works to some degree for most, and that will also be there justification if you try challenge it. Certainly today, most federations are not set up for a single athlete going rogue even if from a judo-strategic point of view this might be better. Historically though, the concept of musha shugyô is precisely that.

    To get back to another part of your question, namely that other combat arts would not do this. That is not quite true, but it depends on the stratification of the sport. In many countries today very, very few wrestling clubs remain. I know of nations were there are today less than 5 wrestling clubs. That has an impact on how the sport is nationally organized, and how they athletes train, can train and have to train. In karate, I certainly see people train together too, although the completely split-up in styles and numerous federations plays a role too. Judo today, is still one of the most "unified sports". You can clearly see this as often when people mention they are part of a non-IJF federation, disparaging comments with regard to judo, style, rank are not out of the air. Because of this strong federalized structure, judo is able to still organize and dictate things that not all combat sports can. In a sport such as kendo people train together too, but there is an important difference with judo, namely that kendo has no weight classes. For that reason, you do not have the problem in judo that you need to look for someone of comparable weight class in order to avoid injuries and to get fair chance, and you won't have too many people avoiding to fight with you because you weigh two weight classes heavier. In other words, many factors play a role and just because something is a combat sport does not mean that in terms of training, organization and stratification it bears much similarity.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:47 am; edited 2 times in total


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    waza

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by waza on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:55 am

    Cichorei Kano wow thankyou so much for going into such details and taking the time to reply.You made alot of very interesting points some of which i hadn't even thought of,some of them supporting my thoughts and some not but all backed up with sound examples.

    I actually learned a thing or two and am really pleased that i asked the question now as it has given me a little more insight to the why's even if i don't fully agree with all of them.
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    The_Harvest

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    Re: Strange Judo Practice ?

    Post by The_Harvest on Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:18 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    waza wrote:Perhaps some of you could help me to understand something i consider a very strange practice which only really happens in the combat sport of Judo as opposed to other combat sports.

    We do randori in some cases once a week if you train at the cells against the very people you'll be fighting that very weekend,you can have training camps and do all the uchi komi etc but i don't think continuous fighting against your main rivals is the way to go especially if your trying to make the sport more exciting and spectator friendly.

    My reasoning is simple,when doing regular randori with someone in the same weight catagory in your club after a period of time your able to read and negate alot of what your opposition is doing and it very often ends up in stalemate. I have witnessed this numerous times in many clubs, so when you have your squad sessions or area sessions and randori your opposition the same thing happens,on top of this your fighting these very people many times during the year at ranking events etc which results in much fewer ippons.

    I can even remember the great korean Jeon on his dvd saying one of the reasons he went up a weight was it was getting harder and harder to defeat his main korean rival via ippon and lets face facts he was a throwing machine of the highest quality.

    Now lets take a look at MMA or Boxing to name just two, a huge MMA match takes place shortly between George St Pierre and Nick Diaz, they most definately will not train and spar with each other a few weeks or even months before they compete against each other, and in most cases unless training in the same gym and competing for the same team will never spar against each other. Now do their skills suffer from it ? answer not even slightly and their fight will be very exciting and full of action.

    Next lets take Boxing Lennox Lewis was once a sparring Partner for Mike Tyson however once Lewis became a contender rather than a nobody did he and Mike Tyson spar again with each other especially in the months leading up to their fight ? answer once agin no. Again the fight was very exciting to watch and resulted in a stoppage not a decision.

    I know judo is different but it does remain a combat sport so i see no reason to randori with your main opposition especially before big events ie nationals etc. At the end of the day i don't think it will effect the players skill level by not fighting the opposition evry week or month. The training camps can and should still take place throwing on the move with each other etc but fighting each other on a regular basis to me just makes for very boring competitions.

    Perhaps someone can give a good valid reason with good examples why this works and makes judo more exciting and spectator friendly ? If possible an example or two like i gave would be nice.

    I look forward to hearing peoples thoughts on the subjectso thanks for any valid replies in advance Smile

    I held off responding to this question for a while to make sure I properly understood it.

    Basically, your question is one of tactical approaches in judo. There is no short answer to your question and this for a number of reasons. The situation is not as straightforward and generalized as you suggest, because (1) not all jûdôka do, (2) it is not true that other combat sports don't, it depends on the sport and the individual and the coach, and (3) it depends on the level.

    Ultimately, your question boils down to the dialectic tension that exists between tactical considerations and improving. What is the most important for judoka X who is in the same weight class as judoka Y ? Should they be training together and in this way improve or should they avoid each other for tactical reasons ?

    There is a difference between what should and what is, I think. One factor is how good you really are. But how good you really are in itself is a multifactorial question that contains at least 2 not necessarily identical factors, namely your chances to winning gold medals and your technical skills. As you know, there are judoka who are technically not so good who become champions and others who are technically outstanding who may not. This is of importance, since the needs --or at least how most judoka in either category appreciate their needs-- may be different.

    For example, when I was a 2nd and 1st kyu and still a junior I obviously was in a phase of development, but as I was actively involved in competition there was also a problem for training in my club. There were no people of similar age and rank who were good enough, and the seniors who were black/belts were mostly already "past career". The consequence was that I was throwing around people. My instructor (not my coach, since I never had a judo coach) basically started prohibiting me from doing several throws or really going at it because he felt that other juniors started staying away out of fear and that in this way his club started suffering. His response always was to make references to Hirano Tokio saying that Hirano Tokio was able to train with little children while sweating very hard. As you can imagine, this was extremely frustrating for me. One, I obviously was no Hirano Tokio and, two, Hirano Tokio for sure when he was in his prime was not fighting little children to prepare for major contests but instead took on the strongest judoka he could find. The problem for me obviously was that I was forced to "take it easy" during workouts only to then having to suddenly face the strongest judoka and national elite during important championships. This was an impossible situation. In our club there was, however, a superb world elite athlete at the time of whom my instructor was the coach. She did not have the same problem because (1) she was a woman and therefore the relative resistance which male judoka could provide her with was already more significant, and (2) she weighed only between 50-60 kg meaning that most male were also substantially heavier again causing her to find more "relative resistance" in our club than I could. In other words, club training was able to be more helpful to her than to me. This is what simply FORCED me to go elsewhere in order to be able to find sufficient resistance and prepare myself in a more realistic way for competition. Now, who exactly you choose to fight with when "seeking elsewhere" depends both on personality, character, and type of judo. At that time I was only visiting other strong clubs. National team workouts actually were established only at some point when I was a junior and from the moment they existed I started attending them. My personal choice was to choose some judoka and avoid others. Why ? One reason was because I was easily injured, and because my interest went mostly to people who were technically excellent rather than those who were only very strong, though obviously during randori you generally have no absolute choice. So, this was my experience as a judoka.

    Now, another example. During my development there was another judoka who later became very famous and became an Olympic champion years later. He was a half-heavyweight. He was physically already very strong, but his first Olympics had ended in disaster. Technically he was not very good, but he was trained very hard and both in terms of endurance and power was already so strong that nationally he found rather little resistance for the simple reason that no adversary was sufficiently strong for him to maximally benefit. Later, I had the doubtful honor to many times work out with him, which as a form of training probably was far more useful for me than for him. I was several weight classes lighter and thus was mostly "canon meat" for him. There were one or 2 other half-heavies who could provide more resistance, and one or 2 heavyweights who mostly due to their weight could physically rely on that advantage rather than I could being much lighter, but still to not much avail. In those days, the federation did not pay for athletes to go travel abroad to train, etc. Such sponsoring and monies simply did not exist. So what now ? What do you do when you can't find sufficient resistance in any club and you don't have money and you are determined to end up among the world's best ? In that case, findig work, dirty jobs that pay lots of money was the solution, and the money was used to go to Japan. In Japan, the situation was completely different and many excellent and strong judoka could be found. Certainly in those days when judo was still judo. International training camps as they existing in those days were mostly summer camps with a well known sensei, but not the kind of competition camps that exist today often in association with large international contests.

    In time though as such international contests were created it facilitated the situation to train with the best while not have to make extreme efforts to get there, and in time a couple of countries such as France for example would develop becoming a very strong judo nation, in this way taking away the need to travel all the way to Japan. Before the open sky agreements of the end of the 1970s, I believe, such travel was extremely expensive and not affordable for normal people anyhow.

    Going back to your question, When visiting international training camps you have different options that can coincide with what you are referring to in your question or not at all. It depends. I am very choosy, and I know damn well why, but others are not. I am choosy because I have a pretty good idea and always had about what I wanted to learn, and because I was very prone to injury. Others who are not very prone to injury, or whose focus is more on simply winning or being stronger without that necessarily implying improvement of technique, do not have to be so choosy. There is another factor though. In my personal opinion, you better use your brain when attending international training camps, for the simple reason that I have seen quite a bit of excellent judoka being destroyed there, and not all of them as accidentally as people would like to believe. I have seen several judoak end up with ACL ruptures there just a week before the Paris Open or a European or World Championship, so that is something to take into account. These are not 'pleasant' events. Many elite judoka have big ego's in the sense of ... they are only interested in their own success, not in yours. So, if they rupture your ACL, that's your problem, not theirs. Oftentimes, they will not even help you off the mat, but instead will be pissed off at you becaus now they have to wait for a couple of minutes before they can find another partner to continue with. Don't think for a second that they will feel bad or guilty if you are half dead. The climate there often borders the psychopathic. These camps are not fun. They are not places you enjoy and where you hang out and become friends with all those famous names. Many top judoka are near sociopaths with whom you can't have a decent conversation, and there interest includes judo and nothing else. Not saying there are not exceptions, but this is how it mostly was. If you were in a team, you could have been there for years without ever having exchanged more than 2 sentences with half the team. Educational level often used to be very, very low.

    Now, if you were at such a camp, would you elect to choose particularly your most important adversaries to work out with ? It depends. I know some world elite judoka half-heavies or heavies for example who had a go against the likes of Yamashita and Endo. I can understand that because they were rather clean judoka and one did not have a chance to win against them anyhow. There were others, like Parisi, who were 'clean', meaning you did not have to fear for your life even if you know you would not be much on your feet. The situation was usually quite different with regard to former Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, not to confirm the stereotype that they were all bad and dirty people, but the cold war was still going on and you could sense that. Some judoka were known as rather dangerous, and if you had any sanity you would avoid them like the pest. On the other hand and to be fair, there were a minority of them with excellent clean judo, the likes of Nevzorov or Iatskevitch. But it still does not address the part of your question if you would specifically go and fight those people IF there was a great likelihood and you were that good that chances were you would end up in the quarter final against them. I think it really depends on your personality, style, and also what your coach wants. In any case, even at that level strategy becomes very important, and even if you fight your most important potential adversaries some level of 'deception' and strategy might be applied. A notorious example of this is Neil Adams/Frank Wieneke. During the final of the -78kg of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Wieneke threw Adams for ippon in this way winning gold, but how ? Wieneke threw Adams with left ippon-seoi-nage, a technique he had never use before in a major contest or on Adams, in fact a technique that he had developed in secret, and that strategically was applied in the sense of "you get one chance, all or nothing". Maybe wdax knows more pertinent details about the underlying process of training and exactly how it went about, but the point I am making here is ... at that level tactics are crucial particularly.

    Is this universal ? No, because a factor in this equation is the technical know-how of the players. Both Adams and Wieneke were excellent judoka who actually did judo. If your techical level is very mediocre, sure you can still use tactics, but those tactics will likely be far less pure judo-based and more have to do with power, endurance. As such, that kind of tactics is likely less at risk for "being discovered" through working out with judoka you meet in contests, or at least "less critical". It also depends on HOW you fight in randori against people you might meet in shiai or important competitions. Essentially it depends on whether you are truly doing just randori or turning them into mini-competitions. In other words, it depends on how you use your brain. You can well fight as pure randori your strongest adversaries during camps or training sessions with the intend to taste their reactions, how they move, how they change grip, or ... you can forget about that, like unfortunately many do, and get completely gungho on throwing them no matter what. It is here that the coach CAN play a role. These days I see coaches getting younger and younger and many of them have just finished a compettive career. Their insight in terms of ... "adaptive coaching" often is far less than that of seasoned elderly coaches. They are gungho, and that in combination with the current development of judo, seems to less and less geared towards optimally using randori for reaons other than pure physical conditioning and winning.

    Personally, I have found individual anonymous training in Japan and Korea far more useful than attending major camps. The atmoshpere is totally different, very judo-authentic, you meet more real judo, far less injuries, different taste with excellent technique, and the present of an osmotic push towards good technique and technically improving. However, if you are an elite athlete, most federations do not provide such a structure where you get carte-blanche, and they will pay for whatever you go do as an individual. The athlete himself does not have the knowledge, does not speak Japanese, does not have the network yet, and the coach has to focus on many more athletes. Instead people at the federation understandably follow the much easier route, where they just have to look on an IJF or EJU calender plan an announced training camp in association with some major international tournament, and that is that. Even if that isn't an ideal solution for you it works to some degree for most, and that will also be there justification if you try challenge it. Certainly today, most federations are not set up for a single athlete going rogue even if from a judo-strategic point of view this might be better. Historically though, the concept of musha shugyô is precisely that.

    To get back to another part of your question, namely that other combat arts would not do this. That is not quite true, but it depends on the stratification of the sport. In many countries today very, very few wrestling clubs remain. I know of nations were there are today less than 5 wrestling clubs. That has an impact on how the sport is nationally organized. In karate, I certainly see people train together too, although the completely split-up in styles and numerous federations plays a role too. Judo today, is still one of the most "unified sports". You can clearly see this as often when people mention they are part of a non-IJF federation, disparaging comments with regard to judo, style, rank are not out of the air. Because of this strong federalized structure, judo is able to still organize and dictate things that not all combat sports can. In a sport such as kendo people train together too, but there is an important difference with judo, namely that kendo has no weight classes. For that reason, you do not have the problem in judo that you need to look for someone of comparable weight class in order to avoid injuries and to get fair chance, and you won't have too many people avoiding to fight with you because you weigh two weight classes heavier. In other words, many factors play a role and just because something is a combat sport does not mean that in terms of training, organization and stratification is bears much similarity.


    Am I right to assume that you're talking about Robert Van de Walle?


    _________________
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
    Roman 3:23-26


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    Ephesians 2:8-10

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