My mission was this: I wanted to test my hypothesis that judo players do not do either counters nor combinations in tournaments. I decided to watch 10 matches and record how many times I saw either a combination or a counter. I was there around 12-1 so I was watching mid-range players. The tiny little kids had already competed and the black belts weren't up yet.
Here are my results, which were pretty consistent with what I have discovered at every camp, clinic and tournament that I've observed:
Players very rarely do counters, combinations or transition. This includes combinations of a standing technique and mat technique, two standing techniques or two matwork techniques.
In the ten matches I observed, I saw zero counters, one attempted (unsuccessful) combinations and three transitions from standing to matwork (two attempted by the same person). Let's look at this in percentages. Of the 20 players in those two matches, 0% did a successful combination, 5% attempted a matwork combination, 0% attempted a matwork combination, 0% attempted a counter and 10% did a transition from standing to matwork.
There should be a hint for you in here if you are an instructor or a competitor. Work on counters, combinations (particularly on the mat) and transitions to standing to matwork.
It's a winning strategy to be strong where others are weak.
It's an even more winning strategy to be strong where others are non-existent.
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