Sunday, January 25, 2009

Watch this match

Americans who are interested in competing internationally should take note. This is the 60 kg finals of the Tlibisi World Cup.

Notice a few things here which will be different once you start competing internationally. One, both those competitors would have garnered a dozen penalties each competing in America. They would have been called for excessively defensive posture, going directly to the mat without a technique, grabbing the legs. Instead, they received a total of one shido between them, which no longer counts as a score.

Two, there was no playing to the referees. When one player knocked down the other and it was no score, he didn't throw both hands up and gesture to the referee like, "What do I need to do to get a score around here?" He just went back and fought.

Three, the number of attacks was far greater than you see in the average American match ESPECIALLY when you have two matched players in a high stakes match. Both of these men are from Georgia and they are fighting in the finals of a world cup event held in their home country. They attacked repeatedly from beginning to end of the match. One weakness I did see in them is that they worked transition to matwork far less than I would have. There was one almost armbar, but they often kind of just gave up on matwork attempts. Don't go feeling smug, Americans do that just as much. A difference I noticed here is that American players, especially when fighting someone they know well, tend to look for an opening. Of course, I am not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and attack when you are off-balance and can be easily countered. I am suggesting if you look at international results over the past few years and see the number of American players who lost on non-combativity penalties, there is a reason for that.

If you are interested in competing internationally and you don't regularly watch matches of international competition, you should.

Thanks to Jerry Hays for sending me this link.

Speaking of thanks to guys named Gerry, thanks to Gerry Lafon for the counters clinic today. It was great and you slackers who slept in missed out


Anonymous said...

My brother, who has a bjj background, competed in his first judo tournament yesterday. He got hansoku make for his second match for all of the things you listed in your post. He also got penalized for some other things in a few other matches. He did good though, taking 1st in his division, novice, and 2nd in the open.

Three people there with international experience, who know the rules better than anyone else there, said my brother did nothing wrong and wouldn't have gotten penalized internationally, b/c of competent refs. Too bad only one of those guys at the tournament was a referee.


Anonymous said...

Did you like that? My god thats some of the best pajama wrestling I have ever seen ... BBBBoring.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I did like it, and I did not think it was boring. Everyone has their own opinion. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and yet most basketball fans, who are used to ONE team scoring 80 or 100 points, find a sport where both teams together might score 4 goals as exciting as watching paint dry.

I happen to like watching soccer. I find it exciting, too.

Unknown said...

hey mom read this, the coach sounds like you

Dr. AnnMaria said...

No, that's not like me at all. I think if you have a team that is really outmatched it makes you look like a bully if you humiliate them. That would be like you fighting somebody way less experienced than you, and smaller, like Rachel, and just slamming them.

When you fought all of those exhibition matches at the winter nationals you didn't pound the younger girls into the mat. You worked on good technique and getting everything just right. I even remember you doing a practice match at Temecula once and some little 13 or 14-year-old girl went a couple of minutes with you because she was good and you were trying to use timing and catch her. Yes, you were a lot bigger and stronger and maybe you could have out-muscled her and knocked her down right away, but it wouldn't have helped you get any better, she might have gotten hurt and it just would have been stupid to do.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you could give me some insight on why this happens. I'm pretty much new to Judo, I have only been practicing for about 5 years now. Mr. Randy Rhodes is my sensei by the way. He has talked about you quite often.

At some local tournaments that have been held here and the way the new rules look they seem to want one style of Judo now. Variety is the spice of life and I think that fits well in Judo.

It is like they don't want to see any newaza at all. That some refs only want to see the Judo they think what Judo is supposed to be and will stand you up if you even think about going to the ground. It is kind of discouraging because I really like newaza and am not really into some of those big ippon scoring throws.

I have seen regs give some weird shidos before and I think to my self what the heck for. I mean is it just a local thing, nation wide? I don't see that kind of stuff internationally though.

Sorry for the rambling.

Louie Norden.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Ramble away!

Randy Rhodes and I started judo at the same place over 38 years ago - the Alton YMCA - how crazy is that?!

Yes, it certainly seems to me as if penalties are given with far greater frequency in the U.S. than in other countries. Since you cannot change the country, the option for us newaza lovers is simply to get FASTER at moving into those techniques.

Drill, drill, drill, drill. I often was going into a pin or armbar on the way to the ground. If you are in it when you hit the mat, they kind of have to call osaekomi or ippon.

Of course there will be some incompetent referees just like there are some incompetent coaches and incompetent athletes. You can't do anything about that. It's just a fact of life.