Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Politics as Usual

As usual, I went to work at USC today. Then, I went to LMU where I am teaching a summer course in statistics in the graduate school for the next few weeks. I came home, nagged Ronda about going to work out, which she did, had dinner with my husband, answered some email and ran some analyses in SPSS for nice folks from USC who needed it for a morning meeting.

There was a lot of email about the USJI, who now call themselves USA Judo, suspending the USJA. A couple of people told me I should respond. Others recommended I not bother giving it any more time than it deserves. Since I still have more work to do (for actual money, not judo) and since Sam Garcia did an INCREDIBLE job remodeling my kitchen and now I have to pay him so I am quite motivated to do work for money, I will give my two cents worth and answer a few questions.

Q. Is it true that the USJA sponsored a suspended coach to a tournament where he sexually abused a young athlete?
A. No, that is a lie. The USJA did not sponsor any suspended coach to any tournament. Someone who was suspended went to a tournament. We did not stop him. Neither did USA Judo, the USJF, the CHP nor the PTA. I am not aware of any legal means by which the USJA can stop someone from going to another country and watching a judo event. I can think of some illegal means but those are, well, illegal.

Q. Is it true that the USJA sanctioned the World Masters Judo tournament?
A. Yes. A USJA club applied for a sanction, included their $25, we checked the paperwork and sent them the sanction. This is one of the benefits we offer USJA clubs.

Q. Is it true that only USA Judo can sanction international events?
A. Our lawyers certainly don't believe so. No disrespect intended but I don't think whoever wins the 66 kg division in the 50-54 age group is going to the Olympics any time soon. USJI, or whatever they are calling themselves these days, is supposed to be involved with the Panamerican Games and Olympics.

Q. How does this suspension of the USJA by USJI affect the members?
A. Not at all, as far as I can see. They already forced our members to buy their membership if they wanted to compete, coach or referee in USJI events. It may save us $1,500 - or possibly $23,000 since the USJI recently sent us a letter demanding we pay them $2 for every member we have.

Q. Why do you think the USJI is doing this?
A. I think it is pretty obvious. Four years ago they suspended the USJA just prior to our national meeting and election, with a lot of allegations against the president that were never supported. Now they are doing it again. They would very much like to replace some of the current board members, me included, with those who are compliant and will do what they are told.

Q. Do you think it will work?
A. Nope. The USJA has always been made up of an independent, creative, sometimes cantankerous bunch. That is what I love about our organization. It was founded on the premise of an independent, honest, American organization. We are moving more and more in that direction every day. Our members are smart and don't like to be bossed around. That's why they joined the USJA.

Q. Does this bother you personally?
A. Not at all. I read the L.A. Times every day, the New York Times quite regularly and listen to all of the political news. People far more important than me get accused of far worse things every day. It's not right but there are dishonest, bitter, petty people in the world. They weren't put there deliberately to annoy me. I'm not that important.

Quote of the Day

"AnnMaria? She might have won the world championships but all she did was matwork."
"Oh, really? Then she must have been really good at it!"


Please run a better BJJ tournament said...

You go girl!!! I always believed in never backing down from what you know and everyone else knows is just.

"Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us."
Thomas Paine

Loren said...


I firmly believe in the USJA. With everything that has happened with USJI, I no longer choose to go that route.

I fully support you and the USJA.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Aw, thanks guys.
Seriously, people like you two are the reason I work for the USJA and for judo.

Unknown said...

I don't always agree with you, AnnMaria, but I respect you in that you don't talk behind people's backs and you say what you mean.
This time, I am in full agreement with you. If I want to go to a tournament or other function on my own, representing no-one but myself, I'll be hanged if I'm gonna ask some organization's permission.

Viva La Presidente!

Joa said...

It is amusing that one organization "suspends' another because they do not like what the other is doing. Maybe if I just "suspend" people or groups that do not do what I like the world will be a better place... at least for me. Genius! Sometimes politics are a little funny to me. AnnMaria, can we just invite them to come out on the mat to train? It always seems to clarify things. Mahalo

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Hey, Joa -
Well, it's just their every-four-years-suspend-the-USJA-and-try-to-tamper-with-their-elections ploy. How dumb do they think people are?

Show your support and come to our USJA events! (Well, I know I don't have to tell you that.)

Speaking of mat time, are you going to be at the USJA Junior Nationals or Camp Bushido? We are coming to both, along with a bunch of friends.

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