Monday, September 2, 2013

The Paradoxical Relationship of MMA, the Olympics, TV Viewership, & Modern Judo

Judo, to avoid the kill list upon which wrestling currently finds itself, was kindly suggested by the IOC to become more viewer friendly and to differentiate itself from other grappling sports.

The removal of unorthodox gripping (by way of penalties or risk of hansokumake (immediate disqualification) from an overzealous or mistaken referee), the banning of the bear hug/clasping the hands around the waist, and the earlier near complete banning of the leg grab have done much to temper the efficacy of Judo as a grappling art modeled after self-defense.

Interestingly enough, viewers have begun to vaguely understand or think they know some of the nuances of groundfighting, and thus the two legitimate rule changes which come to mind are allowing more time on the mat if progress is being made, and a player cannot simply get out of bounds to escape the pin or submission.

What we now have in Judo is a grappling sport devoid of having to defend leg attacks but that alternately stresses quick mat work  where you can win by strangle, elbow lock, or pin rather thansay BJJ with its progression of hierarchically valued positions,  top or bottom position have much more equal merit with the devaluation of the takedown, and there is a wider variety of submissions.

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