Kinshi-waza (Forbidden Techniques)

I just read an article talking about Rousey being the saving grace of Judo. Apparently, Judo practitioners have been dwindling since a surge in the 1960s. They never allude to why Judo is losing it's student base. I think I may know why...

I have spoken to a number of Judo black belts that are not so happy with the new rules governing competition. The sport has become less of a martial art and more of a competitive aerial display. I do not think this is what Jigaro Kano wanted.

This blog post points this out better than I can:

"Think about this for one moment. There may be more Judo in Brazilian jiujistu, sambo, and submission wrestling than there remains in IJF Judo."

I do not know Judo well enough to expound as to why all of the prohibited techniques are prohiibited. I do know one of them, Morote Gari, is basically a double leg that is the cornerstone of folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. If it was unsafe, I am guessing wrestling would have prohibited it years ago.

Anyone that can shed light on the subject, please leave a comment...


so wrong its funny, sad and stupid.

seriously, how much crack do you smoke daily (kidding) or should I ask do you believe everything some wanker on a blog writes about?

Rousey is the saving face of judo?
Are you kidding me? She was never a great international judoka although she got that tied 3rd in 2008. There were two girls in her weight class that were absolute legends (a french and japanese) with the japanese having something insane like 3 Olympic golds and 3 worlds. She then left judo, so believe the judo world barely had time to notice or care about her. She was never one of the best in her weight class. Even the dutch woman who shared the 3rd place (another rule Im not crazy about) was a legend in the sport who was near the end of her career. So I really have to laugh when I read about how Rousey was one of the best in the world.

Kayla Harrison on the other hand won a world junior AND a recent olympic gold.
In terms of judo, its better that this wonderful girl who has gone through so much be the face of judo.
Rousey and her foul mouthed mother are exactly the opposite of what you want a judoka to be.
The concept of respect of others is something that is unknown in that family. if you speak of humility to them, Im sure theyd spit in your face.

> Apparently, Judo practitioners have been dwindling since a surge in the 1960s.
>They never allude to why Judo is losing it's student base. I think I may know why...

Judo is doing AMAZINGLY well around the world so it might be an american thing which I know nothing about.
It is run by the best organized international martial arts org. Period. Its really not even close. FILA until the serbian guy came in last year and did a cleanup in wrestling is a mess. Horrible TV ratings and Olympic visibility and popularity (too static and too boring for average viewers), no business plans and so on. the kicking federations, sambo and others are so far behind in all facets that its not even funny.

The IJF pro tour has stops across the world with grand slam and grand prix events, has big sponsors and prize money and gets great attendance (the Paris one is the ultimate, just google judo paris bercy). It has a structure that goes from local, provincial, national and then international levels. ALL the tournaments on the tour are viewable on Youtube for free. While some people dont like the fact taht the IJF has gone for the more standup, its results speak for themselves, people like spectacular throws and less rolling on the ground. yes, its not about judo, its about TV and money and sponsor which is EXACTLY what FILA did not do for wrestling and got thrown out of olympics for it, it just doesnt work on TV with the current rules and you cant rely on people who 'know' the sport, TV demands that neophytes be entertained as well. IJF was much, much more forward thinking than FILA.
Ive competed and travelled with varius athletes to train in about a dozen countries and the organizations all have to adapt to IJF criteria. I havent seen in any country 7-8yr olds doing arm bars like I see in BJJ which truly is the wild west and where everyone does it their own way. It has little if any local, state or national curriculums.

A country like France has something like 500-600,000 judokas which is more than Canada has ice hockey players. Every small little village there of a few thousands has a judo club (and a town brass band which I think is awesome too).

Seriously, judo has done extremely well these past two decades around the world taht to hear that is funny, sad and stupid.
Is there a problem in the US? I have no idea but teh US has a hard problem dealing with the idea of international federations (how dare these peasants tell us what to do), its not wired in their DNA (none of the US sports leagues except MLS have any real ties to international federations and even the ones that do like basketball do it minimally). I dont think that just comparing it to Canada, it has as solid a structure that is centralized and hierarchical. I could be wrong but I worked in Canada for a decade and did judo there as well as referee and was impressed (the province I lived in has a federation that shows provincials competition live online)..

you have to understand that too often the US and especially the media has a navel gazing view of the world. an example is that whole wrestling out of the olympics thing. youd hear about in the US press how such and such wrestlers or MMA guy or someone there was gonna put pressure and talk to someone but when it came down to it and you talked to international wrestling folks, you realize that all the work (canning the old board and getting a new president, changing rules, etc) was done without these big talkers. Donna White had ZERO to do with FILA being saved, UFC had ZERO effect because the IOC had a certain set of demands (2nd women event, women and current athletes on board, rules changes, etc) that had to be met before the next vote. THATS what saved wrestling, not some letter some UFC-WWE guy wrote. But the american media overplayed the importance.

another example is the NBA brought basketball to the world meme that was started in 1992 and kept getting more ridiculous since then.
the dream team popularized the NBA without a doubt but to be honest the bigger factor was satellite dishes across the world which became big at that time and you could see these players in your country for the first time. but the NBA and american press has been going on about how basically there was nothing before 1992 which is simply shameful. the first b-ball world championships came in 1950 I believe and the first womens came only 2-3 years later. By 1992, basketball leagues were all over the globe 2nd only to soccer leagues (iran had a pro league as did U urugay to give you an idea). But many american journalists peddled the 'we brought basketball to the world' when what they meant was "we brought the NBA

the reason why is mention this is simple: "if things arent going well in the US, it does NOT mean that judo isnt doing well around the globe."

>I have spoken to a number of Judo black belts that are not so happy with the new rules governing competition. The sport has >become less of a martial art and more of a competitive aerial display. I do not think this is what Jigaro Kano wanted.

Right, no one likes to be proactive, everyone likes the status quo. Just see were that got wrestling.
They decided to promote standup judo because its spectacular but to get your black belt you still have to be fluent in ALL techniques and trust me having to prepare for your black belt is time consuming.
What you do at the dojo isnt the same thing you are doing in international competition but you dont stop practicing a morote just because it was banned from competition.
Some of the rules are excellent like the ones about bending over (the ones where both guys are bend 90 degrees at the waist and stall) and some new ones like touching the pants getting an expulsion have to reviewed and will probably be eventually taken down to a simple penalty. But to be honest, it really affects a small % of our judokas.
There is also a lot of "back in my day..."
I remember when volleyball change a LOT of rules about 2 decades ago, how the scoring was done (you could score now without having the serve) and things like the different coloured libero and so many others rules and guess what? Volleyball has only grown across the globe since because the game is more exciting, faster paces and quick scoring. But do you know the uproar it caused by making so many major changes? People fear change, they love the status quo.
just look at soccer and that spray foam which has really helped solve a huge problem with 'walls'... its done its proving in various leagues but many are afraid of change.

>"Think about this for one moment. There may be more Judo in Brazilian jiujistu, sambo, and
>submission wrestling than there remains in IJF Judo."

That of course is simply idiotic if simply because BJJ does almost no standup and guys throw themselves on their backs when they start off. and THAT is the kind of thing that will never sell on TV. Seeing someone start off standing and throw himself down on the floor and spread their legs to pull opponent in. yes again, I said TV. guess what? you want to take your martial arts to the next level, you need TV because it brings exposure which brings sponsors which helps your sport grow.
But again, i dont compete so it really has no effect on me.
Nothing is stopping me from practicing kane basami in the dojo just because its banned in competition except bad knees and common sense.
Competition judo is a different story but I counteract with take a look at all those sports and see again where they are in terms of visibility, sponsorship, TV. Trust me, grappling is a connaiseur thing. But hey, if you think that Long Beach BJJ thing or Abu Dhabi with about 12 people watching is the sign of success, then bravo, you have succeeded.

>I do not know Judo well enough to expound as to why all of the prohibited techniques are prohiibited. I do know one of them, Morote Gari, >is basically a double leg that is the cornerstone of folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. If it was unsafe, I am guessing wrestling would have >prohibited it years ago.

Not all techniques are banned because of safety, some has to do with where you want the sport to go stylistically and guess what you will NEVER get people to agree 100%. Two legged takedowns became the rage a while back and they wanted to bring back to.where if you were gonna take someone down, its gonna be a nice ippon. Same with the over the shoulder russian grips and the bending over at the waist. Even the american grip fighting has been cut down because american fighters (especially those trained by Jimmy Pedro) spent more time playing pattycakes with their hands than engaging in fighting. Its a reactive thing when things go to far.
The rule many want to see changed is the turtling one. You cant walk out of the mat anymore but you can still fall down and lie on your face and not compete. That is wrong on a competitive and sporting level. And by not allowing so many cheap rest times, judokas wont be as refreshed and chances are we will see more ippons. When they change that rule, I will celebrate.

But most importantly you have to realize that the sport of judo and the martial art are NOT the same thing.
they both coexist side by side but its not a either or situation unless you are a competitor.

Thanks for the comment

You seem to place much emphasis on television. Rousey is all over the tv. She is the face of women's martial arts right now and her base is Judo. Why can you not give her attitude a pass for making the art more television friendly like you have given the IJF a pass for turning a practical martial art into a spectator sport?

"you have to realize that the sport of judo and the martial art are NOT the same thing" - Completely agree. I am more into the martial aspects and I do also enjoy watching matches - even wrestling matches...I am one of the 12 people that watches that thing in Long Beach :)

First, I'd like to lightly

First, I'd like to lightly rebuke you for your post. There is no reason to be belligerent, even in jest. Passion is great, but let's keep it 100% professional please.

Now, there's a lot in your post to respond to, and, bear with me, I'm having trouble tracking all your arguments with the lack of paragraph spacing. We may be in violent agreement on some things. :)

1. Her attitude and her mother's are certainly not in the spirit of budo, nor judo specifically.

2. She is undeniably the best female fighter in combat sports today, and possibly ever; there's certainly room for debate.

3. While she may make most of us traditionalist judoka cringe at times, she is undeniably bringing back attention to the efficacy of Judo, as a discipline, in the United States.

4. While Rousey may not have been THE elite player in her weight-class at her peak, she is most certainly due ample respect for the level of success she achieved. In fact, your argument about the elites in her weight-class at the time serves only to enhance her resume.

5. Rousey is good for judo in the way that Royce Gracie was good for BJJ. His success in the early days of UFC set the standard for MMA athletes. Rousey's success ensures that at the very least, MMA athletes will realize they need more judo in their game, and that, in turn, means more national exposure to judo.

Two Bronze Medals:
1. That's not just a judo thing, that's the nature of a Repechage tournament format. Which is not entirely unique to judo. see:

Kayla Harrison:
1. She's awesome.

2. She embodies so much of what is good in judo.

3. She's overcome so much, on and off the mat, to get where she is.

4. She's unfortunately unknown outside the judo community, despite her story and accomplishments.

5. Because she's unknown, Rousey, like her or not, has more impact on judo's growth in exposure right now than Kayla.

Judo Dwindling (sic.)
1. Judo's drop in popularity in the US, post 1960's is in direct correlation with the drop in television coverage.

2. Judging anomalies and scandal in the mid-60s at the Olympics caused NBC to announce that they would "nevermore carry" judo on their network because it was rife with corruption and scandalous judging. Whether that was fair or not is debatable, but judo fell out of favor with NBC, and thus fell out of the collective consciousness of the country.

3. In addition to TV ratings drops, US judo has suffered through decades of disjointed national organizations, scandals of power, sex, corruption, and horrible political in-fighting between the various major associations. This has turned so many people away over the years, people who dedicated their lives to the sport, but just became tired of the crap.

IJF vs. all others...
1. I have been an outspoken critic of many of the IJF's rule changes over the last decade.

2. I understand why they're making them, but disagree with some of the logic behind the changes.

3. They have definitely been proactive in positioning judo, and drawing a distinction between it and other grappling sports, to the benefit of judo.

4. I recognize that IJF judo is not Judo. It is a competitive sport derived from the beautiful sport. If more people would recognize that, we'd all get along better.

5. There are plenty of alternative rules judo organizations that are competing, at a low level, with IJF rules. Freestyle Judo, for example, back in the mid 90s, Mike Swain had his attempt with Pro-Judo.

6. The problem with the IJF is that an some cases, they've made rules changes based on false premises, or flawed logic. For one, the imposition of IJF international rules at every level of judo is absurd. One organization dictating what is and isn't allowed at every level of judo in every country in the world will only stunt judo's growth, not increase it.

7. The IJF has no business, whatsoever, dictating its rules for juniors and cadets, worldwide. What is socially acceptable in Brazil, with regard to juniors' arm-bars and chokes, is not acceptable in the United States. The recent approval, by the IJF, of arm-bars for all ages below 17 is abominable. Just because BJJ allows their juniors to crank elbows doesn't mean that judo should join them in what is a medically unacceptable risk, at least in a society as litigious as the U.S.

Banning of techniques:
1. The banning of morote-gari and other leg-grabbing techniques (kibisu gaeshi for example) has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with protectionism.

2. Protectionism in grappling has a bad history of back-firing, and I'm honestly surprised people cannot learn from history.

3. In the early days of Sambo, Sensei Yamashita competed in and won the Sambo championships in Russia. He did so almost entirely with tomoe-nage. By the next year, tomoe-nage had been banned in Sambo. Now, I have respect of Sambo, and have known many successful judoka who cross-trained and were successful in Sambo as well, but that type of protectionism, early in Sambo's history may have set a tone that prevented it from becoming a dominant sport outside of Eastern Europe. Sambo certainly had/has the potential to draw athletes from Greco, Freestyle, and other wrestling styles, including judo.

4. The overreaction of the IJF to make a leg-touch an hansokumake is absurd, and bordering on a childishness temper tantrum. I consider myself a judo purist in most things, I love nage-waza. I love a big Ippon. I hate rolling Ippon. However, as a purist, I also like matwork. I love a balanced game. I enjoy the chess-match that is a well-fought match between two highly-skilled opponents.

5. All the leg-grab rules have done is filter out a slightly less-pretty style of judo, and at the same time, penalized some of the most spectacular judo throws ever done in competition. Te-guruma, tachi-waza-kata-guruma, sukue-nage... These techniques are some of the most spectacular throws you can see in competition.

6. With the loss of these techniques, what does judo look like. Yes, there are bigger ippons, a little more often. But what are they coming from? If you evaluated the Ippon throws from the last Olympics, you'll find that 85% or more were from the following techniques: Ippon/Morote Seoi-nage, (sode)Tsurikomi-goshi, sasae/de-ashi/hiza-guruma, harai/o-guruma (maki-komi).

How much diversity is that really? the average neophyte TV viewer can't tell the difference between seoi-nage and harai-goshi... much less the subtle differences between o-guruma and harai. It reminds me of UFC chokes; of which, to the average viewer, there are two: naked choke, and guillotine.

So in essence, while the IJF's rules may have saved us from the Olympic chopping block, and may have made the game more spectacular to the uninitiated, it's significantly watered down the diversity of the sport.

Grip-fighting/falling down (just trying to cover the last couple points you made:
1. Grip fighting (kumi-kata) is an art-form in and of itself, the IJF rules are threatening to reduce this integral aspect of judo to a mandatory lapel/sleeve grip.

2. Grip fighting has been taken "too far" by some, and yes, that has hurt judo to a degree. It's made the game less fun to watch.

3. Even under the new rules, there is room for good kumi-kata and strategy, but the walls are closing in on the strategist (of which I count myself a member). If the trend continues at the IJF, they're going to eventually have us grab a hon-kumi-kata before they say hajime. That would be the end of international judo, IMO.

4. Falling down and into a turtle, presumably "for a break" in your estimation, is already illegal. It has been illegal for decades under the "false-attack" and "unskilled entry into matwork" penalties. I see no need to further penalize an activity that already has built-in rules against it.

1. I personally don't think the IJF is quite the "do-no-wrong," greatest since sliced bread, entity that your post appears to make them out to be.
2. You seem to be saying that the IJF's moves are good, and they are all about TV ratings; while at the same time knocking Rousey for essentially having high TV ratings.
3. Some of the IJF changes in the most recent proposed rules are steps back to the right direction. I think we're both in agreement that the leg-grab should eventually be reduced to a shido.


"I may overreact or scream bloody murder because I started off grappling in Judo.

I was out of competition due to an ACL reconstruction right around the time they first made the leg grab an automatic disqualification (intentional or not).

By the time I speak of this, now there is more mat work in Judo but you cannot lock your hands around the waist, grip fighting is largely limited and penalized and the times required to win by pin are even shorter, producing a hyper aggressive, casual TV Olympic-viewer friendly version of what used to be Judo. "