Edition No. 40. Autumn, 2004. Today is

My Impressions on the All Japan Judo Championships
By: Angelo Parisi
First of all I must say that Japan is by far the most dominant country in the world of judo today. But I must also say that I was very disappointed in the quality of judo fights and skill used by the judokas that participated in the All Japan Judo Championships.

Even though the competition was of a very high standard, I must say that I thought some of the judokas were in a poor physical condition and found that they were lacking in speed and precision in their attacks.

In many other countries around the world, judo has become more physical and more focused around strength and unfortunately I believe that Japanese judo is going the same way. It is a shame to see that judokas in Japan are following the same trend of other countries by using strength and power as oppose to using their skill. I think that if Japanese judoka were to continue to use skilful techniques as they did in the past, they would gain even more of an advantage that they have in the sport today.

What I also noticed at the championships was that the fighters did not move as much on the mat and did not use the whole surface of the tatami. In my opinion, to be a good technician in judo and also a good competitor, it is important to be very mobile on the tatami so that you can get your partner in the right position at the right time. In doing so, you are able to combine speed with your techniques, in order to throw your opponent. It is very important that judokas move around on the tatami as it will create more opportunities to make a good attack and get their opponents off balance in order to score an ippon. When you do not move, your opponent has his two feet on the ground thus has good contact with the tatami. This means that it will be difficult to get him off balance. However if you get your opponent to move, it means that at one moment he will find himself with only one foot on the ground and it is at this precise moment that you must attack, using his movement and his weight against himself.

The reason why judo may be changing all over the world, is the introducing of new rules. These rules try to make judo more popular and spectacular for television but they are not thinking about what is good for the sport itself. They do not realise that as long as there are skilful players in judo, it will stay popular in the minds of people. But if judokas stop practising the skilful techniques of the sport, judo will no longer interest people. Thus it will no longer exist. In short, judo will become like amateur wrestling and there will be no more beauty in the techniques of judo.

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