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Judo/Sambo UnderGround >> Chances the US can surpass Japan/France/Russia


8/19/12 6:13 PM
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emax
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judoblackbelt - All the above comments have some truth as to why the US will not surpass other countries in judo.
To emax - I agree with OCJTC but there isn't the attractiveness of judo to the grappling community for many reasons listed above. Look at all the BJJ BB there are locally and their student base vs Judo BB locally and their student base. BJJ wins hands down. BJJ's popularity is awesome to say the least.
When you bring in an athlete like Mike Eldred or Marti Malloy your local organization provides all the funding: plane trip, fee, housing, transportation. And hope to draw from the local clubs maybe 25-35 students for the seminar. Maybe they schedule another seminar the next day in a neighboring state or another part of the state. Bt once again all logistics have to be worked out by the hosts.

That may indeed be true. But again, I ask, what was the reason US Judo was struggling and lagging behind the major players before BJJ and MMA became wildly popular ? Since again, Olympic Judo has been around for 48 years and the popularity of BJJ and MMA among Americans are, relatively speaking, much more recent phenomenon. I think wrestling and the scholarships it offers are indeed one problem. I can imagine that promising judoka going over to wrestling in college is a significant problem. And I think that even if the Judo community took full advantage the opportunities provided to them by Kayla and Marti's newfound status and did everything they could to make them popular among America's youth, it still wouldnt make Judo mainstream and desirable enough in American to prevent the flux of judoka into college wrestling and won't make the American public want Judo to be fully integrated into the high school and college system the way wrestling is. That will only take a very slow and gradual movement from the ground up, if it happens at all. And again, even if it did happen, it would mean US could have the same success in Judo as it does in freestyle wrestling, but not really much more than that. Am I being accurate in saying this or am I being completely off base ? I would very much love to hear what Judom, judoblackbelt, OCJudoTrngCtr and dpro2716 and anyone else who would like to comment on this.
8/20/12 12:54 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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"I just know the benefit of having our USA judo athletes at seminars. I would like to have Travis Stevens in also. I have learned more from our USA judo athletes than many World/Olympic Champion seminars I have attended because I can simulate better many of the things they teach us. ANd they are very down to earth people. Very likeable."

I couldn't agree with you more, and I only wish that every judo club felt the same.
8/20/12 9:58 AM
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judoblackbelt
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emax- I don't know what answer you are looking for why judo did not grow before BJJ/MMA like in other countries. And like I have the answer to this question. You have provided your reasons which are just as good as any I have heard/read. Believe it or not I got involved in judo in 1993 after a seminar with Reylson Gracie. A bunch of us would get together and train what was taught us in his seminar. Some judo guys would train and one guy in particular a judo BB would pin everyone. I asked him what he trained and where and that is how I got started in judo. So my explanation is judo was never marketed like it should have been or reached out to the community to attract students. It was like an underground MA.
8/20/12 4:04 PM
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emax
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Edited: 08/20/12 4:06 PM
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judoblackbelt - thanks for explaining that. One thing I should add in addition to all of this is that it is still universal for all grappling arts. Wrestling may be integrated into the scholastic system the way Judo isn't, but wrestlers still struggle severely to get any kind of real mainstream exposure. As wrestlers will tell you, poker gets more time on ESPN then wrestling, and like said before, this is a sport that is more integrated into the high school/college system than Judo. And the end result is that even though our freestyle wrestlers did unusually well this Olympics (which may have also had something to do with Russia performing subpar this year as only one of their wrestlers got Gold in Freestyle) as a general rule we have really struggled lately in wrestling; in the 2008 Olympics we only got one gold in freestyle and that was with a wrestler who never wrestled on a US college team.<br /><br />And it was mentioned that Judo stars like Kayla and Marti should be introduced to the public more, and while there's no doubt that would help a lot, consider the situation with wrestling. With wrestling, we have had our share of recent mega stars over the years - 2 recent examples are Cael Sanderson and Rulon Gardner. Both "rock stars" in their respective grappling sport just like Kayla and Marti. Sanderson is an Olympic gold medalist and 159-0 in college wrestling - Sports Illustrated once listed him as second only to Jesse Owens in compiling the most successful collegiate athletes in US history. He is equally known for his traditional values and deep integrity and highly unassuming attitude. Basically, the guy's a demigod in the US wrestling community.<br /><br /> Rulon Gardner: also an Olympic Gold medalist who won with a colossal upset over a megastar considered by many to be the greatest amateur wrestler of all time. Fought through broken bones, known for rescuing himself from the wilderness in sub zero temperatures and the same integrity and unassuming attitude as Sanderson. Guy has American badass written all over him. <br /><br />And the thing is, neither of them would have been able to, at least by themselves, make wrestling have the same appeal among the masses of Americans as football and basketball even when they were introduced to the American public. I know, I've had them visit my town when they were medalists during my high school's wrestling season to give wrestling clinics/lectures. For the wrestling community, needless to say, it was like Christmas came early. Wrestlers, coaches and parents from our school district and neighboring districts flocked to them like magnets to a metal pole the size of the Pentagon. Did high school kids and their parents outside wrestling make a huge deal out of it ? If they were introduced to a high school social gathering or a local town social event with thousands of kids and adults attending, would all of them suddenly go buck wild and start hounding the Olympians to taker pictures and touch medals ? Hardly. The majority of kids and parents who aren't major fans of amateur wrestling barely blinked and and none of them came just because they were stoked to meet an Olympic medalist. Yet somehow if our local NFL and NBA stars were in town, I imagine it would take zero effort to have the vast majority of residents swarming them like killer bees for pictures and autographs. I had seen up close and personal how, even with wrestling, the Olympic medalists just don't attract the same mass amounts of attention as stars of mainstream sports even when introduced to the general public.<br /><br />Just pointed this out to 1. remind the Judo community that they are by no means along in this, this struggle for a wider degree of interest is universal among grappling sports, including wrestling and, I bet, even BJJ to some extent. And 2. Even when we get Olympic medalists we can introduce to the public, we can still see how that is just one very small step on our path to make Judo and Wrestling as popular as football and basketball and as integrated into our culture, something that I'm fairly certain we just are not gonna see in my lifetime.
8/20/12 5:19 PM
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judoblackbelt
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The lesson of all the posts is celebrate nad promomte your Olympians to promote their sports.
8/20/12 6:00 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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 emax,

There is a gigantic difference between becoming competititve with the Japanese, French, and Russians in judo, and making judo as popular as football and basketball in this country.  One is achievable, one is impossible.

There are 312M people in the United States.   If  we get one out of 1000 people to practice, it would be 312K judokas in the United States.   If you had 2000 dojos that could accomodate 150 students that would be enough.  Your average Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy can do that with about 1200 square feet of mat.

Who's to say we would even need 312K?  Maybe 1/2 that number would work.
8/20/12 8:50 PM
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emax
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To OCJudoTrngCtr,

I understand now. The take home message is that Judo equaling basketball and football is something that CANNOT happen while the US being equal to Russian, Japan and France is something that CAN happen but is simply unlikely to happen and if it does happen, it will be a slow, difficult and gradual process even if we do get 10 times as many active, competitive judoka as we have now, and even getting ten times as many active, competitive judoka in the first place is unlikely to happen in the immediate future no matter how much we promoted our current Olympians. And from there, getting 2000 new dojos together that could accommodate all the new students sounds like a serious uphill battle as well that would take quite a long time even if the project was started right now. And so that is why even though even being competitive with major Judo players remains something that is achievable - after all, the US could compete with any nation in any sport it wanted to if they decided they were committed enough - it is something that is not at all guaranteed and will be a very serious challenge if it does happen.

Does that sum everything up reasonably well as of now ?

Thanks again for your help here.
8/20/12 9:16 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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 Well,  I believe you have over 1000 dojos in the USA now.  If they changed their mindset it would be a good start.  It is extremely difficult.  Within a month or so, I will have a story for you about a dojo that finally learned what I've been talking about on this thread and on other threads.

You could do it with far fewer judokas if you made it lucrative.  But that is not likely to happen. Judo is not spectacle like MMA, football, basketball.  

USA Boxing was very big in the 70's and 80's but I don't believe the number of clubs or members was very large.  But back then, a great amateur career and exposure led to big pro contracts.  Now, most boxers simply bypass the elite ranks of amateurism and go into the pros.  It's been a big problem for USA Boxing, and they are looking at ways to compensate some of their top amateurs.

In the sport of wrestling, they've dealt with the same issue of elite amateurs going into MMA.  Some wealthy wrestling alumni have put up significant  money for training as well as cash renumeration for their Olympic and World medalists.  I believe they put up $250K for each gold at this Olympics.

The USA went from 1-22 in the Worlds in 2003 to where they are now competing for hardware in 4 categories this last Olympiad.  It does get tougher from here.
8/22/12 5:56 PM
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raleigh
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change the rules to allow more groundwork you will see more interest in judo - IMO
8/25/12 12:30 PM
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JoshuaResnick
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it is not just a numbers game on why the USA will not surpass japan/korea/france/russia/brazil for some time...

in those countries kids begin training very young. im talking kindergarten. Thats 5 days a week for 2 hours a day for 48 weeks. they train up to 480 to 500 hours a year for their first 5 years. Already 2500 hours of only Judo and physical prep for Judo like Gymnastics in Russia.

Then they get serious. In middle school that training increases sometimes to as much as 900 hours per year-- it is not unusual for Japanese and Koreans to train 3 hours x 6 days or even 7 days and only get 1 or 2 entire weeks off a year all the way through high school! That's 8 years x 900 hours... 7200 hours!!!!!!

Before entering college these kids have trained nearly 10,000 hours!!!!!!

in the USA... even with the most dedicated Judo programs, there are almost no kids who train 5x a week until maybe middle or high school. most who get to SJSU have still never done it unless they wrestled in HS! So, you can cut the training time per week down by 2/5, minimum... Then, to top it off, comes the detractor of the overall quality and numbers of instruction and training partners plus the losses suffered to other sports.

when you really look at it... It is truly amazing that we get even 1 medal in an Olympic games. to get 2 is mind blowing. to get gold is downright mystical.. and then to have two others make the top 7 is beyond words.

obviously this success happened because of incredible hard work and desire. but if we want to continue finding this success then there needs to be an incredible expansion of the number of serious, dedicated places for college judo. it is the only plausible way to get more teens to stay in judo through college.
8/28/12 12:17 AM
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JoshuaResnick
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ral... and exactly how do you suggest that gets done??? give a hard cap time limit? consider this...

give 25 seconds newaza time... that would mean one guy attacks, both hit the ground somebody engages in newaza for 25 seconds to eat the clock up... this would allow for less than 20 opportunities in tachiwaza... the stalling tactics are way to easy to see.

give 10 seconds... well, i think in the closing 2 minutes youll see people just trying to dive for the ground and not really trying to throw....

you see, your idea might be something people THINK they like... but in truth they have not considered what the results would be....

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