Judo was my sport in college. And today, 50 years later, I can’t imagine how those stern Japanese referees could have ever let judo turn into the parody of itself that it has become today. I realize I may be the only one who thinks like this; but it really bugs me.
So here’s how they demonstrate a basic judo throw.
In most of these videos, the guy who’s gonna do the throw launches into this enormous windup that telegraphs his intention from a mile away. In so doing, he puts himself way off balance–doubtless counting on his opponent to just stand there wondering about the meaning of life. I think, even after all this time away from judo, I could still dump someone onto his face before he finished his windup.
Here is a video from the Kodokan, the authoritative institute of judo, demonstrating the same throw without the goofy windup.
Even worse than the telegraphed throws is the fannying-about that takes place now at the start of many judo matches. I guess they call it “showmanship.” In 1970 the referees would have called it, “You are expelled from this tournament.”
I can’t imagine what my Kodokan-trained teacher would have done if I’d try to start a match by warm-up conniptions and slapping at the other guy’s hands. Whatever he did to correct me, it would have been severe.
But what else can you expect from an age in which cricket matches in England now have… oh, it pains me to say it!… cheerleaders?