Friday, 3 January 2014

Ronda Rousey and UFC 168

Following Ronda’s recent victory at UFC 168 the BJA Facebook page has had a number of posts regarding Judo’s place in MMA. Some want to distance themselves from “this barbaric sport”. Some want Judo to embrace MMA and start teaching no-gi Judo and relax the current IJF rules to allow leg grabs and leg submissions and some, myself included, want Judo to use MMA as a way or marketing Judo and increasing its membership.

I’m not suggesting that we stop bowing when we enter and leave the dojo. I’m not suggesting that we don’t bow to the Sensei’s at the beginning and end of class. I don’t want Judoka’s to suddenly start wearing red, green and even camo coloured gis or to start adoring their gis with patches and other advertising. I’m not trying to get people to stop using the Japanese names for techniques. It’s Juji-gatame, not armbar. What I am suggesting is that Judo tries to use the success that Ronda has had in the UFC to market itself as a legit form of fighting or self-defence, call it what you will. I don’t want to change Judo, I just want to see more people start Judo so that the sport I love can grow.

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