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How to Kill a Martial Art

How to Kill a Martial Art

Full disclosure: judo is the first martial art I ever studied, and I achieved the rank of brown belt after competing in quite a few tournaments. (Suck it, haters.)

This week, the International Judo Federation – which is apparently a group of old men who’ve lost sight of what martial arts are supposed to be about – banned its ranked members from competing in other forms of combat sports. In other words, if you compete in judo, you cannot box Golden Gloves, enter a wrestling or submission grappling tournament, do a kickboxing bout, or anything else that would make you a well-rounded martial artist.

There are certain things that are so ridiculous, so confounding and out-of-left field, that they defy reason. This is one such thing.

Why did the IJF make this ruling? According to the site Tap.Nap.Snap., it’s

The IJF has made numerous controversial decisions in the past, under the guise of “improving” the sport. Many believe, however, that these actions are the result of practitioners in other grappling martial arts being able to perform well in Judo competitions.

Once upon a time, martial arts were about mastery – mastery of self, mastery of combat, mastery of the techniques that would most effectively see its practitioner through battle. And this was especially true of judo, whose founder, Jigoro Kano, filled the art with some of the best moves he could find in Japanese Jujitsu (and even karate, which is a part of some of the higher-level kata). Kano went through hell trying to establish his “new” style, and he and his students ended up scrapping in a plethora of challenge matches, kicking the asses of countless masters of other arts who frowned upon this newfangled hybrid sport.

Yet here we are, about 130 years later, and the powers that be in judo are circling their wagons because unarmed combat has evolved without them.

Want to know how to kill a martial art?

This is how.

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