Jonesy wrote:Wrestling is out of the Olympics - I wish judo were to follow.
1. I haver never been convinced of any correlation between national medal success at the Olympics and growth in judo numbers in that particular country. Yes there are one or two examples of little Molly wanting to do judo because she saw Gemma Gibbons or Ronda Rousey or whoever, but I do not think that such incidents are part of significant and sustained growth.
2. Without the false god of TV audiences and spectator appeal the IJF have less reason to coninulusly meddle with the rules of competitive judo and the nonsense of recent years will hopefully become a thing of the past.
3. It could lead to the IJF being less relevant in judo and also in NGB's allocating their monies in a much more balanced and equitable manner across the judo pyramid.
Losing olympic status would IMO be a disaster for judo. That does not mean, that I agree to everything the IJF does or some/most of the NGBs do - this would be a completely different discussion.
In many countries, Judo has much bigger support then other non-olympic sports because of the olympic status. This public support and funding is important to develop structures. Getting more people into Judo is far the weakest argument. Judo needs much more well educated instructors, support by schools and university etc. What we have now is of course far away from being enough and the concentration of money to a very small minority of athletes doesn´t help growing of grassroots Judo. But this is something the various NGBs must learn.
Without the public support, much less can be done to develop Judo.
If we look back into history, then we see a very clear picture. The growth of Judo in pre WW2 was because they had a system of professional teachers, well trained at the Kodokan and the Busen. From there, they went on to work as professionals in schools, universities, police etc. Of course, the reason for the japanese government was not to support Judo as an olympic sport. The motivation was different - but it was the massive political push that brought Judo forward.
Today, the motivation for governments to support Judo is different (and we should be happy about this). Without this support, Judo would first slowly, then after a few years rapidly fall into decline of quality. I know some organizations going that way. Without massive international exchange, the level one can reach is very, very limited. And international exchange costs a lot of money.
BTW: yesterday I trained with the national-team of Kazakstan. Beside, that some of them do fine Judo, I asked about the federation. They have 100.000 registered players and a population of about 12 million. Without Judo being olympic, such international exchange would never happen. A bit more then 20 years ago, these guys were our enemies in a world, that was divided into east and west. This is not the only example for Judo bringing people together. Every week, players from the Netherlands and from belgium visit our randori-sessions in Cologne. Every year other national-teams join us for a week or two. What would happen to this all, if Judo would loose olympic status. Could the young people afford going to other countries just for training and meeting other judoka?