Neil Adams on Leg Grabs In Judo

Neil Adams made some statements which both confirm and elaborate on why leg grabs were removed from IJF Judo. Specifically, there was an edict from the IOC with relation to wrestling, but that the removal was also to try to encourage more dynamic throws. He does also address the need for clear boundaries, and I agree with this. The 2010 rules were far murkier than the 2013 rules. The ability to go for a leg as a counter or follow-up technique essentially meant that you’d always just fake an attack to go for the legs anyway. People really will game whatever rules you give them for a sport.

It still makes me sad. Honestly, with regards to the Olympics I’d really like to see one “grappling” with gi and no-gi divisions which allows pretty much everything. Cut judo, cut freestyle, cut Greco; introduce submission wrestling which encompasses judo, Sambo, BJJ, folk wrestling, just open to everyone. Make the rules such that you could win by pin, submission, throw, or point differential much like judo so as to encourage all styles to have an equal chance, but don’t create rules that encourage only one style. Same thing with all the striking styles – there’s something to be said about the similarity of TKD and boxing (though boxing allows no kicks and almost no one in TKD seems to bother with punches the same way we seem them in Shotokan, Muay Thai, or striking styles). Especially with all the other striking sports trying to vie their way into the Olympics, I think it would make some sense to combine these.

Also, swimming straight up has too many medals that one person can win. Can we cut that sport back down to only 3 events? The fact that one guy could win 8 gold medals in a single year probably indicates they’re similar enough to trim anyway.


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