Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Not being an expert on martial arts I wasn't sure what to expect watching the Judo tournament. Unlike karate, kung fu and taekwondo, judo is a form of wrestling. The object of the match is to throw your opponent on their back, the moment you do that you score an ippon and win. There are other types of points that score less than an ippon but I don't recall their names; the scoreboard just showed I, W, Y, K with 'I' being ippon and the W being something like you manage to throw them but they land on their side instead of their back. Two 'W's is also a win, otherwise if no one has an I or W then the person with the most Y's win, followed by the most K's.

Since an ippon is an automatic win at any stage in the match a person always has a chance to win, doesn't matter how many other points your opponent has, or even if there's only 10 seconds left, flip them on their back and you win. It can make for quick matches but sometimes all they do is stand there gripping on to each other for minutes on end. For added excitement, choke and strangle holds are okay in judo. I saw two matches where the loser was unconscious from a choke hold, one girl in the bronze medal match was out for over 30 seconds just lying there on the mat.

In the end I watched a Mongolian win the under 73kg gold (took him almost 9 minutes) and a woman from North Korea win the under 65kg gold (her gold-medal match took 9 seconds, I didn't even get my camera out in time).

I give judo a 7 out of 10.


Magnus said...

Vladimir Putin is an avid practitioner of judo.

Glen McKay said...

Yeah, they showed a picture of him on the Judo page of Wiki. I'm not sure how valuable Judo would be for someone like him though - you'd think being a VIP Russian & former KGB boss that if someone went after him it'd be with a gun. Judo won't help you there.

Magnus said...

He's also mastered the Soviet invented martial art of sambo. It was picked up for military use.
I used to kid that instead of going to war, we should just stick our leaders in a ring and let them duke it out. By the standard, I think Russia may very well become the world's superpower.

Glen McKay said...

No way, have you seen Reagan's movies? He'd have pulled a six-shooter on him. ;)