It seems like there is a constant stream of new rules, adjustments, and re-interpretations to old rules in judo. I agree with Strange's and especially with Chad's comments in the previous post regarding Judo rules. Sure, you have to have some rules to constrain the contestants to decent play of the game we're playing, but there comes a point where there are so many rules that nobody understands them or can even cite them all.
Here's a quick and easy way to solve a lot of the problems with the judo ruleset – affix a clause to every rule that gives the reason for that rule's existence. For instance, the rule in question yesterday would read something like, “A player may not “first” grab the trouser leg(s) then attack, because _____,” and then fill in the blank with whatever reason they had to institute that rule. This would have several benefits:
- It is human nature to comply with a rule to a greater extent when a reason (even a poor reason) is given.
- Given a good, reasonable justification for a new rule, people would be less likely to gripe about the new rule
- It would be easier to tell when a new rule is spurious because the lack of reasoning would be more obvious. You'd get statements like, “A player may not “first” grab the trouser leg(s) then attack, because that would give BJJ guys an advantage over judoka if we allowed pants-grabbing.”
- Knowing the intent behind the rules, it would be easier for judges to make calls more in line with the spirit of judo, rather than simply enforcing the letter of the law.
- Adding this “because-clause” to every rule would increase the workload for the rules lawyers, thus providing a disincentive toward further constant rules twiddling. Having to give a reason for every rule would likely lead to a smaller number of more consistent rules.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601.248.7282