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#432910 - 06/22/11 09:56 AM Judo test
kick2011 Offline

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 6
Just curious, what does a test in Judo usually consist of?

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#432920 - 06/22/11 03:33 PM Re: Judo test [Re: kick2011]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Depends where you go. Most Judo tests involve a demonstration of theory, which is to say doing some throws, pins and escapes (and maybe some strangles and armlocks too). You may also have to do a bit of Judo kata.

Where Judo gets really interesting is that some associations then have grading tournaments. Basically you get your belt if you beat a certain amount of people. Believe me, as tough as you imagine that to be it won't even come close to how tough it really is.

Other associations let you do randori (fight) without having to win to get your belt.

Both systems have their merits and flaws.

Pretty much every association I have heard of expects you to fight and beat people when you are testing for black belt though. I'm open to correction on that of course.

IMO Judo has the toughest grading system I've ever come across. There is nothing worse than fighting 4 or 5 people full on, getting smashed in to the ground and pulled from pillar to post only to realize you didn't beat enough people to get your next belt. It's not for the faint hearted.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#432932 - 06/22/11 09:55 PM Re: Judo test [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Well, I went a USJF school for a bit, if I remember there was kind of a two-tiered system for promotion. Competitor and non-competitor, naturally competitors go faster because they will be better at Judo from competing.

I don't remember seeing any requirements about winning randori, but I imagine that you're expected to not suck, like anywhere. Or it was there, and I just missed it.

The first test was a few throws, foot sweeps, and pins I believe.

I think that some schools factor "points" from competition wins into your promotions. I have never heard of a Judo dojo where you would simply be blocked from advancement because you couldn't beat seems like it's more a cumulative thing, you get a certain amount of points for winning, certain amount for competing, judging etc.

There may be some places where you "required" to beat a certain rank or number of people I don't know, but from what i've seen that is not standard for Kodokan Judo. Naturally I could be wrong, i'm just going on what I know.

Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/22/11 10:02 PM)

#432935 - 06/23/11 04:09 AM Re: Judo test [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Hi Zach

It is true that a lot of promotions by randori use a points system, and in that sense you could eventually get promoted even if you never won a match (you can still get points for drawing matches).

That said, if you only win 1 or 2 matches a year, it is going to take a lonnggggg time to win. Additionally, if you need a certain amount of points to get your next belt and you don't get those points at a certain grading having trained hard for the last 6 months, it can be pretty tough. You come away no further forward and having your backside kicked. I've seen it happen.

I knew a guy who was a brown belt (1st kyu) in Judo after 8 years of Judo. He hardly ever won matches. It was a tough grading system (and at the time it was the only grading system locally). Sure some people who excel at competition and train a lot can progress quickly, but on the other hand some people can take a long time to get to black belt.

Anywhere in Ireland there is no chance of getting a black belt without accumlating 100 or 150 points (depends on age). This equates to winning 10 or 15 matches by ippon. Or drawing 31 or 50 judo matches. 50 competitive Judo matches... I ache just thinking about it.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#432939 - 06/23/11 11:06 AM Re: Judo test [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I don't doubt it's true with some organizations. I'd actually be curious to know which ones do this. It sounds like clubs that are solely, strictly focused on competition, and don't abide anyone else. Judo classes seem to attract a variety of people like any class. There is also kata competition in addition to shiai..some schools seem to reward points for that too.

I'm just saying from my own exposure to kodokan Judo, you don't even have to compete to rank - at least in the early ranks I saw (though I think it takes alot longer if you don't, something like double the time), and everyone does randori in class. We were always encouraged to compete when the subject was brought up (as it probably should be). So the kind of scenario you are talking about is definitely not universal, and I wonder how common it actually is in terms of answering the original question.

Like I said there's a two-tiered system for competitor and non, and from what i've seen other places, that's not unusual.

this is the usjf document..I THINK this is what the club I was messing around at was using :

You can see that competition basically makes things much faster. Unquestionably i'm sure it will make you a much better Judoka, I avoided it because i'm getting too old and didn't want the injury risk.

It sounds like a great way to win tournaments holding people back like that though, what with 'brownbelts' who have been ten years in the rank and such. Whitebelts who've been through a hundred tournaments.

I think that most Judo dojos would probably expect some kind of randori competence past a certain point, but I don't imagine the approach you are talking about is quite so common. Again if i'm wrong I'd be glad to hear about it...i've just never seen that kind of thing personally.

That said, the nice thing about Judo is that you know immediately what you have, and what you don't. I was only there for a (very non commital) year, but one of the best times I had was getting tossed around by guy could basically throw me on his whim lol.

One of the most positive MA environments i've been in, and it really gave me some serious respect for the spirit of Judo, and of course the technique!

Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/23/11 11:50 AM)

#432940 - 06/23/11 04:44 PM Re: Judo test [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Thanks for that Zach.

The BJA use to employ promotion by randori. Some theory knowledge was expected (e.g. how to do the moves, referees commands, names of the moves etc...) but what grade you got depends on how you did in randori. This has changed as of 2010, but will try and find the old syllabus.

The Kodokan in Japan have a set of criteria for getting Dan promotions though. Although you can get awarded your next belt by working at the Kodokan, it takes a long time (e.g. 7 years from 1st to 2nd Dan), grading is also done by winnning matches and beating people. They also use the bi-annual "Batsugun" tournament to award rank. Basically if you beat a certain number of people in the one day, you will get your next belt:

As you probably know Zach the Kodokan is an independent Judo institute not associated with the IJF. The only place to get rank in Kodokan Judo is in Japan at the Kodokan (and possibly Osaka as well I think). As such, this grading system applies only to the Kodokan in Japan, although other Judo associations may model their grading syllabus on it.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#432941 - 06/23/11 08:05 PM Re: Judo test [Re: Prizewriter]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Are you saying the BJA at one time had a setup that was like "you don't get the promotion if you don't get X amount of ippons"? Unless I read it wrong, the kodokan link isn't that different from the USJF document..i.e. competition wins is something that is a big part of the considerations, but so is kata, time in rank, other stuff.

The USJF doc had the batsugun thing too, but again it was one way to get there, and I think the points from it counted for more than other tournaments or something.

If the BJA did have a setup like that, I can see why they changed it, it seems contrary to the whole 'mutual welfare and benefit' concept thing to encourage an environment where competitive wins are the sole form of advancement recognized, rather than simply a factor effecting it. Not saying I think it's not valid for arts that go that way of course, isn't this how most BJJ works?

Just that it seems to go against the stated purposes of Judo a bit to swing that far to the side of favoring competition over the standard Budo values.

Now i'm wondering how it worked historically, when Kano started formulating things, I wonder if he envisioned anything like "promotion by shiai".

Here's how it seemed to me:

The amount of time in rank to attain a blackbelt as a 'non-competitor' looked like something like ten years, which is about how long it took me to get my shodan in at least to me, ten years isn't weird for a shodan.

Whereas if you werea competitor, and a really successful one it seems like you could rank quite quickly. Exactly how it should be (you will be better at Judo, duh.), and seemed like a system that decently accommodates different types of people.

Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/23/11 08:23 PM)

#432944 - 06/24/11 04:16 AM Re: Judo test [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
The BJA had a points system, where the more ippon wins you got the faster you got promoted (although any sort of win also got you points for promotion, as did a draw). I heard of people going from white belt to black belt in 2 or 2.5 years. On the other hand, people who struggled in randori took a lot longer to get their shodan.

BJJ has a more relaxed approached to promotion in the sense that different teachers/associations do it different ways. Some places heavily factor in competition results. Some places just base it on how well you can cope with other people at the same belt level in class. Some associations, like Roy Harris, The Gracie Academy and Pedro Sauer have formal requirements for promotion.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.


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