(Originally published at Judokai)
There is only one Judo, and that is the Kodokan Judo of Jigoro Kano. Judo is more than simply a sporting event; rather, it is a complete martial art that has adapted over the years to various fighting styles and techniques. Kodokan Judo includes techniques from wrestling, sambo, and of course modern jujitsu. However, over the past two decades many of these fighting styles were discouraged, and eventually penalized, in tournament Judo for reasons cited as “better television viewing”. Unfortunately, the resulting rule changes resembled Greco-Roman wrestling in a kimono, all the while professional Mixed Martial Arts grappling gained in television popularity.
Freestyle Judo brings back the Golden Age of Judo competition by embracing the fighting styles of wrestling, sambo, and modern jujitsu. Competitors who specialize in standing techniques can throw for ippon. Wrestlers who prefer lower body attacks can shoot for the legs. Grapplers who specialize in submissions have the time and flexibility to fight on the ground. All of these styles are good Judo.
Freestyle Judo encourages participation from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestlers, and Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts by providing an open-ended competition format.
Freestyle Judo is endorsed by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, international Judo champion, and mother of Ronda Rousey, UFC Champion and 2008 Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist, as the “Ultimate Judo Style for MMA”.
Freestyle Judo was founded in 2008 by former US National team coach Steve Scott. Whose goal was to create a sport which brought back some “old school” elements of judo such as the “Hard ippon” and more time for matwork while including some “new school” elements like “No gi” divisions and points on for sweeps from guard. It is governed by the Amateur Athletic Union.