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Saturday, March 14, 2015
On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the conflict between the International Judo Federation and its continental union, the European Judo Union (EJU), and mixed martial arts organizations, especially UFC. This dispute has falsely been described by some as "judo vs. MMA".
This conflict recently received much attention when the EJU pulled the 2015 European Judo Championships from Glasgow, Scotland, in April, and moved it to become part of the inaugural European Games in June in Baku, Azerbaijan. The key reason was that the original local host of the event, the British Judo Association, had gotten UFC to be a sponsor, despite MMA being illegal in France and the EJU repeatedly warning the British judo leaders that they disapproved of the values promoted by UFC.
Sergey Soloveychik, the president of the EJU, was recently quoted by the BBC saying: "MMA is not a sport, it is some kind of show." He added, "Sport should have some human values and sports should help society develop human values. With MMA, it is not so."
He also is quoted as saying: "It's not good if your opponent is on his stomach and you sit on him and beat his head.
"It's not good for the education of the young generation, so we don't like to promote this kind of organisation during our competition. The spirit is to destroy your opponents by different ways and this is not good." (http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/judo/31759834)
The EJU slogan is: "Judo -- more than sport!"
Soloveychik also served as the SportAccord Chairman of the 2013 World Combat Games. This event featured competition in 15 Olympic and non-Olympic combat sports, so Soloveychik's views can be seen as being widely held among those in the combat sports and martial arts organizations, along with SportAccord itself.
Also discussed are the long-standing promotion of anti-social values by MMA organizations like UFC, as well as the problems the judo organizations have had in retaining athletes and keeping them from going to other disciplines, the hypocrisy of many judo leaders in claiming that they actually do promote "human values", and much more.
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