Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

Greater Moncton Judo (official JudoNB affiliate)

Official Judo rules

What are the official Judo rules?

This is a common question amongst students, and up until recently, the answer has been “I don’t know, it changes every other year!” (see: history of Judo rules)
Well the International Judo Federation (IJF) has finally agreed on competition rules for the next three years forward so we now know that at the very least, starting from January 1st, 2014 until December 31st, 2016 we will have the same set of rules for Judo competitions.

Here’s the abberviated (or “Coles Notes”) summary of the rules for quick reference, while the new full rules follow below:
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Differences between Olympic Judo and Self-Defense Judo

olympicsday5judomrbfikgjr1rxSo the Judo competitions of this year’s (2016) Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are all wrapped up. Well don’t worry, you can still watch the full-day event replays for a limited time on the CBC website (likely in Canada only, see your local broadcaster for listings/archives). Spoiler Alert: unfortunately Canada didn’t win any medals.

Both the qualifying rounds and repêchage/medal matches are available. In total there were 7 days of Judo action, running from August 6th to August 12th, 2016. Here are the links:

Full Schedule (listing of male/female weights contested, by day):

What is repêchage?

Don’t feel bad, I also had to lookup the term “repêchage”; turns out it is a French word which literally means “to finish up again”. Judo and other Olympic sports with tournament brackets (such as Wrestling, TKD, Cycling sprints and even Rowing) the repêchage round allows a fair chance for all (or some, depending on sport) of the losers to compete for the final medal(s) up for grabs. The two finalists of course get Gold and Silver, but any competitor who had already lost a match to one of the finalists and/or semi-finalists is guaranteed to get another chance for a medal (as long as they are injury-free and healthy enough to compete again). So don’t go drinking your woes away as soon as you hear the words “ippon” if you’re an Olympic Judoka who has lost, in case the person who defeated you goes on to the finals. In Judo, repêchage is fought for the Bronze medal. If you lose against a semi-finalist, you get to fight in the repêchage rounds in a mini-bracket for the Bronze. As such, the repêchage bracket is built from athletes who were knocked out by the finalists and building brackets to determine third place. The 1st & 2nd round losers fight each other, the winner of this fights the 3rd round loser, and so it goes until there are only two individuals remaining who fight for third place; the other competitors who made it to repêchage get a tie for 5th place. Repêchage addresses the possibility of two top competitors or favorites meeting in an early round where one is of course eliminated much earlier than their rank or skills would have indicated they should, thus it allows the early loser a chance to still compete for a Bronze medal. In part this is also to address the “Golden Score” rule that ensures that somebody wins and there are no draws or inconclusive bouts as each round is an elimination round. A major weakness of repêchage is to make sure that competitors are not paired with anyone from the same club, country, or social gathering to avoid conspiracies during the last match, such as: “if you let me have a yuko, and then you win by ippon, I’ll get the silver and not the bronze, but you win the gold all the same”. So it is important that contest individuals who may even remotely know each other must fight first in a repêchage system. The benefits of repêchage is that it is one of the best ways to work through a large number of competitors/teams, as it goes from a Qualifier or 100s down to Round of 64, Round of 32 then Round of 16, Quarterfinals, Semi-finals and finally the Gold medal match.

On to the Differences between Olympic Judo and Self-Defense Judo

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Kosen Judo Ne Waza and the roots of BJJ

Sankaku Jime (aka. “Triangle Choke”) applied during a Kosen Judo tournament, 1920

&What is Kosen Judo?

Kosen Judo (高專柔道) is one of two main approaches to Judo training and competition (the other being Kodokan Judo) which are taught within Japan, the birthplace of that martial art and sport. Today, Kodokan Judo is by far the most dominant in terms of the number of clubs, instructors, students and competitions worldwide. While Kodokan Judo competition rules are recognized globally as the standard by the International Judo Federation (IJF) and are used for all Olympics and Worlds Judo competition, Kosen Judo is by contrast rarely heard of outside of Japan where it is still used during inter-University competitions (高專大会 kōsen taikai). Several organizations abroad such as the Freestyle Judo Alliance in North America, International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Foundation (IBJJF) in South America and the European Sambo Federation, have adopted similar competition rules based on a combination of the more permissive ground fighting Kosen Judo rule set, blended to some degree with the stricter Olympic/Kodokan Judo rule set (some being even more permissive to allow striking, others adhering closer to Judo principles of using only throws and holds). Unlike Sambo or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) though, Kosen Judo is neither a different Martial Arts “style” nor is it simply a set of competition rules; rather, it is a spirit of preservation of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu traditions within the modernized sport-focused Judo community. Kosen Judo arose with this aim during the Meiji Era (1868–1914).

Development of Kosen and Kodokan Judo

Kodokan Judo was established primarily to turn dangerous yet effective techniques designed for the battlefield from traditional Jiu-Jitsu (which Samurai trained in for hand-to-hand fighting) and make them safer and more appealing to the general public (and thus, a broader array of potential students). Jiu-Jitsu was at the time, quite unfortunately, fading into obscurity as a relic of the old Samurai culture that was quickly being left behind by the Japanese public who seemed to be in favour of industrialization and modernization (not to mention the fact that it was being rendered much less important for the government due to ballistic advancements in military technology). Kodokan founder, the honorable Jigoro Kano, knew from his early studies in human anatomy, physiology/kinetics and anthropology that people are competitive by nature; yet he also observed when learning under Osteopath and Jiu-Jitsu master Hachinosuke Fukuda that people do not like to get hurt and injuries in a sport/activity often lead to abandonment of that sport/activity or outright inactivity. This lead him to develop a set of rules for safe competition, as well as a new school called the Kodokan Institute in 1882.

Military Rifles and Jiu-Jitsu practice at an “Agricultural School” in early 1900s Japan

The departure from the traditional schools of thought on “fights to the death” and “survival (i.e. participation) of the fittest” which were so prevalent before the founding of the Kodokan, represents some key improvements Kano introduced. Like all new schools of thought though, there was initially stern condemnation of Kano’s approach and constant challenges from traditional Jiu-Jitsu masters within Japan. Despite this adversity, Kano’s own abilities, passion for teaching and unwavering dedication to his vision saw Judo rise in prominence across the country at the turn of the 20th century. It was becoming apparent that the only way many traditional Jiu-Jitsu techniques may survive would be to find a way to get included in the new “Kodokan curriculum” and “sport of Judo” being developed by Kano. As a result, followers of the old ways of Jiu-Jitsu had three choices: quit altogether, join him, or ignore him. A vast majority of those who chose to “ignore him” could at least agree that he had a brilliant idea to make Martial studies more appealing to the masses, and attempted to develop their own streams of sport Jiu-Jitsu (their own “Judo”, in essence).

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History of the Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

Sensei Earl O’Blenis is a longtime Judo teacher and longer-time Judoka (Judo competitor). As an instructor, he is certified with Judo Canada and also sits on the board of directors of the Province of New Brunswick’s official Judo affiliate and regulatory body, Judo NB as the Director, Moncton Zone.

He began training in Judo at the age of 19 and has spent the past 15 years teaching Judo in the Greater Moncton area.



As a competitor, his tournament history includes participation and wins in elite-level Judo tournaments on the Provincial (NB & NS cups), National and International scales. As a coach, he has also mentored students to wins in over 200 tournaments during his 15-year coaching history.



Initially, the club practiced out of Wynwood School (1998-2006) next to the old Kay Arena. When the school was torn down to make way for the current Crossman Community Center and Kay Arena complex, classes were relocated to the Moncton Lions’ Center (2006-2008). From 2009 to present, the home of the Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club has been the new Kay Arena building on Mondays and Thursday nights, as well as the NBCC/CCNB Dieppe campus, which has held classes on just about every Tuesday night since 2003 (except when special NBCC/CCNB school events such as the annual booksales or Tree-Of-Hope prohibit).

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