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  • Consequences of refusing to fight

    I finally found something to post about...

    You may have heard that an Egyptian judoka refused to bow and shake hands with an Israeli judoka at the Olympics (here's the primer: http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/37063284). Now in kendo we don't shake hands in the shiai-jo because we're "serious budoka" (tm) but we never refuse to perform reigi and generally everyone I know goes to speak with their opponent after a bout. I usually tell them jokingly that I hope their dick falls off, I'm classy that way (also, I lose a lot).

    Anyway, it's apparently not uncommon for Muslim judoka to refuse to fight Israeli judoka and some have literally refused Olympic matches in order to not fight an Israeli. I don't want to open a gigantic can of worms regarding Middle East geopolitics so we can use different hypothetical examples: say an Ukrainian or Georgian refused a bout against a Russian or a Pakistani against an Indian. Suffice it to say someone, for reasons other than injury, refused to take part in a bout against someone else based on nationality or other factors (imagine you don't like left-handed people) or refused to perform reigi?

    What do you think the consequences should be in kendo of that type of behaviour?

    Do you ban them from the rest of the competition? Do you suspend them from other tournaments? Do you ban their entire teams? Do you strip them of rank? Suspend them from (insert local) federation activities?

    I personally believe that prejudices (duh! you shouldn't have those) and, let us say, "patriotic" considerations should be left outside the dojo and you should never refuse to practice, exchange and share in your kendo with others on that basis. The consequences? I would probably ban someone from competition that refused to fight another player because they are X, Y or Z. I might even want them stripped of rank (hey, do you want to be shodan all over again?). But I’m a jerk and I think that kendo is more than a sport.

    What if the person just refuses reigi? A firm talking-to? A slap upside the head from their coach? That probably happens a lot now regardless.

    So, what do you think?

  • #2
    Refusing to perform etiquette would be grounds for DQ. Refusal to fight is a forfeit of course: if he just quietly withdrew I don't think anything more need be done. If he made a big stink I would eject him from the tournament.

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    • #3
      Off topic but are we to understand that all your opponents have male genitalia? Or is it that your post shiai gratuity is gender blind but may be on occassion linguistically decontextualized?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dillon View Post
        Off topic but are we to understand that all your opponents have male genitalia? Or is it that your post shiai gratuity is gender blind but may be on occassion linguistically decontextualized?
        Hahaha! In shiai, the vast majority of my opponent's are men. I haven't actually checked if they have the requisite parts... I can't remember the last time I fought a woman in shiai: it must have been in teams.

        To be fair, I only said this once to a friend of mine after he ran me over (almost literally) during the taisho match of a quarterfinal. I was wishing him luck for the next match. He laughed.

        I say much worse things to my training buddies, but only when they lose to me because I suck and they shouldn't... losers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
          Refusing to perform etiquette would be grounds for DQ. Refusal to fight is a forfeit of course: if he just quietly withdrew I don't think anything more need be done. If he made a big stink I would eject him from the tournament.
          Yeah, I kind of figured as much. But is that it though? Seems like scant punishment for not being able to put personal prejudice aside and a bit of a failing on the part of his or her instructors.

          I wrote this post before leaving on vacation and the lack of "Hot Takes" is highly disappointing.

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          • #6
            I think things can get messy if punishment is meant to sanction morality because then the officials have to second guess motives.

            What if someone refuses because they are protesting a particular nation's policies (almost no nation can escape this)? What about protesting a nation's political recognition as that nation was previously a breakaway region?

            What if say, an indigeous North American First Nation breaks away to become its own nation recognized by everyone in the UN except Canada and the USA because these two nations are trying to discourage separatism? What if that First Nation refuses to fight the "European invaders" and the Yanks and Canucks refuse to fight "the separatists"?

            Is it too much to impose on a kendo official the responsibility to differentiate between prejudice and political speech, when the line between the two can be very blurred?

            Forfeiture has a strong effect on net result so why is that not sufficient disincentive? Need it be stronger? It punishes the action without considering the motive.

            Or do we want to say political speech will be punished as severely as prejudice and both transgressors will DQ the whole tournament and maybe served bans on future tournaments? Do we want to be thought police and tell people they can't hold prejudices? Is that the best way to stop prejudice?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
              Refusing to perform etiquette would be grounds for DQ. Refusal to fight is a forfeit of course: if he just quietly withdrew I don't think anything more need be done. If he made a big stink I would eject him from the tournament.
              All in accordance with the IKF shiai rules.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rfoxmich View Post

                All in accordance with the IKF shiai rules.
                2 FIK seminars done: it's like I done learned stuff!

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