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Time to start writing again...

Hello blog, how I've missed you. Over the weekend, I decided to casually read some of my old posts, and it bothered me that I haven't written anything on this blog in nearly 6 years. I have no idea if anyone is still reading it, but I also decided that I have to go back to writing it, and there is a two-word reason why - running selfie.

Yes, I know that if I played word association with you, you wouldn't quite get 'Running Selfie' from Judo blog, so here's the connection. While I haven't been making it to the dojo consistently in a while, I have been able to go running. Every day that I run - right after my run ends, I take a selfie. Its not about sharing on facebook or instagram (although I sometimes do that), but rather its a way of reminding myself that a) I worked out b) I was happy and tired afterward and c) as my body changes from getting back into shape, it reminds me of what I looked like a year ago - kind of my own personal before and after.
Loggin…
Recent posts

Matside Manner Matters

I thought about posting an Olympic Wrap-up, but I quickly realized that a google or twitter search turned up dozens of reviews written by writers more experienced and nuanced than I. From an American perspective, it was a great year - punctuated by Kayla Harrison winning Gold, and Marti Malloy's bronze. Thrown in Travis Stevens' Pool win and 5th place finish, and arguably, this was the best US Olympic Judo Finish ever.

But I want to talk about someone else - Jimmy Pedro Jr. While there is no doubt that Kayla, Marti, and Travis' success are the result of their hard work, focus and dedication, I think each would credit Jimmy's coaching as an aid in their success. as I watched those early morning matches on the computer (thanks to NBC's awesome coverage), You couldn't help but hear Jimmy's vocal guidance from the side of the mat. Jimmy, looking sharp in a suit (as opposed to the shlumpy warm-ups worn by some of the other coaches) cupped his hands at matside, a…

The Internet Never Forgets...

Hello everyone? Remember me? I am the guy who used to write this blog. I came back to it today for several reasons - partly because I am feeling the itch to start playing again, and partly because I've been getting up early to follow the Judo action at the London Olympics. But the real impetus to be writing again is because of a phone call I got from my brother yesterday.

He told me he was searching for a family video I had posted on YouTube, entered my name in the search box, and stumbled across this:


This is a video of the last non-dojo tournament I competed in. About 2-3 months before hurting my shoulder, and 6 months before my mom died. Needless to say the Judo is sloppy - I never claimed to be an Olympic-quality competitor, nor am I the perfect example of how to execute technique in a tournament setting.

I remember this tournament well - it was a small tourney-  my group was only 3 people - me, this opponent, and one other guy. This was my first match. I remember the throw - …

Lemonade

Just when you think you have life figured out, it throws more lemons at you. I had finally gotten to the point where I was consistently going to practice and watching my skills steadily improve, and then in February it happened. I was thrown by one of our less experienced players, but it was a bit off-balance and even though I was able to to take a good breakfall on the throw, my Partner (who had a fair amount of weight on me) lost his balance and landed directly on top of my shoulder. In the mirror the next morning, it looked as if someone had implanted a grapefruit underneath the skin of my right shoulder. I figured I would give it a couple of days to heal before seeing a Doctor, but it definitely hurt and it was hard to use my hand for the first few days.

 Of course, two days later, on Friday, as my physical pain was slowly melting away, my emotional pain exploded. You see, that was the day that my mother was diagnosed with Actue Mylogenous Leukemia - AML. Suddenly the pain in my sh…

New Rules = New Strategies

I don't mean to harp on the no leg grab rules, but I just saw this on the USA Judo site, and I needed to share. First and foremost, I congratulate Travis Stevens on his hard-fought Bronze medal, and I also commend him on his quick thinking of how to use the new rules to his advantage.

By his own admission from the USA Judo site, he coaxed his opponent into an illegal leg grab to win his match and put him in the semifinals:

"I was shaking my arm out and trying to figure out how I was going to beat this guy when I remembered from watching his other fight that he was always trying to grab [Takahiro Nakai's] leg when he stuck it out," Stevens said of his strategy to capitalize on a new rule that bans grabbing your opponent's leg during a match.  "So I decided to go with that and I was able to trick him into grabbing my leg and trying to throw me with a te guruma [hand wheel throw] and it worked."
Stsiashenka's failed te guruma attack resulted in a hanso…

Baseball, Neil Adams, and the New IJF Rules.

If you are a practicing Judoka, and haven't been living under a rock for the last few months, you should already know that the IJF has put a lot of rule changes into place as of January 1st. Like everyone else, I will give you my two cents, but first, in order to paint the picture, I want to talk about Baseball - specifically about Balls and strikes.


Two rules that even the most casual observer about Baseball knows: - If you hit a ball that lands outside the foul lines it is considered a foul ball, and is out of play. - If the umpire considers a pitch to be hittable, even if the batter doesn't swing, he can call it a strike.
These rules are considered fundamental rules, and even my 6 and 8 year old kids know them already. The first rule, the fall ball rule, has very objective criteria. If the ball lands on one side of the line it's fair and on other side it is foul (yes, if the ball lands close to the line on either side, it is subject both the umpire's perspective but yo…

Club Competition

We had our Annual club competition, and all told it was a weird experience for me. Last time around, I had just started refereeing. Fortunately I had Sensei Jesse Wang with his years of experience as a guide. In addition, Larry and Wilson - who both had significantly more experience than me were there as well. All 3 gave me advice and tips as I was going through the matches. Unfortunately, Sensei Jesse passed away earlier this year, and Larry wasn't able to make it. Thankfully I still had Wilson and Mark joined us as well, but I was refereeing a lot more matches this year. It was just strange on so many levels without Jesse.

The beauty of Refereeing was that I was able to see all of the matches. It was nice to see all of our students - both young, old and in between get a chance to compete - even if it was against the same crowd. My son Mitch took second place in his division. He led most of the way through his first match - with a Wa-zari and a couple of Yukos, but then was caugh…