Welcome to The Road to Nidan - Yonah Wolf's Judo Blog, a journal of his progress towards obtaining his second-degree black belt (Nidan) in Judo.
Yonah shares his insights, tips, tricks, and thoughts as he progresses in the art of Judo and fights his way towards his next Black Belt (Nidan).
I have decided to compete at a small competition in February. Fittingly, the Competition is the Polytechnic University Invitational, run by my original Sensei at my Alma Mater. The school just built a new Gym in the past couple of years and it will be nice to see the facility firsthand. Of course, I still have yet to see the application packet, but it was promised in the next couple of weeks. The tourney will hopefully not be that big, and I only want to compete in 1 division. My weight has been holding steady between 195 and 200, so it shouldn't be too hard for me to shed enough weight to play in the -90KG group.
So I haven't posted anything in six weeks, and yet I still hope I have some loyal readers left. April has proven to be a busy month for me - I am about to switch jobs, and I took a two-week vacation as well. April was also a great month in Judo for me, as my Son passed his Yellow belt test. He also executed a picture perfect ippon seoinage in a 'Mock Shiai'. My wife, who seldom comes to practice, was very impressed. Although he'll be playing some baseball over the next few weeks, he will be coming back to Judo soon, and is excited about working towards his orange belt. The other day, we were at a family get-together, and one of his cousins was bullying him a bit, hitting him a couple of times. Mitch stepped in and was about to throw the kid with O-Uchi Gari just as my wife, the kids' mom, and I intervened. At first, I scolded him. But when I realized he was defending himself, I apologized, and told him that if that happens again, throw the kid, pin him and call for
Not sure who is following this blog these days, but I have noticed that my pages get about 50-100 hits (I hope that there are a few real people and not just bots). I have also launched an instagram account as well - you can find me here - https://instagr.am/theroadtoshodan I have also been trying to get to watching some Judo videos on YouTube, a couple of channels that I like are: Dojo Outfitters - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-lZUImP2-eOW6Y8GBCbhw (they have a mix of Judo and JJ videos, but I find both sets useful). Efficient Judo - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1CsWk5MTssfFt6rb7CXKKA There is also a great instagram account from Israel that does these excellent matrix-style breakdowns for ground work - https://www.instagram.com/timura_bjj/ All three are worth checking out, and please follow us on IG. Thanks for reading.
They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words. The picture above (albeit a little blurry - I need a new phone) is of my brand new black belt. Nearly 26 years ago, I registered for a college Karate class to fulfill my Physical Education requirement. The class didn't get enough people to register, and the Assistant AD asked if I'd try Judo instead, and the rest is history. I want to start off by thanking my 3 senseis - who helped train and educate me, and help me love this sport/art - Maureen Braziel, Shiro Oishi, and Katsuo Watanabe. I also want to thank the dozens of dojomates over the years. My teammates at Polytechnic U, my afternoon class dojo mates at Oishi's (where seemingly I was only one of a few non-law enforcement officers), and my family for more than the last decade at Watanabe's including all of the WCC students who have passed through our doors. I want to thank all of my virtual judo buddies - from the Judo Forum, Facebook, and Reddit,