Wednesday, July 19, 2006

El Blog Del Judo - A Catalan Judo Blog

Someone posted a comment here yesterday linking to his own Catalan Judo Blog, entitled - El Blog Del Judo. I figured it was news enough to warrant its own post and not be buried in comments.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Book Review - The Beggining Runner's Handbook

As I have opined many a time on this blog, Judo has essentially become my only exercise. This of course is a good and a bad thing. When I was struggling to get to class, I was literally not getting any exercise at all. But now that I am back to 2x a week, I still find myself lacking in terms of general fitness. For one, I have put back on about 10 lbs. since January, and secondly, I find that my lack of fitness is hampering my Judo. So I bought this book with the hopes that I would be able to start running. Running as a compliment to Judo is a great idea in that it will help build stamina and cardio-vascular strength to enable me to perform better in the dojo.

This book seemed like the perfect choice because it offered a very gradual approach to build up your running. The content was great, it offered a lot of good background not just on running but on nutrition and preventing injuries, that are applicable to Judo as well. In addition to the beginner's programs for running and walking, it also provides you with step-up programs to maintain and improve your running, as well as good training advice for building up to a marathon and half-marathon.

However the jury is still out on the program and its long-term benefits. Still if you are thinking about picking up running, and don't know much about it, I would reccomend this book as a good starting point.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trying to refind my humility

On the plus side, I have been actually getting to judo about 2x a week for the past month or so, and despite feeling rusty the first couple of time back, I am now refinding some of my groove. But as I find my groove and hit in Randori, I find myself becoming too cocky sometimes.

If I haven't learned anything about myself from judo is that I fair a lot better by respecting everyone and learning from those that beat me as well as from those that I defeat. If you are open-minded and humble you will be able to do that wholeheartedly, however, if you are haughty and arrogant you will close your mind to learning and that is beneficial to no one - especially not yourself.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Why it's called the Road to Shodan...

While surfing the JudoForum today, I came across a new user on the site who's handle is roadtojudan - and I wondered if I inspired him with my own blog's title. (Incidentally, Judan, or 10th Degree is the highest level of Black belt awarded in Judo, and is very rare. It is only attainable by those who have dedicated their entire life to the spread of Judo and even then, they are usually well into their 70's when it is conferred. I believe that there are only a dozen or so Judans in the world that are recognized by the Kodokan in Tokyo, but I digress).

I wondered why I chose to name my blog the road to Shodan instead of the the road to Judan? If I am aspiring, why not aspire all the way to the top, instead of merely to the first rung of a ten-rung ladder? The answer - because I am focusing on learning to walk before I learn how to run. Shodan not only translates into first degree, but it also translates into 'First Step.' Some people view the Black belt as the mark of an expert, I view it as the end of an era of being a Judo begginer and the first step along the path to becoming an expert. Just like your high school diploma signifies your preparation to enter college, so too your does your shodan indicate that you have graduated from the kyu - beginner grades, into the dans.

Will I ever name this blog the Road to Judan? Maybe, but it will have to go through nine other name changes first :)