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Showing posts from August, 2006

A Good Workout

Knowing that my schedule over the next two weeks will limit my Judo time, I decided to take in a night class. My dojo is probably one of the few in the NYC area to offer classes 6 days a week (daytime classes on M,W,F and Sat., Evening Classes M,T,W,Th,Fr) the dojo has so many members and so many classes that it is not uncommon for a daytime person to show up at night (or vice versa) and be asked if he or she is a new student. But I decided to give it a try. The pace was a bit different tonight and the sensei who ran tonight's practice is someone who really knows how to motivate me. While my usual practices are a nice mix of Uchikomi, Ne-Waza, and Randori, the sensei suggested that since the next major tournament is 5 weeks away, that we begin warming up. About 90-95% of the class was Randori. We started with 1-minute matches (I must have had about 8-10 matches in a 15 minute span). Later we had about 30-40 minutes of Ne-waza Randori and then another 30 minutes of 3-minute Randori…

Saturday or Sunday?

I recently received an e-mail from the local Yudanshakai to announce its next promotional tournament. As I went to note the date on my calendar I noticed that it was on a Saturday. Unfortunately for me, that meant not being able to attend. You see as an Orthodox Jew, I cannot travel on Saturday, our sabbath , nor could I compete on Saturday either. In the past, our local Yudanshakai would hold the promotional tournaments  on Sundays, but recently they tested out a Saturday and a lot of people expressed interest in continuing having tournaments on Saturday. Unfortunately there aren't too many other Orthodox Jews in Judo, and quite frankly, I don't want to make a big stink about it.  I also don't want to switch to a non-competitor status for the purpose of ranking. I haven't fared well at my first few tournaments since coming back, but I still want the opportunity to a least try and win my next belt. I just hope that they shift the promotionals to Sundays again so that I…

Belts and Ranking Standards

Recently, on the Judo Forum, I have been following these two threads (#1, #2) with questions regarding ranking in Judo and how to deal with overly demanding students who demand being promoted to Black Belt Rank. The unfortunate effect of Pop-culture martial arts has launched many a McDojo that are very eager to sign-up students by offering guaranteed Black Belt contracts to everyone from 8 to 80.  While I would like to think that those who pick Judo, or another legitimate Martial Art do so because they see greater value than they do in a 'Belt Factory', it is naive to ignore the pressure of the Jones's kid next door having a black belt at age 10, while little Tommy can't get one in Judo until he's at least 14. In High school the one with perfect attendance is not awarded Valedictory honors for just showing up - so why should it lead to an advanced belt in the Martial Arts?In Judo, pretty much the world over, there are three key elements to achieving promotion (for …

Look to be challenged

I am in the process of Reading Neil Ohlenkamp's new book - Judo Unleashed so that I can review it here. With most of the Judo books I have read in the past, I have glanced over the 'intro' sections and jumped right in to the 'instructionals' -i.e. the illustrated pictures and steps of techniques. However, this time around I am perusing the 'intro' because I find it is a tremendous improvement over other books in the past.One such element is the notion that Judo is a never-ending, lifelong learning process, and that one of the best ways to improve your Judo is to seek out new challenges. I wonder about this principle a lot. I am, admittedly, sometimes reluctant to play people phyiscally larger than me (regardless of their relative skill). I know that the challenge is great, yet sometimes I am just not willing to step up and on to the mat. It's strange, but Ohlenkamp also suggests Judo is a way of life - a sentiment echoed by many - and looking for challe…

Working on some new stuff...

Wow, it's been a couple of weeks since my last post, I guess I was too busy reading Judo Unleashed to put up any blog posts. I am almost done with it, and I promise a review up here when I am finished. I am also looking to put more feature-length articles on this site as well, and I am currently working on 3-4 of them. In addition, I am also building a mailing list for my blog too. More details to come.