Welcome to The Road to Shodan - Yonah Wolf's Judo Blog, a journal of his progress towards obtaining his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Kodokan Judo.
Yonah shares his insights, tips, tricks, and thoughts as he progresses in the art of Judo and fights his way towards his Black Belt (Shodan).
I started going back to the Judo Forum recently, and was surprised to find some posts from Ronda Rousey (her mom, Anna Maria DeMars, is a regular poster as well). I have never met Ronda, but I have heard lots of great things about her. Also from her posts, she seems very down to earth and personable.
I hope that she continues to succeed, and that her continued success (Gold in Beijing?), will help promote Judo.
So I've finally regained momentum in Judo, and I have been managing to go consistently again. I am also getting into the groove with the new Dojo and my dojomates. I have also found what I had lost - Sen attack initiative.
In college, my favorite professor's favorite quote was ' A lazy engineer is a good engineer'. Unfortunately in Judo, that doesn't work. I like many of you, would play very defensively. I would try to make things happen, I would wait for my opponent to initiate an attack and then take advantage of his mistakes. But in Judo, there is no room for laziness. Make no mistakes, Judo is hard, and takes a lifetime to master. Somehow, its taken me this long to do something about it.
I am finally getting out of my bad Randori habits. I no longer spend my entire match sitting back and waiting for my Uke, I go to him. This has helped me spot flaws in my techniques and my attacks. I used to do one or two Randori and then sit out, now I will stand for 5 or 6 mat…
Things have been going well at the new dojo. I have been learning a lot - Kata, first and foremost, but also techniques. In this dojo the sensei has lists of techniques that people at various belt levels should know. I would say 80-90% of the techniques he lists I've already learned and even use.
I have also changed my attitude - I don't know if it is the venue, or the time change (I now work out at night instead of at noon), but I am seeing improvement. I have been attacking more and working on my technique. And of course, I am getting used to the mats. Before this dojo, I had primarily worked out on real tatami, but now I am working out on Canvas over wrestling mats and it takes a little getting used to. (My feet also tend to slip on the mat).
Initially I was a bit apprenhensive when switching dojos, but I definitely like this new one.
So I've been under the radar for a while. I started at a new Dojo back in January and I've kept off of the blogging site. This is very different dojo than my last one. For starters, the mats are very different. We're playing on Canvas over wrestling mats instead of over Tatami, which is a little less forgiving and harder to get used to. Also for the first time in my Judo career, I am learning Kata. It's an eye-opening experience. Finally, the sensei is do his best to push me to do my best, and its working.
I am really enjoying the experience, if only I could do it at least 2 more times per week.