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).
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.
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 fo
The Paris Grand Slam was held last weekend, and as the first Grand Slam event of the year, it didn't disappoint (at least for the people who won medals), and as an added bonus, IJF President Marius Vizer hosted a twitter Q and A. Because we're talking about Paris, and France, we need to start with the French Team - or should I say the French Women. According to an article on the IJF site, this is the First time since 1971 that a French male Judoka hasn't gotten a podium spot at the Paris GS. But you know who did get a Podium spot - Clarisse Abegnounou. The hometown star won her fifth Paris GS title in spectacularly dramatic fashion - by beating Tina Trestenjak of Slovenia 3 minutes deep into Golden Score, and throwing out her shoulder in the process (you can watch her moment of glory in the video below) I also want to give a shout out to both Devin Waldenburg (-60) and Ebony Drysdale Daley (-70) who became the first Jamaicans to compete in an IJF World Tour event
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,