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Showing posts from June, 2007

The Empire State Games - Go Chuck!

As I opened up my newspaper this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find my one of my dojomates on the front cover of the sports section. Accompanying his picture was an article about the upcoming Empire State Games. Chuck and I would practice Kata together last semester (my Judo club is in a community college, so we're on their schedule), and we were also occasionally partners for Randori. Chuck is a great competitor who has energy to burn and never gives up, and he's fared well at the last couple of competitions he's played in, and I know he'll do well!

Trying to get back into shape

It's hard to believe that I have been back in Judo for almost 3 years now. The original motivation for my return to Judo was my weight and general health. I was just shy of my 30th birthday, and at 5'11", I was way too heavy at 225-230 lbs. For the better part of 2004, I tried to work on my weight. I went to the gym 4-5 days a week for an hour, but saw very little, if any results. I also tried changing my eating habits as well, but that too wasn't helping.I needed inspiration, I needed an idea. I sat down and thought to myself - I need to think back to when I was most physically fit. It all came back to my college days at Polytechnic University. When I was at Poly, I was on the Judo team, and I practiced Judo for 6-8 hours a week. That was the best workout of my life, and furthermore, those 2-2.5 hour practices were productive, because they were guided. Unlike the gym, where I really had little direction, Judo worked great because for those two hours I had an excellen…

Oishi's new digs and Sensei Dave

As I posted earlier, my old dojo, Oishi's just moved to a new space a couple of weeks ago. I refer to Oishi's as my old dojo, because I haven't been there in a while. I used to go to their afternoon classes, during my lunch break, but ultimately, after getting a lot more responsibility at work, taking two hours off in the middle of the day twice a week became less of an option. While Oishi's dojo was close to my office, it was not close enough from home for me to attend his evening classes.

Thankfully I have found that Sensei Watanabe's classes fit my schedule and are 5 minutes from home. But I still miss my lunchtime Oishi Crowd. So I went down to the new dojo today to say hi and check it out. As it turns out, the new dojo is even closer to my office and I also discovered that I have a handful of classes left on my account (you can pay per class or pay per year at Oishi's). So I think that I will have to go work out there once a week!

Lurking on the Judoforum, I…

Some Judo Blogs that I have been reading

Although I am definitely not the first Judo Blogger, it seems that the trend has waxed and waned over the years. I figured now that I am posting again, I thought I would share a handful of the blogs I've come across recently:

http://www.taraje.com - Taraje Williams-Murray's Blog. Taraje is a member of the US National Team, and also an NYC Judoka (clearly, he is a lot more serious about it than I am).

http://www.joninjapan.com - Jon Roberts Blog - Jon is a Canadian Judoka who is spending the year studying Judo in Japan.

Sometimes its harder being an Uke

Last night I was asked to be the uke for a friend prepping his Nage-No-Kata test. In all forms of practice short of Kata, being an uke is quite easy. You just show up and play dumb, with the ocassional jump or movement to make your Tori look good. But in Kata, being the Uke is a lot of work.

Unlike the katas in most Karate styles, which are performed solo, Judo's katas are all performed with a partner. (More than that, depending on the level of Black Belt you are shooting for, you need to show kata proficiency as either tori, uke, or both!). While I might get flamed for saying so, Kata in a sense is like a dance - each partner has a role, and each partner needs to learn it.

For Shodan (1st degree BB. AFAIK, in the US) you need to perform Nage-No-Kata as Tori. Interestingly enough, performing it as Uke is required for Nidan (2nd degree), and now that I am familiar with it, I understand why that was done!

Oishi's New Dojo

My old Dojo, Oishi's, just moved to a new location. I really miss my lunchtime classes at Oishi's. We had a really good bunch of Judoka, and it was a great break in middle of the workday, especially when the politics was getting to me. I have to go down and bring Oishi Sensei a dojo-warming gift.

Am I wrong, or was this a good thing to do?

A friend of mine is going for his Kata Exam for Shodan. He spent all of last night's session practicing Nage-No-Kata. About 5 minutes before the end of the session, the Sensei had him and his uke (a newly minted Shodan himself) to demonstrate Nage-No-Kata. I have only been practicing Kata for a few short months, so clearly I am no expert, but I couldn't help but notice something - whenever he was slightly off - whether I could tell it or not, his face showed it. Obviously, as someone who has never stood for a Kata Exam, I have no experience to talk from here. But I politely pointed out to him that I noticed this. He was thankful, but I walked away feeling like I was a jerk for saying something?Was I out of line, or was I in the right place?You tell me? Comment!