Monday, November 05, 2007

Jewish Judo Pride + finding your fight and not giving up.

Of the many benefits of participating in a sport that is contested at the olympic games, is the idea that you can promote nationalistic pride with it as well. Although I am an American, and I enjoy when Americans succeed in Judo, as a Jew, I also take a lot of pride in Israeli successes as well. Thankfully, for Israel, there has been a lot to cheer about over the last few Olympiads. The video above, is Ariel (Arik) Ze'evis bronze medal match against the Elco van Der Geest of the Netherlands. These two were at the top of their game, and ze'evi wins it with a beautiful O-Uchi-Gaeshi for Ippon.

The other day, I was watching Koga's Video - a New Wind, and there was some footage of Koga vs. Smadga (of course, in these clips, Koga kept beating Smadga, because, after all, it was Koga's video!) and my son, a new Judoka, had a lot of pride seeing the ISR on back of his gi. Interestingly enough, his favorite throws so far seem to be O-Uchi-Gari and Ko-Soto-Gake, so this makes for a nice video for him.

In addition to Smadga, there are other Koga matches from when he played in the Open weight class at the all Japan competitions in the early 90's. This was something that was great for my son to watch as well, primarily because it enabled him to see how tiny Koga was in comparison to the people he met up with in the open. This was a great base to teach him a lesson about not giving up against bigger opponents. We only have 2-3 kids his age on the mat, and he'll sometimes play people that are 2-3 years older than him.

In his first sumo match against a nine-year old, he didn't even play. I reminded him of koga for his subsequent matches and even though he lost, he had a lot more fight and desire in him.

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