Skip to main content

Sometimes, even your best isn't good enough...

So as you can surmise from the title, I didn't get very far in today's tournament. I had two matches, both against brown belts who I felt were my equals in size and skill. I played really well in my first match. I opened the match by trying O-Uchi My first attempt didn't succeed, but it succeeded in planting a seed in my opponent's head to watch out for the O-Uchi. The next time I came in, he reacted to the O-Uchi, and I caught him with Uchimata. He pulled me a little off balance when I threw him, but I didn't hear a call from the ref, and was perplexed that I didn't get at least a Yuko. I found out after the match that I had a Wa-zari! In fact one of my teammates thought I was robbed of an Ippon, but truth be told, I am glad to hear the technique worked. But then I made my mistake. I came in for a third time and I got countered with Ko soto Gake.

 

Second Match, I tried my technique again. My opponent must have been paying close attention to my first match, because he was ready, He tried O-Soto, and I turned in to pick him up - I was thinking of trying Ushiro Goshi, but I turned into his trap, he launched a second effort into O-Soto Makikomi and took me to the mat. I thought I had lost it there, but he only got a wa-zari. Still, because he used a makikomi, he immediately had me in a pin, and 20 seconds later I was done.

Nonetheless I thought I played well. Mark, who I'd met several times at Oishi's Dojo, told me that sometimes you play your best and still go 0-2, and that feels better that winning without working for it. I definitely feel good about this tournament, and that I am improving. The good things I take away are that my favorite combination works well out of the Dojo, and that I can overcome my fears. The bad things of course, are that one combination doesn't make a champion, so I need to work on being less predictable and expanding my repertoire.

In addition to playing well, I learned and enjoyed a lot of other things about the tournament:

 

- I met up with Steve (who was reffing) and Mark from Oishi's dojo, both of whom are great guys, and who are fun to play against, and offered good pointers and advice. Mark also thought my combo was strong. Mark and his two sons competed and he and one of them took first. The other took third, but he was playing up in a division of kids 2 years older than him.

- I met several interesting Judoka, each with their own story. There was the guy who fought in 3 divisions - taking second in two and first in one (he played his own weight class, then 1 up and 2 up!), and he probably would've done better had he not busted his elbow. It's great to be 18 and full of energy. There was the blind guy who came out and played regular rules - I think he went one and one - just seeing him was inspiring enough, but then I was talking to his sister, who told a few of us that his sensei - another brother of theirs - had died a few months prior, the blind judoka had promised him he would keep practicing and competing. When he won his match, and when he got his medal, he got a huge ovation from the crowd. There were several father-son teams in the tournament - which is always encouragement that I might play alongside my kids one day. Finally, there was another person at the competition with a similar sounding name. I kept getting confused whenever they called him instead of me. Nice guy, roughly my age, and a dad with 5 kids. He one his first match handily, but then dislocated his shoulder in the second match and had to concede. Still 1 and 1 was good enough for second place. I asked him in the locker room if his shoulder hurt. His reply - 'Not as much as it will hurt when my wife finds out!'

- I warmed up with Mark, and he was using a Gill Sports Gi, Another wish list item! Ironically, I thought of buying one a couple of years ago when it was still $1.20 Canadian to every US dollar.

- I got to watch a lot of Judo - both adults and kids, and got to see some really good waza. Including a textbook Tomoe-Nage and an amazing standing Seoinage where the uke was practically doing a handstand on top of tori. There were no doubts that both of those throws were ippon, and I think everyone in the room had a sense of jealousy and awe when they pulled off those throws.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019

Well folks, this has been a crazy year in Judo. A year that saw siblings win gold medals at a world tour event. A year that saw returning favorites and rising upstarts and dozens of awesome ippons.

 It was a year of peace and friendship in Judo - If I told you 12 months ago that we'd see the Israeli flag hoisted in Abu Dhabi while their national anthem played in the backgroumd, or that a unified Korean team would compete at the World Championships in Baku - you would've thought highly unlikely that either one of those would come true, yet alone both.

It was also a great Judo year for me personally. After a few years of spotty practice due to various life events, I've finally got back to practicing regularly. I've also got back to blogging regularly (well, semi-regularly). I am always amazed that people are reading my blog, and I just want you to know that I appreciate it.

Happy Holidays and Best wishes for a great 2019.

For your viewing pleasure - below is a video the …

Tel-Aviv GP 2019 - Day 2 (We'll take one of each)

There was no less excitement on Day 2 of the Tel-Aviv GP. After a disappointing hardware-less day for the Israeli men's team on Thursday, they wanted so desperately to get off of the schneid, and the hometown fans would not be disappointed.

Israel took home 3 medals on Friday - Bronze in the men's -73, Silver in the Women's -63, and Gold in the Men's -81.

In the -73 category, Tohar Butbul took a tour of North America - beating the Candian Bouchard and the American Turner by Ippon - Bouchard with Osoto Gari 3 minutes in, and Turner on a Wazari from a Seoinage 23 seconds into Golden Score. He was cruising in the quarter finals, up by a Wazari with the seconds ticking away - but was thrown by Tajikistan's Khojazoda literally as time ran out - forcing him into the repechage. He ultimately won the Bronze by beating Nils Stump of Switzerland

In the -63 category, Inbal Shemesh, despite being the World #37, fought some good battles and came away with the Silver, ultimately…

Judo and Stress

We all have stress in our daily lives - whether it comes from pressures at work, or at home; From our Spouses/Significant Others, from our parents, and from our kids. Stress can take a toll on your body and on your mind. Thankfully for me, Judo has been a great source of stress relief.

I was feeling a bit stressed out over the last few days, and then I went to Judo last night and it made it so much better - my stress was pretty much gone. Yes, I might wind up taking out some of my frustrations on various ukes, but at the same time, I know that they are doing the same with me - so it all balances out.

As for updates, I had a good practice last night. I was getting killed in Ne-Waza and I think I need to improve my skills there, but I had a good couple of rounds in Randori, and re-discovered that I can Actually throw people with O-Soto Gari!