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Showing posts from January, 2008

Being a Judo Dad

As I've mentioned a couple of times before, I have 3 sons, the oldest of which, my 6-year-old, is currently a Judoka. As a father, one of the toughest things that one does is take a reality check whenever you want your children to start an activity to determine if this is something that they would want for themselves or something that you want for them to live vicariously through them. The minute that someone suggested he try martial arts as a means to build up his discipline and self-confidence, was the minute that I began looking into Judo options for him. Yes I considered both TKD and Karate as valid options for him (of course I would have never consented to some of the McDojoes that I had visited in the process), but once my own dojoes class schedule changed to make Judo available to him, I jumped in with both feet. My son is 6 and has an attention span to match. So clearly his focus is not as good as that of a 9-year-old. Yet at the same time, each week, I see him making stea…

Making The Most of Randori

Balancing Judo and my family is a hard deal - especially with the new baby. My wife groans when I go to Judo - now 2 nights a week. And I have been getting there a little later than usual as I plan on getting a handful of things done at home before going to class so that my wife doesn't feel like I am leaving her out in the cold.I showed up about 25 minutes late last night, and quickly warmed up. Everyone was doing Uchikomi and Sensei had me work with a Yellow belt who was working on Koshi-Waza - Namely Tsurikomi Goshi and Harai Goshi. I was giving him instruction, and indicated that some of the Kuzushi and entry and form of Tsurikomi Goshi would be useful for Tsurkomi, Harai, Uchimata (to a lesser extent) and Hane Goshi. As I walked him through the motions, I noticed that my technique has actually improved. To the point where as I explain the theory to him, I am actually practicing it as well (as opposed giving him the  'do as I say, not as I do' speech before showing him…

Nemesis

Everyone one of us, in every dojo that we've ever been to has one - a nemesis. That one (or maybe more, or maybe one every few years) Judoka in our dojo or on the competition circuit who always seems to have our number. Our technique improves and evolves, but somehow, this person is always one step ahead.

They are our goal. Just one match one, or one good unquestionable ippon-worthy throw in Randori. Don't get me wrong, this isn't petty or vindictive, this is about improvement. It's about knowing that no matter how good your technique is and how much you've improved and yet there is still one person that it doesn't work for.

That person is the one person you want to play when it's time for Randori, and the one person you feel the greatest challenge from. You will try progressively harder with them each time, and for a while they might have their way with you.

Then one day, out of the blue. You throw them. It feels so good - and it motivates you even more.

The Value of Yudansha

The semester starts this coming week, and I am now going back to my full Judo schedule again - 2x practices a week plus helping out with the kids class. I hope that my wife doesn't protest to much, especially since the Baby's witching hour has kind of gone by the wayside, so that she can actually do things in the house while I am gone. We had an 'intersession' practice for both adults and kids last Sunday in the regular kids spot. It was a nice practice, especially since when I get on the mat with my son I don't generally get to practice much myself, and most of our black-belts were on the mat as well. I got to do Uchikomi with three of our Yudansha, all of which had great advice for my technique (and Sensei even gave me two or three bits of advice on Seoinage) - and that experience leads me to my topic - The Value of Yudansha.One of the more common questions that beginners have is how many beginners do you typically have. Yes they want people to go through the ran…

Searching for Seoinage

During my holiday break, I was thinking more and more about improving my Judo, and especially expanding my Randori/Shiai repetoire. One technique, that I keep coming back to is Seoi-Nage. It was a little over three years ago that I returned to Judo, and in my first session, I started doing Uchikomi. I went through the litany of techniques and decided to stick with one of the most basic. I started with Morote Seoinage. Within a few minutes, Sensei commented that I hadn't lost it, and that my technique was still good. But somehow, I have neglected Seoi-Nage since then, focusing more on Uchimata and O-Uchi Gari among others. Yet Seoinage is still that awesome powerful throw.I guess I am waxing nostalgic for many reasons. For starters, a friend of mine lent me his Koga Video where Koga Demonstrates his winning seoinage techniques, I also saw a phenomenal standing seoinage when I was at the Nakabayashi tournament, and finally
I recently purchased the Masterclass Series 'Seoi-Nage…

Women's Judo is more than Just a sport

I came across an interesting article by way of the JudoForum. A group of women in the UAE have started their own National Judo and Sambo team. Why is this so special? Because this sort of thing is frowned upon in their country! Yet they have found a sport that they love and have decided to promote it.

I am not a women, I have 3 sons, my wife won't step on a mat, and I can count on my hand the number of women that I have practiced with, but at the same time, its articles like these that show how powerful Women's Judo is. It goes beyond exercise, fitness and competition, it goes beyond self-defense - it's about empowerment.

In in this case, because it goes against societal norms, empowerment goes even further. I wish the UAE Judo team well, and I hope that they help promote Judo in their country and abroad.