Thursday, December 11, 2008

Club Competition

So our club had their semi-annual competition tonight. It is a small tournament, primarily members of our club and club alumni. We had a very nice crowd - about 30 or so competitors from age 6 and up, and about another 20-25 spectators.

I got caught in traffic on the way there and I missed my sons first match. Thankfully I caught his second match. He has a lot of good scoring chances and lost by a Yuko. My wife complained that she th0ught he wasn't even trying, but I pointed out to her that he has come so far since last year, where he didn't even look at his opponent. Several people pointed out to me that his seoinage has come a long way, and with a little more practice, I think he will win some matches. He also complained that one of the other kids - who doesn't regularly practice at our dojo (his Dad does, and he comes ocassionally) was choking him - against the rules in the 6-year old yellow belt division. I pointed out to him that referee sometimes make mistakes - they're only people after all. Sometimes they make a mistake in your favor, and sometimes against you - it all evens out in the end.

Of course, I can now say that as a referee. I reffereed about 6 matches, and was the judge for a dozen more. The other referees - two of which have significant refereeing experience, said that my refereeing was okay. I did make some mistakes, and also some good calls.

One good call (IMHO), one contestant was in the safety area on the side of the mat with very little clearance to the wall. His opponent was about to initiate a throw and heading further out of bounds. Fearing for their safety, I called Matte. The attacker failed to stop, changed directions, and threw the other guy in middle of the mat with morote gari - he was going to celebrate, until I pointed out that they had ignored my Matte call.

Finally, I got to compete. There were only 3 competitors in my division - me, Rob and Mark. We always square off in Randori - so not to many surprises. I almost had a choke in on Rob, but then I managed to throw him with O-Soto-Gari. As soon as the throw ended, I was convinced it wasn't an Ippon, so I proceeded to try to get the holddown. The Ref called Wa-zari, and I was fighting to keep Rob down, but then I heard him say ippon - the other two refs had disagreed with his call. Both rob and I didn't think it was ippon-worthy, but I was happy to win.

Then I fought mark, who seemed to have more gas than I did at the time. After a few attacks and counter attacks, I managed to throw him with a nice Tai-Otoshi for Ippon.

Not bad - My first Refereeing gig, my first first place in a long time, and, most importantly, my son had fun.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fwd: Maybe I should post something here after all....

Wow, I was looking at my blog and realized that I haven't posted
anything since May! that's a real long time. Let me start by saying
this - I haven't quit Judo. I still go to class and help teach the
kids class on Sundays. Truthfully, I've only been going an average of
once a week for the past six months or so, primarily because I've
started a new job, and my schedule often finds me working too late to
get to class. I've also gained a lot of weight as well, and if that
wasn't complicated enough, we were all trying to get used to the new
baby - who is shortly turning 14 months.

Because of my lack of practice, I haven't felt up to competing either.
Some of you might think that I should just go compete, but I view it
this way - I only compete when I feel that I am prepared to win, and
in my current shape, I am not prepared to win.

All that aside, I have been enjoying Judo in different ways. I really
enjoy helping out in the kids class, especially being able to teach
Judo to my son. My second son usually comes for the ride, and will
participate in warm-ups and the occasional round of Sumo-Style circle
fighting. Unfortunately, at 4 and a half, he is not quite ready for
Judo yet.

I have also expressed interest in refereeing, so my Sensei has allowed
me to referee the kids practice matches, and I will hopefully ref a
few rounds in our upcoming club competition next week. I enjoyed the
reffing session, and people thought most of my calls were good (except
for a Koka that I missed and sensei picked up on), but it was hard
reffing my own son's match - he was expecting my coaching and
guidance, which I just couldn't give him being the referee.

That's it for now, but I hope to post a lot more frequently in the future.