Skip to main content

The last couple of weeks

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. I have been really consistent in attending practice. Our Wednesday night practices have been getting good crowds, and I am getting a lot of good work in. Especially in Randori and Ne-Waza Randori.

Our Monday nights have been a little weaker, only handful of students show up, but I have been doing my best to make the most of it. I've been getting a lot of Nage-No-Kata practice in, and learning a lot by teaching some of the beginners that show up.

Because all of the Jewish Holidays are on Sunday this year, my son has missed a lot of time at the kids' class. Thankfully he is back now, but because of logistics, I myself have been missing my time on the mat with him. I enjoy watching him learn and helping out him and his friends.

Of course, this is all anticlimactic, except for one of the most important and sad events in my Judo career - Sensei Jesse Wang - one of the senior black belts in our club, passed away last Wednesday. Jesse was 4 days shy of his 83rd birthday, and wonderful teacher and friend in our club. Up until he became ill earlier this year, he'd show up at practice 3x a week. Even though his body might not have been able to do as much as it used to, his mind never lost a beat. Whenever anyone would ask him a question about a technique, it was never a yes or no answer - he would observe, and then begin to point out 8 different things you could do to improve your technique - be it in Randori, Uchikomi, or Kata.

Last year, I told Sensei that I wanted to learn to referee (a bit unusual for someone not quite a black belt). So he hooked me up with Jesse. At our club tournament last December, I stepped on the mat in socks for the first time. I was very nervous, but I was relieved to know that I had Jesse in the corner if I needed him. A minute or two into the match, one of the players threw the other, I look at the result and stuck my hand straight out to the side to signal - Wa-Zari, but of course, Jesse immediately waved it off, and called it Ippon. Then, after the match, he pulled me aside to explain why it was an ippon. Yes, he called off my very first Judo Refereeing call, but true to his nature, he made it a teaching moment.

The club tournament will be upon us shortly, and I will referee that one as well. I need to step up my ref knowledge a bit, because no matter how good his replacement is, I know that Jesse is not in the corner to back me up.

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!