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1000 Words

They say that a picture is worth a 1000 words. The picture above (albeit a little blurry - I need a new phone) is of my brand new black belt. 

 Nearly 26 years ago, I registered for a college Karate class to fulfill my Physical Education requirement. The class didn't get enough people to register, and the Assistant AD asked if I'd try Judo instead, and the rest is history.

I want to start off by thanking my 3 senseis - who helped train and educate me, and help me love this sport/art - Maureen Braziel, Shiro Oishi, and Katsuo Watanabe.

I also want to thank the dozens of dojomates over the years. My teammates at Polytechnic U, my afternoon class dojo mates at Oishi's (where seemingly I was only one of a few non-law enforcement officers), and my family for more than the last decade at Watanabe's including all of the WCC students who have passed through our doors.

I want to thank all of my virtual judo buddies - from the Judo Forum, Facebook, and Reddit, who've bantered with me, advised me, and taught me.

Finally, I'd like to thank all of those of you who've read this blog. (Which I'll still update periodically).

The Road to Nidan has already begun!

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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!

March has been busy

March has been busy Judo month. I realized that my last World Judo Tour round up was the Paris GS, and I haven't had a chance to write wrap-ups for the last 3 tournaments - Dusseldorf GS, Marrakech GP, and Ekaterinaberg GS. Hopefully I will get a chance to do a wrap up for this weekend's Tblisi GS. This is one of the busiest stretches on the World Tour Calendar - 5 tourneys in 7 weekends.

As for me, I've been getting limited mat time do to family and work obligations. But I am still plugging away, and working on my general fitness (It's much easier to steal 30 minutes to workout than it is two hours for a Judo class). I have also been working on progressing to my Shodan - by getting some of the non-Judo requirements out of the way. For example, I just completed a short online course on Concussion spotting for coaches.

Finally, the last few times in Randori, I felt like my timing was coming back. Maybe I'll have to compete again soon :)

Social Media and Youtube

Not sure who is following this blog these days, but I have noticed that my pages get about 50-100 hits (I hope that there are a few real people and not just bots). I have also launched an instagram account as well - you can find me here - https://instagr.am/theroadtoshodan


I have also been trying to get to watching some Judo videos on YouTube, a couple of channels that I like are:

Dojo Outfitters - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-lZUImP2-eOW6Y8GBCbhw (they have a mix of Judo and JJ videos, but I find both sets useful).

Efficient Judo - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1CsWk5MTssfFt6rb7CXKKA

There is also a great instagram account from Israel that does these excellent matrix-style breakdowns for ground work - https://www.instagram.com/timura_bjj/

All three are worth checking out, and please follow us on IG.

Thanks for reading.