Only Judo Racket In Town


I don’t know all the details, but apparently the instructor at the city’s only other judo club is out due to major injury. For the time being we’ll be the only judo club in town. As Anders phrased it “it’s good for [our club] but bad for judo.” You need multiple competing clubs and a bit of variety to produce truly exceptional judoka.

So on that note I made the decision yesterday that tomorrow will be my last day of judo until July. I have a lot of reasons for this. Some of them I will discuss below, some of them it suffices to say are very personal. It’s been a really tough decision and I was hoping to keep doing judo until the end of April (my hard cut-off due to the much higher risk of injury in judo than in BJJ). Things have just piled up too quickly.

  • Injury risk – In judo I break bones. Unfortunately, most of the time it seems to be my bones. A fracture (for me) takes 6-9 weeks to heal. I can’t risk an injury like that less than two months out from the wedding. I’ve been okay-ed to keep doing BJJ because my major injury rate there is zero. I’ll be stopping BJJ two weeks out before the wedding to prevent minor injuries though.
  • Time – I’m running out of it very quickly. I’d like to keep the blog from going into my personal life too much, but I’m getting married, house hunting, and my work is becoming more intense as some final dates approach. I just don’t have the time for both judo and BJJ.
  • Personal– We’re all big boys and girls here. I’m not looking to offend anyone. None of this is a slight at anyone. All of our instructors are good and I trust their judgement.

I have a stylistic clash with one of the instructors. I’ve never talked to him about it. I feel bad disregarding a lot of his advice because he gives it with the best intentions of making me a better judoka, but I find much of the advice is counterproductive. It’s not a matter of feeling like I know everything, but it is a matter of being told similar stuff (which doesn’t seem helpful) so often that it get bothersome. After some time off I hope to be more receptive so I can internalize it, because it’s probably sound advice, but it never seems applicable to the situations I’m in.

After a full 2.5 years of judo, a blue belt in BJJ (*cough* 3.5 years *cough*), and four years of jujitsu I’m still a yonkyu in judo. Some very good comments have been made about this. I recognize that rank shouldn’t bother me. Last night I realized that all the kids who came in 1-2 years later than me are also yonkyu. I can’t even explain the feeling. I’m sure there’s a German word for it. It’s not only frustrating watching the guy you can out-wrestle getting promoted for out-wrestling people (under the guise of previous experience – again, see above), but to watch everyone around you be recognized as your same level gets really old. I’m sure there’s something I’m missing before Anders wants to do the promotion, and I trust his judgement on the matter. I had always felt that kata should be a part of the sankyu until I saw that last promotion. I think 3 months of dedicated BJJ (and hopefully another stripe or two) will help me care less about judo ranks. I realize this means I’ll be a yonkyu for at least another 3-6 months (putting me at a total time in rank of 1.5 years). I do think that some time off working on my wrestling and BJJ will be good for me though. If I never see that promotion I can always just start wearing my BJJ or jujitsu rank in class if the color is going to bother me that much.

So other updates – Matt gave me some advice a week or two ago on foot sweeps. I combined it with what Tim said and now I have two or three footsweeps that are absolute money. It’s those kinds of minor adjustments that take a throw from not working to working like a charm that make me love the group I get to train with. Having a rich mix of wrestlers, judoka, jiujitseros, and jujitsuka means that my full background is represented at different levels and there are guys who have similar mixes that can see my style and give advice specifically tailored to it. I think that’s what I’m going to miss the most over the next three months.

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