“Bad Judo” – Revisited


On Fitocracy someone shared Dr. Annmaria DeMars blog. It’s on my blogroll now and you should check it out. In case you’re not in the know: she’s Rowdy Ronda Rousey’s mom and won the Pan Ams in 1984.

If you’ve been following along you probably know by now: I’m a terrible judo player as far as judo is concerned. My natural tendencies towards wrestling techniques and leg-locks don’t bode well in an environment where both of those get you disqualified. As a result I’ve been trying to learn judo for the sake of learning judo, hoping beyond hope that some day ashi waza will just click and I’ll be a perfect upright player capable of winning by throw instead of pinning and submitting everyone.

Time away has definitely caused me to look at my game again. I need to get stronger and faster, not have better throws. At the end of the day an ippon is an ippon be it from 25 seconds of entangling someone in purgatory, harvesting arms like October corn, or smashing people onto their back and shoulders. Likewise since I’ll be stood up if I try to take the back I shouldn’t even bother – do the turn over and slap their shoulders down for North-South. From there I can arm-lock or choke if they start escaping.

I will practice technique in class and when it’s ready it will work for me, but I will no longer dilute my grappling for the pursuit of a better judo. The best judo is the judo that works, no matter how much the textbook says it’s wrong.

At some point I’m going to have to put on my big-boy pants and realize: my style is Neil Adams, not Mike Swain. I can try to learn ashi waza all I want, but it’s pretty pointless when I have something most American judoka lack – a VERY solid ground game. Likewise I’m not Prof. De La Riva – I am a top player. My DLR guard is passable thanks to Justin and Wade, but my kesa is inescapable thanks to Anders and Tanner.

Big-boy pants. Accept what I’m good at. Don’t stop working on what I’m lacking, but definitely milk my strengths.

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