The Hard Choice


I love judo. Throwing, scrambles, submissions; a well-crafted judo class contains every aspect of grappling. I hate Judo. Governing bodies, rules diminishing the sport, Eastern philosophy; Judo and the notion that we should train to the current IJF rules kills me. I know I need judo because I get thrown a lot, but I don’t throw a lot of people any more. If I’m trying to become a more balanced grappler judo is what I need.

I love jiu-jitsu. Chokes, arm locks, scrambles; the chess that we play on the mat is a thing of beauty. I hate BJJ as a sport. Points, stalling, guard pulling, politics about association; I think we all have our own beefs with the IBJJF. Regardless of the rule set, the ground is where I am comfortable now. It’s where my skills are, where my heart is.

That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. In Judo I feel like I’m just going through the motions, but the last two classes I have seen marked improvements from working with Leslie – her style of teaching clicks with me and she’s cool about me replacing my techniques in to her combination to have the same conceptual effect, but with throws that I’m good at. I also have a lot of strong personal ties to the Judo club. I’m afraid that when I finally find the time to go to FPTC for a real BJJ class, especially a no-gi class, that I’ll fall in love with the ground all over again and want to leave judo behind. Even then, at FPTC, there are two judo classes per week, but I just don’t have the same ties there.

It’s even more complicated than just the ground versus stuanding. FPTC has a better mat, more people, a higher average experience level if we’re considering general grappling. Madison Judo has been a second home for the last three years, much less expensive, and has no contracts – fees are more like donations to keep the club running. I don’t do well with the notion of being locked into a school with a contract.

It’s a very tough call. It’s been bugging me since I found out Anders was leaving, and now that he’s gone it’s something I’ve been considering every class day. Do I show up to Madison Judo tonight to say my goodbyes, or is it just another day? I know there are people who swing going to both like Tim and Junior, but I don’t have the time to go to both. I really am in an XOR situation here.

Tonight I’m going to show up wondering the same thing I wonder every class. It’s not an easy problem, and no one can make it for me or judge me for my decision. It’s a choice that remains on me alone.

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