Friday, September 28, 2007

Mental judo for kids

Tonight at kid's judo we had all five back from last week. Three more of them had their AAU memberships and one more had a uniform, so I fugure these five will stick and be a good core group.
We warmed up with throttling on cue to the words hajime and matte. Then we did forward roll, face fall, left and right side fall, and back roll. They universally did better at forward rolls today. From here we continued warming up with the kds running continuous laps of running, skipping, hopping, laterals, and galloping as I sat on the side. On each lap I would pull one kid out and I'd do a teguruma to them so I could get them used to being spun through the air. Teguruma is also a great way to do assisted breakfalls with kids so that you can lower them into the right position and they can work on slapping the ground properly. I'll try to get a little film of this excellent exercise on the blog soon.
After warming up we worked again this week on the kneeling kubinage into scarfhold and then played some combatives games, including kneeling knockdown (newaza randori) and standing pushing/pulling wars. Lots of fun.
At the end we worked on silent listening and you know what? the kid that had some challenges with some of the physical stuff did the best of any of them with the mental game. That was neat to see. I'm excited to be able to teach these kid's how to do a physical thing but also to be able to show them how to work their minds too. This is going to be fun.


  1. I just wanted to say that i think the kids judo class is an awesome thing. I sure wish i could come watch and even participate. I commend and highly respect you, P1 for your use of the martial arts as a nurturing and highly proactive tool for those children. i cannot wait to have children of my own to whom i can teach the multitudinous virtues that lie within the martial arts. Thankyou again for being such an inspirational teacher/aikidoka/judoka/friend.


    ps the whole starkville club is buzzing about you coming to teach this fall clinic. we are all looking forward to it.

  2. Thanks, Chops. You say all the right nice things - and I can't say flattery will get you nowhere. But don't think that this means we'll be doing naughty things until the wee hours of the morning ...

    As for kids' judo... You know they say Kano was a technicl genius. Highly proficient, though he may have had more physicaly talented students. The thing that really sticks with me about Kano's personality was his quote in a lecture that anything one virtuous man can learn, he can teach to a hundred generations of men. I can't really tell you why, but that excites me.

    CS Lewis talks in Abolition of Man (I think) about the sum total of personal power diminishing over time. This is because all decisions (the basis of power) are predicated on the decisions of previous generations. Thus, all previous generations are still exerting their power over us and each successive generation will have fewer succesors to exert power over.

    I'm sure one could look at this idea in a cynical way, but what it says to me is that there will never be a better time than now. Nobody in the future history of man will ever have the potential we have right now. Nobody after our kids will ever have the potential they now have. No judoka or aikidoka after us will ever have greater potential in the art than we do. That is an awesome, ominous responsibility we have.

    While I can't really say that all that goes thru my mind whenever I work with the kids, I do find it exciting and motivating.


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