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.
I'm about a week early on this month's Promote Three, but I figured I'd go ahead and do it while I have the time.
We're going to initially try an 8-month season through the cooler parts of the year and take off during the most sweltering season. We've gotten a lot of interest in this thing and have set up a 4-8 year-old class on Fridays with red-white tourneys the second Saturday of each month. We've signed our club and all our athletes up with the AAU and yesterday we had our first practice.
Five kids showed up. Somewhat less than the ten or so families that expressed interest but I figure a couple of families were just being polite and a couple more families will trail in during the next couple of weeks, so we should have a nice sized class. I started by giving them the ultra-short explanation of what Judo is...
Judo is a kind of Japanese wrestling in which the goal is to throw your opponent onto his back or hold him on his back for 25 seconds. The name Judo means “the smart way of using your strength.’ It was invented about 120 years ago in Japan by a man named Jigoro Kano. When we practice Judo, we wear a uniform called a gi and a belt called an obi. The teacher, or coach, is called sensei. In judo you bow to each other as a salute – just like in the army.
We warmed up with some ROM and some running, hopping, skipping, galloping, and laterals back and forth across the mat. From there we worked on falling exercises and moved into a kneeling takedown resembling kubiguruma into kesagatame. Next week we'll repeat some of the exercises, adding others and particularly enforcing the skill of getting into kesagatame. Toward the end of class we had a rousing round of toestomp randori.
Since no parent likes having their kids worked into a froth and then given back to them, we're instituting a few minutes of quiet sitting at the end. The best intro to this that I've ever heard was to close your eyes and be quiet for 1 minute, while trying to remember every sound you can hear. Then you go in a circle and everyone names one sound they heard. This is a good intro to meditation/focus training for little kids.
The kids had a lot of fun and so did I. I'm looking forward to next week already.
"Fort Benning…is a place where the study of martial arts is not geared toward spiritual development, sports, or self-defense.”
- toe-out and hipswitch
- standing foot slightly farther back underneath our collective center of mass.
- standing foot, knee, both hips, and all abdominal muscles pointing in the same direction
- butt cheek underneath uke, almost through uke's groin
But the point that the guy in the video made that was so interesting to me was that there is something about grappling that seems to bring out the warrior spirit in people. They are not teaching soldiers to grapple; they are explicitly involved in fostering the warrior spirit in these soldiers. This is because, as he puts it, we don’t win wars by grappling, but we win wars by being warriors (my paraphrase).
And that is what I think the guy in the video is talking about that makes the video so interesting to me.
STAND-UP CHALLENGE Contestants lined up from lightest to heaviest. Winner of each match stays on mat against next challenger in moving from lightest to heaviest.
Traditionally Judo competitions were organized using the "winner stays up" or Kohaku shiai method. In this method contestants were lined up by size, or sometimes rank and experience were also considered, and the smallest two competitors in a division would fight. Then the winner would stay on the mat to fight the next biggest competitor. The winner of each match would again stay up until losing. The largest person, if he won, would be permitted to fight back down the line a limited number of matches. The person with the most wins at the end would be declared the winner.