Beginner Judo


in Daily updates, Geek stuff

My first four sessions of the beginner Judo course at Hart House have been challenging and stimulating. I think I have already doubled the number of pushups in my entire adult life.

It means not attending weekly climate change meetings, but a break to focus on my PhD research seemed to be necessary anyway. Things are going well on that front, and I am particularly excited to be working regularly with Dr. Andrea Olive and Dr. Kate Neville. I have a lot of reading and thinking to do, but I feel like progress is being made both conceptually and pragmatically.

Fall is my favourite time of year, especially in this part of the world. I should keep an eye on the wind forecast over the next couple of weeks, as good kiting weather may crop up (I find 16-25kt steady winds ideal for two-line delta kites).

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

alena October 1, 2016 at 11:09 pm

I am excited about your judo and fitness. Great to hear that you have fine advisors to work with. May the winds lift your kite to new heights.

Milan October 26, 2016 at 2:31 am

So far Judo has beaten me up a bit. For the first few classes, I had problems with my feet getting torn up and bleeding during groundwork. At the second class, I also had my first rib injury. The feet got better fairly quickly, with some band-aids and hockey tape to limit abrasion for a couple of weeks. The rib injury really gave me problems and took about a month to mostly resolve. I had one class where I felt like my ribs were OK and I could get back to trying to practice techniques in a more relaxed and effective way. Then, the next class I bruised my lower right ribs with a bad sideways breakfall. At least this time I knew to ice and bathe it early, so today’s class was surprisingly painless. I feel like I am getting better at the warm-ups, and I admire and appreciate the professionalism and kindness of the instructors and the senior students who assist at our white belt class. The masters show how beautifully the techniques can be done, but I think the high belts who attend the beginner class often do more to teach us how to fall properly and collaborate and innovate in our technique. Overall, I deeply enjoy the combination of competition and cooperation which learning Judo embodies. Embodies literally, in that all the grappling we have done has been in the shared enterprise of learning, but often in a context where we learn best by sincerely competing.

. May 23, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Outwardly, randori would probably look to you like fighting. If you were to step into a dojo during randori practice, you might be forgiven for believing that the players were engaged in an all-out contest, each attempting to secure victory over his or her opponent. But while the objective in shiai is to score a win over your opponent (as in a tournament), the purpose of randori is to learn and improve with the help of your partner. Far from the intense competition that it may resemble to the untrained eye, randori is an exercise in intense collaboration.

As on a team, there are no opponents in randori – only partners – and there is never a winner or a loser. As a result, there can be no feeling of superiority for applying a successful throw, nor any shame in tapping out from a well executed submission technique. The only way to lose in randori is to fail to strive earnestly and with the proper intent: mutual benefit – Jita Kyoei (自他共栄) – one of the fundamental principles of judo.

The best way for both partners to improve their judo through randori is for each to attack continuously, at the risk even of getting countered. But it’s not easy to open yourself up to a successful technique. Pride and ego can easily get in the way and many beginners find it very difficult to let their partner even appear as if he or she might be a better fighter.

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