We interrupt this discussion on elite athletes to bring you this information on children.
I feel the need to pause in talking about training plans for developing elite athletes to discuss the needs of children. This is because, inevitably, when I start describing what I believe an athlete needs to move to the next level someone will show up with their five- or six- or eight-year-old and want me to whip him or her into shape.
Guess what? I don't believe in whipping a child into anything. Tomorrow we have the Nanka judo games for children 13 and younger. They will do as many throws as they can in one minute, be scored on technique for their best ten throws, compete in other all around judo skills and play games ranging from freeze tag to toilet ball. What? You've never played toilet ball? You'd better show up at the training center at 11. (In case you don't know, the address is 123 S. 1st St., La Puente, CA. I know that sounds like an address we made up, like the 555-1234 phone numbers you see in TV shows, but that in fact really is the address.)
If you'd like more information on judo for children, I'd recommend the Judo4parents site. It answers questions from, "How are most judo clubs organized?" to "What's all this bowing about?"
The world according to Laurie has quite a bit on judo, including several posts on children.
If you are interested in games for children (and for adults who don't take themselves too seriously), check out the games page on the USJA Resources site, a service of the USJA Development Committee. You can see movies of these games in practice, thanks to the inimitable James Wall.
While not focused particularly on children, Patrick Parker's blog on judo and aikido is interesting read for those who would like a kinder, gentler and less competitive take on judo than my own.
Speaking of my views, I am trying to figure out where I was going with these notes I found cleaning up my desk the other day. I have reproduced them here faithfully.
- Counter-intuitive judo - e.g., watch a 100+ kg guy to help with a 56 kg women's division
- People of limited intelligence cannot see past their own intelligence. (A quote from Karl Geis, judo and aikido instructor par excellence.)
- Other people want to be seventh-degree black belts. I want to be Judo Empress of the Universe and All the Outer Undiscovered Planets.
- 15+ throws, one gripping strategy and four mat techniques
- Kill them and sell their organs.
I am not sure where I was going with this that I ended up on the last point ...
Speaking of which, those of you who have been spreading the rumor that, during my competitive days, that I often killed my opponents and ate their bleeding hearts in front of the referees, cut it out. It is not true. There were rules against that sort of thing, even back in those days. I believe they gave you a shido.