What do you teach first and why?
I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours ....
What I start teaching children under 12 ....
I teach beginners o soto gari because it teaches stepping in to do a backward throw, it is a high scoring throw and is a good combination with other throws. It can also be done from a variety of grips. Thus, it is a good building block.
I teach o goshi because it teaches them to use their hips, and to turn, putting both feet underneath them, instead of one in front. One problem I have seen with o goshi in kids from other clubs sometimes is that they will keep trying to force o goshi in a tournament, trying to get the hand behind the person's back, when that just telegraphs what throw you are going to do. I have not had that problem much with kids I taught. I am not sure why. It may be because I teach tani otoshi also, so the opponent doesn't know which way you are going to go.
I teach ippon seoi nage because it also teaches pulling and turning, which are fundamentals, and it can be done when you can only get one hand on the person.
Depending on the player, I teach harai goshi or morote seoi nage. If the student is taller, I prefer harai, and for shorter students, morote.
I try to teach what I think will be relatively (and that IS a relative term) easy for the student to learn, since people are reinforced by success to keep coming back.
I also teach a sort of o soto makikomi, but from the knees, that ends in kesa gatame, and a half-nelson. I also teach tani otoshi to yoko shiho gatame. So, even a very young student has matwork moves from three different positions.
What Do You Teach to Help Move from Junior to Senior Judo?
For older students, age 13-16, the challenge is to make the move from junior to senior competition. This includes, at a very minimum:
1. Combinations - children do very few. Adults do more, though not nearly enough!
2. Counters - again, this is something you almost never see children do, except by accident.
3. Gripfighting, breaking grips, attacking off the grip, attacking from different grips (see why I taught o soto at the beginning!) At this age, I start to teach gripfighting as a skill.
4. Analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses in a match.
5. Armbars, turnovers, more matwork combinations. I emphasize having a matwork move from every position.
In judo, as in life, when you move from being a child to an adult, life gets more complicated.
Speaking of life getting more complicated, Hurricane Ronda arrived last night, as anyone would know by the state of our living room. Nonetheless, we have all been glad to see her, that is, when we can find her among the clothes-trophies-boxes-variousRondaDebris volcanic eruption. As glad as the rest of us have been, no one, not even Julia, is happier than Beijing the cat. She has staked out Ronda like a mountaineer laying claim to Mt. Everest. Ronda did not appreciate being compared to a mountain. After a week off of training, she is feeling a little out of shape and not too happy with the mountain references. All I can say is that she is lucky that Beijing does not have a flag to plant on her somewhere.
It will be an interesting adjustment for Ronda, going from athlete to coach. She has been planning out a lot of ideas for the West Coast Training Center, and we will be having a meeting with parents and athletes after practice on Saturday afternoon to discuss the schedule, Sunday workouts, tournaments, camps and so on. I think she will do a great job. Still, going from having things decided for you to being one of the major decision makers is going to be a switch. I have no doubt she is up to it, and she'll have the support of other more experienced coaches (sounds nicer than saying 'old people) and I am sure most of the athletes will be happy to work with her as well. Should be good times, starting this weekend - if she ever gets any better. Everybody is under the weather. It is a regular TB sanitarium around here. Maybe we're allergic to cats.