"Behold the hippopotamus,
We laugh at how he looks to us
And yet, in moments dark and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.
Peace, peace, oh hippopotamus,
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippotami."
This poem by Ogden Nash was a favorite of mine when I was young. I even wrote a poetry-writing program in BASIC that used this poem as its basis. (Anyone remember BASIC? )
Recently, I was in a meeting at work and a technical question came up. One of my colleagues asked me why I didn’t call up a person we had both met, briefly, who was an expert on that particular technology. I immediately dismissed this idea because she is very important. The one time I did have a meeting with this person, she seemed very busy and I got the impression that she couldn’t be bothered with a peon like me.
A couple of things occurred to me. One is that I know this woman not at all and she might be absolutely thrilled to talk to me. Perhaps she was just really busy at the time I met her. However, I doubt it, and she has never given any indication that she did not consider herself far too important to be bothered with the rabble. The second depressing thought that occurred to me is that maybe some people in the USJA think that way about ME !! So, if you are one of those people who have ever thought, “She wouldn’t pay any attention to anything I said, she is USJA president, world champion blah blah blah” let me apologize because I realize I have never gone out of my way to dispel that thought. I just assumed anyone who knew me would know differently. The obvious thought that eventually penetrated was that there are far more people in the USJA who DON'T know me personally than who do.
Here is my email
I would be happy to hear from you. If, like Charlie Robinson, you simply want to give me your opinion and don’t need an answer, and you say that in your email, I probably won’t answer you any more than “Thanks for writing”. At any given time I have about 300 emails waiting to be answered (not the same 300 all the time!) If I don’t answer you right away it is NOT because I consider myself too important to answer email from the coach of a small club in Arkansas with eight members. On the contrary, I am very interested in hearing from you. If I don’t answer, it might be because your email got picked up by my spam filter, it may (very likely) be that I just haven’t gotten the time to answer yet, or it might be that, somehow, it got lost in the middle of all of the other email I have.
So, please, do send me your comments, suggestions and good ideas on the USJA and judo in general. I am NOT too important to be interested in hearing from you and if anyone ever thought that. I apologize for not saying it sooner.
============ REQUIRED JUDO TIP ===============
Today, at the training center practice, we were visiting LACC (irrelevant fact) and Tony Comfort taught the Russian roll.
Tony puts all of his weight on Sam's back. He gets a grip under Sam's chin on the far lapel. The other hand is on Sam's collar, palm up. It is exactly as he is going to do a choke. Tony has one knee down on the mat, the other leg is up. Tony turns parallel to Sam and goes flat on his own back.
Tony is on his back. He turns AWAY from Sam's body, with his hands still holding Sam in the exact same way.
Tony PULLS his body and Sam's together.
When Tony is on top of Sam, he lets go of the hand on the back of the collar and does an overhook on Sam's arm.
If you want to come to practice, you are very welcome to show up any time. Cost is $10 per practice or $100 for two months. We are anticipating scheduling two extra practices with guest clinicians, focused on counters and combinations. More information will be posted as soon as information is available.
Date Day Times Location
1/11/09 Sunday 10 -1 West Coast Training Center
1/17/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
1/18/09 Sunday TOURNAMENT Reedley, CA
1/24/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
1/25/09 Sunday 10 -1 West Coast Training Center
01/31/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
02/07/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
02/15/09 Sunday Sensei Memorial TOURNAMENT SAN JOSE, CA
02/21/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
02/22//09 Sunday TOURNAMENT West Covina
02/28/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
03/01/09 Sunday 10 -1 West Coast Training Center
03/07/09 Saturday TOURNAMENT Goltz Judo, Claremont
03/14/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center
03/21/09 Sunday Ocean State TOURNAMENT RHODE ISLAND
03/28/09 Saturday 10-11:30, 1-4 West Coast Training Center