Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kindness is free: A reminder from Suzanne

I will not quit judo today thanks to a very nice judo instructor named Suzanne.

Many of the letters I get as USJA president are like this. Just match any of the choices with any other and you have several of the day's letters.

a. Dr. De Mars
b. USJA President
c. You-think-you're-so-great-because-you-were-a-world-champion
d. Who do you think you are?

I am writing to complain about
a. refereeing
b. the judo instructor on the other side of town
c. my former coach
d. reality

a. gave me a penalty just for taking 45 minutes to tie my belt during a match
b. refused to bow and call me o-sensei even though I received my woo-hoo-shidan the day before him which clearly makes me entitled to senpai rights.
c. once called me slow, which I am sure has irreparably damaged my development
d. has not complied with my desire to be emperor universal of all martial arts, the human race and several species of small furry mammals.

I want you to
a. fix them
b. kick them out of judo
c. use them for scientific experiments
d. sell their kids

and if you don't then I
a. will force you to resign
b. urge you to commit public suicide, preferably by setting yourself on fire
c. insist that you send me a million dollars
d. will sue you in state, federal, small claims, local, municipal and Disneyland courts

Every day or so, though, there is a letter from a lovely person like Suzanne who wrote to say that she appreciated the fact that I took the little spare time I had on a business trip to give a coaches clinic so she could go to one locally and learn new ideas for helping her students. Every time I get a letter from another lovely person like her, it reminds me while I do all of this editing magazines, teaching clinics, twisting arms for volunteers, begging for donations -- it's because every kindness deserves another. Thanks, Suzanne.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for taking the time to write this very good and interesting blog.
My 12 year old daughter is a very competitive judoka and I recognise lots of things you write about here.
I really appreciate this glimpse into your (judo) life and American judo.
Again,thank you.


Rhadi Ferguson said...

Hilarious but true. I needn't tell you that I get hate mail, but the GREAT emails outweight the HATE emails so I'm still here. Keep doin what your doin'.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. AnnMaria,

After reading your blog. I have great admiration for you and always have since I was a wee tiny kid taking lessons from you at Venice Dojo. You might remember me, I'm the one that fractured my collar bone.
Well, Dr. a friend of mine once said to me, "do what you love and don't let anyone put you down." Those that send you hate mail, they are just jealous because they don't have what you got! :)

Alina K.