I am lucky to have more friends than I deserve.
Hearing me say this to his father, Jacob Flores, Jr. said,
"I don't believe that is possible. I think people get exactly as many friends as they deserve. If people are your friend it is because they think there is something good about you that they want to be."
I hope he is right. I still think I am lucky.
Speaking of friends, I was telling Bruce Toups how now that I am USJA president, I have a whole bunch more 'friends'. I told him that it is kind of difficult sometimes. There are people in judo, like my daughter, Ronda, of course, like Dr. Martin Bregman and Hayward Nishioka, who I have known over thirty years, who I could trust on absolutely anything. There are others who I know, if they had the nerve and thought they could get away with it, would gladly slit my throat. The vast majority of people I meet, I just don't know. I guess I sounded a bit whiny because Bruce said,
"That is because most people are not in the game. They are not players. You, your friends, you are in the game. Even your enemies are in the game, on the opposite side. Most people aren't even in the game. They're fans. When they see which way the game is going, they jump in with you. If it goes the other way, they'll go that way."
What about YOU? Are you a player or just a fan?
Unrelated to judo, but still from Bruce, I was talking about someone who had failed at a job, got demoted, and was failing at his new job. Bruce said,
"Well, you know why that is, don't you? Because you can't fix stupid."
Related to that, I was talking to someone else who gave the excuse for a stupid mistake somebody had made by suggesting maybe that person was given the wrong information by someone who didn't like him. I said,
"No way is he getting off on that. Some things are so obviously stupid, no matter who tells you, you are supposed to be not so dumb as you believe them. If I say, 'The boss came by and said we are getting rid of computer monitors and from now on we are hooking our computers up to ducks. Bring your own duck.' If tomorrow, you show up at the office carrying a duck under your arm, part of it is my fault for telling you that but the main responsibility is on you for being a moron."
Dan Augustine, another really smart judo guy, was telling me that, while he understood my positive attitude, given the fact that I get to do judo all over the place, and I will always be doing judo, some people might think I don't take this whole 'USA Judo suspended the USJA' thing seriously enough.
Well, in a way, he is right. I watch the news about people getting killed in China, in Iran, the lack of freedom of speech, the lack of women's rights in Afghanistan, about people getting killed for going to school. I went to the ATM to deposit a check and there was a sign about not depositing IOUs from the state. California is out of money to pay its bills. Lots of people are laid off. And the USJI says, in effect, "We don't like that some people are having a tournament in Georgia. Instead of the World Masters Judo Championships, we want you to call it 'Some Old Guys Get Together & Do Judo' and if you don't go along with us we will no longer let you ... "
Um, well, I don't exactly know what benefits we get from them we will no longer get.
In the scheme of things, what one judo organization thinks of another is not a world-level event. It is not even a personal tragedy. When my husband died it was a personal tragedy. The fact that my business partner of 19 years has cancer is serious.
Being frowned at by a council of judo elders is - well, I don't know what that is, but I am positive it is not on the same order of magnitude.
Speaking of Ronda, even though we weren't, she has started blogging again. It is no closer to being mother-approved than she ever was. Sigh.
Obvious judo tip =====
Move your hips! I can't count the number of times I have seen people pinning someone with yoko shiho and the opponent gets out by turning and scissoring the legs. If you are doing yoko shiho, you ought to be at the very least at a 90 degree angle with your opponent.
Male coaches! Keep in mind that girls are more flexible. When you are coaching girls, remember that their opponents are likely to be more flexible and reach the legs of the pinner from positions your opponents would not.
Move your hips! When being pinned with kesa gatame, shift your hips so that instead of sitting up against the pinner's body weight you are just sitting up against their arm. I must use this escape four or five times every practice.
Related to that, if you are working out with people in matwork that you can pin, let them pin you and work on your escape. It gives that white belt or kid a feeling of success, if only temporarily, and it helps with your escapes. Mutual benefit, yeah, we're all about that.
That move your hips advice is probably also good for your sex life, but I am sure since you spend all of your time practicing judo and reading the bible (in the dark, to save electricity and protect the environment) that you don't have one.