Friday, October 16, 2009

We got elected, now get to work!

The USJA election is over. I must say that I am pretty pleased with the outcome. The 11 people elected to the board all ran on the same slate with me or I with them, however you want to put it. Not only did we win, but we won by A LOT, a factor of two, three or four to one, compared to the opposing candidates. Several people called and emailed congratulations, which I very sincerely appreciate. The most amusing had to be my daughter, Ronda, who crowed into the phone,

"Woo-hoo, Mom, you kicked some old people USJA committee @$$ !"

In case you did not know, here is the new board, to take office at the next official board meeting.

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, CA
Jim Pedro, Sr., NH
Gary Goltz, CA
Paul Nogaki, CA
Roy Hash, TX
Neil Ohlenkamp, CA
Marc Cohen, NY
Lowell Slaven, IN
Joan Love, CT
Bill Montgomery, CT
Dr. Jim Lally, CA

If you are interested in serving on any committees, or have suggestions, email me at and someone will contact you. If you want to donate money to support our programs, email me and I'll write you back twice !

Now we have to get to work. I have about 100 things I'd like to see happen. Here are some in no particular order.

* Work with USJF to have another USJA/USJF/ Judo Forum camp after the junior nationals. These are open to anyone with a gi (and $75). We give tons of scholarships to deserving people and they are great. Everyone who won the 2009 or 2010 junior nationals gets to attend free. There is always a lot of judo, pool parties and good times.

* Continue to improve our electronic communication. For a start, I really want to get our coaching materials more organized and more available. We have had a couple of people volunteer/ coerced to help with that. Neil "Mr." Ohlenkamp will spearhead this initiative, I hope (Neil, if you are reading this, hint, hint)

* Provide more outreach to clubs. This can be scholarships for camps and clinics, coaching materials, information like Growing Judo, the new Kodokan Technique program Hal Sharp has developed.

* See the All-Women's tournament that Deb Fergus and the Southside Dojo crew pioneered continue to expand. Roy Hash is now hosting one in Texas and there are some folks planning another tentatively scheduled for Las Vegas in January.

* Get more member services, like the arrangement we have with Golden Tiger Martial Arts , who give a 10% discount just for entering your USJA number.

-------------- REQUIRED JUDO TIP ----------------------

Learn ashi-waza and sutemi-waza (foot techniques and sacrifice techniques). As Bill Caldwell pointed out, I do ko soto gari, ko uchi maki komi and o soto gari, which are foot techniques, but I mean the techniques like foot sweeps - okuri ashi barai, de ashi barai, sasae tsurikomi ashi. I also do tani otoshi, which is a sacrifice and a terrific counter. What I don't do enough is tomoe nage, sumi gaeshi (although I do it more now). Do you see the pattern? Things that require timing more than strength, I don't do. That's a mistake.

Now here is a tip for coaches - don't try to have your players be like you. Ronda does a really good sumi. My goal for Julia this year is not to win the junior nationals but to develop some foot sweeps. In part I can't do certain techniques, like tomoe nage, because I hurt my knee when I was young and just physically could not do it. Another reason, though, is that I was extremely strong for my division and I used techniques that took advantage of power versus timing, which worked for me. However, I would have been even better as a judo player if I had learned both types of techniques well. I made the mistake that many successful competitors do of focusing on the small subset of throws I could score with NOW. The mistake was that BEFORE I was a successful competitor, when I was a kid, I should have been learning both of those things. Argument # 1,102 for not emphasizing junior competition near as much near as young as we do. AFTER I was a successful competitor, I should have spent more time learning these techniques. Well, it's not too late now. And I even have a new knee, which the doctor PROMISES me will not hurt and will actually work some day soon.

1 comment:

George said...

Congratulations. I sincerely belief that the USJA is in for some positive changes.