Thursday, December 17, 2009

You don't have to be perfect to go to the dojo

I am so not perfect.

I have been feeling that a lot lately. I used to be that coach that criticized parents who did not bring their child to judo every practice, even though the child clearly had so much talent. I used to talk about people who wanted their kids to be "mediocre at everything instead of great at something". I definitely used to turn up my nose at people who didn't come to practice every night.

And then I got a life.

Now I am like one of those people who have perfect theories about raising children but no actual children to go with it, and who then have a child who throws temper tantrums in the grocery store and pees on grandma's foot.

Tonight we did not go to judo practice. We went to Julia's Christmas concert. She played the saxophone well enough not to induce hearing damage and then came home and did homework which she had left over because the time in school she would have been doing this she was doing some student council activity. She didn't go to judo yesterday because she was playing in a basketball game. She is a decent basketball player but I don't think the WNBA will be scouting her. Then she had a lot of homework. And so it goes. Other nights, I don't get her to practice because they have this odd notion at work that if they pay you, you should show up and do some work, and by the time I am done with that, it is too late to take her to practice.

So ... we are going to practice on Saturday and Sunday because that is when I can fit it into the schedule. If I can get Ronda to take her down to Orange County Kodokan for their practice on Monday or Tuesday morning when they have that winter camp, she'll go there, and we'll all definitely be at the camp in San Diego on the 29th & 30th because I have those days off.

You know what? I have decided that is okay. Maybe she won't join her sister on the Olympic team in 2016. I am raising a kid who is healthy, smart, hard-working and kind.

Yes, I won't be going to the World Masters - ever - even if I had two knees that worked. I go to practice when I can, teach what judo I know, and keep from turning into a complete Grandma Bowl-o-Jello .

Here is my advice to you - if you can only make it to judo on Saturday afternoons, then come Saturday afternoon and don't even feel bad about it. You will win a battle in your own personal fight against obesity and heart disease, spend some time with people it is enjoyable to be around and make your own personal contribution to making judo in America grow and improve.

Now, what could be more perfect than that?


Speaking of Saturday afternoon, in case you didn't know, Ronda Rousey (world silver medalist in judo) and Roman Mitichiyan (world bronze medalist in sambo) will be doing a clinic together at the West Coast Judo Training Center on Saturday from 1-4 . Cost for the whole day, including conditioning practice in the morning, is $10.

Well-meaning friends have given me the advice that Ronda should not teach for such a low amount, and believe me, the next clinic you see with those two won't be at that price, but hey, it's Christmas and it's friends.

4 comments: said...

This is the attitude to have. When people start taking martial arts too serious, that is when they lose focus, concentration and the fun part of it. I cant remember which great martial artist said it but to qoute him "we play, but we play seriously"

Andy said...

I found this and the "YOU are a recreational player and we love you" post very encouraging.

Andy said...

P.S. $10? Such a deal! Wish I were in the area.

JudokaJoe said...

I concur with everything above. I've forwarded links to this post and the Recreational Player post to several people who are/were in dire need of reading them.

$10? Hmmm... wonder if I can use some frequent flier miles on short notice?