Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another Great Judo Day

A bunch of us from the West Coast Training Center went en masse to the Nanka senior practice at Los Angeles Tenri Dojo today. It was a really good workout, a chance to work out with new people. Since Takahashi was running the practice, he had some new warm-up drills that we don't usually do, so it was nice all the way around.

I was especially proud of our crew because they had already worked out for an hour and a half in the morning, plus there is another three-hour workout tomorrow.

Because of the superbowl, we'll be starting practice an hour early tomorrow, at 10 a.m. so everyone can get home an hour earlier. Gary and Ronda discussed cutting practice at noon. I made my usual growling noise about that which Dennis says reminds him of Marge on The Simpsons. Hmmm.

Anyway, we compromised with IF practice is intense enough tomorrow morning that they get three hours of practice in two hours we will cut out at noon. If not, we'll be there until 1. I'm not a big football fan anyway so it's all the same to me. Blinky will be running practice on Sundays for this month. We need a little more work on tachi waza and he is a really good instructor.

========= Focusing on the Good ============

I asked people to email me about what they do for judo because I think 99.9% of the work gets done by thousands of people who never get recognized. If you have been a national competitor for many years then you have MANY times benefited from the expertise of Jerry Hays. I can't tell you how often Jerry was up until 10 p.m. , midnight or even later doing pooling for major tournaments, often assisted by Laura Clark, Dorothy Kunihiro, Karen Kataoka and more recently Ruby Fasula.

I looked and looked and could not find a picture of Jerry because he is usually the one behind the camera taking pictures. Many photos you've seen in Growing Judo or on this blog were taken by Jerry. When asked what he was doing these days, he responded:

"1. Send out a daily electronic judo news and information letter to over 180 people. Most of these people are from California, but there are people in Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon (because they have asked). It contains information on upcoming judo events and newspaper articles.
2. Serve as chair of the archivist committee for USJF – When time permits, download information on judo historical information from the Internet and scan documents that are donated from various people. Make DVDs of the 96,000 page collection of these documents, which as been provided to the Kodokan Library; Bath Library, University of Bath, UK and individuals in five different countries as well as people in the United States. Research our library, when requested.
3. I also do pooling at tournaments. When asked, I constantly train people in the pooling aspect of tournaments. I assist in clinic, with the paper work. I take pictures and make them available to all concerned."

If a true leader is the ability to develop in other people the desire to carry on, Jerry is a true leader. For example, one of the people he trained, Ruby Fasula, is now doing the pooling at many of the tournaments.

Think about it, really. If you are a great coach, teacher, judo player, tournament director, referee, whatever, that's nice, but if that is all you are, when you retire or get eaten by a troop of escaped rabid warthogs so ends your contribution to judo. If you train other people who keep doing it after you, then your contribution keeps on and on and on.

Another person like this is Hayward Nishioka, who taught Steve Seck - who now teaches judo. Steve taught Gary Butts and Tony Comfort - who also now teach judo. In fact, the two Butts daughter, Amber and Crystal are both black belts and helping teach now so Hayward can point to THREE GENERATIONS of judo players after him already. That's pretty amazing, so I'll write more about him some other time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey DeMars ... haven't you figured out that you're now in your 50s???? SLOW DOWN

Joking aside, you're ... very admirable.