Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Better Judo in One Word

Someone on twitter asked me for advice on how to make his judo better. I told him one word - attack.

My students at Gompers Middle School may not have perfect technique but one thing people in Kansas City commented on over and over is that they are not afraid to get out on the mat and try to throw.

Too many people in judo are afraid to even try to throw their opponent. They are afraid they will get countered. They are afraid that they will look stupid. They are afraid that it won't work.

My students at Gompers may not be perfect and they may not have learned everything, but they have learned not to be afraid.

I love these kids!

And if you have been one of the donors that helped them, I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Anonymous said...

Is that a student in the white?? I thought pure red belts were only given in 9th and 10th rank of black belt, and those are rare... Am I wrong?

Chris Opacki said...

I think it's orange, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

That belt looks orange to me

Samantha said...

It's probably annmaria's own belt. They don't have enough money for uniforms, equipment, mats, etc to be too picky about that. It's keeping his gi up, that's all that really matters.

Plus who cares?

Dr. AnnMaria said...

The belt is orange, not red. Maybe it looks funny in the photo but it was orange

Bill Myers said...

No one would argue the importance of attacking in judo. It is, undoubtedly, the biggest problem that a student faces. However, the main reason for this is that many instructors do a very poor job in teaching students to attack. Screaming "ATTACK!" is how most instructors that I've seen actually work. Unfortunately, their students have no idea how to do that, having spent most of their time in practice doing static uchikomis. Combine this with their fellow students countering them with brutal uranages and even if they do know how, they're reluctant to try their throws.

As you have a well-read forum, perhaps you could write a few posts on ways that you train your students to attack.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

You are so right, Bill. It's sort of like yelling, "Run faster!" in a race or "Throw him!" The advice is correct but not helpful.

Tony said...

I had this problem with my first experience in Judo about 10 years ago. As a white belt, I was paired up with a not-so-benevolent black belt, who kept urging me to attack him. With only two or three techniques in my toolkit, and no idea how to apply them to a moving opponent, I was at a bit of a loss.

After a minute of being bored/frustrated by my lack of skill, my training partner decided to show me what he meant, and proceeded to throw me to the ground any which way he could for the next few minutes. He seemed quite pleased with himself, but all I kept thinking was that this guy had a serious case of Little Man Syndrome.

Some tips on initiating attacks would've been far more helpful than throwing me around.

Some tips would STILL be helpful if you feel like sharing! :)