Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dr. Demars has died but may be back later

When I was teaching college, there was always a long line of students always knocking at my door, asking if they could do an independent study, ask me a question about their research paper, apply for a job as research assistant, get a letter of recommendation and a thousand other things. I really loved teaching and I liked my students, but sometimes they just would not take no for an answer and I had a deadline for an article, grant or final grades that had to be met. At such times, I would hang a sign on my door:


Students would knock anyway, but fewer of them. A few times, when one would walk in despite the sign and the closed door, I would loll over in my chair and feign death. That slowed them down a bit and occasionally they would back out the door from the crazy woman. More often they would just pause momentarily and ask, "Are you busy?"

DO I LOOK BUSY? ! These days, I am closing out the contracts on my old company and starting up a new company. I am hoping, as I said before, to be able to take a month off. In the meantime, I am very happy that the training center practices are only on the weekends as it allows me to work until 1 or 2 a.m. during the week without interruptions. I am also very happy that the training center practices are on the weekends because if it was not for having made a commitment to judo, I would truly have died at my desk by now. I am very excited about my new company and could be spending all of my time on it, except the existing contracts are taking half my life to finish out. Already spending 150% of my time on work, I am very lucky that I have judo to pull me away so that I have some balance in my life.

Of course, I may die at the training center. Last week, we were doing drills and were one person short, so Tony Comfort says, "Why don't you jump in? You're small and they need an extra person with the lightweights."

After a half-hour of running and trying to get my knees to bend (after six operations and missing all of my cartilage, are you kidding?) I finally pointed out to him that I will be fifty years old this year and a grandmother. This is another tip. Remember how old you are and that you have to be at work on Monday.

It's good to have work to take me away from judo, too.

--------------- REQUIRED JUDO TIP ------------------------
Despite the fact that Tony tried to kill me, his practice illustrated one of the many benefits of moving drills. I never realized how much my knees had degenerated until last weekend. I really am not capable of doing any throws where you have to bend and lift. What does that have to do with you? Well, if you do enough moving drills - forward, backward, right, left, to corners, etc. you will detect if you have a weakness. This will not be so obvious in randori because we all tend to do our stronger throws and position the other person where we are strongest. If your practices regularly involve forcing you to get into different positions, those weaknesses will be highlighted and you can't ignore them any more. In addition to including drills moving in different directions, include attacking or defending from different grips, e.g., when your opponent has a high grip, double-sleeve grip and so on. Just like with direction, you will find you are weaker on some grips than others. Look for your weak points. You know your opponent will. The game is for you to find them first and fix them, so when at the next tournament, she circles to your left think you are weak moving that direction, you footsweep her.

The exact same advice goes for matwork. Do drills from the bottom, top, guard, flat on your stomach, in a turtle, after being thrown for a koka and every other possible situation.


Anonymous said...

Senectus ipsa est morbus
ciao Ric

Anonymous said...

Do you think that a wrestling guy which tries morote gari or similar is easily stoppable?
Have you or your scholars fought randori with wrestlers? How did it go?

Carlos GraƱa said...

Just wondering, since you are a college teacher. Do you look your students in the eyes when they ask you something? or does having a Phd. mean that they're dispicable intectually inferior beings not worthy of your time. The first time I went into college, one of the Calculus teacher's assistant looked down upon on every student question. I tried to ask him something but he said since you're here you should already know that.
I just said Ok, and left a bit embarrassed.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I think morote gari is easy to stop. Throw your legs back, throw all your weight on the person's back and pancake him (her) on their face. When Ronda was younger, she had a problem with a boy who always threw her with morote gari. She was very frustrated. I had her do that move over and over until I had bruises on my forearms (since I knew it was coming, I could avoid landing on my face). After a while he never got her with it again.

As for looking down on my students - no, never. Your Calculus teacher's assistant sounds like a jerk. I have usually found that the better educated and more knowledgeable a person is usually the more willing they are to take time to answer questions.

Whenever anyone of my students apologizes for asking a question or asks if they have time, I tell them "Hey, if you already knew everything, I wouldn't have a job."

Students aren't any more intellectually inferior to me than babies are to toddlers. They're just younger.