I get a LOT of questions from parents, often apologizing for taking my time and worried that they are overbearing parents. If you are worried about it, you probably aren't. It is perfectly fine to ask people about how to help your child. I do it all the time and I think most people do. Unfortunately, we don't live in communities with three generations of our families like a century ago, so now we have to ask people on the Internet.
Two really common questions are:
1. How do I get my child to be tough? Judo is a tough sport. Ronda is tough as nails and my nine-, ten- or eleven-year-old is not that tough. Should I be worried?
2. How do I help my child get better at judo.
Answer: Does your child cry easily? Is he or she too shy to talk to other children? If so, your kid is just as tough as Ronda was at 10 or 11, which is why I put her into judo.
Development is a graduated process. I say this all the time. Ronda swears I put her in with giant monster black belts when she was younger. Actually, her first tournament was a novice division, white and yellow belt girls. She won by all ippons. Her next few tournaments she also fought in the 11-12 year old novice division. Because she is left-handed and came from swimming so she was already in good shape, she won a lot in the novice divisions. When she was still a white belt she had probably won a half-dozen tournaments by all ippons, so I put her in the 13-16 open division, where she came in third place after losing to two, older purple belts, both of whom won the Junior U.S. Open in their weight divisions that year. Ronda cried in the corner for half an hour after she lost.
Success breeds success. I did NOT move her up into the open divisions until she was winning in novice. Then, I had her do both the same tournaments, so even if she lost a couple of matches, she came home with a gold medal and a bronze one. By the time she was no longer in the novice division, she was winning the open division for her age group regularly. One answer to making your child tougher is to gradually increase the challenge level as he or she meets each one.
There is a LOT more I will write about in the next few posts.
This week's Sneakerdoodle Zebra Judo features a matwork combination drill that Julia and I call the Good and Evil Drill. I stole this from Jim Pedro, Sr. who taught it at a clinic years ago. I already did this combination - well, the last three steps anyway - but the way he broke it down into steps for teaching was a great way to teach little kids and beginners. Oh, by the way, I do know that the pin at the end is kami shiho gatame, I made a mistake, yes, I feel shame, no need to write me and rub it in.
We have a couple more videos that were Julia's ideas and after that I will do a couple on drills I did not steal from anybody but made up myself. Ronda will be home by then, so maybe we will get her to do the Chokey-chokey song and drill.