Thursday, July 2, 2009

Clinics & a Random Ronda Story

On July 11, I will be doing a coach certification clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Arkansas Goshinkan Dojo. Like all of our clinics, it includes a lot of time on the mat and everyone is welcome, whether they are interested in/ eligible for coach certification or not.

Since I will be in Arkansas on Sunday, too, Ed Thibedeau, the clinic organizer and our USJA regional coordinator, asked if I would be interested in doing a second clinic on Sunday. He politely suggested that since it was last minute notice, maybe not too many people would show up and I wouldn't be interested in doing it.

Here is a story I have told a lot of times that I told Ed to explain why I would be happy to do the clinic.

When Ronda was in 8th grade, there was a program in southern California for high school and college players. The idea was to move our young black belts to the next level, work with those athletes who were winning the junior nationals, placing in senior nationals and give them the added training so they could win the senior nationals and make the U.S. team. Funny thing, not too many of those players were interested. They thought they knew enough, trained hard enough or winning just wasn't that important to them. Maybe they thought they didn't need to do anything more than they were doing. I took Ronda even though she wasn't actually in high school yet and she was only a green belt. One day, Ronda was the only kid that showed up. Hayward Nishioka spent over an hour teaching Ronda gripfighting. At the end, he was very discouraged about the turnout and said maybe the program was a bad idea. Well, the program continued and the next year it picked up and now LA has not one, but two programs for developing players.

Four years later, Ronda was 16 years old, had just placed second in the U.S. Open, losing a close match to Sarah Clark of Great Britain in the finals, and was heading off to compete in the Korea Cup. On the plane, she wrote a letter to Hayward,

"Dear Hayward,
Remember that time when I was the only person that showed up for practice at LACC and I wasn't even in high school and you were wondering if the whole program was a waste of time? Bet you don't think it's a waste of time now, do you?"


CLINICIAN – AnnMaria De Mars Sanction # 09-070 (USJA)
July 11th 10 AM to 5 PM
Hosted by Arkansas Goshinkan
12701 Hinson Rd. (Meyer Student Pavilion) Little Rock, AR

Must be current member of USJA, USJF, or USJI.
Memberships will be available at clinic.
Certification Requirements: Minimum age is 18 - Minimum rank is Sankyu
Others are welcomed and encouraged to attend
Clinic will consist of 2 hours class time and 4 hours on the mat. Bring your gi.

Cost of clinic is $20 if application is received by July 6th , $30 after July 6th.
Certification is $ 25 and is valid for 4 years
Current background check is required when submitting paperwork to national office.

Point of Contact: Ed Thibedeau 501-425-5638

Mail application and entry fee to: Ed Thibedeau
230 Trelon Cr.
Little Rock, AR 72223


CLINICIAN – AnnMaria De Mars Sanction # 09-070 (USJA)
July 12th 1 PM to 4 PM
Hosted by Arkansas Goshinkan
12701 Hinson Rd. (Meyer Student Pavilion) Little Rock, AR

Must be current member of USJA, USJF, or USJI. Memberships will be available at clinic.
Cost of clinic is $20
Judoka of all ages and rank are invited.
AnnMaria is a former world champion. Has taught many elite athletes as well as aspiring judoka. Currently her emphasis is on teaching judo to young people (kids).

Point of Contact: Ed Thibedeau 501-425-5638


Unknown said...

ok that is a nice story may it could be improve a lil bit more better but its traffic

Anonymous said...

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