I started out the week thinking,
"God, I'm lucky!"
and finished the week coughing like I was about to die of tuberculosis and thinking,
"God, I'm lucky!"
The Winter Nationals, as always, was a great tournament. It was nice to see Ronda competing again. It was nice to see some of these young athletes who I remember from the time they came up to my knee still in the game as adults, like Gary Zakarian, who won the middle weight black belt division. It's always kind of bittersweet when I see people like Gary, or Dave Overbury, from the old Ogden's Dojo, because I still cannot get used to John Ogden not being around after 50 years.
Mostly I felt incredibly lucky because our new board is amazing. We had Gary Goltz running the tournament, Joan Love competing in it and refereeing, Bill Montgomery, Paul Nogaki and Joan Love participating in the coaching clinic, Bill, Paul and Neil Ohlenkamp coaching players, Lowell Slaven running the jiu-jitsu event. Our first official meeting is January 23, 2010 in Las Vegas, but our board members have already jumped into projects from revising the website (Neil, working with webmaster John Moe) to single-handedly writing each person who volunteered to help the USJA in any way (Joan Love).
For the last few days, I have been in bed with the flu, so it was a good thing Ronda is around to run practice. [Gary Butts is around but he is like me, he is always there so no one is impressed. They just say, 'Oh, it's you.'] On top of all of that, we have a camp coming up in San Diego December 29-30th. I could not go to practice (with the coughing, sneezing and none of that crap you see advertised on TV doing any bit of good medicine) but there were still another 10 people who signed up for the ashi waza camp today. Two of them don't count, though, because they live in San Diego. Well, they count, but my point is I think we can still take 3 or 4 more people from L.A. We currently have enough people to fill nine rooms at 3 to a room. I am going to lay in bed tomorrow, too, because I feel like I was run over by a steamroller and sound like I am auditioning for the part of Darth Vader.
Still, I realize how lucky I am to have other people around me who can pitch in, help out and make judo better.
I AM really lucky! Except for the sneezing part.
REQUIRED JUDO TIP
Two points when doing an armbar. First and foremost, lock the person's forearm against your body. It should be your whole body weight leaning back and her/him trying to hold you up with one arm, NOT your two arms pulling against his/her two arms, that's too close to an even battle. Second, squeeze your legs together to make it more difficult for the person to maneuver. You don't have to scissor your legs together like Ronda did in the picture above. Some people prefer it that way, some people prefer having their legs tight together and doing a leg curl. Either way, the aim is to keep the opponent's arm locked tight against your body.