Sunday, October 4, 2015

Throwback and some thoughts

Thank you very much to Jean Kanokogi for sending me this photo of the world team

It's funny how one picture can conjure up so many thoughts. Both the coaches, Rusty Kanokogi and Jimmy Takemori, have passed away, as did Elizabeth Lee, the manager.

When I was younger, I didn't always agree with any of those three on their views of judo, careers or life in general. However, they all lived according to their own beliefs. What I learned from them most was that you don't have to agree with someone to respect and appreciate them.

If you look carefully at this picture, you'll see that everyone is sitting properly with  their knees bent and hands on their legs except for me. It was not, as everyone believed back then, that I was sloppy and disrespectful of Japanese etiquette. It was because my knee was damaged far more than I let on to anyone but my closest teammates at Tenri Dojo. I had my fist down on the mat supporting my weight because my knee really couldn't bend. That's also why I had to lean sideways. I had that knee replaced a few years ago, but back when I was competing, that type of surgery did not exist.

You'll also notice my hand is taped up. I don't know what the hell I did to my thumb in the Tournoi d'Orleans that year but it was the only international tournament ever that I didn't place. (Sorry, fifth is NOT a place.) It's gotten worse as I got older and now that thumb doesn't work at all. I'm always thinking I should go to the doctor about it but I don't feel inclined to have another surgery. 

So, yeah, I was pretty banged up but I won anyway. I think this photo must have been taken after the world championships because I was smiling.

---- continued after the SHAMELESS PLUG ---

I co-authored a book on matwork. It's about winning on the ground. Hence, the name.

You can get it here on Barnes and Noble - write a review , while you're at it.


It was a good reminder, though, of the choices you make about the price you're willing to pay. So, it cost me a few body parts to win. I've never regretted it.

It was a good reminder today, as I am in the middle of "the grind" , as Ronda calls it, with our company. There seems to be a vicious circle with our company where I need more people to do the work but getting those more people requires writing the job requirements, raising investor funds for writing grants, that means I fall further behind on the other work so I need those people to start last week ....

I better get back to it, since no one seems inclined to do my work for me.

You can check out our games here. Fun, educational and done by me!

7 Generation Games - My Day Job!  Buy one for ten bucks.


LsP said...

You were so cut and little. You're still cute and little lol

Anonymous said...

I love you Dr.De Mars.You inspire me.

Ventus said...

Just want to say that although i dont have almost any knowledge about Judo, except what i read about it here from you dr. AnnMaria... so i cant really comment anything worthwhile about it i really like reading these articles.
Its my window into a whole another world that i couldnt have seen or known otherwise in any way. Completely foreign territory, thousands of kilometers and years away.
From a world champion perspective.
Thats like ... having a window into Einsteins memories and thoughts about physics early days, or Hawkings on space.

The one before got me thinking how cool those exercises seem. I never had anything like that in all the sports i trained. Year and a half (or was it two) of taekwondo and i never had a single training day like that. Just mindnumbing grind over and over and over again. Not a single kata, nothing... just condition training and repeating the same few basic kicks drills over and over.

That is world class champion type of training and i hope those kids that are lucky enough to have you teaching them recognize that, or atleast their parents should if the kids never experienced anything else.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be fucking kidding...comparing this mundane subject matter to Relativity and Black Holes, Einstein and Hawkings, two of the most enlightened minds of all time....really...not even close

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Dear Anonymous -

Look up the meaning of analogy.


Ventus said...

- high fives Dr AnnMaria.

(i should have said "and thoughts about physics of his time", sorry, not a native english speaker here but i guess the meaning was understandable)

It is of course, about talking to the best experts in their fields about those fields.
What can be better then that to quickly find out the kind of insider truths and whats really what, that you just cant find anywhere else? You get a direct connection to the source.
Its the most efficient way with least effort. :)

Besides that, minds can be enlightened in many ways.

Daniel said...

Hey Dr. AnnMaria, I hope you are well! I have a seven month old son, and when he turns five or so I'd love to enroll him in either BJJ or Judo. I read an article by Dave Camarillo stating that Judo might be a better start because of the aggressive, quick pace that early judokas typically pick up. I'm curious as to whether you have an opinion on this. My wife and I are huge fans of Ronda, and I of course highly respect you (I just had to throw that out there!). Take care. :)

Unknown said...

Dear AnnMaria :
Had absolutely no interest in judo before I read Ronda's book but,not anymore !
I was wondering, why do people make sports so flag oriented ? Why not create a new system where you have a tournament and if out the best 100 judokas in the world 78 are from say...Gabon, so be it . Reading the book I could not believe how lame USA judo was at coaching during important comp├ętitions... Why display all these flags when we all know it's an individual sport . Also I wish you could blog on the concept of the Olympics. Watching Tanimoto throw D├ęcosse in 2008 ( easy to find on youtube ) and win gold... It's a fraction of a second / grab the arm and wooop ! Shouldn't we at least agree on say.. 4 big events in a year and make an average ( such as tennis ). Mental cruelty was invented by Pierre de Coubertain !