Saturday, January 30, 2016

Swain/Dollamur is Our Fairy Godmother

Today was unbelievable. I cannot say thank you enough to Mike Swain and Dollamur .

We have some great kids at Gompers Middle School and there are some great staff members at Woodcraft Rangers who provide us a lot of support, but until today, we did not have the greatest mats. In fact, they looked like this

We have a few tatami in the middle and some very, very old gymnastics mats around these that are supposed to be a "safety area". As you can see, though, we have kids who are just learning to fall practice their falling on the gymnastics mats and the matwork spills over onto those because we just don't have enough real mats.

Of course, when we do randori we have to keep to the center of the mats and we can only have 4 people practice at once because it's just not safe. I'm emphatic about that because that is what destroyed my knee when I was a teenager, getting it caught between the mats and then getting thrown.

Every 10 minutes or so, we have to get off the mats, push the mats back together, push the safety mats up around them, because, again, as you can see above, it all comes apart.

Sunday, I went to Riverside Youth Judo Club and a couple of very kind people in the judo community paid for us to take 8 of their used mats, which helped expand our usable mat area, and they loaded them into the car for me. I left thinking these must be the nicest people in the world and my week couldn't get any better.


Mike Swain and Dollamur heard about our program and donated a TRUCK LOAD OF MATS !!!

The super nice people from Orange County Judo Training Center rented a truck and brought the mats to us, along with a lot of muscle from their judo club to unload and lay these out.

You better believe that our kids were more than happy to help put the mats down. Many of them came early because they had heard we were getting new mats.

Now look at it !

Just because I want to say this again.   Here is our before picture.

And after

We still have more to do. As you can see, we haven't finished up putting up the mats on the walls for padding. The school plant manager is meeting with his supervisor from the district next week to get the blackboards taken off the walls and paint the room.

It's just becoming more amazing every day. A couple of the kids who came at the regular class time stopped at the door for a second wondering if they were in the wrong place.

All I can say is - thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to Riverside Youth Judo Club, to Orange County Judo Training Center and most of all


You guys made my year! I'm still smiling typing this.

And you know what else? We didn't have to stop practice and push the mats together even once.


Fritz said...

Thats nice, looks great!

"Good things come to those who wait."

Stromkins said...

This is wonderful. People from outside of the grappling world have no idea what this means. Instead of 30% of all student attention, and 50% of the instructors', being about what the floor is up to, it can now all focus on the actual learning.

A good side effect must be that the old mats, or chunks of them, can be used as extra crash mats.

Alison Stevens said...

That's wonderful. Your program looks amazing, and totally commend Mike Swain & Dollamur for their donation.

Unknown said...

Dr. De Mars,

Speaking of good people:

I hope Ronda starts taking her old friends Gokor and Judo Jean out for dinners and talking shop with them.

Rumor has it that these two champions know lots of good things about how to win fights and about life; also, they care about Ronda.

Just saying.. sometimes you can go home to visit, even in MMA, and even if you have a head coach.

Kudos to Ronda for passing on a big money fight in July.

December is Rondas best month to rematch for all the obvious reasons.

Ronda showed something beyond heart and grit in her last fight; something strong and good. She can beat Holly in December if she works hard and smart.

Possible 2016 themes: old friends, pulling together, working hard, working smart, December, winning.


Along the lines of seeking the wisdom of more than one master: It may look as if Holly has trained only at one place her entire career. However, her Gym has such depth of talent and so little fear of sharing that it is not quite like that.

For example, Holly now has Jon Jones coaching her with her ground game and sparing with her. Jones views and ways are significantly different than past coaches Holly has had.

Seeking the wisdom of more than one master, which you have spoken about, is a strong move.

PS.. all my friends thought Ronda was great on SNL!

Unknown said...

Warren Buffett has words of wisdom:

Look for three qualities when hiring people- integrity, intelligence and energy.


The first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging


Pick out associates whose behavior ( is better than yours and you will drift in that direction.

Anonymous said...

This is incredibly heartwarming and I hope gestures like this keep happening.

Dr.AnnMaria can you please explain something to me? I read in one of your blogs that there might be a correlation between being smart/intelligent and having high degree levels and that you had conducted such study once.Maybe I dont remember it very well.Can you please write an article about this when you have time? Where you write/talk about this study? I am very,very interested in this.

Thank you for your valuable time.