Friday, August 26, 2016

Judo tourism

There are a lot of small judo clubs in this country. I started judo at one, at the Alton YMCA. If you are at a small judo club, you may be the only instructor in your whole town. There may not be another black belt within 50 or 100 miles. You may not have anyone within 30 pounds of your weight or close to your skill level to work out with.

So here is an idea, how about if you are a black belt visiting in an area, you write or call ahead of time to the local judo club and let them know you'll be around. Now, don't take it personally if they don't jump at the opportunity to have you work out with them. Maybe they are busy or its deer hunting season or the weekend they have their fundraiser. However, they just might be very happy to have a guest instructor for a night or just someone new to practice with.

Now, here is mama annmaria's guide to not being a jerk when you are visiting

Don't ask for money! Very few small clubs have the money to pay someone who is an Olympic or world medalist to come out and do a clinic for them. If you are in the neighborhood anyway and can donate an hour or two of your time and are willing to do it that's great. If they happen to have an extra hundred dollars or so in their club budget to give you then that's great too. However, not every club does. Our judo club at Gompers never pays guest instructors other than in our vast appreciation(and we do really appreciate you).

Don't beat people up. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have seen visiting black belts slamming around people from the local club. I don't know what they're trying to prove in this situation. I'm not saying that you shouldn't foot sweep someone if you have the chance or that you need to lay down and let people pin you. What I am saying is that you are not proving anything if you are a 25-year-old black belt throwing around a 40 year old green belt – other than, perhaps, that you are a big jerk.

Do offer to show some technique. I'm assuming the instructor isn't an egomaniac based on the fact that he or she invited you to come. Any good instructor realizes that no one knows all of judo. Even if I know a technique I may not know it equally as well as a visitor. Speaking for myself personally, I'm always very happy to have someone show their favorite technique.

Do ask if there is anything the visiting club would like you to do. They may have a number of young teenage players who don't often get challenged in randori and just want you to work out with those players. The caution against being a jerk still applies here. On the other hand, their club may be excellent at, say, matwork but have very little knowledge of counters and want you to demonstrate a few counter techniques.

If you have a good bit of experience to offer and are visiting your great aunt in Camden, Arkansas or fly fishing in town – I – made – up, Montana or wherever you might be take an opportunity to share what knowledge you have and you'll probably meet some super nice people.

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Unknown said...

Great stuff, Dr. De Mars. I love your blog. I have a question for you though....

Short story required first...

I train out of a small Judo based MMA dojo, and from time to time we have some BJJ guys that pass through to train. This particular guy comes to mind because he is hard to train with due to the fact that his only settings are "Hard and Fast". I had just returned that night from being out with a back injury, and after class, BJJ guy asks me if I want to roll. I tell him... okay, but take it easy since I am just coming back from an injury. I suggest that we just go move for move easy just to work on our technique. So not two minutes later, he goes for a two leg shot, and I sprawl right onto his back in a "north south". He then proceeds to trap my elbow as he should, but then peels out super Hard and Fast speed. I was able to roll out of it just in time to keep my arm from snapping, but I definitely heard and felt my elbow pop out and then back into place. He hears it too, and apologizes, but I could see that he knew exactly what he was doing. I was out for another month after that, and he has not shown his face at our dojo since that happened.

My question to you is.....Would it make me a jerk if I toss him or slam him a little harder the next time he shows his face in out dojo?

I am not a vengeful person by nature, but I am still extremely pissed off over what he did.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

When I was younger, I would say absolutely you should slam him around. Well now I still say should slam him around but I say in addition to that you should confront him the next time he comes in and tell him that you really didn't appreciate the way he acted the last time he was there. I don't think enough people get called on their bullshit. Guys like that get often being the tough guy and being confronted and told that he acted like a jerk is probably just what he needs. That being said feel free to slam them as well if you feel like.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Curios if you know where Albers, IL is at?