Noma Judo

Judo is great. After training the other night, the black belts sat down and gave a speech. This is after we’ve done the communist-style communal exercise complete with ritualistic chanting, and bowing to about ten different places.

One guy, Maraiga-san (who is also a BJJ blue belt) gave an excellent speech about how a kid’s work is to study hard, train judo, and help with his or her parents. About half of the members of this small judo class are kids from about 5 to 14 or so. He then asked them if they had all done their homework, without a hint of comedy or irony.

All the while, one of the other blackbelt’s kids, himself a pretty good judo-er, was choking back sobs. His heart, his spirit, had been so affected by a particularly intense training session in preparation for an upcoming competition that he was spontaneously crying. When you are around people who always talk of spirit, of heart, kokoro, it becomes a very believable and tangible thing. The act of pushing yourself to your physical and mental limits, under the strict, harsh-but-fair guidance of a senior, in a group environment… I’m not surprised the kid was sobbing.

I’m really enjoying the different side, the, dare I say it, more traditional side that judo proudly holds on to. It is a refreshing change from the dudes at jiu jitsu lying around scratching their balls and clipping their toenails (which is also charming, in a different way.)

In other news, I bought some awesome reversal t-shirts, and a new gi from Keiko Raca. I need to buy some patches from the dojo, put a few pennies in my coach’s pocket, and get the missus to sew them on for me.

Jiu jitsu is going well. This year should be a good year, I’m going to shoot for my purple belt.

I plan to compete in March, so I have January to ease myself in, February to train hard and lose a couple of kilos, and March to get my face squished in. Should be great!

I’ve also invested in a gym ball and some latext tubing, and have been doing all kinds of weird and wacky exercises to help build my strength. I’m using this weird, bright-green metal chin-up bar contraption, donated to me by my mother in law, too, and I have actually noticed an increase in strength since I started using it about two months ago.

Lastly, things are looking good on the writing front, but more news on that later.


5 Responses

  1. not just me who lies around scratching their balls and clipping their toe nails ten 😉

  2. Funny, but true contrast….

  3. Hehe! Definitely not just you. But do they play 70s London punk in your dojo?!

  4. How long have you been a blue belt mate? You seem to be moving fast. All the best in your training.

  5. I’ve only been a blue for about six months or so.

    I realise that aiming for the purple is going to be one hell of a challenge, if not impossible. Still, I’m going to aim for it! My coach got his black belt in I think 5 or 6 years, so he’s egging me on…

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