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    Sadly, I think I'm done

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    Anonymous Judoka

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2013-11-08

    Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Anonymous Judoka on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:11 am

    I think I’m done with Judo for the time being and it pains me to write it.  As I am approaching middle age it’s becoming apparent that I really do not have much of a role in the local Judo community and my learning has essentially slowed to a crawl.  Over the past few months my learning has been non-existent because my club that I loved closed down for good.  I haven’t been able to find another place because just about every club in my area is competition oriented and I’m past that.  I am a shodan who wants to learn more about Judo but competition focused clubs are all that is around here.  As a shodan I’m expected to help the kids and beginners.  I love doing that.  I love helping a beginning Judoka learn the basics of a throw or learn ukemi.  I also love learning more about Judo and getting better but unfortunately it would seem that learning more Judo is not the role that is expected of me.  What is expected of me is to help beginners and prep the competitors whether it’s taking ukemi for them or doing randori with them.  I’m not opposed to helping prep competitors but that simply cannot be the be-all-end-all of Judo for me.  I’ve been doing Judo for eight years.  The last time I practiced Nage No Kata was seven years ago.  As a shodan I’m not sure if I could do Nage No Kata if I was asked to do it right now.  If I could it would be the worst you ever saw.  In all the clubs I have visited and was a member of I have never seen a lesson on Katame No Kata.  I may be a shodan but I’m still a student! 

     

    The thought of going to another competition oriented club where over the course of an hour and a half 20 minutes may be spent on actual Judo makes me nauseous.  I’m sorry but I’m not interested in doing speed uchikomi or duck walks across the mats or pushups and situps for 45 minutes.  In my view they are time wasters to actually doing Judo.   Maybe you all think that’s awesome.  I don’t.  As I’m approaching middle age I’m two steps slower today than I was in my 20’s.  There is no speed.  My knees aren’t quite what they used to be either.  My fitness level is fine as I lift weights in the gym and keep my fitness level high outside of the dojo.  Actually, I’ve never been stronger or looked better in my life than I do today. 

     

    I don’t know about other areas in my State or around the Country (or around the World for that matter) but I think Judo is in a sorry state of affairs and I’ve only been a part of it for eight years.  I know I’m in the minority of that opinion.  Judo focuses on the kids and competition.  Everything done in Judo revolves around the kids, the next competition, and when competition season is over the off-season is dedicated to competition preparation for next year.  Honestly I don’t know how other shodan my age stick with it especially when physical skills are diminishing but Judo skill and real Judo learning isn’t really increasing.  I think shiai is important but I don’t think shiai has to happen by traveling hours on end to a place and spending a lot of money on hotels, fuel, food, ect….yet that is how it’s set up.  Admittedly my finances have been rocked by a divorce so these are things I think of.  Someone who is in their 20’s or happily married may not understand. 

     

    Most Judoka around my age have been doing it for years already and have achieved sandan or yodan rank.  I started Judo at 32.  I would love to be there one day as such a rank implies (or at least should) a level of Judo knowledge I would like to have.  My expectations of a yodan is that such a person should be able to teach and demonstrate all 67 throws of Kodokan Judo and should know 3 – 4 kata.  That’s where I’d like to be.  However, how can I get there if all that is practiced are the throws that work best for competitions?  How can I get there if kata is never practiced in my local clubs?  As I am a family man traveling 2 -3 years abroad to find such quality instruction is simply not possible.

     

    I never thought I would be the guy who earns his black belt and a few years down the road is out of Judo.  I never understood why people were that way.  I always thought they were just the kind of people who wanted a “black belt” and then quit because they reached some perceived milestone.  Perhaps the real reason many of those quit is because they are faced with the same things I am faced with.  Now that I have written all this I’ve come to the realization (yes, at this moment) that this all isn’t just some lament for my Judo life.  I know people who are “up there” in Judo circles in the United States are aware of this forum.  I hope some of you see this and I hope this serves as a wake-up call to the people in leadership.  Judo has so much to offer and it is a wonderful activity that should be something people of all ages find value in.  Judo should be uniform in its instruction and inclusive for people of all ages.  It is not that in most places.  As a matter of fact BJJ is far more inclusive to adults than Judo is.  I have known a number of adults who have switched from Judo to BJJ for a variety of reasons yet I know no one (well, no one except for me) who switched from BJJ to Judo and stayed there.  Granted I was only a beginner in BJJ when I switched but I saw something in Judo that I thought was beautiful and special.  I still think that can still be found in Judo but I also think it’s bastardized by its incessant focus on competition. 

     

    So, I hope some of the leaders out there see this.  It’ll likely fall on deaf ears but if I truly am done at least I’ll go out letting everyone know Judo has a serious attrition problem.  The last tournament I was a part of took place in a banquet hall at a hotel.  Years prior the tournament required the expo center because of all the mat space needed for all the competitors.  The number of Judo practitioners is clearly dwindling in my area for sure and I would venture to guess in other areas as well.

     

    I really hope no one is offended by anything I have to say here.  I think I’m done with Judo for now.  I hope it’s not permanent but if it is I’m a better man for spending my time in Judo.

    trenttheuncatchable

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2013-10-04

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by trenttheuncatchable on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:36 am

    It is obvious that you love Judo. My suggestion is that you try to find another judoka of shodan level or above who is willing to work on technique or kata with you. Maybe during non-standard dojo hours, if necessary. Do the higher ranking sensei know your wishes? I would not give up if I were you.

    DougNZ

    Posts : 405
    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by DougNZ on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:42 am

    I'm very sad to read this.

    Have you thought about opening your own club - maybe an 'old timers' club - where you practice judo as it was supposed to be practiced? It can be as formal or informal a structure as you like. I am sure that if you do, a year on you will posting about how invigorated you are!

    Chin up!
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    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
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    Location : the Holy See

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:49 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They come straight from the heart, so much is clear.

    I think you word a number of things, that, I reckon, might apply to a decent number of judo enthusiasts. I am luckily, not in your situation. The stagnation of learning is a problem, especially if enforced, though in a number of cases people choose for it too. Judo has indeed become more and more competition-oriented. As times have changed, I have to concluded that clubs today that run rather well do indeed often focus on competition. I don't think it is a good evolution, and I think we continue to feel its effect. When the current IJF president became president he wanted judo to be organized like soccer with a major tournament every weekend, so all very commercially and competitively oriented. In the end one of the effects is going to be that like in soccer, which people typically stop playing when they get a certain age, we will see the same in judo, with fewer and fewer knowledgeable people remaining to educate club members. Competition can be fun and also useful, but unfortunately it come with a label for everyone that says "day of expiry". If competition is all one has, then nothing remains when reaching that day of expiry. In order to teach children and contribute to their education, one needs to have something to contribute and preferably something more than just encouraging to go the competitive way. There seems to be a growing tradition to put the most junior or least experienced people as children's instructors, and I do not now if that is a good evolution. Maybe instead they should put the best and most experienced teachers with children so that they can motivate children for the message which judo has to contribute apart from competition.

    That being said, maybe there is some negativity in your post that goes a bit further, but as I said, if I was in your place I would not be happy either. I am not sure though if all those concerns merit "quitting judo". Despite all the misery, it is still your choice to quit, not a necessity. Let me explain. There have been times that due to travel or living in foreign countries it was hard for me too to maintain the same level of training, and when abroad you have to adapt to the local culture, which isn't always easy and fun. During such occasions though, I never "quit judo". Sure, I may not have done much randori then, but judo has more than just randori. I still read about judo, did research on judo, advised people on judo, was a judo referee and travelled to referee, wrote articles about judo, watched judo recordings. This isn't the same, but it offers an opportunity for actually coming out the equation more experienced than as dry wood. Today with the Internet and YouTube movies, discussion forums, it is all so much easier even. Does not mean that it solves all your problems, not of course not. Nevertheless, when reading your post  --and taking you seriously--  I do get a bit of a feeling like you are shouting "capital punishment" for a misdemeanor. Isn't there an aikidô club or jûjutsu club or kendô club around you could join in the mean time ?  Sure, it's not jûdô, but those disciplines have tai-sabaki too, and hara, and proper posture, and many other things that can contribute to improving your judo. Then again, I do not know all the details of your local situation, and no reason to justify yourself either. I am just attempting to provide a couple of suggestions for a situation that, I can see, is very frustrating.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."

    medo

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    Join date : 2012-12-31

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by medo on Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:36 am

    I can understand you predicament when I left my home town in my late twenties it took two years to find a club Judoka that could do Ju no kata even the high dan grades(5/6 dans) who said they could do Juno when asked to act as my uke made some excuse:roll: 

    Most clubs these days are based around kids, fun and competition and as you say you tend to get roped in with teaching leaving your own development on hold. Are you from the UK? you will need to visit many and just turn up for the adult section stressing to the instructor that you wish to learn Katame no kata ect good luck with that, best hope would be an independant or BJC club although there does seem some new found interest in the BJA you may be lucky, what I have found over the years instructors don't like to admit they don't know, just say yes we will do some latter and latter does not happen.

    Anonymous Judoka

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    Join date : 2013-11-08

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Anonymous Judoka on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:55 am

    I would like to thank you all for your responses.  Admittedly when I wrote my level of frustration had boiled over to the point where I felt I had to say something publically just to get it off my chest.  I was frustrated to the point where I wasn’t seeing the forest through the trees.  I really appreciate your response Cichorei Kano because you’re right.  You all are right.  I don’t have to “quit” Judo.  I simply need to find another way to practice Judo.  Heck, I actually own a 10x10 mat area I can put together in my home anytime I want.  There’s nothing that stops me from learning more about the history of Judo.  Even if I resign myself to doing BJJ it will improve my newaza.  It won’t be the same though.  I touched on this in my original post and I think most of you could relate that there is something about Judo that attracted us to it.  I remember my first exposure to Judo was back in 2000.  I saw the Suginoha Ryu videos of Judo demonstrations.  This was around the time I started doing BJJ.  With BJJ we were always starting from the knees.  I didn’t understand why but I didn’t like it because at the time I was more interested in self-defense applications.  I saw the videos and it was one of those things deep down that I knew Judo was for me.  I wanted to be as good as them.  Due to finances and family issues I couldn’t actually start doing Judo for many years later till around 2004 but when I finally did I really felt like I belonged, like this was what I was meant to do.

     

    It’s unfortunate how my perspective has changed over the past eight years.  Along with what I have seen personally I would also have to say on a global scale, in particular with the IJF, Judo has changed a lot over the past eight years as well.  It’s interesting to hear what the IJF President wants Judo to be like.  It’s fine if he wants to have a major tournament every weekend but I simply don’t see how Judo can become the kind of sport that soccer or American football is like.  Even I can’t stand watching Judo in its present form half the time and I know what is happening.  Judo is one of those rare sports where the referee is the only one who actually decides when a contest is over and who the winner is most of the time.  In sports like Boxing or MMA many times the winner is clear via knockout or submission.  Even in BJJ many matches end with a submission and a clear winner is observed.  I don’t think a casual fan could ever really follow Judo.  If a friend was sitting with me watching Judo the conversation would look something like this:

     

    Friend: What’s happening here?

    Me: They’re trying to establish their preferred grip.

    Friend: Why did the referee stop that?

    Me: They were trying to establish their grip for too long.

    Friend: Ok, well now they’re gripping.  One guy did something and now he’s tucked into a ball on the ground.

    Me: Well, he missed on his attack and was in a bad position so he curled up into a ball to keep himself from getting choked out.

    Friend: Why did the other not do anything?

    Me: Because he didn’t want to attack the guy on the ground.

    Friend: You mean he could?

    Me: Yes.

    Friend: Why didn’t he?

    Me: I don’t know.  Man, you’re really asking a lot of questions.  Just watch.

    Friend: Sorry.  Oh look, they each have a grip but they ran out of bounds.

    Me: It happens.

    Friend: Why?  Why didn’t they stay in the middle of the mat?

    Me: Because the other guy is trying to induce penalties.

    Friend: You can win that way?

    Me: What did I say about all the questions?  Yes you can win that way.

    Friend: Aren’t the Broncos playing the Colts today?

    Me: Yeah, but we’re watching this.

    Friend: You watching Monday Night Football tomorrow?  Oh wow, there was a throw.  He won!

    Me: No, not quite.  It was only a yuko.

    Friend: What’s that? 

    Me: Meh, let’s see if the NFL on Fox Pre-Game has started.

    Friend: Don’t you want to see who actually wins?

    Me: No need to.  The guy with the yuko will run around pretending to attack for the next two minutes protecting his score.  He’ll win.

     

    Best of luck to the IJF with that.  I just don’t think Sport Judo can appeal to the masses.  Yes, I understand my fictional exchange is a caricature of a Judo match and that many matches end with an actual ippon.  Still I think many matches I have watched flow exactly in the way I described above and no amount of rule changes can fix that.  I just don’t think Judo can ever be a spectator sport to anyone but those who have history with it.  It’s too bad because like I said before I think Judo should be an all-inclusive activity that has a sport component and by sport component I’m not talking about shiai. 

     

    Anyway, after all that rambling I won’t “quit” Judo.  I will just have to pursue practice in a different manner until I find a dojo that will not be so heavily biased toward competitions.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:02 am

    Too funny.

    Yes, much is true, but That being said though, I think it is important we learn to refocus. If we love judo, we must find a way to enjoy judo other than just criticize the IJF. After all, the risk is that one gets into a downward spiral of all things negative about judo. They exist, but as one grows in judo one may realize that the falling 7 times and getting up 8 times means more than just on the tatami.

    As you know, jûdô was meant to be a mental and physical education, but when one wants to transgress what that really means one is quickly confronted with clichés. The mental component isn't really some perfect ethical human being. It's a cliché to think that from the moment one reaches a black belt that one suddenly becomes a superior moral human being. Judoka have their flaws just like anybody else. However, I think there are some things in Kanô's words that are appropriate here and which you may wish to reflect on.

    In an article published on July 29 of 1922 in the Japan Advertiser Kanô writes about the importance of observation of failures and successes of other in actual life. And ... he also writes about the dangers of overexerting one's energy ... This is not limited to actual physical fights. He says "the usefullness of this attitude in everyday transactions with others is patent; as is well known, no amoutn of reasoning could avail us when confronted by a person who is so agitated as to seem to have lost his temper; all that we have to do in such a case is to wait till his passion wear itself out." (...)

    We all can learn a lot from this important statement. That does not mean that modern Western communication specialists necessarily will agree with it as the best approach; that is not my point either. My point simply is that to move jûdô from the tatami and realize really what Kanô intended with it, there is more, and "this more" is actual in this case of dealing with a frustrating situation, where we feel even the organization that purport themselves as the experts in judo do not really seem to have a clue what judo is about.

    Kanô continues: "One is sometimes despondent from disappointment, is gloomy, and has no courage to work. Judo advises such a man to try and find out how the best he can do under existing circumstances. Paradoxical as it may seem, such a man, to my mind, is in the same position as one at the zenith of success. In both cases here is only one road to follow the one he deems best at the time. Thus the teaching of judo may lead a man from the bottom of disappointment to vigorous activity with a bright hope in the future. The same applies to persons who are discontented.

    There is more, but I don't want to write more and give the impression as if I am criticizing or moralizing you , as that is not my purpose.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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    contrarian

    Posts : 63
    Join date : 2013-04-28

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by contrarian on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:44 am

    i agree and i think you should quit judo. and there's nothing wrong with that.

    give it a couple of years, or even sooner, and you'd come back.
    they all do.

    Ranma

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2013-08-25

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Ranma on Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:07 am

    I'm in a similar state as you, where BJJ actually fits my needs more than Judo does. I never though I'd reach the point, but I don't know if I find Judo fun any more. As my time gets more limited with age, I'm not interested in constant grip breaks, dominating stances and defensive play. I'm there to play, not to win. There are so few training partners these days who will just do clean classical Judo with you. Not that I believe that classical Judo is necessarily the most effective - but it definitely gives both partners the most out of each practice.

    I found a BJJ gym where you can just drop in and do an hour of newaza, about 10 rounds, 5 bucks. Best value for time and money I've found.
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    contrarian

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    Join date : 2013-04-28

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by contrarian on Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:28 pm

    Ranma wrote:I'm in a similar state as you, where BJJ actually fits my needs more than Judo does.  I never though I'd reach the point, but I don't know if I find Judo fun any more.  As my time gets more limited with age, I'm not interested in constant grip breaks, dominating stances and defensive play.  I'm there to play, not to win.  There are so few training partners these days who will just do clean classical Judo with you.  Not that I believe that classical Judo is necessarily the most effective - but it definitely gives both partners the most out of each practice.

    I found a BJJ gym where you can just drop in and do an hour of newaza, about 10 rounds, 5 bucks.  Best value for time and money I've found.
    i trained bjj for a year.
    when the rule changes came into place in judo, i felt sick to my stomach, and stopped training. after almost 2 years of not training, i was gaining weight, and a bjj gym opened across the street from work. i told myself, why the hell not, and join the club. while i enjoyed all the sparring and learning different approach to their newaza, (i've always been a strong believer in cross-training anyways), ultimately, i found it unsatisfying because of lack of focus on tachiwaza.

    GregW

    Posts : 103
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by GregW on Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:12 pm

    I had to chime in here. I would second the idea of starting your own club. Depending on where you live, find a community recreation center that has the mats. Many of them have mats for gymnastics that work fine for judo. These community centers are always looking for someone to lead an activity for the kids. You can get a few kids, teens, or adults to start with, and build up a club slowly the way you want it.

    I'm a shodan, too. Like you, I was interested in doing judo, not just recreationally, but for the holistic approach to it--the discipline and the art of judo. I wanted to share it with young people and perhaps with some adults who were like-minded. We practice once a week and we have a great time. For my own edification, I watch videos by respected teachers and I go to judo camps when they happen. For example, this year, my son and I learned the itsuzu-no-kata and we've been working on it along with the nage-no-kata. We have time--because we control the schedule--to practice kata in our class.

    I enjoy teaching judo because it really brings me back to the fundamentals. It's a privilege to share what I know with the students. It's rewarding to see them progress. In our area, we have some very good judo clubs, but like you mentioned, they're very heavily geared toward competition. We take a different approach and are building a culture that's more like the one in my sensei's club. Consider giving back to judo as a teacher if you're at a loss over what to do next.

    Greg

    DougNZ

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    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:04 pm

    GregW wrote:I enjoy teaching judo because it really brings me back to the fundamentals.  It's a privilege to share what I know with the students.  It's rewarding to see them progress.  In our area, we have some very good judo clubs, but like you mentioned, they're very heavily geared toward competition.  We take a different approach and are building a culture that's more like the one in my sensei's club.  Consider giving back to judo as a teacher if you're at a loss over what to do next.

    Greg
    Nice work!
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    judochop48

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    Join date : 2014-07-15
    Location : jacksonville,nc

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by judochop48 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:48 am

    This problem seems to be catching...

    I am a 48 year old shodan who has been doing judo for over 4 years now.The first club I started at has since turned into an mma club,and the older gent who is a schichidan has suffered from mental problems due to his involvement in Vietnam,and no longer teaches.The next nearest dojo in Eastern Nc is over two hours south of here in Fayetteville,and the Hachidan there is strictly a usa judo guy who trains solely for competition.When I earned my shodan through traditional kodokan judo usa and registered it with usa judo,he called Corinne Shigemoto and got her to drop me back to ikkyu simply because I did not go through his state commission,so I cancelled my usa judo membership and hooked up with usja and got my rank recoginized through them in case I want to compete in an ijf tourney.Last tourney I competed in was the tkj-usa nationals last month in buffalo,winning a gold in the super heavyweight class.Since then, I have nowhere to practice that is within 3 hours of my home(I'll never go to Fayetteville again).Starting a club would be great,but Jacksonville Nc has no boys club or police athletic league,ymca or any kind of activity center for such a program.I had a club for a year at a private mma gym,but had to quit when the gym closed.Now I just practice in my living room evenings,but not having a club with other members to train with is terrible.I still study and read judo materials,but it just isn't the same.I really miss teaching and training judo.

    GregW

    Posts : 103
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by GregW on Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:56 am

    judochop48 wrote:This problem seems to be catching...

    ...I had a club for a year at a private mma gym,but had to quit when the gym closed.Now I just practice in my living room evenings,but not having a club with other members to train with is terrible.I still study and read judo materials,but it just isn't the same.I really miss teaching and training judo.  

    Wow. What a waste of talent!  I hope you'll be able to find some likeminded people to train with.  Maybe try putting up an announcement on Craigslist or on a community board on Facebook to see if there's anyone else who's looking to train.  Maybe you can find someone who has a garage where you can lay out mats and train together and then begin inviting people.  Good luck--don't give up!

    I'm editing this because of an afterthought. You mentioned that you were in the Jacksonville, NC area. I lived there over 30 years ago. They have a community college there don't they? Approach the college and see if they would provide you a practice space. Another idea would be to check with some of the churches in the area. My own sensei in Virginia and a friend here in Oklahoma have clubs that are hosted by churches. A lot of Christian schools don't have money for a big sports program so they are often interested in judo as a sport because the start up cost is pretty affordable for them. They have the space, they just need to add mats and an instructor. Just a couple of ideas you might try.
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    judochop48

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2014-07-15
    Location : jacksonville,nc

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by judochop48 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:13 am

    Thanks Greg W.There is a community college,I haven't tried there yet,so I will check that avenue.Not a churchgoer,don't know anyone in that community...I wouldn't mind teaching if someone had some mats and maybe a crashpad,I already have a club with the AAU but currently no place to train.It is a shame to see judo die here in a military town near a Marine base...Don't know any other yudansha in this area.It would be fun just to have an old timers club here;I won a state championship.place third in the m-4 100 kg+ usa judo senior nationals last year and won the tkj-usa super heavyweight nationals this year,and decided to hang up competing on a high note.I just want somewhere to roll around and have some fun with like minded individuals.

    GregW

    Posts : 103
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by GregW on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:24 am

    The AAU is a good way to get the club started. The insurance is a lot cheaper for beginners to start with. Almost all my students have joined USJA now, so I've got to decide whether I want to keep the club in AAU. There are never any AAU events around our area so I'll probably let it go. Good luck with the community college.

    DougNZ

    Posts : 405
    Join date : 2013-01-28

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:37 am

    Have you thought about approaching the military base? They have facilities and plenty of money to spend on gear. We have had two clubs in military bases - great facilities and plenty of potential pupils. The only problem is military people are often transient.

    Church halls are great venues. You don't have to be part of the congregation; just enquire. School halls are another option as well as, as has been pointed out, community centres.

    GregW

    Posts : 103
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by GregW on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:29 pm

    My club meets at a community rec center. They charge me a 20 percent fee of whatever tuition I take in. They encourage me to keep it affordable for the students. All I had to do was fill out their paperwork for a background investigation and provide them a certificate of insurance from AAU. It's a good way to get a club started.

    I did a quick Google search on the Jacksonville NC Parks and Rec department. Their web site mentioned a couple of recreation centers:

    Jack Amyette Recreation Center
    Jacksonville Commons Gym

    You can contact their Athletics office at 910 938-5304. They'd be a good bet! Again, good luck!

    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
    Join date : 2013-06-22
    Location : California

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Richard Riehle on Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:01 pm

    Anonymous Judoka wrote:I think I’m done with Judo for the time being and it pains me to write it. 

    Ah, Yes. Getting old is hard. In a few months I will turn 79. That seems awfully close to 80. I have not been able to compete since 2009. I am probably done competing too.

    However, I am not done with Judo. Even better, it seems Judo is not done with me! There is still a place for you in the Judo community, and I hope you will find it. In my case, I think my Judo is better than when I was focused on competing. Competition seems to encourage one to do things that are not real Judo -- all in pursuit of that so important win. We come to a point in our Judo life where we simply accept that we are not worried about winning anymore. If we are lucky, when we reach that point, we look at all the Judo we have missed in our striving to be tournament winners.

    When you visit a competition-oriented dojo, make it clear you are no longer interested in competing. Also make it clear that you still want to benefit from the deeper ideas that make Judo so different from many other activities.

    One of the things that has been beneficial for me is the opportunity to study and improve-on some of the waza in the canon that are not recommended for tournament. These are beautiful techniques that we are sometimes discouraged from attempting in shiai. I love uki-waza, but would be foolish to focus on it as a tournament technique. As an old Judo enthusiast, whenever I can find someone willing to be an uke, it is fun to practice uki-waza, get it a little better with practice, and then start to work on some other seldom used technique. I have been working on sumi-otoshi off-and-on for the past two or three years. I have not perfected it to the point where I want it, but it is fun to confront the challenge.

    Also, I have been reading a lot more Judo literature, as well as general martial arts literature, and trying to understand my own Judo in terms of what I read. In our time, we are fortunate to have access to a huge library of electronic resources for our study.

    I recommend that you find another way to walk the gentle path even as you deescalate the physical demands of competition. Then, when you are 80 years old, and you discover some younger person who is feeling downhearted about not being as capable in the demanding world of competition, you will be able to encourage that person to find a joyful way to continue.

    You may think you are through with Judo. It may be the case that Judo is not through with you!
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    NittyRanks

    Posts : 101
    Join date : 2013-05-10
    Age : 50
    Location : New York State

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by NittyRanks on Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:29 am

    I think sometimes as martial artists the light of hope seems to go out. I don’t think that is the OP’s issue but I know when I quit TKD after reaching fourth degree black belt I didn’t have anything left to give after 22 years. When you are teaching or help running a dojo/dojang your always kind of guilted into teaching with instructors saying “your training comes later” Well that’s fine and good if you don’t have a job and kids and can train 5 days a week but life isn’t like that.  That type of thing wears on you and people just leave.  Not everyone is into competition and probably most martial arts schools could increase their student enrollment by trying to reach a broader spectrum of people. I see it all the time in variety of martial arts, bad marketing, customer service and bad organization. I am only a 46 year old blue belt in Judo but I have been around Martial Arts enough and seen this type of thing over and over.


    Last edited by NittyRanks on Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Ricebale

    Posts : 423
    Join date : 2013-01-01
    Location : Wollongong Australia

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Ricebale on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:19 am

    ^ I suffered from this problem of slave to club syndrome for a while.

    What I did was re-engineer a few things, worked out what I wanted from this and basically started over.

    I found that rather than try to produce fighters I switched to creating a bonded fraternity and focus on esprit de corp.

    This has worked really well, basically rather than try to "sensei" everyone I now invite people to train with me, this means not only do I get my workout which at my middle years is extremely important I also get to participate rather than vicariously experience the class I'm in.

    Training focus on developments in technical aspects and fitness with the whole competition thing being a voluntary extension of that rather the reason for exisyence has really worked out well, if you find a club like this you may enjoy things again.

    Gus

    Posts : 137
    Join date : 2013-03-01

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Gus on Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:07 pm

    That sucks - theres penty of older people who do Judo where I am - and some of the old fellas are very competitive too. Its sounds like Judo is a bit crappy in your area - you obviosuly love Judo and feel sad to leave it - why dont you start your own club for people who are more like minded ? I'm sure theire's people of all ages who would appreciate your more profound approach to Judo.
    You never know who will pop out the woodwork Wink


    Last edited by Gus on Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:12 pm; edited 2 times in total

    Gus

    Posts : 137
    Join date : 2013-03-01

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Gus on Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:08 pm

    Richard Riehle wrote:
    Anonymous Judoka wrote:I think I’m done with Judo for the time being and it pains me to write it. 

    Ah, Yes.  Getting old is hard.  In a few months I will turn 79.  That seems awfully close to 80.  I have not been able to compete since 2009.  I am probably done competing too.

    Hangon - wanst there a guy in his 90s who competed a couple of years ago in Japan in the masters ? You're still a whippersnapper Smile

    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
    Join date : 2013-06-22
    Location : California

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Richard Riehle on Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:47 pm

    Gus wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    Anonymous Judoka wrote:I think I’m done with Judo for the time being and it pains me to write it. 

    Ah, Yes.  Getting old is hard.  In a few months I will turn 79.  That seems awfully close to 80.  I have not been able to compete since 2009.  I am probably done competing too.

    Hangon - wanst there a guy in his 90s who competed a couple of years ago in Japan in the masters ?  You're still a whippersnapper Smile

    I am not done with Judo, Gus. I am having a great time still with Judo. I try to get to a dojo at least twice to three times a week. The competition decision is more a matter of the complications of the bureaucrats constantly inventing meaningless rules and otherwise making it difficult for us old guys to still compete. When IJF screwed-up the rules for what was once the World Masters (where I have competed successfully and gratefully), they set it up so as to discourage those of us in our twilight years. I wish they would bring back the World Masters as it used to be. I wish IJF would stop making up stupid rules. Meanwhile, I will continue to remain active, throwing, grappling, teaching, and even taking some falls now and then. I will continue to visit other dojos as a guest whenever I can. Who knows, I may show-up at a dojo near you sometime. Whippersnapper, indeed!

    Gus

    Posts : 137
    Join date : 2013-03-01

    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

    Post by Gus on Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:32 pm

    Richard Riehle wrote:
    Gus wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    Anonymous Judoka wrote:I think I’m done with Judo for the time being and it pains me to write it. 

    Ah, Yes.  Getting old is hard.  In a few months I will turn 79.  That seems awfully close to 80.  I have not been able to compete since 2009.  I am probably done competing too.

    Hangon - wanst there a guy in his 90s who competed a couple of years ago in Japan in the masters ?  You're still a whippersnapper Smile

    I am not done with Judo, Gus.  I am having a great time still with Judo.  I try to get to a dojo at least twice to three times a week.   The competition decision is more a matter of the complications of the bureaucrats constantly inventing meaningless rules and otherwise making it difficult for us old guys to still compete.  When IJF screwed-up the rules for what was once the World Masters (where I have competed successfully and gratefully), they set it up so as to discourage those of us in our twilight years.   I wish they would bring back the World Masters as it used to be.  I wish IJF would stop making up stupid rules.  Meanwhile, I will continue to remain active, throwing, grappling, teaching, and even taking some falls now and then.   I will continue to visit other dojos as a guest whenever I can.  Who knows, I may show-up at a dojo near you sometime.  Whippersnapper, indeed!

    I hope so Richard - I've always found your posts pretty inspiring. Whilst Im making outlandish suggestions - perhaps you could start your own Judo federation with likeminded people - the way it should be ? I think there's something called freeform Judo in the states which has original Judo rules - Im not sure on the details though. Glad to hear you're keeping involved !

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    Re: Sadly, I think I'm done

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