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    Advice on a very peculiar situation

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    jpez777

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2015-02-12
    Age : 20
    Location : Pullman

    Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by jpez777 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:58 am

    Greetings,

    Over at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, U.S.A, a group of judoka are trying to get together a club. A lot of us are coming from bjj, wrestling, or previous competitive martial art backgrounds. We are used to competition and prestige, and we want to be able to compete and rank up in a legitimate judo environment. However, there are no actual black belts or above that are able to instruct. This leaves us with no real way of legitimizing our club with one of the three U.S. governing bodies of judo. Our university will allow us to start the club without being legitimate, but at that point we would be a judo enthusiast club. For now, we have been able to manage by having some competition hardened brown belts teach us the basics, but we can only go so far with that.

    I personally come from a legitimate club back home, so I have some experience with judo and the USJF association. I have contacted the USJF, and they told me that a black belt must be present at all mat sessions in order to be legitimate under the USJF umbrella. They gave me some advice. Told me to get in contact with some of the yudanshakais in my area. The Northwest Yudanshakai is the closest one to me. However, the http://judonw.org/ for Northwest Yudanshakai is nonexistent. And other than my sensei back at home, I pretty much don't have a clue as to where I am supposed to be going with this. I really want to start the club, and everyone else really wants me to get it going.

    So I suppose what I am asking is for any additional advice that I wasn't already given. Or maybe any tips on local black belts in the Pullman, WA area? And how would I go about starting this club with the intention of registering under a different association (USJA or USA Judo)?

    GregW

    Posts : 102
    Join date : 2013-01-22
    Location : Norman, Oklahoma

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by GregW on Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:23 pm

    USJA's web site has a club search engine where you could look for a club in your area. You might be able to find a club nearby who would have a black belt who would like the opportunity to lead a club of enthusiastic and interested students. You can also charter a club through this page also. It is relatively inexpensive to do so. You don't become a chartered club until you get at least 5 USJA members. I think you probably have a good chance of getting something going.

    http://www.usja-judo.org/clubs/

    Stacey

    Posts : 541
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Stacey on Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:46 pm

    In as far as instruction goes, if you can't get somebody out there to teach you, it's incumbent upon you to go to them. I'm not talking 2-3 times a week, I'm talking about 1-2 a month, weekends. Forge a relationship with an instructor near you. Do some work via email and video (very easy these days), and commit to commuting once or twice a month for a weekend session, and doing and reasonable clinics in your area of the region.

    It's not ideal, but you'll get some instruction, you'll get some correction, and you'll be able to learn with another club.

    jpez777

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2015-02-12
    Age : 20
    Location : Pullman

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by jpez777 on Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:09 pm

    @Stacey, I think you have a good idea about instruction, but unfortunately this isn't just about my own progress as a judoka. This is about my peers wanting to dedicate themselves to something out of their reach. It's my responsibility to bring that something as close in as possible. If it were just me, I would definitely commute a couple of hours to return back to my home dojo. But others do not have that luxury. However, I think I will definitely try to contact some instructors (including my own sensei) and talk to them about our situation. @GregW, there are no clubs for at least an hour drive out or so. That's the issue. I wouldn't even have bothered with a school club if we had a nice local dojo. The charter club idea sounds fantastic, indeed. The only issue I can think of is how we are supposed to register under USJA without having been previously trained at a USJA dojo. Can we still register at this point? In addition, we will still be lacking instruction and the opportunity to rank up without a qualified black belt. I'm sorry for bringing up the impossible situation and sounding like I don't want the advice I asked for, but the situation we are in is genuinely that sticky. I need to plan and act with a collectivistic attitude for the sake of my peers. Please throw me anymore advice and tips you can think of, I will definitely appreciate and deeply consider every bit of it. And thank you for such quick responses!

    Stacey

    Posts : 541
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : your worst nightmares

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Stacey on Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:53 pm

    you can join the USJA anytime as "unaffiliated". Whether you can have a charter club without a black belt overseeing, I don't know. In the past, that wasn't an issue, but I thought it changed a number of years ago.

    USJA has a training syllabus, and once you have the required techniques down and meet the other requirements, you can have a rank examiner come out and test you.

    You're still going to need instruction. Doing a bit of video instruction is helpful, but only if all three of you are making a pilgrimage once or twice a month to have some in person instruction. You'll have to talk with the area blackbelts, even if they are 2 hours away.

    Btw, many dojo are members of more than one organization. While they may test JF or USA Judo, they may still be USJA members. You can always ask. JF's testing requirements are different, and you can get more information from them. But again, you'll ahve the same instructor deficit if you're not willing to all get hands on instruction once or twice a month. You can and should work it out with somebody willing to guide you in your training, preferably somebody who'll review your submitted video of your techniques, and who might Skype when helpful. All of that is much easier in today's day of technology. You can show your technique, an instructor can critique it, and even send back a video showing specifically what s/he wants you to work on, and how to do it.

    You still very much need hands on instruction.

    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:33 am

    The closest judo club(s) to you that I know of are in Spokane, which is about 1.5 hours north of you. http://www.spokanejudo.com/

    and/or http://pacificjudoacademy.net/

    I know the guys in Spokane (I'm in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, about 2.5 hours north of them). The others I do not know.

    I'd suggest you contact either or both of the judo clubs in Spokane and see if you can get any help from them.

    There is also Judo in the Tri-Cities area:
    http://www.columbiajudo.org/

    https://www.facebook.com/tricity.judo or http://dojos.info/TriCityJudo/

    I'm not familiar with either of them, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    Finally, there used to be a judo club at EWU in Cheney, WA, not sure if it's still extant or not.

    So,you have some resources nearby that may be able to help.



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    jpez777

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2015-02-12
    Age : 20
    Location : Pullman

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by jpez777 on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:23 am

    My home dojo is actually Columbia Judo Dojo, @Ben Reinhardt. But Spokane is only about an hour drive away from Pullman compared to the two-three hour drive back to Tri-Cities. But I definitely was going to head back home and talk to my old sensei in person. The issue is, Columbia Judo Dojo is under USFJ; USJF does not officially recognize clubs without a head sensei, so even if we were going back and forth to the dojo, our own university club would not be recognized.

    As for the Spokane dojos, it looks like they are both under the USJF umbrella too. Do you think they would be willing to work with us still? I know my old dojo was polite, yet strict, about holding up the USJF rules.

    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:55 am

    jpez777 wrote:My home dojo is actually Columbia Judo Dojo, @Ben Reinhardt. But Spokane is only about an hour drive away from Pullman compared to the two-three hour drive back to Tri-Cities. But I definitely was going to head back home and talk to my old sensei in person. The issue is, Columbia Judo Dojo is under USFJ; USJF does not officially recognize clubs without a head sensei, so even if we were going back and forth to the dojo, our own university club would not be recognized.

    As for the Spokane dojos, it looks like they are both under the USJF umbrella too. Do you think they would be willing to work with us still? I know my old dojo was polite, yet strict, about holding up the USJF rules.

    I am not sure about the new rules regarding dojo that operate as members of USJF, USJA, or USA Judo, as I've been out of that loop for quite a while.

    I do know that it is a liability and insurance issue regarding having a yudansha and/or certified coach on the mat at all training sessions for those judo organizations.

    You guys MIGHT be able to go ahead and have your club and practice "unsanctioned", but still be OK under your university club sport/organization rules. YOu'd have to check with the university on that. If you all wanted to compete at sanctioned judo events, then POSSIBLY each of you could join say, USJF and unaffiliated members, and still train together at your university club.

    I suggest you contact the USJF home office in Ontario, Oregon to get that straightened out, and call Spokane to see how they might be able to help out with getting some quality instruction to you guys, or you all going up there to train at times.

    I will say that not having an experienced sensei/coach on the tatami with you is not a good idea in terms of quality of training and especially safety issues.

    Ben



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    jpez777

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2015-02-12
    Age : 20
    Location : Pullman

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by jpez777 on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:12 am

    @Ben Reinhardt,

    Indeed, not having a sensei on the mat with us is definitely an issue. The university will allow us to practice without being affiliated with the club, but like you said, we definitely want to compete. As of now, I think the best mentioned options are to get in touch with the clubs around us and see what we can work out.

    I did contact the USJF about our situation, but they just said that we were going to need a sensei on the mat. So I'm not sure how lenient the USJF will allow the actual clubs to be.

    I'll go ahead and just spread my arms as far as I can with this and shoot out emails to everyone I can think of.

    We just want to be able to hold real rank and compete!

    Thanks for the reply.

    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:32 am

    jpez777 wrote:@Ben Reinhardt,

    Indeed, not having a sensei on the mat with us is definitely an issue. The university will allow us to practice without being affiliated with the club, but like you said, we definitely want to compete. As of now, I think the best mentioned options are to get in touch with the clubs around us and see what we can work out.

    I did contact the USJF about our situation, but they just said that we were going to need a sensei on the mat. So I'm not sure how lenient the USJF will allow the actual clubs to be.

    I'll go ahead and just spread my arms as far as I can with this and shoot out emails to everyone I can think of.

    We just want to be able to hold real rank and compete!

    Thanks for the reply.

    If you can register as "unaffiliated", that would take care of being able compete. Your university club would not be affiliated with any organization. Rank promotion would have to be through a USJF/USA Judo club, or, if you go the USJA route, via rank examiner.

    That is what you need to check with USJF...if individual, unaffiliated, members can practice together wherever they want as long as it's not as a USJF registered club. If you guys can do that "legally", then that would solve the problem.



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    davidn

    Posts : 26
    Join date : 2013-01-09
    Age : 45
    Location : northern CA

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by davidn on Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:55 am


    If you have a good relationship with your old sensei, why don't you just have your members join his club (administratively)? He can help you with syllabus, and when folks are ready for promotion, he can assess their skills and promote them. Your workouts would be like a satelite practice. Of course, with no registered black belt on the mat, you're practice is not insured, but being at the U, not an issue.

    Then, when someone gets to black belt, you can move off and form it as your own club.

    Ben Reinhardt

    Posts : 790
    Join date : 2012-12-28
    Location : Bonners Ferry, Idaho, USA

    Re: Advice on a very peculiar situation

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:18 am

    davidn wrote:
    If you have a good relationship with your old sensei, why don't you just have your members join his club (administratively)?  He can help you with syllabus, and when folks are ready for promotion, he can assess their skills and promote them.  Your workouts would be like a satelite practice.  Of course, with no registered black belt on the mat, you're practice is not insured, but being at the U, not an issue.

    Then, when someone gets to black belt, you can move off and form it as your own club.

    That is essentially what I was suggesting. Spokane is closer to them though, so might be more convenient. The university club would NOT be an USJF/JA/JI affiliated club, though. But they will need to consult with someone in whichever organization they might join to see if that's kosher.


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