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    Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:11 am



    Sorry, guys, available solely in Dutch with French subtitles (and a few parts in French with Dutch subtitles).



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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by tafftaz on Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:14 am

    A true great. Would love to hear these in English.
    I would especially like to hear about some of his training regimes.
    I have talked with guys who trained with him years ago when he used to come over to the UK and to a man they all said he was a beast in randori.
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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by afulldeck on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:37 am

    Excellent interview. I too would like to see and hear more about his, and for that matter any Olympians', training regime.


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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:11 am

    Those are some pretty heavy brow ridges...


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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by judoratt on Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:51 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:Those are some pretty heavy brow ridges...

    You got that right!

    I still remember seeing Van De Walle at weighins at the 86 US open, he had muscles where normal people didn't. It was truly strange.Shocked
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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:26 am

    judoratt wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:Those are some pretty heavy brow ridges...

    You got that right!

     I still remember seeing Van De Walle at weighins at the 86 US open, he had muscles where normal people didn't. It was truly strange.Shocked

    My sensei (at the time) did randori and uchikomi with him at training camp before that one. He did manage to avoid cracked ribs (that would be from uchikomi, not randori).

    His comment was "not human" in terms of strength. It was the first time he had ever been physically crushed like a beer can in ne waza randori by anyone.

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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:58 pm

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    judoratt wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:Those are some pretty heavy brow ridges...

    You got that right!

     I still remember seeing Van De Walle at weighins at the 86 US open, he had muscles where normal people didn't. It was truly strange.Shocked

    My sensei (at the time) did randori and uchikomi with him at training camp before that one. He did manage to avoid cracked ribs (that would be from uchikomi, not randori).

    His comment was "not human" in terms of strength. It was the first time he had ever been physically crushed like a beer can  in ne waza randori by anyone.



    Yes ... that sounds like a quite accurate reflection.

    Doing uchi-komi with Van De Walle was distinctively unpleasant. But it was also 'interesting'. The first time you would be chosen as his uchi-komi partner you would feel privileged. How could you not ?  But that feeling soon made place for all kinds of other feelings. Personally, I mostly felt frustrated, I think. Why ?  Well, for one you did not learn anything yourself, except for survival, which admittedly even if that is the only thing you learnt, probably still had some use. I can only vouch for myself, of course. I often ended up as his uchi-komi partner during work-outs, I think, because I was 6.0 ft although I was two weight classes lighter. You might wonder maybe why he'd pick a -78 kg player over a heavier player. Well, for one there usually were no heavy weights around, and those we had were generally characterized as 'lazy'. There were about two other good -95kg players, but because they were in the same weight class as his, I think Van De Walle somehow absurdly considered them as equals meaning he should not hold back. The result of that was that those -95 kg players simply stopped coming if they could, or would only choose other lighter players to work out with to keep some sense of dignity instead of being publicly humiliated over and over. As a -78 kg player I was thus relatively tall. Johan Laats, for example, (but this was still way before his time) is half a head shorter than me. Personally, I didn't exactly feel tall when Van De Walle was in front of me as he was about 3.5 inches taller than me.

    Anyhow, why was uchi-komi so frustrating ?  Well, he would always say "relax", and would then increasingly start accusing you of not relaxing enough. Now, I know I am very supple and easy going when it comes to that, but all to no avail. So, there you were, completely relaxed in front of this block of granite that felt anything but 'relaxed'. Oftentimes he would then get angrier and and angrier because he believed you were resisting him. I never knew if this was perhaps some trick almost like "self-hypnosis" to gear himself up to sufficiently hate you. The "relax-thing" was also unpleasant because now and then he would suddenly go all the way and throw you without telling you first. I mostly recall his ô-soto-gari uchi-komi. Invariably you would make an extra half turn so that you would always be thrown on your face and belly. That wasn't something to complain about though, since it meant you had survived, which would not have been certain at all if instead he had thrown you on your head and neck.

    The whole thing was somewhat surreal I guess. Part of that may have had to do with the fact that Van De Walle really had ... "shape-shifting" abilities. He could turn from a humanoid into 95 kg of hardened high-grade carbon steel. Mind that you had to 'grip' that thing, and that as a ... -78 kg player. It wasn't anything like how you grip a normal jûdôka. Instead, you had to spread your arms open wide to be able get more or less around those massive shoulders, and to get hold of some gi fabric that might have been stretched over that mass of steel was not always easy to do. So In the end, you sometimes even gave up the little grip you had just to let yourself being smashed into the tatami, so that, God forbid, he didn't start accusing you of "resisting him and not being supple and relaxed". Being smashed into the tatami by him in standard mood was still a much better option than having to face him when he got really annoyed or angry at you. So, not pleasant at all.

    But, that being said, uchi-komi with Van De Walle still was quite low on the scale of "unpleasant things to do with Van De Walle". It was definitely preceded by tachi-waza randori. As long as you learnt not to try block him with your arm when he came in (= the safe thing to do if you did not want to see your arm being snapped as a tiny tree branch) and you knew how to break fall using your forehead to slap the tatami instead of your hands, it was survivable. I survived. So yes, a small correction to my previous statement that one did not learn anything is necessary. You did learn one important thing, namely an additional form of ukemi where you use your forehead to slap the tatami and break your fall instead of your hands.

    But way ahead of uchi-komi and tachi-waza randori on the list of "unpleasant things to do with Van De Walle" was newaza randori. So, yes, your reference to coach's newaza experiences is very correct. In all honesty, each time I did newaza with Van De Walle, I feared for my life, and I admit I would do anything I could to avoid having to do newaza randori with him. I remember one time, I had been suffering from a back injury, and my chiropractor so far had not been able to adjust my back for it to go away. However, fifteen seconds within a newaza randori with Van De Walle and he had me folded over with so much force that my back promptly sprung back in place. If only things could stop there. Oh, and by the way, that was just me trying to control Van De Walle using what now is apparently being referred to as 'guard'.

    I feel though that my fear of death with Van De Walle was totally justified. Let me explain. With tachi-waza, he could break an arm, a leg, but people would likely hear you scream, and would drag you off the tatami, end of story until the ambulance showed up, apart from having to undergo his angry stare because you had ruined part of his workout because of your stupid injury. Newaza randori though was something entirely different. I strongly believed he could get away with simply killing you. People would be watching around a lot less during newaza randori. During tachi-waza because of lack of space, typically, half the group would be watching from the sideline, but in newaza that was not so. So basically, no witnesses. Besides, in newaza, admit it, oftentimes you could not see what was really going on underneath.

    My fear materialized when once I heard him explain about his experiences in Japan and how it feels to be choked out and that you don't feel a thing and that it is a kind of pleasant sensation and that you should experience it. I had a different opinion, realizing that in my experience people who are unconscious are preferably surrounded by a trained and qualified anesthetician, life-support and ICU equipment, defibrillators, and big hospital insurance in case of litigation when occasionally things do go wrong, rather than by a single jûdôka who is going gungho with you as his private experiment obviously not previously approved by an independent ethics committee. This was before I had ever been to Japan myself, so one can imagine.

    In the end, I learnt though that there was one and only one effective technique to deal with Van De Walle in newaza randori, and that was ... "playing dead". You see, he was different from my cat. As those among you who own a cat, or ... are being owned by a cat know, some felines enjoy playing with their prey for a while after they first killed it. Van De Walle luckily like most nonhuman champions was not like that, and he got quickly bored if you appeared weak enough or were able to play weak enough that you could not mount any seizable resistance during newaza. I guess it's a fine line between offering resistance or not offering resistance, because in newaza it appeared to me that he completely lacked the ability to dosage his force. I know for sure that when I do randori newaza against a kid, or an adult who weighs two weight classes lighter, or a member of the opposite gender, I will show great restraint, which I then might let go somewhat if it turns out that for whatever reason my opponent is able to come close to my strength or technical ability. Not so with van De Walle. It was immediately "no holds barred", and he would storm on to you as if he had Khubuluri or Dietmar Lorenz in front of him, which I did not quite appreciate. Could he not see that a -78kg player at best might be able to ... "slow him down" for half a minute or so ?  Maybe some of you do attack someone clearly not at your level, weight or a kid or woman as if you were going to fight your worst enemy in competition. Maybe some of you, contrary to me, attach no real importance to your life, maybe some of you have been blessed with a relatively injury-free career. I was not. I had had my share of injuries, particularly of my elbows, and luckily I was able to steer free of any armbars or chokes by him. And in those days I certainly still did care a lot about my own life, certainly enough as to not leave it for good on some tatami surrounded by no one who could give a damn. I invariably would end up in his osaekomi-waza, even when it was I who applied the osaekomi-waza on him. That was a pretty good opening for "playing dead", unless he had positioned you in such a way that his massive chest was over your mouth and nose, in which case playing dead could have seamlessly transferred into being really dead.

    What I wrote above certainly is not the gospel. I am sure, that if I would have possessed the force of Rhadi Ferguson and be a half-heavy or heavyweight too, that one might look at it in a different way. Whether that would imply describing any activity involving Van De Walle as 'pleasant' I doubt. My experiences from those days suggest that young attractive women might have been the only target group who might describe some activities involving van De Walle using the term pleasant.

    When it comes to judo though, the least unpleasant activity with Van De Walle was definitely kata. As you can imagine, Van De Walle never trained kata unless he knew he had to demonstrate it for a next dan-rank promotion. When dealing with someone with such exceptional force having to work with a 'human' uke you get all kinds of funny things. Besides, he had little or no understanding of kata, so this put you in a rare position of being better than him in something judo. The most important thing though was that kata was predetermined, so you more ore less had the one exercise that offered security to not being killed. No other judo exercise with Van De Walle would give you that security, and death was always on the menu as a popular imposed option. That is at least how I experienced it.

    But apart from the anecdotes or mere idolatry, Van De Walle no doubt deserves your utmost of admiration. He worked tirelessly, gave everything he had, and was a true training beast. I have only known him to train in a natural way. He wasn't the guy who you woudn't see for two months and then suddenly appear with an entirely different looking body. Every muscle in his body is the result of motivation, and hard, hard work, much of that done in a time there was no sponsorship and no financial rewards when winning a medal. His training was there for all to see, and you were welcome to try and keep up with him. None of us could,  even remotely. Several of us were near dead before we made it through half of the warm-up exercises which consisted of endless  alternating series of 200 jumps, followed by 200 sit-ups, followed by 200 push-up, and again and again and again, all without any rest in between, evidently. I see no one train like that anymore. There are some who do series of quarter uchi-komi, just to generate some sweat but I don't see anyone going at it like he did, or maybe not even like we did.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:09 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : correction of typos)


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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Freelancer on Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:13 am

    CK, the way you describe him, he seems like a prick who doesn't care about his sparring partners.


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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by tafftaz on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:43 am

    At the level that Van Der Walle was at, compassion for training partners was probably not even on his radar.
    To compete and win was probably his only mindset. Also he went around the world looking to train with the best any country had to offer so no-one can accuse him of picking "easy" partners to train with.
    My close friend and training partner was on the mat with him many years ago and he said the VDW was the same with anyone he trained with. Regardless of size or weight. "We were just another body for him to practise on" were my mates exact words.
    This was the current national squad of the time that I am talking about as well.
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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:47 pm

    Freelancer wrote:CK, the way you describe him, he seems like a prick who doesn't care about his sparring partners.

    tafftaz' post is spot on.

    I can, of course write more, but Internet is a delicate medium and before you know it one might be misinterpreted as bashing a great champion who I immensely admire for his perseverance and for what he has achieved and for whom I have enthusiastically supported during many of his contests.

    It isn't always as easy to set the right tone in an E-mail or Internet post as in real life, in the absence of facial expressions and intonation. I have been at the receiving end of being called a jerk or worse, myself, which I don't think anyone who really knows me would ever call me. I think that these anecdotes have to be contextualized against the right background, namely that of a top-elite environment and a country-specific culture. tafftaz in his post already did so excellently.

    I honestly think that the view many people have of many top elite players is distorted. You will often hear comments such as "World champion X is a really nice guy because when I asked him for an autograph he smiled and immediately was willing to pose for a picture with me". That obviously says about nothing. Hitler posed for pictures with people too, and so did Khadafi. I guess the opposite is possible too, and someone could indeed flatly refuse an autograph and refuse appearing on a picture with you too, which would not necessarily make the person a bad or arrogant person. He or she might have his reasons, but then there is something as "public perception" which may be way off, but people themselves won't start from that premise.

    Public opinions on top champions largely stem from public interviews, from a one-time guest clinic, from after they had retired or from other marketing events. I cannot imagine anyone who at the time when the following people were still active as competitive fighters and who actually trained with these guys while they were on their top, refer to the likes of Geesink, Ruska, Yamashita or Van De Walle as 'nice'.

    Here's a short clip of Ruska during uchi-komi smashing Okano into the tatami. Okano is not human either (after all he had won the All Japan Championships twice beating all the heavyweights !) and he takes that fall without blinking, but do not underestimate this for a second. The effect of being smashed like that as a middle-weight by a heavy-weight super champion is devastating:



    See for example that tai-otoshi at 00'41". A normal person would probably stay stretched out on the tatami for a couple of minutes after that.

    I don't know of any representative footage of VDW during training in those days. I can't remember ever seeing video camera's or people taking pictures. It was just not done, did not fit within the cultural setting and time spirit. I never took a camera with me to the dojo, digital camera's obviously did not yet exist, and neither did those small throw-away cameras. Unless, you were a spectator in the audience (there was an audience sometimes, mostly coaches of other athletes, or maybe a federation official) it was not done, and those people who were present as spectators were there for their athletes and not to take pictures or videotape VDW. So, I can't show you.

    My experience of many of those guys I worked out with is that usually they are best described as "near-psychopathic", at least as far as the men were concerned. The atmosphere among the majority of women elite judoka was totally different in those days, although I can recall one or two who clearly did find a sadistic pleasure into smashing other women. They obviously could do that only to other women and not to male elite judoka which might be a contributing factor as to the "doesn't give a damn" attitude was less spread among them. However, perhaps if you watch some footage of Tamura (Tani) Ryoko in training (and that is available) you do not exactly see much of a caring attitude towards her partners either.



    Then again, the effect is not identical because obviously at -48 kg the effect is less than from a male at 95kg, and also a woman's body composition is different. Women do not have 1-2% of body fat with the rest being pure steel muscle. So, it's different, certainly for the males they fight who are usually heavier than them instead of lighter.

    When I see some of the taped and publicly available interviews or interviews with journalists in press, it's like they are interviewing a totally different person, someone with feelings, who smiles, who reacts in a human way to emotional challenges, something totally contrary to how these peope were on the mat. I don't think this lacks logic either. You can't go have paid sex with a prostitute and then afterwards complain you felt like she didn't truly love you ! Similarly, the great champions were not on the mat to be nice to you or to teach you judo. They were there for one and only one purpose, namely themselves. It was like a job, with the sole job objective being to get out of it whatever they got out of it irrespective of the consequences for you. If you couldn't handle it, you simply shouldn't be there.

    I am sure that if on the other hand you would talk to the spouses, sons, daughters, siblings and other loved ones of those athletes that you would likely get a totally different description. That is also logic since their relationship with them was not one of a merely a 'job'. They will likely know some of the dark secrets of those athletes, known them in their strongest and weakest moment dealing with the most diverse of emotions in the intimate privacy of their homes. It is for these reason that we must express ourselves in a nuanced way putting everything into context, much like tafftaz already did.

    Again different from being nice or not nice is someone's suitability in a certain role, for example as a coach of an instructor, but that's a whole different story thought not entirely irrelevant, I guess.


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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by TheWizardofOdds on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:49 pm

    I enjoyed reading your account of 'training' with Van de Walle. I have never heard of him but will now do some research.

    Your account of newaza randori with him evokes strong memories of my very first class in Judo. I was pitted against an orange belt, I was white/no belt training in shorts and loaned jacket. I was mauled. I could not believe what had happened. This guy is still an absolute 'mare. He has no concept of size difference (I'm about 5,6,7 stone lighter)experience etc. He is a really nice guy but completely incapable of toning down his Judo in any way. He's no international Judoka so there any similarities end.

    I can give a better account of myself now but I understand the fear of fighting someone who completely out-strengths you. It really makes you focus on technique though.

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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by tafftaz on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:37 am

    TheWizardofOdds wrote:I enjoyed reading your account of 'training' with Van de Walle. I have never heard of him but will now do some research.

    Your account of newaza randori with him evokes strong memories of my very first class in Judo. I was pitted against an orange belt, I was white/no belt training in shorts and loaned jacket. I was mauled. I could not believe what had happened. This guy is still an absolute 'mare. He has no concept of size difference (I'm about 5,6,7 stone lighter)experience etc. He is a really nice guy but completely incapable of toning down his Judo in any way. He's no international Judoka so there any similarities end.

    I can give a better account of myself now but I understand the fear of fighting someone who completely out-strengths you. It really makes you focus on technique though.


    The thing is that VDW did the same thing to men who outweighed him considerably also. He was freakishly strong.
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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:46 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Freelancer wrote:CK, the way you describe him, he seems like a prick who doesn't care about his sparring partners.

    tafftaz' post is spot on.

    I can, of course write more, but Internet is a delicate medium and before you know it one might be misinterpreted as bashing a great champion who I immensely admire for his perseverance and for what he has achieved and for whom I have enthusiastically supported during many of his contests.

    It isn't always as easy to set the right tone in an E-mail or Internet post as in real life, in the absence of facial expressions and intonation. I have been at the receiving end of being called a jerk or worse, myself, which I don't think anyone who really knows me would ever call me. I think that these anecdotes have to be contextualized against the right background, namely that of a top-elite environment and a country-specific culture. tafftaz in his post already did so excellently.

    I honestly think that the view many people have of many top elite players is distorted. You will often hear comments such as "World champion X is a really nice guy because when I asked him for an autograph he smiled and immediately was willing to pose for a picture with me". That obviously says about nothing. Hitler posed for pictures with people too, and so did Khadafi. I guess the opposite is possible too, and someone could indeed flatly refuse an autograph and refuse appearing on a picture with you too, which would not necessarily make the person a bad or arrogant person. He or she might have his reasons, but then there is something as "public perception" which may be way off, but people themselves won't start from that premise.

    Public opinions on top champions largely stem from public interviews, from a one-time guest clinic, from after they had retired or from other marketing events. I cannot imagine anyone who at the time when the following people were still active as competitive fighters and who actually trained with these guys while they were on their top, refer to the likes of Geesink, Ruska, Yamashita or Van De Walle as 'nice'.

    Here's a short clip of Ruska during uchi-komi smashing Okano into the tatami. Okano is not human either (after all he had won the All Japan Championships twice beating all the heavyweights !) and he takes that fall without blinking, but do not underestimate this for a second. The effect of being smashed like that as a middle-weight by a heavy-weight super champion is devastating:



    See for example that tai-otoshi at 00'41". A normal person would probably stay stretched out on the tatami for a couple of minutes after that.

    I don't know of any representative footage of VDW during training in those days. I can't remember ever seeing video camera's or people taking pictures. It was just not done, did not fit within the cultural setting and time spirit. I never took a camera with me to the dojo, digital camera's obviously did not yet exist, and neither did those small throw-away cameras. Unless, you were a spectator in the audience (there was an audience sometimes, mostly coaches of other athletes, or maybe a federation official) it was not done, and those people who were present as spectators were there for their athletes and not to take pictures or videotape VDW. So, I can't show you.

    My experience of many of those guys I worked out with is that usually they are best described as "near-psychopathic", at least as far as the men were concerned. The atmosphere among the majority of women elite judoka was totally different in those days, although I can recall one or two who clearly did find a sadistic pleasure into smashing other women. They obviously could do that only to other women and not to male elite judoka which might be a contributing factor as to the "doesn't give a damn" attitude was less spread among them. However, perhaps if you watch some footage of Tamura (Tani) Ryoko in training (and that is available) you do not exactly see much of a caring attitude towards her partners either.



    Then again, the effect is not identical because obviously at -48 kg the effect is less than from a male at 95kg, and also a woman's body composition is different. Women do not have 1-2% of body fat with the rest being pure steel muscle. So, it's different, certainly for the males they fight who are usually heavier than them instead of lighter.

    When I see some of the taped and publicly available interviews or interviews with journalists in press, it's like they are interviewing a totally different person, someone with feelings, who smiles, who reacts in a human way to emotional challenges, something totally contrary to how these peope were on the mat. I don't think this lacks logic either. You can't go have paid sex with a prostitute and then afterwards complain you felt like she didn't truly love you !  Similarly, the great champions were not on the mat to be nice to you or to teach you judo. They were there for one and only one purpose, namely themselves. It was like a job, with the sole job objective being to get out of it whatever they got out of it irrespective of the consequences for you. If you couldn't handle it, you simply shouldn't be there.

    I am sure that if on the other hand you would talk to the spouses, sons, daughters, siblings and other loved ones of those athletes that you would likely get a totally different description. That is also logic since their relationship with them was not one of a merely a 'job'. They will likely know some of the dark secrets of those athletes, known them in their strongest and weakest moment dealing with the most diverse of emotions in the intimate privacy of their homes. It is for these reason that we must express ourselves in a nuanced way putting everything into context, much like tafftaz already did.

    Again different from being nice or not nice is someone's suitability in a certain role, for example as a coach of an instructor, but that's a whole different story thought not entirely irrelevant, I guess.

    My coach's recollections to me of his time with Vanderwall were right away after he returned from the aforementioned shiai...so they were crystal clear. We always talked about that sort of stuff, as I was seriously training at the time. He would pass on stuff he had learned from the international competitors. As you have noted already, there wasn't much if anything in the way of video like there is now. My coach did have an early betamax video recorder, but didn't record at the OTC because it was frowned upon, again, as you said.

    He saw and reported some gruesome stuff even at the USOTC during training at the old US Open, and I trained there a few times as well, but never during an international training camp, that would have been a messy suicide, I just watched. I found out the hard way that trying to train with the female elite athletes was also not a healthy experience, although I was never injured by one (I was a 65 kg athlete at the time). I got tossed into walls and generally beat to death, although my ukemi was sufficient to preserve me. I saw one "ultra elite" female -48 kg woman beat the crap out of a couple of -60 kg US male elite athletes...

    I think that anyone who pursues just about anything be it Judo or medicine to the highest levels has to be a "almost a psychopath" and seriously OCD in any case. Maybe not all, but I'd venture to say most.

    I haven't' yet found/had a student yet who has put the effort into learning and doing Judo that I did, and I was no elite athlete, although I aspired. I wouldn't call myself a psychopath or "almost psychopath" but the OCD was there and the ability to monomaniacally focus on one or two things to the exclusion of others. I cared for my training partners for sure...

    Watching the video of Ruska and Okano...my ghod, that huge man was so fast! He moved like some sort of superhero...

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    Jimgo

    Posts : 20
    Join date : 2013-01-05

    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by Jimgo on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:04 pm

    It is interesting to note that many of his "big ippons" would be Hansoku-make under the new bans on below the belt techniques.  

    However I do realize he had other throws.

    tafftaz

    Posts : 330
    Join date : 2012-12-31
    Age : 52
    Location : Wales, UK

    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

    Post by tafftaz on Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:21 am

    Jimgo wrote:It is interesting to note that many of his "big ippons" would be Hansoku-make under the new bans on below the belt techniques.  

    However I do realize he had other throws.

    Different times. Better rules. His ippons never came in inverted commas though. He was a massive thrower when it came to pick ups and leg grabs.
    If you can get the masterclass book on pick ups, look for VDW take on a version okuri ashi braai. Very interesting.

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    Re: Robert Van De Walle - The Path to Mastery

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