Archive for the ‘Random Topics’ Category

Starrett Cup and Super Bowl Invitational

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Two Sunday tournaments coming up.

The Starrett Cup is on Sunday, January 18. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by tomorrow (January 10).

The Tech Judo Super Bowl Invitational is on Sunday, February 1.

Let me know if you're going.

Bahamian judo

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Saw this video in another great post by Lance Wicks, this time on Judo4Parents.

Although I don't have kids, I look forward to catching up on the Judo4Parents blog. It will be educational for me and will provide good food for thought about judo in general. I hold out hope that my 11-year-old nephew, who's been doing Shaolin kung fu for a few years and loves it, will someday give judo a try. His one-year-old sister could be a good grip-fighter some day, judging by the way she grabs the sleeve of my shirt.

Great judo demo

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I just saw this on Lance Wicks's blog,

This video I found on the OKCDT website and I think is from Australia. Please note the laughter, the clear message of what Judo involves. The "ooh"s and "ahh"s. The loud applause. Note also the use of male and female demonstrators and of people of different sizes.

I've embedded the video below — it is great! The instructor's voice is a little hard to hear, but the audience reaction is unmistakable. I saw Lance's post on Planet Judo, a great judo blog aggregator (hello, Planet Judo readers!).

Sensei and his brother gave a demo at my high school many years ago. I don't remember much except the crowd going "Ooh!" at one point when Hachiro-san suddenly whipped out a fake knife and charged Sensei, who threw him. Straight out of the nage-no-kata, but Sensei dressed it up with a little drama for the crowd.

Stuff I have to work on

Monday, December 8th, 2008

It's almost three years since my return to judo. On the one hand, progress has been very slow. On the other hand, the overall trend has been consistently positive, and that is good news.

The thing I'm happiest about now is that my body is starting to remember morote-seoinage. Never mind that it's nowhere close to working in randori. It feels great just to do it again, to drop into that squat while holding on with both hands.

Here's a small sample of things I have to work on.

  • General fitness and health:
    • Cross-train (weights, calisthenics, running, stretching, balance exercises)
    • Remember to ice the knee (I only tend to remember about 10% of the time, and it should really be 100%)
    • Watch my diet — I weigh too much for my height and frame
    • Stay hydrated
    • Improve sleep habits
  • Judo-specific stuff:
    • Do more uchikomi, including more lifting
    • Do moving uchikomi
    • Practice combinations
    • Practice timing of ashiwaza
    • Pull when I do seoinage (I think uchikomi with a rubber tube should help with this)
    • Stay on my toes
    • Relax my shoulders
    • Study books, web sites, and videos
    • Get to class on time (which means getting out of work earlier, which is related to the sleep habits mentioned above)

The list goes on, but basically it can be summed up as: everything. I think working on my fitness, which is still terrible, would go a long way toward helping with the rest.

Upcoming tournaments — who's going?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Anybody know who's going to the upcoming Cranford, Tech Judo, and/or Northeastern tournaments on Oct 26, Nov 2, and Dec 7 respectively? Please shoot me an email if you do. Depending on Oishi turnout, I may come to shoot video.

You can get application forms here.


Saturday, August 16th, 2008

From the NY Times:

Rousey beat Germany’s Annett Boehm, 10-0, for the bronze at 70 kilograms. She won with a 10-point yuko, which is judo terminology for sleeve throw.

At least this was corrected by a couple of people in the comments. One person bemoaned:

The way the article is currently written is like seeing a 110 on a baseball scoreboard and saying the team hit a 110 point run, rather than reading it as 1 run, 1 hit.

In fairness, I can understand part of the confusion because of the way judo scores are filled in. Having one yuko is displayed as 10 rather than 010, which I don't understand, though maybe it makes scores easier to read. A three-digit score is always higher than a 2-digit or 1-digit score, and scores with different numbers of digits may be easier for competitors to distinguish with a quick glance.

But "judo terminology for sleeve throw"? Yeah, if I were reporting for the NEW YORK TIMES on a sport I knew nothing about, where the terms were in a foreign language, I wouldn't bother to make sure I got my terms right either. For that matter, if I were the New York Times, I wouldn't bother to send someone who knew what they were talking about.

IOC country codes

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Here's a list of those three-letter country codes on the backs of the Olympic competitors. If you're in an educational mood, you can click on a link for each country to learn something about it.

Watching the Olympics online

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Chiming in a little late with some notes on watching the Olympics online.

Watching live:

If you can stay up late enough, you can watch all this year's judo matches live online. What a great luxury! Go to, click on "TV & Online Listings", and follow instructions. You'll have to install a video plugin called Silverlight. It was simple and painless for me on my Mac.

Watching both mats at once:

The judo matches are happening on two mats. You can't use separate windows in your browser to watch both mats at once, or at least I haven't figured out a way. However, it is possible watch up to four live events at once, although at lower quality. Click on "Enlarge Video" and a panel of controls will appear on the left edge of the video. The top one of those controls lets you pick one main video and up to three other live videos to display simultaneously.

Watching later:

The judo matches start at midnight New York time and run to 8:00AM. If those times aren't convenient for you, you can watch some of the matches afterwards by clicking "Rewind". I don't know if NBC is planning to make all the matches available. As of this writing, Ryoko Tani's losing match is not available, and I'm really curious to see it. (I was actually watching live that night on two computers at once, one for each mat, but fell asleep. D'oh!) I'll probably check out the commentary on JudoForum when I get a chance; I'm sure there were some stunned reactions.

Another option for watching matches afterwards is to skip NBC altogether and go to You could also search YouTube, though there's a good chance anything you're looking for is already on Judovision, and quicker to find there.


Unfortunately, all the videos in the simultaneous mode are smaller and fuzzier than when you commit to watching just one. And switching between them is not as snappy as I'd like — you lose a few seconds while the video is buffered.

You can't rewind a live event, so if you miss something exciting, you have to count on the instant replay or hope the match becomes available later in "Rewind" mode.

What I'd really like is if all the judo matches would be made available in high-definition, like some other events. I suppose I should be happy the matches are as available as they are.

2008 East Coast rescheduled

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

In case you haven't seen the sign in the dojo: the date of the East Coast has been moved. The new dates are:

  • Sept 20, 2008 (SAT) Seniors – Men, Women & Masters
  • Sept 21, 2008 (SUN) Juniors – Boys & Girls

Adjust your training accordingly.

Entry form is available at Cranford JKC.

One year

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

I was going through old posts and noticed it's been one year since we started the move from Leonard St. We started taking up the mats last Memorial Day weekend. I remember Sensei and Barbara fed us with takeout from Excellent Dumpling House, on Lafayette below Canal. I was just there yesterday — good hot and sour soup.

June 11 will be the first anniversary of the first class at the new location. I think it's safe to say the dojo feels much more lived-in now.