Sankaku Sushi & Noodle

Jeff has a joke about the three biggest lies you'll be told by your opponent:

  • "Let's go easy; I'm coming back from an injury."
  • "Let's go easy; I'm out of shape."
  • And I forget the third, but I'm sure Jeff will remind me when he gets back from the Worlds.

Basically they're all reasons why you should go easy on him or her, while he or she proceeds to try to clobber you.

As I return from a conference in San Francisco, which was preceded by two weeks without judo while we moved the dojo, I'm running through my list of excuses. Sitting all week in an uncomfortable chair, hunched awkardly over my laptop, has been murder on my neck, shoulders, and knees… Having to use my laptop keyboard instead of the ergonomic one at home as been murder on my wrists, which means morote-seoinage will be difficult for a while… I meant to work on my wind by walking the steep streets of San Francisco, but never had time…

Somehow I doubt I'll get much sympathy for these excuses. But I thought of another excuse that I'm sure my randori partners will be happy to believe, and even help me with when we do newaza.

See, one reason I may play tentatively for a while is that no one has tried to choke me in three weeks. I have a theory that struggling against chokes makes my neck stronger and therefore makes me more confident about breakfalls. When my neck is weak I have to try harder to keep my head from flopping into the mat when I land. (Yeah, I'm that physically wimpy.) And anything that undermines my confidence in my breakfall makes me play tentatively and defensively.

So to my friends at Oishi: when I see you on the mat this week, please choke me. Strange as it may seem, you'd be helping me with my randori.

(By the way, I'm writing this at SFO. When I entered the airport, I saw the Sankaku sign above, and it got me thinking about chokes.)

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