Archive for September, 2007

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Our dojo's official web site is, with a hyphen. A while back I noticed that nobody owned, without the hyphen. I registered that domain name and got it to redirect to, with the hyphen. This way if someone tries to find us by guessing the URL, or if they've been told the URL but don't remember it has a hyphen, they'll still end up at the right place with a minimum of trial and error.

I did this with three other domain names that I saw were available. Here's the complete list:


If you go to any of these, you'll automatically be redirected to

That last one was because I noticed the Oishi t-shirt says "OishiJudoClubNYC" on the back, and I thought someone might see the shirt and think that was the name of the web site.

Two quick highlights from 2003

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

This video has two Mark Hatton highlights from the 2003 East Coast. First is a throw for ippon against Jack Willoughby (sorry, Jack). Second is a perfect counter against a fellow I don't know.

Credit goes again to the mysterious EBCS Productions, which took the original footage. To make this video, I put two excerpts together and added the slomo at the end.

When giants collide

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I was cleaning up my hard drive and came across a copy of a DVD that someone made at the 2003 East Coast Championships. Sensei must have given me the DVD during the move, and I must have ripped it and forgotten about it without ever watching it.

Have a look at Steve Friedman and Mark Hatton going to war in what I assume was the finals:

Other people I recognized were Alex Hon, George, Jack Willoughby, Jeff, Mark Hatton, Owen, Joaquin, Sonam, and Will Heinrich.

The identity of the videographer is a mystery. Sonam thought it might have been a guy named Willy (not Will Heinrich), but I found the guy on MySpace and asked if it was him, and it wasn't. I just noticed at the very end of the video it says "copyright (c) ebcs productions," followed by the address of a post office box in Brooklyn. I'll try writing to that address. I hope whoever took the video doesn't mind my posting an excerpt on YouTube.

Here are all the Oishi players who won medals that weekend. I can only imagine the nachas Mark must have felt when his son won second place.

Master “B” (43-49)
Light (-185)
1.Terushige HorimibuCranford, NJ
2.Clyde WorthenTech Judo, NJ
3.Joaquin GonzalezOishi, NY

Master “B” (43-49)
Heavy (+200)
1.Stephen FriedmanOishi, NY
2.Mark HattonOishi, NY
3.John WilloughbyOishi, NY

Boys 7-9
1.Morris PolishchukTiger, PA
2.Jack HattonOishi, NY
3.Brian FritzscheCranford, NJ

Boys 10-12
1.Alexander SalemLiberty Bell, PA
2.Daniel GoreCranford, NJ
3.Mohammed AftisseOishi, NY


Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I just saw this on Yonah Wolf's blog:

Nachas, is a Yiddish word which loosely translated means 'parental pride'. What relevance does this have to Judo? Well, yesterday my oldest took his first Judo lesson, and I have enough Nachas to fill a size 8 Judo Gi!

Yonah's blog, "The Road to Shodan," is always interesting and thoughtfully written. He discusses the actual practice of judo a lot more than I do. He sometimes plays at Oishi, so maybe I'll run into him someday if I ever take a day class.

Congratulations, Yonah! Or should I say mazel tov?

Congratulations to John and Alison

Monday, September 17th, 2007

John Harris pointed me to the web site of Yun Gen Yang, the photographer who took John and Alison's wedding photos.

Yun posted engagement photos on his blog back in July. Click below to see them:


Note that John was wearing his Oishi t-shirt. And he's versatile — he demonstrated both left and right ippon-seoinage.

Yun created a beautiful slideshow of the wedding pictures. To see them, click below, and then click again where it says "Wedding Slideshow":


Mum judo: ideas from a pool hustler and Mister Rogers

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Chef Brockett[Photo credit: Family Communications]

Last night at the end of class Sensei reminded us not to yak too much during class. His remarks reminded me of a book I once read about the world of pool hustling. The book was Playing Off the Rail: A Pool Hustler's Journey, by David Mccumber. The blurb on Amazon says:

The author is a reporter who hooks up with a pool player and agrees to put up the money to travel the country while gambling his finances on the hustler's skills.

I was reminded of one particular moment, when the pool hustler teaches Mccumber a way of playing called "mum pool." I don't have the book any more, so I might not be remembering it exactly right, but the basic idea is not to speak during the game. There's no commentary, no trash-talking, no "pass me the chalk," not a word. I think the idea is to improve focus and concentration — to remove internal chatter by resisting the temptation of external chatter.

This idea might translate well to judo. Some days I come to class feeling chatty, and I get into extraneous conversations, not only when I'm on the sidelines, but while I'm practicing. There is a strong social element at our club, so in a way that's natural. But I do feel it's something I should be more conscious of. Besides being a matter of etiquette it's potentially a matter of safety if I'm not paying attention to what I should be paying attention to.

From time to time it might be worth making a conscious decision not to speak during uchikomi or randori. I'd be like Chef Brockett, the baker on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, who insisted on absolute quiet when he was working. I think it was partly so he could concentrate and partly out of reverence for his craft.

Full children's schedule will resume 9/17

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Summer is coming to an end, folks.


A few dates, with links where possible

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

I saw that Sensei posted some upcoming dates on the window of the dojo office, so I thought I'd post them here as well, with links to some of the events. You'll have to ask Sensei for details on the others, because I got tired of Googling for them. It baffles me that it's so hard to find an official web page for some of these events.

Date Event
Oct 6-7 East Coast Championship, Newark, NJ
Entry form: PDF or Word format
Oct 13 Hudson Promotional Shiai, North Bergen, NJ
Entry form
Oct 19-21 U.S. Open, Gwinnett, GA
Info and forms (see links under "Coming Events")
Oct 27 Referee Clinic, Brooklyn, NY
Cancelled, according to this
Oct 28 Kata Clinic, Brooklyn, NY
Nov 4 Tech Judo Shiai, North Bergen, NJ
Info and form (click on "events")
Nov 17 Kata Exam, North Bergen, NJ
Nov 18 Cranford JKC Shiai, Cranford, NJ
Nov 25 Nakabayashi Shiai, New Rochelle, NY
Dec 2 Northeastern Invitational, Paterson, NJ

Update: Tech Judo now has info on their site. Thanks to Jeff for the heads-up.

Update: Hudson Judo has put up an application form for the 10/13 promotionals.

Update: Jeff sent me a corrected date for the kata clinic. Hudson Judo has put up the application form for the clinic, which is 10/28, and for the exam on 11/17.

Oishi videos on the iPhone

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

I just learned from my buddy Hiro that several of my YouTube videos can be viewed on the iPhone (which means they'll also work on the new iPod touch). Below is a picture of my iPhone after I a did a search for "Oishi judo." The top two results are among my favorites: a highlights reel of the dojo tournament in February, and one short match from that tournament, in which John Harris threw Alex Hon with a nice counter that got a reaction from the crowd.

YouTube has been converting their entire collection of videos to the format used by the iPhone. They have millions and millions of videos, with tens of thousands being added every day, so this is a huge undertaking. They expect to be all caught up in October — hopefully in time for the videos I'll take at the East Coast and Hudson Promotional tournaments.

Oishi videos on the iPhone

The old soda machine

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

The old soda machine is alive and well. Back when the dojo was moving, some of my coworkers brought the machine from Leonard St. to our offices at Broadway and Spring.

Sensei got us started by loading the machine onto a handtruck and pulling it up those narrow, twisting stairs to the floor above, with a couple of guys pushing from the bottom. He was supposedly showing us how we should get up the stairs, but ended up doing the job himself. We then put the machine in the freight elevator, took it to street level, and loaded it into a waiting truck.

Thanks to Scott, Dan, and the other Scott for bringing muscle and transportation, and thanks to Pando for giving the soda machine a new home, where for all we know it will give us another 35 years of service.

soda machine at Pando