Archive for October, 2007

Geek notes

Sunday, October 21st, 2007


A few notes that may interest the computer geeks out there.

Masterclass == O'Reilly

I think the Masterclass books, published by Fighting Films, are roughly the judo equivalent of the O'Reilly computer books. In both cases, any serious practitioner is likely to have some books in the series. I like the Masterclass books better in some ways, mainly because I have a strong preference for books less than a half-inch thick.

Now if only there were an equivalent of the Fighting Films DVDs for computer programmers. The nearest I can think of is the Apple developer videos that are available on iTunes to registered developers. Hm — how great would it be if we could get Fighting Films videos on the iTunes Store?

Early domain name ideas

The domain name I really wanted for this blog was I thought it was memorable, and "flying meat" describes what we judo players often are. Only after I did a "whois" did I realize why it sounded so catchy: Flying Meat is a prominent "indie" Mac software company. I don't know how I forgot this, considering I subscribe to the developer's blog. My brain must have put my judo facts in a separate compartment from my geek facts.

Another domain name I liked, and wished I'd thought of, was I forget how I came across the Being Uke blog; I suspect some other blog I was reading had a link to it and the name jumped out at me.

I admit "JudoNotes" is rather bland, but I figured it's easy to remember and spell, and it does reflect what I mean to do with the blog.


Speaking of indie Mac developers, I use MarsEdit, by Red Sweater Software, to write all the posts on JudoNotes. MarsEdit changed my blogging life. Instead of the ugly, cumbersome web-based interface I used to use, I now have a great-looking Mac application that makes it easy, quick, and pleasant to start a new blog entry, to browse and touch up past entries, and to maintain drafts of multiple blog entries before posting them.


Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Many thanks to Tom Kagan for pointing out this short black-and-white film about the Canadian Olympian Doug Rogers. I found it fascinating and inspiring. The randori scene in the Budokan is incredible.


Josef Reeve's 1965 National Film Board of Canada documentary about Canadian judoka Doug Rogers, silver medalist in Judo (+100kg) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

More matches from the Hudson Promotionals

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Here are a few more matches from the promotionals on Saturday.

Highlights — October 2007 Hudson Promotionals

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Here's an Oishi highlights reel for the tournament yesterday. Be sure to also check out Tom Mierzwa's matches en route to batsugun.

Three Oishi players make batsugun

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

(A happy Tom responds to the referee directing him back to his side of the mat.)

Congratulations to Tom Mierzwa, who made batsugun at the Hudson Promotionals yesterday. Below are links to his matches. I like his moment of exuberance at the end of the last one, which made the referee smile.

John (last name?) also made batsugun to shodan, and Kevin Kornemann earned batsugun from sankyu to nikyu.

I'll post more video later.

[UPDATE: Assorted corrections, thanks to Jeff.]

New belts

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

Last night Sensei promoted Paul Virtue and Germain Difo to ikkyu, and Christian Hoffmann to yellow belt. Congratulations to all, and good luck to Paul, Germain, and the others who will be competing in today's promotionals.


Saturday, October 13th, 2007


Sensei has been having us do a few minutes of ju no kata from time to time, as a way to warm us down at the end of class, and as part of our general judo education.

Ju no kata reminds me of tai chi in the way it teaches balance via a series of slow, deliberate exercises. It reminds of both fight choreography and ballroom dancing in the way it requires timing and communication between partners. The balance, timing, and communication are all good things for me to work on.

As Yonah Wolf observed, YouTube can be a great resource for studying kata. For the ju no kata, I found a very clear series of five instructional videos (from the Kodokan, I think) with detailed explanations in English. I put them on my iPhone so I can study them any time, and hopefully not flounder so much when we practice the kata in class. I also found a demo by Kano himself.

In the first technique in the ju no kata, uke aims his hand like a knife at a spot between tori's eyebrows. Sensei told us the word for that spot is "uto," which struck me as a great little word. I Googled for it when I got home and learned that the anatomical term for it is "glabella."

"Uto" is more fun to say, though.

Oishi results from the 2007 East Coast

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

[UPDATE: Jeff pointed out that the official results for the whole tournament have been posted.]

(click the photo for a larger version)

It happens at every tournament. I try to get as many of our matches on video as I can, but I always miss a few for some silly reason. At yesterday's East Coast Championships I had a perfect vantage point at the top of the bleachers, where I could see all three mats and easily zoom in to any mat where an Oishi player was fighting. But my attention wandered and I managed to miss a few matches anyway. I'll try to do better at the promotionals next week.

Here are the medals we won:

  • Jeff Summa – second (Masters B, -175)
  • Bob Henry – first (Masters A, +220)
  • Nina – first (Senior females, -154)
  • Paul Virtue – first (Senior brown belts, -220)
  • Karim Wahib – third (Senior brown belts, -198)
  • Germain Difo – third (Senior brown belts, -178)

Others who played were:

  • John Harris
  • Jean-Ezra Yeung
  • Michael P
  • Alex Hon
  • Ron Lehman
  • Zuri Russell
  • Jason Mitchell
  • Frank Gomez
  • Matt Gelfond

Thanks to Jeff for filling in some of the data. Any errors or omissions are purely my fault.

Here's a one-minute highlights reel:

Here are the matches I managed to record (some only partially):


Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

On the very slim chance that any of you are anagram nerds, here's a simple one that I like:


Here's one that's not quite as, you know, profound:


Directions to the East Coast tournament

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

From Jeff: public transportation to the East Coast this weekend.

The "Transit Planner" at Trips123 is very handy for this kind of thing. When you do a search there, they show you not only public transportation, but walking maps to and from the stations at each end of your trip.

These directions are from [Trips123], but are also exactly as I remember them. I made a few notes on their directions. Note also that all these services in effect run continuously so the times don't need to be exact.

If one were leaving from midtown, one would take the 33rd Street Path to Hoboken to get the Newark Path.

Departing: 10:42 AM on Saturday, October 06, 2007
Total Trip Time: 0:35

Go To: World Trade Center, Vesey St & Church St

Board: Path WTC To Newark Line/Newark

Arrive at: Newark Station (Path) at 11:04 am

Board: NJ Transit Rail Line/Grove Street Station (this is the Newark subway)

Arrive at: Warren Street Light Rail Station at 11:17 am (this is the third stop on the subway)