Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The One True Sport

HAJIME!  (referee calls to start a match)

If you read my post from yesterday, I taunted you with the comment that today we would talk about The One True Sport.  Well, really it's two - Judo/Jujutsu.  Yup.  I study Judo and Jujitsu.

The reason I am going here with this discussion is to set things straight.  You see, even though my blog is a mere 4 days old, I have already received flak from Tim, one of my black-belt judo friends, for representing myself incorrectly on my profile picture.  On the picture I am dressed in my white judo gi and am wearing an outdated green belt, when in reality I have tested and received my brown belt.  So let me make all well with the world and keep everybody happy and show here my brown belt - 3rd degree (because I seem to have no recent pictures wearing it):

I study the Dan Zan Ryu system of Jujitsu for any of you out there wondering, and here is the sequence of belts earned, starting with white.  (I will have two more levels of brown tests - 2nd degree and 1st degree brown, then black.)

In order to be ready for my brown belt test, I was required to know by name and by technique about 140 items and any combinations of them.  You can see below my pile of notecards that I use to study.

The words "Genkotsu Otoshi," for example, are a response technique to a double fist punch from an attacker, using the following defense:

                                               1.  Block punches simultaneously and grab attacker's
                                               2.  Head butt
                                               3.  Knee attacker's groin
                                               4.  Sweep throw attacker to the rear
                                               5.  Strike attacker and walk/run away

Lots of studying, lots of work, but very satisfying to me.  Love it.

My instructor has told me that in the early days of the sport in Japan, every student wore a white belt and trained for years and years until the white belt had turned black from work and wear and sweat.  Here in America though, we have rigged the color system because we Americans are more impatient and like regular rewards.  Hmmmm.  How true.  

What is Judo?  What is Jujitsu?  And what is the difference?  It took me a long time to be clear in my mind, because there really are many similarities.  Judo is basically the sport game and Jujitsu is more of a self defense system.  But both use many of the same techniques.  

A judo player (judoka) will spar with his opponent trying to obtain a decisive throw or submission.  There may be throw attempts, choke attempts, arm, leg or other joint lock attempts and various amounts of ground grappling.  Where Judo differs from jujitsu is that jujitsu allows for the actual choking or neck and limb breaks when used in extreme self defense.  It would not be nice to see those things happen in an Olympic Judo sporting match.  

How did I, a middle 50's grandmother, get into this sport?  I still say to this day my Sensei tricked me into it and I fell in love with it.  I had been taking a women's self defense at his dojo, The Golden Dragon Family Training Center, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Somehow I was talked into staying one night and "trying" a Judo class, and here I am, still loving it, several broken toes later.  The guys that I work out with are all gentlemen, yet push me to my limits.  When I travel around to various Judo conventions and get to match up with other girls, it always seems easy, because of the training I have had with the guys in my dojo.

So there you have it.  May you all have a colorful day, doing something you love to do.

MATE!   (stops the match)


  1. Having the training you have is a very wise thing in today's society. Between people who just snap or the people that are doing what the voices in their heads are telling them to do, it's bad.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.