Friday, April 5, 2013

Judo and Me

Today some family business required me to make a trip into Reading, Pennsylvania.  I was less than thrilled as I dreaded driving into THAT city.  Just a few years ago, Reading had the label of "Highest Crime Per Capita" of any city in the United States.

That means more crime than Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and any of the other biggies.  To me, that's daunting.  I have no idea if Reading still holds that distinction or not, but either way it's not a place I want to be in the dark.  Well hell, not in the daylight either.

I found myself wondering if the self defense skills I had learned during all those years on the judo and jujitsu mats would come back to me if needed.

And from there, my mind just took itself on a trip of reminiscing.  I was remembering.  I was missing.  And I was hoping.

Hoping that I can someday get back to the sport I learned to love.  I've never shared many of the photos that you will see here of some of the judo events I attended.  Some of my kids haven't even seen them.  So today I'm putting them out for all the world to see.

I got a late start (about age 50) at a sport that most begin at a very young age.  Not only that, but I found myself to be the only female on a mat containing young, strong and experienced male judokas.  It took a while for some of them to take me seriously, but I think once they realized I wasn't going away, they embraced me into the sport, and taught and encouraged (and bruised) me.

I slowly worked my way through the belt testing system, starting with a white belt, then moving from white to yellow to orange to green to brown.  The last test I took awarded me the privelege of wearing the 3rd degree brown belt.  One of my good black belt friends was my partner for that test.

And that is where I stalled, due to an injury and some surgery.  To acquire a black belt, I would still have to test for 2nd degree brown, then 1st degree brown, then black.

One of the last major judo/jujitsu events that I attended was held at Rutgers University, in New Jersey.  Most of the photos you will see here were taken at that convention.  I had not yet earned my brown belt at this event.  You may also notice that I am one of the few female geezers in attendance.

After being thrown

Hopefully someday I'll step back onto those mats. Right now though,  Sensei Lanny, Deb, Tim, James, and Tom - I miss you.

And I did make it out of Reading safely.


  1. You are one adventurous lady!

  2. I can hardly keep up with your inspiring crafts.
    Now I want to try judo. You go Lady!

    [Squirrel is a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. She does it for the defense skills. She loves it. She has a belt test later this month. fingers crossed!]

    Oh, and when you DO make it back on the mat I am sending you a cake. :) [Heck, if I could figure out how to mail a cake I would send you one just because. hee]

  3. I bet those skills come in handy when raising a family (grin).