Back in March, I posted a video clip on BetterJudo’s Facebook page of a failed O soto gari, and asked my readers why it had failed. Knowing that respondents would blurt out the go-to solution of no kuzushi, I debated whether to include, “Come up with something other than no kuzushi,” as the reason the throw failed. I didn’t include that caveat, and sure enough, half the answers mentioned kuzushi.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard it said, but my blood pressure goes up every time I hear a coach say, “I’m not in it for the money.” This is quickly followed, or preceded, by statements that suggest the coach is having a hard time building his program. Don’t get me wrong, coaches are free to charge or not charge for the services they provide. However, there are unintended consequences when you don’t charge for Judo lessons.
Sports are finally waking up to the long-term effects of concussions. Judo is no exception. The United States Judo Association, for example, has prominently displayed on its website an online course entitled Heads Up!. This course is the work of the U.S. Center of Disease Control, which tells us how important this issue is. Continue reading
Many players like to visit other clubs while on business trips or vacation. Since every club tends to have different rules, culture and expectations, players can sometimes be caught making an etiquette faux pas. By doing so, they can damage the reputation of their home club and coach. A recent etiquette no-no prompted my colleague, Steve Scott, to put together what I’m calling the cardinal rules for dojo visitors. I was so impressed with the list that I asked for permission to post them in my blog. So, here it goes.
I’m so tired of hearing Judo people say that you can’t make money teaching Judo, that I can’t take it anymore. Why is it that TKD, BJJ and MMA instructors can teach for a living, but we Judo coaches can’t? An obvious reason is that if you’re charging $30 a month for your twice a week classes, and you only have a handful of students, it’s hard to envision how you can earn a living. The instructors in the other arts have already figured out that a different business model is needed, a model that may run contrary to everything we’ve ever been told about Judo. To our detriment, we in Judo are allergic to the use of “business” in conjunction with Judo. To be successful, we must comes to terms that our Judo club is a business. Left to discuss is how successful do we want that business to be?
During a recent coach education course that I attended as an observer, one of the participants asked the clinician what type of mats would be best for Judo. The clinician replied that his own preference was for getting the hardest mats possible. The reason? To ensure good ukemi! That response nearly knocked me off my chair. Here was yet another piece of information that in my mind was clearly a great disservice to all the coaches present, and ultimately to Judo itself. Let’s examine why this statement was not in our best interest as we try to hang on to a diminishing segment of the martial arts market.