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Just starting: 2 days a week or 5 days a week? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   H.y 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 08:11 PM

Aloha!

I wrote a long post about this, but it was during the week that got erased -.-

I have just restarted Judo after getting a small taste of it 5 years ago. I love it. I'm all sore, my foot is bruised, I got completely thrashed against my stronger opponent (we are too new to use anything other than brute strength) and can't wait for more.

I am very serious about learning judo. I wish to make it a key part of my life.

Currently I am taking it as a PE course at my school (UC Berkeley) under Master Ahn. I do this tuesday and thursday mornings. In addition, I have the option to join the judo club which is mon/wed/fri in the evenings, for a mere $120 a semester. Within the realm of being slightly athletic and not a couch potato, I am not particularly strong, not particularly flexible, and have mild/moderate endurance. I can't touch my toes, I think 3 miles would be my absolute limit, and I bench less than my body weight, and squat half what I bench.

My only worry is that I will burn out. But hey, maybe more exposure will do the opposite and energize me better! I'm wondering if the more experienced of you might be able to help me figure this out. I would really like to do more, but I don't want to break haha.
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#2 User is offline   genetic judoka 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:19 PM

View PostH.y, on 25 January 2012 - 03:11 PM, said:

I am very serious about learning judo. I wish to make it a key part of my life.

sounds like you just answered your own question. if you can afford it, which you sounds like you can since you said it's a mere 120 per semester, I say do it. what's the worst that can happen? if you're burned out and don't have the energy to go, then skip that day.

what's the easiest way to get as good as possible as quick as possible? do as much judo as possible. end of story.
"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others." -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

"Wise men don't need to prove their point. Men who need to prove their point aren't wise" -Lao Tzu

"When torrential waters move a massive boulder, it is because of momentum.
When a hawk’s strike breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing." -Sun Tzu

"The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation,
you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Void." -Miyamoto Musashi
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#3 User is offline   billc 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:47 PM

View Postgenetic judoka, on 25 January 2012 - 01:19 PM, said:

... if you're burned out and don't have the energy to go, then skip that day.


Correction young Padawan. If you are burned out and don't have the energy, that is THE day to go. If judo was easy, they'd call it football.

Berkley, huh?

If you catch the bird flu from a roommate just back from visiting his home in Wuhan for Chinese New Year, and you are running a fever of 102, then skip class so you don't create an excuse for Jacob Flores to make a sequel to "Contagion."

If you accept a sample of falafel from some sweet young thing whose legs and armpits haven't been in the same room with a razor in 5 years, and whose piercings are so numerous that they caused a spike in the price of certain metals, and if you therefore are squirting from both ends and are curled up in a ball on the floor next to the john ... then skip class ... don't eat and drink only clear liquids for 24 to 48 hours ... including liberal doses of coca cola and gatorade.

If the aforementioned apologizes vigorously for poisoning you, and in the process cracks your rib, tape and go to class. Crushes your pelvis ... then skip class.

Get the picture?

"Never miss practice." - Jigoro Kano

This post has been edited by billc: 25 January 2012 - 09:49 PM

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#4 User is offline   H.y 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

Badass. Ok here's to following the way of gentleness!
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#5 User is offline   bythesea 

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:53 PM

Go as often as you can go, but no more. When I first started, I was super gung-ho. I went three days a week. After about a month of that, and barely being able to walk up the stairs, I decided that since I like judo, and would like to survive it, I should take a more long term view. I went to 1 day a week until I could blast through it easily. Then 2. Then 3. Then 4. For a busy professional with a lot of other commitments, that's about all I can do without it being detrimental to my life. When I can though, I add a fifth day, or do clinics, and every once in a while a shiai (if I have a weekend day to throw away).

Never miss practice is the best advice Jigoro Kano ever gave IMO. It boils down to "DO JUDO!"
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#6 User is offline   WBWAndering 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 04:19 AM

Hm, so if he goes twice a week it's going to take 3-4 years or so before he can hold his own against brown and black belts. If he goes five days a week he will hit a wall very soon. For the first month, I suggest going twice a week. Practice on your own if you wanna get more excercise. Do conditioning and gymnastics. After one month, go ahead and try coming 3-4 days a week if you like. I think 5 fays a week will overload you as a beginner. Not a sprint, more like a marathon.
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#7 User is offline   Doctor Horrible 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:55 AM

2 days.

Consistency > heroic efforts done for 2 months, then dropped

YMMV
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#8 User is offline   MATerrier 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:41 PM

I would tend to say listen to your body. If you're really stiff and sore a lot of the time doing two days a week, stick with that for now. As you build strength and stamina, add the extra days. OTOH, if your body is holding up pretty well now and you're usually only a little stiff the day after class, go for an extra day a week. Then add another, etc. You want to push your limits (and will probably have to exceed them some to find out where they are) but not completely burn out and hurt yourself.

Good luck & have fun! I wish I had started judo at your age instead of waiting until I was 38--but better late than never.

Erika
Life is what happens while you're making other plans......
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#9 User is offline   PointyShinyBurning 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:42 PM

What everyone else said. Start with a a couple of classes a week and build up the intensity when you can handle it. Don't be afraid to scale back a little bit either if you find you're losing the ability to, for example, walk under your own power.
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#10 User is offline   kuma 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 02:37 PM

View PostPointyShinyBurning, on 26 January 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

What everyone else said. Start with a a couple of classes a week and build up the intensity when you can handle it. Don't be afraid to scale back a little bit either if you find you're losing the ability to, for example, walk under your own power.


Now that's motivating. lol. But yeah, there's truth to that. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is just horrible.
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#11 User is offline   billc 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:30 PM

View Postbythesea, on 25 January 2012 - 03:53 PM, said:

Go as often as you can go, but no more.



View PostWBWAndering, on 25 January 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

For the first month, I suggest going twice a week. Practice on your own if you wanna get more excercise. Do conditioning and gymnastics. After one month, go ahead and try coming 3-4 days a week if you like. I think 5 fays a week will overload you as a beginner. Not a sprint, more like a marathon.



View PostDoctor Horrible, on 26 January 2012 - 01:55 AM, said:

2 days.



View PostMATerrier, on 26 January 2012 - 04:41 AM, said:

I would tend to say listen to your body.



View PostPointyShinyBurning, on 26 January 2012 - 05:42 AM, said:

What everyone else said.


Well, not everyone, Pointy. And as to Erika's kind and logical suggestion to "listen to your body" I would politely suggest instead to "listen to your sensei."

If this is the program at Berkley that I think it is, then it has a long ... like decades long ... tradition. Sure, there are lots of judo programs that ... paraphrasing Jacob Flores for a moment ... are "like LA Fitness" ... go to the gym when you want.

Well some judo programs are not like that, and I could even argue that a good dojo should not be like that, some of them have a plan ... even if it is not overtly expressed. The only way to fully benefit from that plan is to fully commit to the extent that the sensei asks. It's rude ... insulting even ... for a beginning student to coach himself and chart his own course in such a situation.

Judo ... being "do" and not "self-directed fitness program" requires the input of sensei "the one who has gone before" and not random strangers on a forum. And that sensei will appreciate total commitment even if ... from the student's point of view ... the training seems painful and punitive. A good sensei will notice and reward that commitment over the long run ... even if that reward in the short term is more training.

If it turns out after making the commitment that it is an informal, ad-hoc type of program then that is a shame. But in any other educational endeavor ... medical school for example ... would anyone advise a student to decide himself when to go to class and to only show up when he or she feels like it?

Flaky, unreliable, drop-by students ... they can kill a club.
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#12 User is offline   seatea 

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:37 PM

View Postbillc, on 26 January 2012 - 05:30 PM, said:

Flaky, unreliable, drop-by students ... they can kill a club.

But there is a difference training twice a week and being a flakey student. One turns up to classes they say they'll turn up to (even if it's only two per week) the other only turns up when they feel like it.

Also, if training only two days per week was such a detriment to Berkley's Judo program why would they offer it?
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#13 User is offline   billc 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:12 AM

View Postseatea, on 26 January 2012 - 03:37 PM, said:

But there is a difference training twice a week and being a flakey student. One turns up to classes they say they'll turn up to (even if it's only two per week) the other only turns up when they feel like it.

Also, if training only two days per week was such a detriment to Berkley's Judo program why would they offer it?


Without flailing it to a grisly and prolonged death, the number of days a week is not the point. The point is that the student should train as often as he can, as often as the sensei allows. The number of days in a week is not a decision he or she really makes.

The point is ... my sensei was often heard to say this but I haven't posted it in a while ... "judo is not a democracy."

Certainly there are exceptions ... there are plenty of programs that treat new students as cannon-fodder-throwing-and-armlock-dummies-and-walking-ATMs for the "elite" players. There are whole systems based on physical bullying and financial extortion, a few that produce excellent tournament results. But that's not the question here.

Here's s subtlety that many people miss ... even if a sensei ... a good judo sensei ... says "that's OK, just come as often as you can" he or she almost certainly is disappointed that the student doesn't show up the maximum amount of days. If the OP was asked to join the club in addition to the PE class, then he should join in full or decline.

Our dojo is open 6 days a week and I write this from the perspective of someone who is there to make sure the dojo is open for an adult class three of those days. I attend the another two days for randori with our head sensei in charge, and leave Friday to an excellent young instructor so he can build his own program without me poking around ... but there was a time I covered all 6 just to make sure the dojo stayed open so that if someone showed up they could do judo ... even if that meant on too many occasions it was me alone in an unheated building tossing the medicine ball back and forth across the mat. Twelve or more ranked students on one night, zero on the next ... all because of random reasons for not going ... some have the decency to call, some just don't show. I reiterate, when students stay home just because they don't feel in the mood, the dojo is empty, and when the dojo is empty people stop showing up ... because the dojo is empty.

Our head sensei is a man of few words. He'll say "just make it when you can" but his own motto for the club is "never miss practice." As mellow as he seems, I know he keeps mental track of who shows up even on the rough days, who competed, who helps outside of class. Those people are rewarded with respect and prompt promotion ... the others may just note the subtle lack of support ... if they stick around long enough.

If OP needs to ask often he should practice, he needs to ask his sensei if there is such a thing as too much practice.

This post has been edited by billc: 27 January 2012 - 01:13 AM

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#14 User is offline   H.y 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 02:36 AM

I'm seeing really good advice here, thank you everyone for taking the time.


Currently I am a bit banged up but nothing too bad. It's underworking my stronger muscles and introducing muscles I didn't know existed. Even when I lose in grappling I'm having fun. I hurt my toe on tuesday, and sucked it up today, only to have my 40 minutes on the mat heal it! Not sure how, but...

Tomorrow is the day the club half of my opportunity begins. I will ask the sensei there (a different instructor than for my morning training) what he thinks.

Also, perhaps I should take this to another thread but does anyone know the fastest easiest, passingly-healthy way to gain weight? Like fat. I think I need more cushion when I fall xD

An aside, Berkeley's judo tradition is, IIRC, more of a defined course of progress, but has, I read, a somewhat haphazard operation at times.

Also, who would stop going to a judo dojo just because no one but the instructor is there? Wouldn't one-on-one instruction be super awesome?

This post has been edited by H.y: 27 January 2012 - 02:38 AM

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#15 User is offline   genetic judoka 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 03:09 AM

View PostH.y, on 26 January 2012 - 09:36 PM, said:

I'm seeing really good advice here, thank you everyone for taking the time.


Currently I am a bit banged up but nothing too bad. It's underworking my stronger muscles and introducing muscles I didn't know existed. Even when I lose in grappling I'm having fun. I hurt my toe on tuesday, and sucked it up today, only to have my 40 minutes on the mat heal it! Not sure how, but...

Tomorrow is the day the club half of my opportunity begins. I will ask the sensei there (a different instructor than for my morning training) what he thinks.

Also, perhaps I should take this to another thread but does anyone know the fastest easiest, passingly-healthy way to gain weight? Like fat. I think I need more cushion when I fall xD

An aside, Berkeley's judo tradition is, IIRC, more of a defined course of progress, but has, I read, a somewhat haphazard operation at times.

Also, who would stop going to a judo dojo just because no one but the instructor is there? Wouldn't one-on-one instruction be super awesome?

interesting thought about gaining weight, but no. the mats are there to be the cushion. force = mass x acceleration. if you increase your mass you will increase the force with which you hit. I'm sorry but unless you're currently walking around at 80 pounds that's a terrible idea.

and a dojo is like a bar. if you go to a bar with 2 people in it and a totally empty dance floor, even though in theory it's great because it takes less time for the bar tender to take your order, it's just not the same. judo, like drinking; is somewhat of a social experience. being the only one there with the sensei is great, if the sensei is of comparable size to yourself, and they can take falls. those are 2 big ifs.

keep going, and keep posting about your experiences. and keep having fun.
"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others." -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

"Wise men don't need to prove their point. Men who need to prove their point aren't wise" -Lao Tzu

"When torrential waters move a massive boulder, it is because of momentum.
When a hawk’s strike breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing." -Sun Tzu

"The Way of strategy is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of nature, knowing the rhythm of any situation,
you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Void." -Miyamoto Musashi
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