JudoForum.com: The Social Component of Judo Development - JudoForum.com

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

The Social Component of Judo Development Developing a sense of judo community Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Instructor-Coach 

  • Judo Forum Rokkyu
  • Icon
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 06-November 11

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:38 AM

THE SOCIAL COMPONENT OF JUDO DEVELOPMENT

By Mark Lonsdale

Growing up in a country where the three pillars of society were “Rugby, Racing & Beer,” senior judo practice, training camps and tournaments routinely ended with fellow judoka sitting around a case or two of cold beer. Even as a junior judoka, before I was old enough to drink, I remember learning how to open a beer bottle with my belt buckle for the club seniors. As an aspiring national competitor, I longed to be accepted into this group as a serious judoka who worked hard, trained hard, and played hard.
Then, as a young shodan, I had the opportunity to train with visiting Japanese university judo champions whose prowess on the mat was equaled by their ability to consume prodigious amounts of beer after training. And to this day, when visiting University Judo Dojo, hard training is followed by cold beer and exchanging of bold-faced lies about judo prowess in long forgotten international championships. The supply of beer is kept at a constant, since students being promoted are required to buy a case for the club, especially newly minted shodan, as are visiting judoka. A judo tradition that is staunchly maintained!
So while high-performance Olympic training may not recommend beer as a critical component of athlete development, this seemingly non-athletic activity was, and is, an important part of building a sense of club and team spirit. Even the newest member, or visiting judoka, has the opportunity to relax with the high-grades after hard training and made to feel welcomed, as part of the bruised and battered judo brotherhood (sisters included).
As an international competitor, having the privilege of being invited to live and train at the Racing Club de France, I found that the French had a similar custom, all-be-it a tad more civilized. Following a successful championship, or evening of hard training, the club president would take the team out for dinner, or invite us to his house on weekends for fine food and red wine. This served to further build team spirit and engender a sense of belonging to something bigger than “self;” supporting the hypothesis that individuals commonly exceed personal expectations when fighting for a club or national team. So it is not surprising that France has a judo community of 600,000, and major championships can draw five to ten thousand enthusiastic spectators. Just come to the Paris Grand Slam in February and see for yourself.
It is also not surprising to discover that this social aspect is an important part of building a successful judo club. To support this theory, one country undertook a national survey to find out why some judo clubs were more successful than others at growing and retaining membership. The survey was sent to everyone on the national and club registries that had failed to renew their membership, to ascertain why they had quit judo. One of the significant findings was that clubs that were well organized, with a positive social aspect that engendered a sense of belonging, were more successful than those lacking this important component.
So with the Christmas season upon us, and most judo clubs closing for the holidays, I had the opportunity to witness the importance of this aspect of judo development in action. On Friday evening, December 14th, I had the privilege of attending the Sawtelle Dojo end-of-year Christmas party, with over 150 students, parents, friends and Sensei. The judo mats were replaced with long tables and the parents brought enough pot-luck food to feed an army of hungry judoka. After Head Sensei Kenji Osugi had handed out trophies and awarded hard-earned promotions, the kids exchanged gifts.
Then on Saturday I had the pleasure of two and half hours on the mat at Goltz Judo, teaching juniors and training with seniors, followed by their end of year celebrations. Head Sensei Gary Goltz hosted the party at the local New York Pizza restaurant, with over 100 students, parents, Sensei and assistant instructors sharing the festive season. Eating pizza and drinking cold beer after training triggered fond memories of my formative years in judo, some forty years past.
This social aspect of judo, with the nurturing of a sense of “judo family,” is Grassroots Judo at its very best, so I feel honored to be a part of these clubs and their judo families. To this day, I can visit judo clubs at which I have trained, and attend championships in several different countries, and still feel that same sense of being a part of the greater Judo Community.

JUDO FOR LIFE
SEIRYOKU ZEN'YO
0

#2 User is offline   Taigyo 

  • Judo Forum Godan
  • Icon
  • Group: Special Members
  • Posts: 3,600
  • Joined: 02-September 03

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:31 AM

the dojo is essentially a social unit. A family as it were, though unfortunately it can come with some of the negative aspects of a family as well
0

#3 User is offline   Nordic 

  • Judo Forum Gokyu
  • Icon
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 63
  • Joined: 04-September 12

Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:34 AM

I agree. It is good if you have fun and enjoyment when you do Judo.
Even professors make mistakes
0

#4 User is offline   Phat tony 

  • Judo Forum Gokyu
  • Icon
  • Group: Full Members
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 02-October 11

Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

Thanks, that was a great read!
0

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic