Back on the mat

I’m competing in a small, local judo tournament this morning. It’s a monthly “shiai,” which is traditionally an opportunity for students to get real competition experience in a friendly and supportive environment.

While I’ve been working out vigorously and even doing “randori” (loosely translated as ‘free play’), I haven’t actually competed in a very long time. Shiai is very different from randori. Randori is an extension of class. You’re expected to work hard – but also to support your partner. If they execute a technique well – and you’re thrown – the expectation is that you go with it. You bounce back up after a throw and continue to work. In particular, you do not focus all-out on blocking, countering, and cranking your partner into the mat. The key difference here is “partner” as opposed to “opponent.”

Competition is something else again. For one thing, only a few matches go on at a time, and everyone watches. There’s a referee. Also – the ‘one point’ aspect of Judo comes into play. Winning and losing is sudden and complete. A well executed throw simply ends the match.

So it’s time to go pack my full day’s exercise into perhaps 10 minutes. Woo.

Sometimes it’s useful to go back through the archive

I took my first judo lesson in late November, 2007.

Looks like the last time I actually competed was in January

In mid March I got my knee scoped (about seven months ago). Apparently that was also the last month in which I brewed beer.

In late May, I got back to randori

So there you go. 10 month hiatus, and 7 months post surgery. Go team.

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