I went and helped out at a Judo competition at the dojo yesterday. I had intended to just go and watch for a couple of hours, but it ended up being the largest turnout they’ve ever had for a tournament there (with over eighty competitors!), so my assistance was greatly appreciated, and I was glad to help. The dojo actually has a fairly large area for spectators, but there were so many people there yesterday that it was packed wall to wall, and I’d never seen it so crowded before!
Patty was bracketing, Joe was announcing, and since it was so crazy busy, my main job was assisting them in making sure that the correct winner was recorded for each match, which allowed me the opportunity to still watch most of the competition. There were some great throws but not much grappling (in Judo they only give you a short amount of time to make something happen on the ground before they stand you back up), and most of the pin wins were with kesa gatame. I only saw one submission, and I didn’t see any competitors who were obviously Jiu-Jitsu players, but I did hear someone yell to one of the guys “Do some of that BJJ stuff you do!”, but I guess he didn’t get a chance, because he was quickly thrown for ippon.
Usually when I watch a Judo tournament, it makes me want to practice more stand up, but observing yesterday actually made me glad that we don’t follow the Judo rules during Throwing Sunday at the dojo. A couple of weeks ago in Ethridge class, after a scramble on the ground, Amy told me I would’ve been disqualified had we been doing straight Judo, and I asked her why, but before she could answer, it dawned on me that it was because I had touched Joe’s face, and ain’t nobody got time to worry about things like that when I’m rolling! Pretty much the only “BJJ thing” that I’m not allowed to do in Throwing Sunday is jump guard, and I mean, Amy and Joe can’t stop me from trying to do it, but they give me so much shit about it that it’s just not worth the bother. ;)
Truth be told, Judo is a challenge that I wouldn’t mind undertaking if I didn’t hate falling so much, which even came up when I was at the tournament yesterday. I had watched my husband scale the lockers in the women’s changing room (like he was spiderman!), to put a speaker up there for the sound system, then when someone said the antenna needed to be extended, I figured if Joe could get up there, so could I, but I wasn’t able to reach the top of the lockers, so I used a chair to climb up, which was all good, until it was time to get down, and the ground seemed much farther away then I had anticipated. I was too scared to try to jump or lower myself onto the chair, so I asked one of the girls to go get Sensei Joe to help me, and they thought it was hilarious that I was stuck up there!
Overall, I had a great time at the tournament yesterday, and I’m glad I went. It was nice to see some of the people from the dojo who I don’t train with anymore, and to watch some excellent throwing. I didn’t make me want to do Judo, but I do have an appreciation and respect for it, and I believe that having an understanding of throwing can be valuable to anyone in BJJ!