This week, we learned about the sport of Judo. Like taekwondo, judo’s focus is very limited.  However, instead of focusing on kicks, judo is limited to grappling and throwing techniques. Judo’s reason for limiting the focus makes more sense to me than does TKD’s reason. Judo was designed to be a sport and a tool of personal cultivation, so foot and hand strikes were removed because they are significantly more dangerous and did not add significantly to the two aims.

Our introduction to judo began with a throw.  I thought it was a rather like the old saying about getting pushed into the deep end without knowing how to swim.  However, I was pretty sure that I could not get hurt as long as I did not land on my head, so I tried it out.  Aside from the few rug burns, it was quite fun. I found a sort of thrill in being flipped over someone.  Toward the end of the session, the Judo teacher flipped Roger in the air and held him there for about a second, then twirled him down to his feet.  It was spectacular to watch, and probably even cooler to experience.

After the instructors seemed to decide that it was probably a dangerous idea to let complete novices throw each other around, we moved to grappling techniques.  One of the most interesting aspects was related to hand grips. They showed us several different ways that you could grip, and the one that was by far the strongest in tension appeared to be a weak grip.  I tried it out, and their assertion was confirmed.  However, this grip which was very strong in tension suffered the weakness that it could be easily broken by peeling off the fingers.  Nonetheless, I thought it was among the cooler things we saw.  So far, Judo is my favorite of the martial arts we have tried.

P.s. This sat unpublished in my drafts box for a month before I remembered about it.  My apologies.  As for the lack of posts in a while, we did not have TKD for fall break, I left Blacksburg last weekend, and this week’s CM was moved to Tuesday.


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