6/30/2010 2:22pm, #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Randori with my 70-something year old Sensei, or, why Judo (and aliveness)is awesome!
So, a couple of weeks ago the daytime class was a little smaller than usual, and I got to do about 10 minutes of randori with my judo sensei, who is a 7th dan, in his 70's. The first minute or so, he took it easy on me, even let me throw him once or twice, then he started gradually opening up more and more, until in the last few minutes he was throwing me literally 2-3 times per minute. I was exhausted just from getting back up so many times.
I'm less than half his age, taller than him, workout a lot, and have prior experience in San Shou. Not that I'm anything special, just to indicate that I have previous experience of people trying to throw me. And none of it made the slightest bit of difference. He threw me at will, from both sides, calling out the name of the technique as he did it, laughing and joking with me, and I would say he didn't repeat the same throw more than 2 or 3 times. He even used kata guruma on me a couple of times.
It was an absolutely awesome display of skill, even as I was getting tossed and getting more and more exhausted, it was exhilirating to be able to feel it. It was like watching a brilliant musician or dancer up close, except I actually got to feel the skill involved. I found it really inspiring that he can manifest this kind of skill at his age, against someone younger, taller, and possibly heavier than him. Lots of martial arts claim that practitioners can maintain skills into advanced age, but its something else to see it in practice in actual alive training. Incidentally, we did newaza randori last week, and it was the exact same thing, utter dominance on his part.
I'm very fortunate to be training with him, he's a real inspiration to me as a martial artist and just in general. In addition to his obvious skill, he's just a great person to be around; he's always smiling, laughing, and joking, and he always communicates a tremendous love of judo, every time I see him. He teaches 7 two-hour adult classes a week, and 4 one-hour kids classes a week, and yet he always looks excited to be on the mat and training. He frequently does newaza randori with his students, and does occasional tachiwaza randori as well. I hope I've achieved half what he has when I reach his age.
6/30/2010 2:27pm, #2
That's really cool! There is nothing in the world that can take the place of a lifetime of skill and achievement. That's why I have only the utmost respect for old timers in the arts. Never pass up an opportunity to learn from them!
6/30/2010 2:30pm, #3
awesome isnt it?
he sounds really cool, i only hope i get to be half like him at that age, i'd seriously settle for that. ;-)
my former judosensei isnt in his 70ies but now in his early 60ies, used to be in his early 50ies when i came at his school.
his philosophy: just yank it in there (a lock or whatever) and stop before the 'crack'.
i used to be his dummy whenever he needed to show a technique on realtime speed/realism, because (his words) ' you (me) can take significantly more pain than the average guy, for sucha skinny guy'.
that made me feel real proud bout myself but it took me 2 years to realise that probably wasnt a good thing cos it also hurts a lot to be the dummy.
6/30/2010 2:35pm, #4
Awesome story, Pen. Thanks for sharing.
Just imagine how powerful he's going to be when he gets his 8th Dan. He'll probably be able to call out the name of the attack he's going to use to defeat you - *then* use it on you without you being able to do a single thing about it... :5flowerfa
6/30/2010 2:42pm, #5
you mean he'll be a kiai master?
already been done.
6/30/2010 2:56pm, #6
if i get a new job that doesn't allow me to make the classes at my current dojo, then your dojo is high on the list of places i would go, pen.
how amazing is it that we have my sensei (8th dan), your sensei (7th dan and also high level greco roman wrestler), and at least one other 8th dan in NYC? we have to remember how lucky we are."Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
6/30/2010 3:35pm, #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
Ming, you're absolutely right, we are incredibly fortunate, and on that note, does your school have a mat fee? I'd love to drop by there, and the YMCA sometime, mostly just to see these people and say I took a class with them. One of my greatest regrets in life is I never made it out to see Les Paul before he passed away; I want to train with all 3 of the sensei we're fortunate to have before they retire. I hope all goes well with the work thing, because I know you have a great school there and the commute to my dojo would suck, but if it does work out that way it would be awesome having you here.
Forgot to mention, I'm planning on treating myself to a private lesson with him as a birthday present to myself, and I'm going to ask him if he'd allow me to video it. I would love to have a record like that, not too sound too sappy, but it would be something to show my grandchildren. My birthday is still a ways away, so I have a lot of time to practice. Not that I think that will give me any more chance against him you understand, but I figure my breakfalls will improve enough that he'll do even crazier throws on me, because he won't have to worry as much about breaking me (he's very safety conscious).
6/30/2010 4:11pm, #8
That is one of the most inspiring and motivating things I have read on here in a while. We have a godan at our gym who is in his sixties who does similar things. His kuzushi is demoralizing and his attitude is exemplary. He reminds me every session that judo and jiu-jitsu are lifetime pursuits and not just for the young.
6/30/2010 4:26pm, #9
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
6/30/2010 8:35pm, #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
- Pori, Finland
Truly a inspiring story. Makes me angry that our club is having a summer break :P
Reminds me of this one time, in a MMA class. Our MMA coach is like a middleweight Chuck Liddel, corny tattoos, beer belly and everything. We were doing focus mitt drills while he was sitting at the edge of the mat, doing streches with his wife. He had hurt himself couple days earlier so he wasn't able to train with us, just to instruct. Whenever we had done the drill enough times, he limped to us, showed the next drill, and limped back.
Even though he was limping, his hip and right leg hurting as hell, he was still punching harder then I ever have punched. It's not that he was trying to punch hard, being injured and all that. He just casually threw the punches, slow and relaxed, but they felt like damn hundred pound ice picks when they hit my hands.
He's maybe not as hardcore as Pen's sensei(yet, at least), but I know what Pen is talking about. Training with someone way above your own level feels awesome.