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Welcome Mat Newsletter - Steve Scott

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    Welcome Mat Newsletter - Steve Scott

    March, 2009
    By Steve Scott

    This month's quote: "Nobody ever wants to have a fight, but it's a damn good idea for someone to know how." Sent to me by Jon Taylor (Jon says he saw or heard it somewhere and doesn't claim it as his, but it's good and makes a lot of sense.)

    Attached is information on John Saylor's training camp May 16-17 in Perrysville, Ohio. If you've never been to one, you're missing a great time. It's really one of the best training camps I've ever been associated with or attended. I hope you can attend. Give John a call at (419) 938-6089 for more information.

    The AAU Judo Grand Nationals will be July 17-18 in Kearney, Missouri. Kearney is north of Kansas City and close to the airport and interstate highways. This should be an excellent event and Ken and Michelle Brink are putting together a tournament that everyone is welcome to attend. Call Kenney Brink at (816) 969-9019.

    March 28 DLT WELCOME MAT JUDO TOURNAMENT AND FREESTYLE JUDO MEET, Pleasant Hill, Missouri Call Mike Thomas at (913) 271-1131.
    Aril 25 DDD SPRING JUDO TOURNAMENT, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI E-mail Chris Heitmann at [email protected] for more information.

    Nick Rothwell is working on getting some good-looking ball caps with the Welcome Mat logo embroidered on them. I think the cap color will be tan or brown with the Welcome Mat logo embroidered in color. The tentative cost will be $17.00 per cap. If you are definitley interested, e-mail me at [email protected] and let me know how many caps you want.

    I still have some 4XL, 3XL and 2XL,Medium and Small Welcome Mat T-shirts in stock. If you want one, let me know. I'm running out of storage room in my basement and will sell them for $10.00 each (cash only). Colors in gold or black with red printing. Let me know at practice or e-mail me.

    As a follow-up to last month's issue on what is your best effort, Shawn Watson sent this reply from beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii.
    I agree with you 100% but I don't think most people really understand what giving your best effort really is. Almost always someone say's "I did my best!" or "I gave my best effort!" on game day. My question to them is this; What did you do on all the days leading up to this best effort? I had the privilege to be coached by some of the best instructors in the world in my day. I also had the privilege to work out with some of the best judo players in my day. What sets the great coaches apart is they always instilled in their athletes what it takes to push yourself everyday and give you best effort on game day. The best students always pushed themselves to the limit every practice anyway, they did not have to be told. The problem is a lot of the times the best students are not always the best athletes.
    You take guys like Jimmy Pedro, he never took a day off. He deserved and earned everything he got in his career. I remember one winter in Kansas City we had a training camp and he stayed at my house. One morning he said he wanted to go running and asked where to run. I thought I was in pretty good shape so I said "I will go running with you." Jimmy and I left my house and started running the course I used to run. I told Jimmy "You set the pace and I will tell you where to go." I ran as hard as I could for I don't know how many miles thinking he has got to slow down sometime. Jimmy never did. I almost overheated about 1/2 mile from my house and he had to stop so I could tell him how to get home. Is was at that time I realized what it really took to be where he was already. I think I must have been about 18.
    I know I wasn't the best athlete growing up but I was a good enough athlete to take what I learned from my coaches and other athletes to continually improve and prided myself on the fact that NOBODY would ever out train me (Except Jimmy). I then took all that preparation to the tournament with me. If at the end of the day that wasn't good enough I could honestly say "I gave my best effort!" If it wasn't good enough it would eat at you enough to make sure you next best effort was even better.
    Here is my comment on the Q&A about fighting off of your back: You can not truly learn to fight from the ground if you are one dimensional in your ground fighting. The guard should be maybe 10% of ground fighting. In my opinion if I was ever involved in a street fight the last place I would want to be is the guard. If you have ever been involved in a street fight it is not sport ju-jitsu and never 1 on 1.
    Thanks for your comments Shawn.

    The TAP OUT TEXTBOOK will be published by Turtle Press in April. It will be 8 1/2" by 11" in size and has hundreds (no kidding, hundreds) of armlocks, chokes and leglocks on 480 pages with over 1,200 photos. The goal was to make this one of the most complete books ever written on submission techniques and something that anyone can use a great resource for years to come. It doesn't matter if you do judo, jujtisu, submission grappling, sambo or MMA, or any martial art for that matter, this book is a great source of information. Lots of new photos, new techniques and clear, concise explanations of each technique.
    The cost is $29.95 (and well worth it), plus shipping and postage. I'll have about 40 in stock when it comes out, so if you work out with me or want to buy on directly from me, let me know. If I ship it to you, add $6.00 for the cost of shipping to the book price. Make your check payable to Steve Scott and send to 8000 Jefferson, Kansas City, Missouri 64114. Turtle Press will have it on their website soon, if not already and you can buy a copy from them as well. Check it out at

    Like all coaches, I get asked a lot of questions. I try to print some of the good ones in the newsletter as often as possible, but once in a while, I get some crazy, odd, weird, silly or downright funny questions or comments as well. I actually enjoy them (in a strange way...). Here are some of them.

    Question: (This was from a person who doesn't work out with me but called me up about a year ago.) I train in "no gi" jujitsu and want to know if you can promote me to black belt.
    Answer: First of all, talk to your coach. I don't promote people I don't know, especially sight unseen over the telephone. More important however, my question to you is; if you do "no gi" jujitsu, what would you need a belt for?

    Question: (Sent to me by way of e-mail.) I'm thinking about becoming an MMA fighter and need a coach to work with me in classical judo. I don't want to waste my time with somebody who won't make me a champion. Send me a list of your credentials to see if you're good enough to train me.
    Answer: You're getting it mixed up. Nobody "makes" you a champion. You do that yourself with the help of others. But the real question is; are you good enough to train with me (or any coach, for that matter)? I don't want to waste my time with somebody who wants somebody else to make him a champion. Send me a list of your credentials to see of you're good enough to train with me.

    Before you read the next one, like all coaches, I get serious questions from my athletes about competing at an elite level and what it takes to win at that level. I give each athlete the time and respect he or she deserves and try to give them honest, serious and good advice on their particular situation. But sometimes, theres a phone call like the following that keeps life "interesting."

    Question: (This person actually called me and had this conversation with me. I had never met him before. I'm going from memory, but it went a lot like this.) I want to make the Olympic team in judo. Can you help me?
    My Reply: That's a lofty goal. Have you ever trained in judo before?
    Answer: No.
    My Reply: Ever wrestled?
    Answer: No, but I like to watch the WWE.
    My Reply: How old are you?
    Answer: 40. But that's just a number. I'm in great shape.
    My Reply: Forty's not really just a number, if you want to make the Olympic team in any sport, age is a factor. Usually, people who make the Olympic team devote their lives to it. But you never know, anything is possible. I have a lot of guys who are 40 or older and get a lot out of their training. Do you realize you'll have to make a lot of sacrifices, train just about every day and compete in a lot of judo tournaments and spend thousands of dollars in training, travel and living expenses?
    Answer: With my schedule, I can only take one judo class a week. I'm pretty busy as it is.
    My Reply: If you want to make the Olympic team in any sport, you'll have to spend more than one night a week training. Honestly, you don't want to make the Olympic team, really, do you? Aren't you calling me because the Olympics are on TV right now?
    Answer: No, really I do, It's my life's ambition.
    My Reply: Before I hang up, if it were really your life's ambition, you would have done it long before you reached the age of 40. If you want to learn judo or jujitsu, check out my website for the class schedule.
    (He never showed up as far as I know.)

    Here's a good one from a person who can only be described as a "loner."

    Question: (This is an e-mail I got about a year ago.) I want to get my black belt in jujitsu, but don't really like people. What will it cost for you to give me private lessons, so I can get my black belt?
    Answer: Jujitsu and judo are what I call "group" activities. They're not "team" sports, but not activities you can do by yourself or with only one other person. It's best to learn them in, or with, a group of people. Plus, no qualified, legitimate coach will guarantee you'll get a black belt simply by taking lessons or base a black belt's worth on how much it costs. I suggest you come in, watch some of our workouts and decide if you like what we do. I look forward to meeting you.
    (Another no-show.)

    Question: (Another e-mail sent to me by a guy who trained alone and lived in western Kansas.) I'm 30 years old and have an orange belt in judo and want to compete in the upcoming judo tournament you're hosting. I don't have a coach and don't belong to a judo club.
    Answer: If you don't have a club or coach to train with, who do you work out with?
    Reply: Nobody. I got my orange belt through a home-study program with (he mentions a name). I watch the video tapes sent to me by (mentions name).
    (Now I'm curious...this was a new one to me!) Answer: How do you practice the techniques if there are no other people to train with?
    Reply: I go through the motions, kind of like shadow boxing. Please send me information on the judo tournament, I want to compete in it.
    (He may have been misguided, but at least he manners and said "please.")
    My Answer: Judo tournaments are only for people who actually train at a club, under a qualified coach and with a group of people in that club. I seriously believe you might get injured. Have you even been thrown or had a choke applied on you?
    Reply: I'm not worried about any of that. I'm sure I can win. I'm in good condition.
    My Answer: As the tournament director, I can't let you enter a judo tournament unless you've actually had judo training in an organized club under a coach's supervision. You're welcome to come and watch the tournament and if want, or drive in to Kansas City as often as possible to train with me. I can also give you the names and contact information of some other judo clubs that might be closer to you in location.
    (He never e-mailed back or showed up at the tournament, much to my relief!)

    Spring is here. Time to get outside, do some Farmer's Walks with the weights (I hate to admit it, but the older I get each year, the lighter the dumb-bells I carry). Even if you don't want to lug around weights whne you walk, get outside and enjoy the weather to add to your trianing on the mat. Until next month, stay healthy.
    "Out of every hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back." -- Hericletus, circa 500 BC

    What's "Freestyle Judo"?



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