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A little boy goes to a dojo.

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    A little boy goes to a dojo.

    A long time ago, a small, rather bookish and unathletic boy came home from elementary school with a leaflet that he showed to his mother.

    There were judo lessons at his school!

    His mother was an extreme pacifist, but she had heard that judo involved 'redirecting energy' and 'using your opponent's strength against him'. She didn't have a huge budget, but she saw her son was interested, so she shelled out the money.

    The small, bookish boy went to his first lesson.

    The Sensei was Huge and Angry, and shouted a lot. The first thing the boy learned was that you had to bow when entering the dojo, bow before walking onto the mat and bow before walking off the mat. You also had to bow at other times.

    The next thing was breakrolls! Well, he didn't actually get taught them, but he was able to (clumsily) imitate the other students who were doing them.

    Over the next few months he learned a few more things about Judo:

    You get shouted at a lot.

    If you made mistakes, Angry Sensei would hit you.

    The orange belts liked bullying the yellow belts. They were allowed to, because they were orange belts!

    There were lots of belts. And you had to get strips in between belts. He actually got two yellow strips, although he never got a full yellow (he was sick that day). He once saw a guy with 4 brown strips on a blue belt.

    Getting thrown on your face tends to result in bleeding lips and gums.

    Eventually the boy quit. He didn't see Angry Sensei again, until he randomly encountered him 6 months later. Angry Sensei sneered at him and called him a baby.

    Fast forward some 16 or so years. The boy has grown up to be an unathletic adult. He moves to Japan to teach English, as a bit of a laugh after university. And, hey, one of the teachers, Kato-sensei, invites him to learn some Judo.
    Kato-sensei doesn't shout. He's a lot older than Angry Sensei, and he also seems a lot happier. Kato-sensei seems to enjoy Judo for reasons that don't involve hurting people. He also doesn't insist on bowing all the time. Before randori, and at the beginning and end of the lesson. That's plenty.

    Unfortunately, the Kato-sensei has a heart condition, so he can't teach the foreigner forever. But, he gives the foreigner his old gi, and the foreigner enrolls at a local BJJ club that a friend told him about.

    And, that more or less brings me to where I am now. I have to admit, I wonder what would have been if I hadn't had such a dick of a judo teacher when I first started, but that's the way these things work. McDojo's not only make money, they put people off martial arts, sometimes almost for life. If it hadn't been for the offer from Kato-san, I probably would never have tried judo, or any other martial art again. And I'm having a ball so far, so I'm really glad I didn't end up missing out on it.

    I have to say, if there's one thing that really sticks out about the contrast between Angry-Sensei and Kato-Sensei is the sheer difference in attitude towards their belts. Angry-Sensei strutted. He was awesome, because he had a black belt. Black belts are boss.

    By contrast, it was 7 or 8 lessons in that I found out that Kato-sensei was 7th dan, and had a referee's certification from the Kodokan. It arose when I asked him about the white and red belt that he had in the locker room. He told me, but sort of waved it all off, and then I went and looked up the dan rankings on Wikipedia.

    So, that's my history with martial arts. I'm having a great time, and I'm really enjoying learning new things. If there's one thing that I find fantastic, it's the way I always seem to see new wheezes or ideas or little points that I can improve on.

    welcome to the boards,and great story.perfect point.martial arts are an enjoyment,not a second are you enjoying the bjj vs the judo you took?cheers. also feel free to add a review to your school as well.


      Welcome to Bullshido ManicParroT. I've never heard of a Judo teacher who was that much of a jerk. I'm sorry you went through that as a kid, but it's great you found your way back to martial arts.

      Originally posted by evol1349 View Post
      welcome to the boards,and great story.perfect point.martial arts are an enjoyment,not a second are you enjoying the bjj vs the judo you took?cheers. also feel free to add a review to your school as well.
      I'm not going to gripe about the lack of capitalization or the sentence fragments, but it would be nice if you would at least hit the space bar between your random thoughts.
      Shut the hell up and train.


        That was a really nice story.

        welcome to BS, enjoy it.


          Good intro. Welcome.


            If my judo teacher ever hit me, I'd knock that fucker out! (in my puny, seething, frustrated dreams...)

            Welcome to Bullshido!


              now you,ve rediscovered judo i sincerely hope you stick with it, i was one of the lucky ones, excellant coaches from childhood up, judo is as much a part of me as my family is, the rewards from in the dojo transend into everyday life, youve good times ahead!

              All the best



                Best newbie intro evah?


                  Welcome and thanks for sharing such a good story. Looking forward to hearing more stories.


                    This highlights a really good point about the danger of McDojos. Thanks for sharing your story.


                      Thanks for all the positive replies, guys.

                      Originally posted by evol1349 View Post
                      welcome to the boards,and great story.perfect point.martial arts are an enjoyment,not a second are you enjoying the bjj vs the judo you took?cheers. also feel free to add a review to your school as well.
                      A lot of the difference comes from the way I was being taught. The judo was just me and the sensei, maybe one of the school students. We'd go after classes, or during the holidays, and he'd teach me some of the throws, and some newaza. We'd randori at the end.

                      The bjj is at a semi-commercial dojo, with a group of 16 - 30 something guys who're all very aggressive, and ridiculously fit. There's also a much wider range of skill sets - guys who started recently, to guys who've been there for years. Sparring one on one with my judo teacher was sometimes slightly disheartening, because if I threw him or pulled something off it was solely because he'd let it happen - he could essentially footsweep or pin me at will. When I go against white belts in bjj I know I've actually done something when they tap, because, well, they were certainly trying to stay out of that choke and I managed to sink it in. Of course, blue belt and upwards just crush me, and there are plenty of white belts who maul me thoroughy. Also, I love training against different people, because they've always got different wheezes and ideas and dynamics. A blue belt who's heavier than me but shorter is different to a tall gangly white belt, who's different to a really tubby white belt.

                      The judo definitely helped prepare me, since I at least had my kesa gatame and rear naked choke sorted out before I showed up, even if the rest of my ground game was terrible. I've also noticed that the throws are quite useful against some of the bjj guys when we start from standing, because they don't always have a great standing game. This only happens occasionally, though. Most of the people I spar with are way better than me at everything.

                      I sometimes feel that in bjj we don't spend enough time on takedowns (we drill them sometimes, but it's a bit of an afterthought), and in judo the newaza was the same.


                        Your judo teacher sounds like an ass, but at the same time, teaching kids is a PITA, so while i expect he would still be an ass if he didnt teach kids, i expect teaching kids made it a lot worse.


                          Really thought from the first part of OP's post that this was a troll job.

                          Never heard of a judo instructor that acted like the ass hat described. In fact, every judo instructor I've had was just the opposite.

                          ManicParroT, welcome to the site.


                            I don't know, I have taught kids on occasion. It can be tough, but I never had any desire to yell at them or hit them.


                              He wasn't punching us, but he'd take his belt off and hit us with it if we didn't do the set up for a throw properly.

                              I remember he'd go on these long rants about how judo was much better than karate, and that "any judge in the world" would tell you that throwing is much better than punching or kicking. At the time it all seemed perfectly normal to me. I assumed that this is what the deal is with martial arts.



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