5-5 Judo Tournament (I swear it isn’t martial arts infidelity!)

Yeah, what his gi says…

A few months ago, Jason and I started training with the Judo club. We started training with the Judo club because we want to be training. With people. I’m sick of training alone. It gets boring to do nothing but the same form, over and over. Even doing techniques against Jason gets old, because the same thing happens every time. I know how far his wrists bend, I know where his center of balance is. Before any Hwa Rang Do people read this and think we’re cheating on HRD, I promise we aren’t. Well, we are but only due to lack of options. I know that Jason wants to go back to HRD and is viewing this as a chance to improve his throws and take downs. So, I swear it isn’t infidelity.

The women’s division.  Note how much bigger I am than all of them…

About three weeks ago our English-speaking instructor, Ted, announced a tournament. ( We have a French-speaking instructor, as well.) It was limited to the club we’re in, because he didn’t think there were enough competitors to invite other countries in the South Pacific. At practice one day, Jason and his partner and me and my two partners (uneven number of women) were all working near each other. Ted walks over and says, “After class, all of you register for the tournament.”

After class, we all registered for the tournament. Two weeks later we had the tournament.
Me and Florence.  I was having fun.

Judo has rules that I haven’t fought under in a while. No touching the face or head, not even in ground work. No small joint manipulation, which includes wrists, knees and ankles. Not attacking for 15 seconds or so counts as stalling and gets a penalty. And it is possible to win on a good clean throw. We both had to readjust a little.

Judo competitions are done by weight class. Unfortunately, there were only 5 women competitors and all of them were not anywhere near my weight class. I asked if they’d prefer to have me fight the men because the rest of the women were fairly close in weight. I would feel like it was an unfair win if I won by growing bigger. After a bit of discussion, they agreed that was a good idea. Then I felt bad because I thought I was forcing my way into a division I didn’t belong in. So I talked to Ted and explained it to him. He talked to Florence, the French-speaking instructor, and they put me back with the women. As Jason pointed out, sometimes my sense of fairness gets a little out of control.
Jason and the boys, waiting for their divisions to start.

I got a penalty for stalling in one match, which is not too big a deal. It doesn’t affect scoring until you get more than that. Otherwise, my matches went well. I won 2 on throws and a third with a hold down. I do think my weight made a difference, but that is the risk of fighting in an open division. And the other people there ranged in belt rank from white to black. I lost my fourth to Florence, the French-speaking instructor who used to train with the French national team. I’m not upset about that loss.

Jason also took second in his division. He lost one match to a brown belt and won the rest, mostly on holds and tap outs. From what I saw, he got a couple of good moves but I didn’t get to see much since our divisions went at the same time.
Jason’s last match.  He won on the tap out.

I learned to score the matches because there was a shortage of people willing to do that. The scoring makes sense once you understand that the three numbers on the bottom are not a 3-digit score but are rather 3 columns of number representing the different types of points. Then it all makes sense. Before I figured that one out, I was really confused.

We finished at 1 pm. It felt early to be finishing up a tournament, but I’m used to HRD tournaments that have 5 divisions for each participant. It was nice to finish early and get to have some of my day left over to do other things with. I kind of would have liked a few more matches though.

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