Today we had the first monthly statewide work for Colorado. Some of the coaches in Colorado, myself included have been talking about doing something like this for several years and the Colorado Judo Council decided to endorse/promote a monthly statewide workout. The first one was this morning at Northglenn Judo Club in Northglenn which is a suburb of Denver. Attendance was ok for the first one but I am hoping it will catch on and continue to grow. I was proud that my club Denver Judo had around 9 or 10 adults attend and will hopefully have some of our kids attend future workouts.
It was also great to see a few of the athletes from the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It is a great opportunity for the local athletes to get the chance to workout with the players from the OTC. We are lucky in Colorado to have the OTC right down the road but it’s hard to get there for practice from Denver as they practice at 5 p.m. I remember leaving work early and struggling to get down there in time when I was still competing. Having them attend the statewide workouts will give those who might not otherwise have the chance the opportunity to train with some of the top athletes in the country.
We did this for a while when I was still living in Louisiana and it was a lot of fun plus athletes get to workout and learn from different people. I loved it when we would drive to New Orleans or Baton Rouge for a Saturday workout then go have lunch with the hosting club before driving back home. We got to workout with people we usually only saw at tournaments and learn from different coaches which is always a good thing.
I wasn’t able to do as much today as I would have liked because I tweaked my LCL (lateral Collateral ligament) in my knee in practice earlier this week. I did the warm-up and did a few rounds of ne waza (grappling) and some gripping but not much else. I did get to workout a little with a Paralympic hopeful, Robert Tanaka, a very talented 13 year old who I truly believe has the talent to make the 2020 Paralympic judo team if he continues developing the way he has for the past several years. I have known him since he was around 6 or 7 and it has been really cool to see him develop into a very talented junior player. After my standing round with Robert, I told my wife that by the time he is on the Paralympic team I might not be able to beat him anymore!
The next Colorado statewide judo working is scheduled for May 4, 2013 from 10a.m.-noon at Grace Jividen’s club, Gracie Judo. In case you don’t know who Grace Jividen is, she is a 1992 Olympian. Grace is really cool and an awesome judo player.
If you are in Colorado on May 4th, you should plan to attend.
Talk to you soon!