We have been very fortunate over the years to have judoka from all around the world visit our dojo. Some have come for a workout while in town and some have come for a few months or even up to a year or more. When we have someone visit from a country for the first time we hang that country’s flag from the ceiling around the mat area in the dojo. We’ve amassed quit a collection of flags over the years, so many that we actually have a key so we can identify all the flags.
We did not get a new flag tonight because one of our club members is from France, but we were fortunate enough to have a group of 20 teenagers and their coach visit from Toulouse, France. A few years ago we had a member of our club from Toulouse. Julie was an elite player back in France and trained with us for around 2 years. She now lives in California but knows the coach of a local club in Toulouse and worked with her to arrange a trip for these teens to Colorado for a week. The kids have had an exhausting week, having visited a few clubs before us, including the Olympic Training Center last night. Julie also told me the ran at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs this morning. That explains why the kids looked so wiped out after practice. Julie informed me that Toulouse is a small region so the club is not super competitive, so the kids are not used to such rigorous training, but I was very impressed with the skills these kids had. They ranged from yellow-black belts and despite being tired from several days of training at altitude they all worked really hard.
I’ll keep this one short, it’s getting late we have belt testing tomorrow and I believe we have 15 people testing!
Talk to you soon…