Just got back from Spokane.
I think I'm getting better at Matwaza. The science and art of moving mats. I'm fairly proficient at it, considering, I helped move 30 x 6 = 180 Swain Mats back and forth from the dojo, to the truck, from the competition, to the truck, and from the truck back to the dojo.
Being part of the technical staff, it was the first time that I truly understood the intricacies of running a high level tournament, and there was a lot of work involved, mostly from volunteers.
a. Technical Staff - Running tables, brackets, Texas Card Matches, Scoring, and of course moving mats.
b. Tournament big-wigs. They had to corral all these people.
c. Referees - Some of the referees came all the way from different parts of the country.
Now of course there's the whole logistic thing on the competition side, but that's another story.
I did see some great judo, especially at the Junior World Trials. It was intense, never before have I seen the real intensity of competition judo. After all second place doesn't get you a trip to Bangkok.
Some of the best judo I've seen was by Arm Lock Girl, Sarah Black. I forget where she's from, she had some awesome newaza and she armlocked 2 girls in a row. The coolest thing was she would see a newaza opportunity and take it, it was very natural, and always showed progress. There weren't that many times that she was stood up for not making progress. If she couldn't get an armlock, she'd go into an oseakomi, get an oseakomi call, go for an armlock, transitioned to an oseakomi, do a rollover, get a pin, and then go for a choke. She was very natural and fluid. I noticed a lot of judo players see a turtle and say... okay turtle stop. Nope. She'd go in for the juji roll, if not a juji, then a choke, if not a choke, then a pin. She was amazing.
One thing I learned at the Fall Classic was protect yourself at all times. A medal is not worth it. One of the fighters was caught in an omoplata with the opponents legs. He tapped, and the award was given to the person who performed the omoplata. Yeah, in theory you're only suppose to do locks on the elbow joint... but, the omoplata was fairly deliberate. I'd tap too. I've tapped before in neck cranks, but arguing about a point is useless. Just remember to protect yourself, and tap when you need to. A piece of metal that goes into a closet is not worth it, unless of course it's an Olympic piece of metal. But let's be serious about it, there's only a dozen people in the country that are true contenders for it. Myself, not being one of them. Yeah, it's okay... Telling me I'm not Olympic material is not going to break my heart.
Anyways, gotta get ready for practice.