New News Welcome to our May newsletter
What does the term “yawara” mean?
When I teach this to my students, many of them (in their innocence) misunderstand it as simply meaning, “softness”.
This is literally correct but in Judo terms “yawara” means achieving your goal by being flexible in your mind as well as with your body. Being “soft” doesn’t mean being “weak”, it means you’re ready to win by whatever method works best. Experienced judoka don’t just win with their favourite technique; they’re ready to use a range of back up techniques to get beat their opponent.
Judo Victoria is embracing the principal of “Yawara” in its drive to promote the practice of Judo. Currently about 12% of JVI members attend any given tournament. (The irony is that around 38% of JVI members attend tournaments, just not all at the same time – if they did the number of competitors would triple) Clearly tournaments don’t appeal to all of our members – so the JVI Committee is re-thinking the very concept of the “tournament”.
How do you re-think a tournament?
The first step is to assess the level of the tournament. After the National Titles in June, the next event for our top players will be the Southern Cross Open in August. This JFA level tournament is for elite competitors – anyone who wishes to compete for Victoria at the 2016 Nationals should be signing up for the Southern Cross tournament.
But not everybody wants to fight at the elite level. So the Regional Tournament scheduled for July 19 will take an entirely new approach.
On Sunday 19th July, JVI will hold its Regional Tournament – in three separate locations. On the same day, Regional Tournaments will be held in Lilydale, Footscray and in Geelong. The tournament has been split into three tournaments for a number of reasons:
- To bring the tournaments closer to the members – some members have a long journey to get to Springers Leisure Centre. At least one of the three regional tournaments should be closer to you.
- To encourage beginners and club members – being on the big mats in front of a crowd can be daunting! At these localised tournaments, you should feel more comfortable about stepping on the mat and having a go.
- To train our next generation of referees – you will find that club seniors (brown belts and dan grades) will be trying their hand at refereeing, supervised by our qualified referees.
- To train our next generation of volunteers – when everybody helps, tournaments are easy to run. At these smaller tournaments you will be asked to help with time-keeping, scoring and some of the other tasks that need to be done to hold a tournament.
In short, the July tournaments will be a great learning opportunity for our new competitors, and a great opportunity to develop leadership skills as well. I encourage you, particularly if you don’t normally come to JVI tournaments, to sign up for your Regional Tournament and get involved. And while you’re at it, if you can think of any ways to make judo tournaments a bit more enjoyable, hand in your ideas to the tournament director at each tournament – have your say and help make judo competitions more rewarding and more fun for all!!
Doug Noack, President