The Biggest thing…..

Auto Date Monday, June 21st, 2010

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Good morning world!

I’ve been up since 4:20am this morning. Getting ready for the 5am training session with the team from the Bahamas. We had a good one. The first of 4 for the day.

We will train again at 10am and then again at 3:30, but the 3:30 session will be a film session and then again in the evening at 7pm.

Things are going well. The kids just have so much to learn….Heck, we all do. But they are doing great.

The Biggest Thing

The biggest thing that I am noticing is this….. some of these kids have a great life.

I mean great.

There personal struggles haven’t been great. Nor should they. As a parent, you want to make sure that your children have things better than you did. It’s not your desire for things to be super difficult for them, thus as a good parent, you also KNOW that they NEED to experience some difficult and trying situations for the development of a well-rounded individual. Thus, you provide them with a sharpening stone….. a Dr. Ferguson :-) or a sport such as Judo, Football, Wrestling, Hockey, Swimming, etc.

Through these experiences a certain level of, not toughness, but RESPECT is developed for the PROCESS OF EXCELLENCE, not excellence itself.

Excellence is a process. It is a tenet, a principle, a way of life. The process of being excellent and being an exemplar is really what we are teaching in the Bahamas. Judo is at the forefront, only in name. What we are teaching are life skills. Medals are won and lost. And quite honestly, there is a great deal of chance that goes into winning. But the one thing that WE cannot chance, is the development of character and quality citizenship. That is not an option. That must get done.

These children will be someone’s wife, husband, father, mother, aunt, uncle, caretaker and overseer one day and we must make sure that the experiences that they receive in this process can and will help them in the their future existence as well and their long, intermediate and short term athletic pursuits.

This the biggest thing and quite honestly the MOST important thing I do as a coach. Coaching for me happens on 2 levels. Within the sport and without the sport.

Simply put, you need to know how to govern yourself and win, WITHIN the sport and you need to know how to do the same in life, WITHOUT the sport.

What we’ve been

We’ve been doing some base level conditioning work, but the bulk of our time is spent on technique, technical development and the understanding of the anatomy of a judo match and creating a strategic framework for action (gameplan).

We have been spending a lot of time on gripping, grip fighting, grip tactics and gripping strategy and really covering the importance of proper hand invocation and hand placement There have been many “aha” moments while watching video. Especially when the kids go back and watch “Underground Grip Fighting Secrets” for a third and fourth time. They start saying things like, “That’s what Flavio Canto was doing” or “yeah! That what the guy from Japan was doing in the match in Sydney.” They are picking up information fast and making an attempt to implement it. It takes time, but we are getting there……….one radori (sparring) session at a time.

Underground Gripfighting

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Take care and we’ll rap later.

Dedicated to your Improvement,

Rhadi Ferguson, Ph.D., CSCS
2004 Olympics
4-Time National Judo Champion

P.S. Hear what a National Judo Champion, BJJ Black Belt and BJJ World Champion had to say about the benefits of learning how to grip fight…

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