Try Something Else

Thursday I went to Judo class with Gant and got to see my buddy Devin again. I started training Devin to get stronger when he was 12 years old, 6 feet tall, and weighed 200 pounds. Now he’s 14, is 6’4″, and weighs 220 pounds. I worked with him during last night’s class and we threw each other around for a couple of hours. It’s very humbling to have a 14-year-old man-handle you. Here’s a video we recorded a little over a year ago. Devin is 12 here (updated videos will come soon).

Of course I regret not getting involved with Judo more when I lived in Wichita Falls. I’ve always been very interested in using the physical attributes built in the gym into athletic endeavors. Personally, I haven’t been involved in a sport that requires athleticism, reaction, and finesse in quite a while. Learning new things is a humbling experience, and it’s something I encourage you all to do.

Lifting may be a new activity to you, yet I hope it’s your gateway to other things as well. I grew up loving weight training, but it was a means to an end regarding football preparation. I’ve been involved with competing in weightlifting (including Senior Nationals) and coaching powerlifting (including USAPL Raw Nationals twice), but sports and activities that require more are very interesting. In lifting, the same motions are repeated over and over, and there isn’t an exceptional amount of athletic ability inherent in it. This, of course, isn’t a knock on lifting. I love lifting and will always include it in my training, but using the strength and power developed through lifting into another sport is just as rewarding (if not more) as competing in the barbell sports alone.

Some of you are merely strength training enthusiasts. Others of you aim to remain more capable than the average person and want to preserve your health. Some of you may have picked and fully committed to powerlifting and weightlifting. Objectively, only a small percentage of you will be competitive at a high level that would require long-term specialization. In the same way that I encourage you to enter your first lifting meet, I encourage you to try a new sport or activity and even compete in it.

I can’t imagine anything more vulnerable than agreeing to do a Judo tournament in two months from now. I’ve had one session of getting my ass kicked by a young international competitor, and the thought of doing it live against an opponent who has their shit together is intimidating. But that’s the point. Competition isn’t supposed to make you feel nice; for the majority of us it’s going to be a character building experience.

Trying a martial art like Judo can be rewarding in many ways. You will improve your coordination, agility, and body awareness while improving your ability to throw someone through a table when necessary (it often is). Gant once rhetorically asked me, “What’s the point of being strong if you can’t throw someone across the room?” If you can find a place where you can also get some quality striking/sparring and actual real world self defense, then you’re automatically more useful. Being strong doesn’t make you more useful — conditioning your body to utilize that strength is what makes you useful.

Happy PR Friday — Post your training updates and PRs to the comments. Ask questions about or discuss some other sports to get involved with. If you have questions on Judo (including where to go and how to get started), put them in the comments and I can get some resources to you from Gant.

Follow the jump for a video from last night.

63 thoughts on “Try Something Else

  1. @cwhitey321

    I got Alicia a single prong X Small maroon and silver grey (that purple-type color is her favorite) 10mm belt from Inzer for Christmas nine months ago. She is 5’2″ and 105lbs and the X Small fits her waist well. See the address below:

    I’m sure there are other companies online. There were several posts about belts on the site like a year or two ago and they might mention some other companies.

    Lastly I’ve heard that Inzer’s customer service isn’t good from a couple online sites/forums. They recommend to buy Inzer products from other online stores. I’ve ordered direct from Inzer and never had any problems though.

  2. PRs are actually from wednesday. My grandma passed away tuesday. So I decided to just make my recovery TM day into intensity. So I went in to my little CF gym and banged out…

    Squat: 355×5
    Dead: 405×5
    Bench: 220×4

  3. Finally started doing weighted chins today.
    3×5 with 18lbs, while its not much its much improved for the 4 pull ups i did in the TSC in April

  4. I have a couple of judo questions for Gant:
    1. While I realize that judo requires hands on instruction to learn properly, my life is far too busy right now for that. So in the meantime, what are some books on judo I could be reading? If he could give his two or three most recommended texts that would be great.
    2. When I am finally able to actually try judo out hands on, do I need a judogi when I first start?

  5. This is my first post. I met Justin at Nationals, he’s a good dude and told me to post under this username. Raw nationals was the second meet I “competed” in and I had an awesome time. I hit a couple Pr’s at the meet…

    Squat-440 x 1
    Deadlift- 555 x 1

    Post-meet meal began with a bacon slab and oysters, followed by a 22 oz. aged bone-in Ribeye. Oh and there was whiskey too.

  6. Bonerthyme – epic meal and lifts. Welcome to the site! You won’t get many comments unless it’s on the current day’s post, but next time you eat like that, get a pic!

  7. @harveymushman

    My dad sent me his autographed copy of Quite excellent. He was a former judoka before and when I was a kid.

    Another that may be of interest could be . I can remember him talking about him in a handful of his judo stories.

    Judo does have kata but the techniques are the kata instead of a series of connected movements and strikes as karate, TKD, kenpo, or kung fu and tai chi have.

  8. Justin,

    You’re a big, strong dude with an athletic background. I’m looking forward to your competition results.

    It’s kinda like that show where they say make me decent in 6 weeks and then the fake whatever the profession was… except you’re not faking it.

    Have fun, Bro

    I’m not in Texas to keep training/practicing with the same Judo class. I’m gonna look into it though. I may make it my hobby to compete in random events I’ve never done before. Or doing comps one after another like doing a Judo tourny, weightlifting meet, then rugby match in consecutive weeks.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.