I scarf down my croissanwich as I swipe my creds at the turnstile of my work building. I overhear the desk guy chatting about his Alma Matter’s football team. Michigan playing… (fades into background noise).
The glowing screen of the ticking numbers and the ever evolving spreadsheets start to hurt my eyes, so I decide to take a micro break. I get up and walk down the row of cubicles. I step to the water dispenser and there’s Sam. This is where the inevitable small talk commences. Sam says, “How about them jets?"
"I’m embarrassed to say, I haven’t been keeping up with the Jets, I mean, seriously, Im a Giants fan."
I return to my desk, I go to NFL.com and do some reading. I pull up the company wide messenger system and send Sam a message. “they are looking pretty awful with Testaverde on the sidelines. HA!” yeah, I’m that guy.
It’s Thursday now, Jesse wants to grab a drink after work. Alright. #Happyhour, #localbar, #nexttowork. The hours pass quickly. We chat about the new hot intern (yea sure Joe, if you were 20 years younger… you’re not fooling anyone.) The efficiency consultant, UGH! As glances to the floating rectangle becomes more and more frequent, the topic of conversation naturally progresses… “Who do you like for this game?”
I'm with my work boys. Amongst us, a die hard fan of whatever team playing. The glory of HIS team, affects him so much. HIs heated fandom is contagious, and although some of us HATE the Patriots, we can’t help being uplifted by the high of Sport.
We go home, watch sports center with a slight headache. We youtube the “SICK interference that lead to the INSANE 80 yard return.” and post the video clip on the Facebook wall of friends and family.
In the same time, same space, same dimension, Anthony, doesn’t eat croissanwiches, goes drinking after work to watch the game, and watch sports center. Instead, he eats Healthy, goes to Judo practice and watches Top 10 Ippons from the most recent Grand Slam.
When he gets to the water dispenser, he doesn’t chat about whether or not Eli Manning is a bum. He chats about something else. Because he isn’t a football fan. He wishes he can chat about Judo and Zantaria’s indomitable will to win. But he is going to have to save that for Friday night at the dojo.
It isn’t easy being a Judo fan. The exposure through mainstream media is nil. Most people don’t talk about it. I would even go ahead and say, 80% of my dojo members don’t know who the current heavy hitters of World Judo are. So here is my attempt, easing the transition into being a true Judo fan.
1. Learn the Rules of Judo
Cant watch judo and enjoy if you have no idea what is going on. Im not going to go into it all, but here is a recap.
Every competition is in tournament style. Athletes separated by gender and weight.
5 Minute matches, 3 ways to win. Slam your opponent to their back. Submission (arm lock or choke), 25 second hold down.
2. Understanding the International Judo Federation (IJF)
In football, we have the NFL. Baseball, MLB. Hockey, NHL. World soccer, I don’t know, who watches soccer? But in Judo, we have the IJF
www.IJF.org (take a look)
The IJF is all things Judo. The biggest governing body.
Every year, the IJF has 4 grand slams, 4 grand prix, and 8 continental opens. They are also in charge of the Continental championships and the World Championships. Every country hand selects their team. The individual athletes earn points to be on the World Ranking List. Which is used for Olympic Qualifications.
You can find the Rankings at www.Judobase.org
Go head. Play around with it. Take a look at the best in your divison. Throw their names into Youtube.
3. Follow the Action!!
You can find the LIVE brackets here.
You can watch the live stream here
If you miss the action, you can always go to these links and watch what you missed.
Lets see what tournaments are coming up.
Now, all you need is a space to communicate your thoughts with a like-minded individual. How about the dojo!!!?