The Perfect Focus

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A kick ass judo class…


We now have one class left till the PA State Judo Championships. I have 6 students going, plus Sensei Andy, and myself, to fight. My main man Dylan is really sick right now, he missed a WHOLE WEEK of school. He stopped into visit us tonight, but he’s still very ill, poor kid.

101 Judo Games for KidsI worked the class really hard last week, and played some different judo games I learned from my “101 Judo Games for Kids” DVD , Sensei Fred got me… Dude that DVD is SO COOL! If your a kids judo coach, you MUST get this DVD!

We did an under-over relay race, where one student belly crawled threw the others legs, turned, and then threw the standing student… That really got the blood move’n… Then we played “Snakes“, in this game we scatter sections of cut belts all over the mat, they are “Snakes“, the kids as partners, tug and pull for grip, and move there partner to try and get ‘bit‘… if you get bit (step on a belt), they get to throw you! …

Then we did another grip game, in groups of 3, one student has a cut belt section tucked in there judo obi, the other partner is a “human shield“, and the 3rd player must then try to get around BOTH and grab the cut belt… (they really liked this game)… We finished class with some foot sweeps, and then standing randori (free fighting). I so love that DVD, Sensei Fred got me! They all think they are having fun, when they are actually learning good judo skills!

This week we did the under-over relay race again for warm-ups. The a grip drill with the belt tabs, kind of like 2-hand tug-of-war… We finished that section of warm-ups with a body drag, where again you hold the two belt sections and pull your partner the whole length of the mat. This all helps with grip strength, that is very important in judo.

Ippon-Seoi-NageThen it was time for the fun! With the kids paired off with partners of equal size, and me going with student, Matt. We did the “Word Record” drill. Really very simple, you throw your partner as many times as you can with good throws, in 30-seconds! Slowest team does 10 push-ups!

We started with Osoto Gari – (Large Outer Reap), I managed 10, others managed as little as 4 others, 7 or 8 throws. Then we moved to Ouchi Gari – (Large Inner Reaping), I managed 10, others managed 8 or 9… By now, ever one was gasping for air; (should kids really sound like pack a day smokers?), but the fun was not over yet. We had one more round! We finished the set with Ippon Seonage – (One Arm Shoulder Throw), I managed 11, others managed 8 to 10 throws… By now we got sweat on the mat, and the kids are really sucking air bad… We rested for about 1-minute, and finished class with a 1-minute found of hard randori (standup fighting).

The kids will sleep tonight I guarantee it!

Well, with only one more class to go before States I’m fat… I need to loose 5lbs to make my weight class of 145lbs (66kg)… But I’m working at it… Riding my exercise bike almost every day… But if I don’t make it, thats fine too. I don’t like cutting weight, and I never advise any one to do it, it’s simply not healthy.

I really hope every one does well at States! They have worked so hard for me lately. I’m very proud them!

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  • Filed under: Judo
  • Sensei Rich Makes Front Page! – Update


    Just a small update on my front page article…

    The article was also featured on USA Judo, Paralympic Judo, and Pennsylvania Judo websites news sections. Thanks for the ping guys!

    USA Judo

    A few days after the article was published I received some nice congratulation letters from past teachers, and school district administration. I also received a nice congratulation letter and laminated front page clipping from Pennsylvania House Representative, Thomas Quigley, for making front page and a contribution to our community!

    Fame, is a good thing.. 

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    Sensei Rich Makes Local Front Page News!


    Yea baby… I be famous… Not as famous as our little friend Cole, but hey, we need to start some place, right? That’s right, me, I made the front page of our local paper, the Pottstown Mercury.

    Photo by Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury

    Photo by Kevin Hoffman, The Mercury

    Judo brings equality for Pottstown man…
    Brandie Kessler, Reporter, Pottstown Mercury:

    One Pottstown man who often sat out during extracurricular activities as a boy because of his blindness is now leading dozens of local youngsters as they learn the ropes with the Pottstown Judo Club.

    “Many people who are legally blind can see fairly well,” said Richard Favinger Jr., the youth instructor with the Pottstown Judo Club. “I’m one of them.”

    As a child, Favinger often found himself alienated by other children who knew he was different and were cruel to him, but he was also alienated by the extracurricular programs for children such as baseball or football, or most of the other activities his classmates and peers were participating in. …

    Read the rest of this article at the Pottstown Mercury website…

    The article as written by local staff reporter Brandie Kessler, who several months ago did an equally inspiring article about a local boy who is both deaf and blind, and attends one of our local elementary schools.

    Several months ago I had contacted her expressing my dismay as to the state of programs and sports available to local blind or disabled children. Simply put, there are few athletic programs offered or available to such kids. Many parents don’t even know such programs exist or know there are people, such as myself willing to help…

    It’s also a fact I lived threw myself… that many parents, and there disabled children are simply scared, scared of rejection, scared they may get hurt, scared others will make fun of them, scared there children can not succeed because of there disability or because they are different. My aim was to disprove that…

    We also wanted to make a point that, even though you have a disability, LET NO ONE TELL YOU, YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING! You have so little to loose, and so much to gain, just give it a shot! There is ALWAYS a way… And with the right people to guide you, any one can learn, have a little fun, and kick a little ass!

    Pottstown Judo will GLADLY accept ALL students who wish to learn the art of judo, including blind and visually disabled, or other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy. No parent should ever have to hear “We don’t accept disabled children“.

    Friends, Cole and Matt both have CP… Cole participates in karate, and Matt participates in judo. You can read there blogs! Cole was also recognized on KarateAngles.com – Kids Hall of Fame (June 2007). (I wonder who nominated him? :D )  and good friend Dr. Andre Watson who is blind, and a member of the 2008 USA Paralympic Blind Judo Team… are just some examples of our good friends.

    So, won’t you come join us too? We’ll see you on the mat!

    Please feel free to link or ping this article and post, and PLEASE pass it along to all your friends. If you want more information, just contact me, I’d be happy to help… And as always leave your comments!

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  • Filed under: Judo, News, Personal