Friday, March 25, 2011

Judo Team

The Main Line Y.M.C.A. Judo Team in 1974. The team was organized and coached by Howie. He had won a spot on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Judo team. However, a severe knee injury just before the trip to Mexico City crushed his Olympic prospects. Howie brought that level of Olympic discipline and dedication to teaching a bunch of kids the Martial Sport founded by Dr.Jigaro Kano in Japan in 1882.
We had regular practices and fervent competition and participation. The work-outs were tough but fun. We all learned life lessons about discipline, combat sports and team spirit. The team competed in local and regional matches and many of us had significant success. I managed to win a Gold Medal in the regional Junior Olympics and a Bronze in the East Coast Regionals. I still have those medals and I am proud of the fierce work and competition they represent. I reached Purple Belt at 13. Sadly, the call of after school jobs, girls and school sports, coupled with the increased level of dedication required to try for a Brown Belt and move to the Junior High division, put an end to my career.Equally sad is how Judo was overshadowed by Kung Fu and the like with the advent of various movies and TV shows glorifying the more agressive forms of Martial Arts.
But man, check out the Afro's on some of my buddies!


Preppy 101 said...

Yes, we could probably guess the date of this photo based on the hair alone. Where is the Main Line Sportsman in this photo? :-) Have a wonderful weekend!! xoxo

Sundresses and Smiles said...

i love old pictures like this! what fun memories!

JMW said...

Hmm, you didn't point out yourself in this photo...gotta love the hair of that era! We're thinking of enrolling our son in karate or tae kwan do once he turns 4 (although I realize these are different from judo).
BTW, thanks for pulling for my Wildcats during the tournament!

brohammas said...

Saw the add for your fighters bout in AC. I was walking up the creaking stairs of the Front St. Gym and surprisingly, on a wall with hundreds of boxing posters, I spotted a new one... there's your guy. good luck.

Main Line Sportsman said...

5th from the left kneeling in second row...for those who inquired.