Change the world

Judo

During the 2010 Judo year NMMU Judo Club has participated in a number of events. We further hosted a number of activities and events. We have also, last but not least, given back to the community a lot of our time and energy. This report aims to, in no particular order; highlight some of the important activities and events we participated in during the 2010 year. The following will be highlighted:

George Botha Community Outreach Program - 12 May 2010

The purpose of the outreach programme was to go out there and actually practise with other players that were not from our club. We went there that evening and were received by very warm people who wanted to learn as much as we wanted to on the day. We practised with some players who were ranked higher than us and that is where I got my first so called ‘competitive practice’ because we didn’t know them like we knew each other. There were young kids there as well, who needed to be taught a few basics about Judo, that day we did exactly that.

It is for that reason that I ended up believing that teaching is the best way of learning because we had to ensure that they all master the techniques shown by our Sensei. In the process we were learning a lot as well. Since that day I have made friends who I interact with on a regular basis these days. That was an experience we would never erase in our minds as NMMU Judo players.

USSA 2010 Tournament

The 2010 USSA tournament was hosted in our own backyard this year. This obviously put a lot of pressure on the NMMU team and we had to work extra hard at being above the standard of the entire student community in S.A. We were, however, disadvantaged by the June-July holidays, schools were closed because of the 2010 Soccer World Cup but we came back on the mat the very same week schools opened. We knew that all other tournaments and events came second and were a build up to this very same tournament.

We had 5 other Tertiary Institutions at NMMU that weekend of the tournament and it was 6 Institutions, in total, that participated in the USSA tournament. This was the first national tournament for a lot of us who had never participated in a tournament of this magnitude.

Before the fights a lot of us had a fear of the unknown but as the tournament progressed, you could see players starting to ease up and that they actually wanted to participate in the tournament. The guys from the different institutions were good but we discovered that they practice the same Judo we do, they have same weight divisions as us and some teams had new players just like us. The tournament showed us that Judo is indeed a gentle sport, except for one guy who had been injured, and the next tournament would demand us to be physically, spiritually and mentally fit. We hosted the most successful Judo USSA tournament so far and our team was placed third and has 19 medals to show for it.

St Alban’s Prison Grading Outreach Program 14-08-2010

As the NMMU Judo Club we went there to make the prisoners feel part of the greater community, especially on the day of their grading. The prison was quite a distance away from residential areas, as if the prisoners were left to be on their own. We went there with all the stereotypes we had heard of prisons and prisoners. When we got there they were busy practicing, rolling themselves and throwing each other on the mat. We eventually got inside the room that was meant to host the grading event and were told to get dressed and be ready for action. We saw very friendly, warm and peaceful people inside the prison that day. They welcomed us like we were important people, whereas they were important because we wanted to obtain experience from them.

As it was the first grading event I had seen, I saw that it went well because almost all of them passed. After that grading event we got some time on the mat with them. The guys were strong, unlike the myths out there. One of them even called me one side to show me a technique; I went there with an open spirit and came back in one piece. All stereotypes were erased there that day, we ended up exchanging numbers and taking pictures with them. We wanted to capture those moments and keep them forever.

S.O.S Children’s Village Outreach Program

The purpose of this activity was to help the young kids learn self defence and interest them to know about Judo. There were kids from about the age of 3 years to about 18years. We found that they were kept there for different reasons, other than just for being orphans. They were very happy to see the NMMU Judo team there that day. They all looked very innocent little kids who had no family problems. We unfortunately could not teach self-defence to the very little ones. They should be under the protection of parents or a guardian. Furthermore, we didn’t want reports of them hurting each other when we had left that place.

We started right away with what we went there to do that day and began by warming up. After warming up we showed them a number of techniques that are common when a person is under threat out there. It was amazing to see how fast young people learn because you told them to do a technique and they mastered it immediately. I believe we took their minds off all things that they were thinking about on the day. Once again I saw that the best way of learning is to teach others. It was very saddening to leave them when our time had ended on that day but we had to leave.

I have gained so much this year through the Judo Club and made many new friends.