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Presenting Your Judo Skills In Public

Feb 10, 2008
If you have a Judo Club which becomes known in your district, you will very probably be asked to give short public displays, in connection with sporting events, garden parties, and so on. It is quite useful to do this, as it provides good publicity for your club, and may bring in other members, even when there is no financial reward. Some clubs like to hire a local hall, and put on a display themselves, as a means of raising funds for the club, and gaining publicity. Indeed, such a display might even become an annual event in your town.

I shall therefore say something about the organization of displays, and give a specimen program, which has been tried out in practice by my own club.

The first thing to decide in the case of a display is how long it is to last. If you are putting on a show for the organizer of some local event, make certain of this to begin with. It is usually twenty minutes to half an hour that is required, if the demonstration is to form part of a programmer.

Then plan the time you are allotted to show something of each of the aspects of Judo, i.e., Break falling, Throwing, Groundwork, and Self-Defense, and let one item follow the next in some logical sequence that will give unity to your show.

If you jump haphazardly from one thing to another, you may have a succession of brilliant acts, but you haven't got a show. Unity is the keyword in production.

It is best to appoint your most capable member to plan it, and then accept his decisions. If you can, appoint a Commentator who knows something about Judo, so that if a mistake is made, he is not all at sea, as a result. I have seen a show, in which the commentator fell behind the performers, so that for each throw he named they did the next, and he was left with one over at the end.

The following is a suggested thirty-minute routine with the theme that it illustrates what a student has to learn.

Thirty-minute Display

Item No. Time in Minutes

1. Breakfalls (7) 2
2. Hip Throws (8) 3
3. Leg Throws (8) 3
4. Hand and Shoulder Throws (8) 3
5. Sacrifice Throws (8) 3
6. Holdings (8) 3
7. Arm locks (8) 3
8. Strangleholds (8) 3
9. Self-Defense (15 movements) 4
10. Randori or free practice between one or more pairs 3

It is possible to increase or decrease the length of the programmer slightly by varying the number of throws demonstrated in each section. Throws can, if desired, be demonstrated twice, the first time slowly so that the commentator can explain it to the audience, and the second time quickly as the throw is normally done.

It is not advisable to have too much Randori, which tends to become boring to an audience who have not seen Judo, since they cannot appreciate what the contestants are trying to do. Contests are even more boring, unless there is interest from some other point of view, e.g., an Inter-Club event, or inter-town contest. Self-Defense is the most popular item with an audience, and if you have a lady member who can do it with a male attacker, your show is assured of success. Children are also popular with an audience, particularly if they are seen to throw adults.

The aim of a display should be educational, to show the audience something of what Judo really is, and not just to amuse them, but if it is entertaining as well, it is more likely to succeed in its object.
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