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Fact: “The No. 1 fitness myth that I come across with my clients is that they shouldn't squat below 90 degrees,” Allen confides. His trainees quickly learn that squatting with knees over toes is a healthy, biomechanically safe move to do. In fact, we do it every day. “Squatting knees over the toes, butt to the floor, hamstrings covering calves, chest up is the most effective way to squat,” he assures. “Look at someone picking up something they've dropped off the ground—it’s a natural movement.”

Parents and judoka,

Our current session ended last night 12/13. Often the sessions have gone through the 18th or 20th. We had an unusual circumstance this session. As you know our sessions don’t begin on the same dates. For example the summer session doesn’t always begin on June 10th.  This session started unusually early in the year, so of course ended earlier than the winter session usually does. The park district always gives a Holiday break and starts again in January. The next session begins January 8.

This gives us an almost 3 ½ week break, much longer than usual. I know it’s difficult to keep the youths attention on something they are not participating in for that long, but please stick with it. Let me explain why I TRULY would like all of this class back.

Because judo techniques are more complex than a punch or a kick when we first practice/teach them we do so standing still. I’ve never know any dojo to do it any other way. But since judo is done in movement, using your opponents movement against them, some of the youth find it difficult to put the “standing still” into practice when moving.

Now it’s not that difficult to knock someone down. You’ve seen the judoka do it in class(randori) and in shiai(competition). But judo asks you knock them down the most efficient way possible.

In the last 3 weeks that all changed. I showed them some counter moves. This meant they had to memorize 2 moves, not the normal one technique. When we did our sparring/randori, they began to put what we had been practicing into the randori and throwing each other with good throws using the movements we had just done.

Usually they are reluctant to use techniques that soon. But for our last classes it seemed that suddenly every “concept” of judo I’ve talked about – using your opponent’s movements, maximum efficiency, minimum effort, mutual welfare and benefit – suddenly clicked in their heads.

They weren’t throwing people, knocking them down, THEY WERE DOING JUDO.

And that’s why I want them all back. I know it’s a long break, but please they are truly ready to take off. Don’t let that slip away from them

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