I was notified of the existence of this forum by Genetic Judoka. It's good to see this forum alive and well. I miss the old place but it really turned into something that I didn't enjoy. I took a long break from it. As a matter of fact over the past year I took a long break from Judo as I went through a separation and divorce that started during the summer of 2011. I think I practiced six times throughout 2012 but now I've been back on the mats practicing 3x a week. It's good to have my life back to normal. I was a long time contributor on the old forum and I feel like there may have been a few people I rubbed the wrong way and for that I apologize. I'm kind of a different guy now. Perhaps not so much with some of my opinions but certainly in how I deal with people in person or online. I apologize if I have come off as abrasive in the past.
I am back on the mats now and amazingly I'm not really all that far off in my opinion. It's like riding a bike. No matter how long the break it never really leaves you. Sure, I'm not as fast and my timing is a little bit off but I feel pretty good. My body probably needed the break. Over the past six months I've been working out with weights so I'm much stronger than I've ever been. The immediate impact in terms of Judo is that my legs are so much stronger and I no longer fear like my knees are going to give out when going lower. They never gave out before but I always felt a lot of strain when really getting low for morote seoi nage, for example. I'm a part of a small club and right now I'm not much into training hard for the next competition. I'm a recreational guy and I really find enjoyment just doing Judo with friends much in the same way I may play basketball with friends on a court. Both of my sons have started practicing with me which is nice. I never wanted to force Judo on them but I figure in their own time if they want to do it they will. My oldest son has always been ambidextrous and it's really interesting to see how he uses that in Judo. He's very much a beginner but I've never trained with someone ambidextrous before so when he does, for example, o soto gari uchi komi it feels exactly the same on both sides. People who have been doing Judo a while can do throws both sides but I can always tell when one side isn't natural. My youngest son is doing it too. I'm not sure if he'll stick with it but I hope so. He has the athletic ability but doesn't have the patience like my older son does. Either way it's a pleasure to have them on the mats with me for this moment.
Hope all is well with all of you and I look forward to reading this forum.