Many people ask me how you get to be a Judo Olympic athlete.
Now I’ve got the steps printed out on a T-shirt to promote our Combat Arts KC program. 1) Be fitter than all your opponents 2) Want it more than anyone else 3) Never let anyone deny your dreams. On the back it says, “INTENSITY – What makes you Think I Play the Piano with My fingers?”
When I was eight, I decided to go to the Olympics. Before I ever knew a single competitive sport. A nine, I started Judo, fighting local tournaments, boys and girls alike. At 12, I asked my coach, “Do you think I could make it to the Olympics?”
He said, “Yes, if you work hard enough.”
This is my story about being a Judo Olympic athlete, which I made into a spoken word performance and shared all across the US. I’d be glad to come to your club, too. I started in Judo after watching my mom do a college jujitsu class that wouldn’t allow me on the mat. Then she moved to Kansas City to go through medical school and found a local Judo club, that did let me on the mat. Phil Rumbaoa was my very first coach. Now he lives in Boonville and his daughter wants to go to the Olympics in wrestling. She’s doing the work, too, so she’s got a chance.
After I finished the beginner’s class, Phil told me, “You’re pretty good at this,” so he sent me up to some guy who was running classes at KC North. This turned out to be Steve Scott at Welcome Mat Judo Club. I hadn’t even known that the beginner class I took was part of the same club.
After a few weeks, I entered my first tournament. It was two out of three matches with another girl who was smaller than me. I was a white belt and she was a green belt and she pinned me. I was pissed! I came back to the bleachers and told me mom, “That girl cheated. I should have won that.”
This guy in the stands said, “Well, a green belt means she’s been doing this a while, so she has some more technique, don’t be discouraged.”
I guess I didn’t know that. It turned out that the green belt was Holly Thomas and the dude who overheard me whining was her dad, Phil. And that was how I got started on path to be an Judo Olympic athlete.
Full Judo Olympic athlete story with competition footage:
I am a dreamer as well as an Judo Olympic athlete:
My personal goals are, of couse, slightly different now that I am a retired Judo Olympic athlete:
1) Be a good family person and spiritual person.
2) to create a billion dollar business that provides effective mental health care around the world so that we stop labeling temporary emotional distress as a lifetime disease. Here’s the plan for this: http://connectpower.org/
3) Start a Judo club, Combat Sports KC, with Jim Schneweis that also works to promote all the Olympic combat sports in the city. We need a united social media and marketing presence so all five of our sports get more attention. Here’s my plan for this: http://wellnesswordworks.com/programs/combat-sports-kc/
4) Be a great artist who gets lots of performances nationwide sharing my story as a Judo Olympic athlete, cross country bicyclist, and mental health social entrepreneur. I want to inspire other people to make change. Here’s my plan for this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md2bF0l8kqY
5) Have fun
Do you need a Judo Olympic athlete at your event?