Pilot Program Begins in LA

Oct. 14, 2019, 6:35 p.m. (ET)

 

USA Judo and LA Rec & Parks Judo Pilot Program Takes Off

Last week was the first week of a new “Homegrown” Program created by USA Judo in conjunction with Los Angeles Recreation and Parks.  The eight-week pilot program kicked off in the following four LARAP Recreation Centers located around the City of Lost Angeles:  Culver-Slauson, Denker, Evergreen and Normandie.   

Richie Endow of the San Gabriel Judo Club and one of the three coaches at Evergreen Recreation Center, described the first night as follows:

What a night! 33 kids from the LA area were introduced to judo for the first time and they had an absolute blast.

The wonderful coaches at the Evergreen Rec Center used every minute of the night to give them a great first impression of our sport. Class started with a quick introduction of Judo with highlights of the importance of bowing, mutual respect & benefit and safety. They then ran through a ton of drills for all the kids to build coordination and physical conditioning. The class spent about 10 minutes with ukemi, then dove directly into their first Judo throw...Ippon Seoinage, which worked well since the kids didn’t have their judogis yet.  All of the kids learned how to do uchikomis and after about 20 minutes they got a taste of actually throwing each other on a crash pad; They loved it!  The night finished with several exercises in pairs, so the kids learned the concepts of tori and uke, and the importance of being a good partner.

"Of my almost 40 years in Judo, this night ranks among my most rewarding nights of Judo ever," said coach Richie Endow. "The kids were great. The parents were so respectful and appreciative. I’m still blown away and can’t wait for the next practice."

It is estimated that more than 60 youth participants were introduced to the sport of judo last week among the four LARAP Rec Centers with seven weeks to go in the pilot.  USA Judo sends its sincere thanks to all the coaches in the Los Angeles Area making this happen:  Ted Coulter, Richard Elizalde, Richie Endow, Roy Harting, Damon Lee, Taybren Lee Jr. and Michael Verdugo.

LA Parks & Rec Pilot Program Picture Gallery

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