Saturday, 26 April 2014

We do Judo!

We have finally finished up the hockey season and the girls have just started taking Judo lessons at the dojo down the street. I must confess that judo is a much more pleasant sport to have children in than hockey. I love hockey and I'm a proud Canadian but holy smokes its a commitment. The weird part about hockey in Ottawa is that there is really no non competitive leagues around. All leagues are set up with a rep like system with tournaments, travelling, and multiple games a week etc. I have no illusions about my kids sports carers they will likely, like 99% of players, end up just playing the sport for, well, sport. So when we signed the girls up for hockey a year or so ago I was hoping for a easygoing once a week shinny style type of hockey, after all they are only 5 and 8 years old.  Unfortunately here in Ottawa, where most hockey parents have good government jobs and plenty of disposable income, hockey is pretty full on regardless of the level of the players. Two overnight tournaments in two different cities, and several week day (during the day, like when people are you know, working) games later we are happy to be done.

So far Judo has been a happy alternative. The girls are often more engaged in the exercises during their lesson than they were in hockey as it is not so easy to hang back and watch at the dojo. Their teacher is a very soft spoken and calm Japanese lady who is the smallest thing I have ever seen. She also happens to be one of the best female martial arts experts in Canada and was a coach for the Olympic judo team for several years. Her family is also pretty impressive, with her two brothers competing at the Olympics and her sons winning dozens and dozens of martial arts competitions. The awards are so numerous that they have started to nail them to the ceiling at the dojo. So at least I know the girls are in good hands.

We are not sure what we will choose to do come winter. Hockey is a big part of Canadian culture and the girls for the most part enjoy playing. However our family really has a hard time managing the commitment of such an intense sport. If this is what house league hockey is like at 8 I shudder to think of what it will be at 12, 13, and so one. Plus we don't even have all our kids in yet. Mimi will one day join her sisters in what they are playing, as we tend to keep them doing the same thing  (mostly to cut costs).

If the girls continue to enjoy Judo through the summer we may sadly say goodbye to hockey, and just do pleasure skating at the outdoor arena near our house. At least if they continue with Judo in ten or so years I will have a gaggle of girls who can protect me in dark alley ways or at Ikea on Saturday mornings (it's just like Lord of the Flies at that time, I blame the Swedish meatballs there must be something addictive in them).

Judo Hug 

Judo Chop! 


  1. they are adorable - and lethal... at the same time.

    auntie k

  2. Good decisions Ryan, welcome to the difficult world of fatherhood. You are naturally motivated by love for your little angels. You can't go wrong . Have faith, it's not very family friendly out there.

    John and Bonnie