On June 4, 2014, along side a very special guest, 5th degree Cuban Judo Black belt Sensei Gerardo Amedes, I was proud to start the Judo program at our sister school Gracie PAC at their new 12,000 sq. ft. location on 4244 W. Waters Ave in Tampa. Coach Cris “Midget Twister” Rodriguez is extremely dedicated to her school and students. She wanted these young athletes to broaden their knowledge in martial arts and decided to add this amazing sport that I love. A good majority of the US population is unaware the advantages of Judo, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) named Judo the best sport for children and teenagers from ages 4 through 21 because “Judo allows them to obtain a complete physical education by developing and promoting, through the knowledge of Judo, all the psychomotor possibilities (spatial location perspective, Ambidexterity, moving lateral, throwing, pulling, pushing, crawling, jumping, rolling, falling, joint coordination and independence of both hand and feet, etc.) and relationships with other people making use of game and fight as an integrating dynamic while gradually introducing sport tactic and technique aside from obtaining a complete physical conditioning.” In addition the IOC (International Olympic Committee) considers Judo the most complete sport that promotes the values of friendship, participation, respect and the effort to improve.
So, I am extremely happy that I can form part of the development of these students not only as athletes but as human beings. Judo has taught me the meaning of respect, not only towards myself and human beings, but towards other sports as well, they each have there own special value in individuals lives. This respect is what I wish to transfer to all my students.
We have a long, yet short, road ahead of us, for in no time all these young athletes could be the future World and/or Olympic Judo Champions, and I am EXTREMELY happy to be, even a little, part of their journey – David Cainas