• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

The Tournament, Part 1


In June of 1994, about two years after beginning to train in Judo, my Sensei decided that it was time for me to go to a tournament.


To say I was petrified is a gross understatement.


He assured me that this was just a local event, and it would be a great way for me to see what I had learned and what needed to be worked on.


Ie. He lied through his teeth!


He didn’t tell me that because of the lower numbers of women in Judo in Israel in those days, the only tournaments where there were enough competitors to even hold matches in the adult women’s weight categories were at the nationals.


He didn’t tell me that because of the lower numbers of women in Judo in Israel in those days, the only tournaments where there were enough competitors to even hold matches in the adult women’s weight categories were at the nationals.

Okay, we are a tiny country. And yes, it really shouldn’t have mattered. But when I walked in the door and, with the poor Hebrew I had at the time, read the huge banner hanging over the venue, my courage flew right out the door.


Me: Sensei, doesn’t that say “Nationals???”


Sensei: I don’t think so, but does it matter? You’re here and you will give it all you’ve got. And we will learn.

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