Jack Hatton is a USA Judo Athlete. In this post, he enlightens us to what the realities of training abroad and competing abroad are truly like. Read and enjoy and tell us your story too!
It had been a rather long day of travel from the hotel in The Hague, Netherlands to new accommodations in Isehara, Japan. The last 24 hours consisted of a seemingly never-ending flight. Hustling luggage throughout various train stations. And talking judo with Travis on the long train rides. The latter being the only enjoyable part! Training abroad is never easy. Finally, to my delight, I arrived to a neat and cozy hotel room in Isehara. There I settled my things for the weeks of intense judo training ahead. Tomorrow will start a two week training at Tokai University. The following week an international training camp at the birthplace of Judo, The Kodokan.
I completed this exact training regimen with Travis for the first time in December of 2016. To be honest, I was not prepared for how grueling it would be. Literally every practice of everyday was a matter of pure survival. It took everything I had to keep my head above water. My only goal for those weeks training abroad was to survive. That being said, those weeks of training made me a lot tougher and allowed me to have success in 2017.
Now that the 2017 season is winding down, it is a good time to reflect on my Judo. I can make necessary adjustments to create greater success in 2018. Japan will provide the perfect training ground to test these adjustments. Training abroad can be a pain, but it can also help elevate your game. The highest levels of judoka in the world will be the subjects. What better way to know if something works then to test on the best, right? I am aiming to gain more confidence in my ability to throw on the IJF level with this approach. Ultimately, I am aiming to develop other strengths, both mental and physical, along the way. I know during the ensuing weeks that there will be times where I will break. This year, however, I feel far more confident as I have a plan of action to operate from.
As long as I stick my specific goals each practice, growth is guaranteed no matter what pain I am in!
Updates to the journey can found on IG: @judojack
All things from cauliflower ears to katsu curry will be documented. Cheers!