Swim, Judo, Chess – A Modern Triathlon?

This weekend was even busier than normal. Saturday certainly. Sunday was busy again in the streets of Madrid. Yet more elections. This time there were two things to vote for; the local Madrid townhall and of course the European wide EU elections. So many elections yet nothing ever seems to change. Odd that eh? But I digress (as I tend to do) …

Swim, Judo and Chess

We usually start Saturday morning with a swimming lesson. I am sure I have written about this before so thought nothing of it and so took no photos. Anyway the swimming lesson went well. Dani is improving as is his cousin Susana.

In the changing rooms after the swim, instead of changing into his usual daytime attire, I dressed him in his judo outfit. We headed straight off to his school for a judo exhibition. Yes. No need to read that again. Dani took part in a judo exhibition. It was actually to show the parents what their kids were learning and also an excuse for an awards ceremony. It ended when the kids were handed their judo diplomas for the year by the three senseis (‘martial arts teachers’ in Japonese for the uninitiated). Sensei Fran (apparently a 7th Dan),  Sensei Maria and Sensei Cristina.

All the time I was thinking that there was something familiar about that Sensei Fran… Hmm…?  It will come to me.

I have to admit that I was expecting to need a needle and thread to stitch up my sides. The expectation was that it would be hilarious. But as usual these little kids proved me wrong. Ok, there was some funny things. They are only 5 and 6 years old. In the main however it was quite impressive. The photo above shows that there is a disciplined side to judo as well as the physical aspect.

This video shows Dani executing a basic judo throw. Koshi guruma – so Dani tells me.

At the end of the exhibition a proud old dad watched his little boy walk proudly up to collect his diploma.
  Wait a moment. I have seen that man before. Has anyone seen Breaking Bad?

When the kids had all received their diplomas they celebrated with a team photograph shoot. Plus all the usual antics you would expect from a group their age.

Then I realised.. That bloke; the 7th Dan sensei. It is definitely Hank. The DEA agent from Breaking Bad. Dopplegänger if ever there was one.

Chess Tournament

After all this physical effort it was time for some lunch. Then after a short rest we were off again. This time to another school for a chess tournament. It was held at the “sister” school to the one Dani attends, and in a different part of Madrid. The tournament was split up into age (school year). There were only 5 in Dani’s age group but there were plenty just a little older. It was organised by the lady who teaches chess to the children in after-school activities.

As the start of the chess tournament drew near the excitement levels rose. The noise levels rose even more. It all started well but descended into chaos as the kids in Dani’s age group started receiving help from older brothers and sisters. The adults had to remind them it was a competition. Kids being removed from the board area. In one of Dani’s games his opponent was winning but was clearly being helped by his older sister. Dani reacted as his old dad would have. He pushed over his pieces in frustration; effectively conceding the game. Not so much a ‘bad loser’ though. To his credit he had been cheated but even that was not the fault of his opponent. Over-enthusiastic siblings eh… I would have probably thrown the pieces if something similar had happened to me at that age.


Dani won his first and last game but lost the other two. He finished 4th but all five received a medal – as is the way these days. However to be fair they did announce the winners as such and everyone knew them. The winner in Dani’s age was quite an impressive player I have to say. In fact I was amazed how good they all were. I do not recall anyone playing chess at age five and six.

A Modern Triathlon?

Physical exertion against one of Mother Nature’s elements followed by hand to hand combat,  then finally a good dose of cerebral exercise. This could become a modern triathlon. It was certainly a great combination.

At this point I have to make a mental note plus one on this Blog… I must remember to write something for the previous few weekends. I know I still need to write about Roberto’s baptism. Also last weekend Dani came with me on a trip to Torremolinos with my friends. More on both of those to come…

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