How Judo Sensei Robert W. Cornely Impacted My Life… (Part 1)
Posted by CarlosFletesJr.Com on Jan 8th, 2015
Robert W. Cornely was a great man…
I met him back in 1990 while attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a student-athlete, who was majoring in architecture and playing middle linebacker on the football team.
One day after football practice, I walked by a classroom at the McDermott P.E. Complex and, through the glass window, noticed a person fall and slam really hard on the floor. I thought the guy was seriously injured, after all I heard a loud thump as his limp body bounced off the floor. But, he stood back up and continued training! Both he and his partner where barefooted, and took turns slamming the hell out of each other really hard on the floor, and then kept getting back up like nothing happened with big smiles on both their faces.
I had never seen this before! In football, when too bodies collide, it hurts! But, these guys just kept hitting the floor and getting back up!
I asked the other student, that was also there peeking through the glass, “What is this?”
“Judo!” He said.
At that moment my father came to mind because as a kid he used to always grab me and twist my wrist or my arm while saying aloud, “JUDO!” My father said that he practiced a little Judo, Jiu-jitsu and hand-to-hand combat while in the military in Mexico. So, since childhood my pops had always tried to pull a fast one on me with some kind of joint lock on my wrist or thumb.
So, I was interested and walked in the classroom to speak with the instructor, some older man in his mid 50’s with thick glasses. He was standing there watching his students with a stern look and his arms crossed.
I asked him one question, “Do you guys go to competitions?”
“Oh, you bet we do!” Said the man with excitement.
And, that’s all I needed to know! I started playing organized sports since the age of 6, and love to compete.
“Sign me up!” I said.
That man was Robert W. Cornely, who became not just my Judo Sensei, but also, my best friend!
My First Week In Judo…
I felt my body go numb and couldn’t breath! Looking down at me was Sensei Cornely. I don’t remember what happened or how it happened, all I know is that one second I was standing, and then the next second I was on the floor paralyzed and looking up, listening to his lecture while he pointed his finger down at me, “I told you that you have to slap the mat and break your fall. You’re a big guy and big guys fall hard!”
I was also very strong too – a linebacker on the UNLV football team, weighing 240lbs., bench pressing 400lbs. and squatting 495lbs. – and this man who was old enough to be my grandfather had just tossed me through the air and dumped me on my back…HARD!
I was hooked on Judo from that day forward.
Six weeks later, I was fighting for my life in my first Judo tournament against a bunch of little guys!
TO BE CONTINUED…
…in the meantime, check out this Judo video, then leave a comment below!
No comments yet