Gompers Judo Representing South Los Angeles

Northern California Tour

There is a long list of people to thank for the great time we had in northern California last week.

I apologize for taking over a week to get this post up, but when we got back, we had work to catch up on, judo practice and grandchildren.

Let me just start with Abby Rivamonte for organizing our tour of the state capital, Julian Sanchez for being an amazing patient tour guide and Mike Lucien, Chief of Staff for Assembly member Jones-Sawyer, for discussing legislation with our students.

We slipped into the assembly floor while the legislature was not in session

We also had an opportunity to talk with several staff members about how they obtained their positions, the education required and what they liked about their jobs. We are taking bets on which of our students will be elected to the legislature first. Currently, Naomi is the odds on favorite but I’m thinking Anabel, Luz or Stephanie might come from behind and surprise everyone. Never count out the quiet ones.

Of course, there was judo!

Thank you to Alan Benson at Urijah Faber’s Ultimate Fitness. I didn’t get any pictures of us working out because I was on the mat, but if you are in Sacramento, you should check it out. Their mat area is HUGE. It was a great place to do some drills and get an extra day of practice in.

On Day two of our tour we had judo practice at Lakeridge Athletic Club, joined by other local judo clubs.

We cannot say “Thank you!” enough to Lanny and Laura Clark

… who assisted by their awesome daughters, Brenna and Tara, hosted us at the judo practice on Saturday and then had a pizza party by the pool for the whole crew. If that wasn’t enough, they brought us barbecue for dinner.

Aquarium of the Bay and Golden Gate Tour

As if arranging the whole judo and swimming (we called it conditioning) on Saturday wasn’t enough, Lanny arranged for us to have a back stage tour of the Aquarium of the Bay.

Usually, we visit at least one college campus on a judo trip, but this time we fit in the educational component by meeting with professionals, like Mike, who talked to the students about his own education and how it led him to be diving with the fishes at the aquarium and getting paid for it!

As an added bonus, we got to see baby manta rays.

Thank you to the Strong Mind Strong Body Foundation for underwriting costs for lodging.

Last, but definitely not least, thanks to Ronda

She hasn’t had time to come to judo this year because she’s been busy with wrestling, the farm and her baby, but that didn’t keep her from donating everyone’s plane ticket. Also, thanks to her assistant, Jen, for arranging all of the tickets and by some miracle getting us all on the same flight.

Also, I didn’t have a chance to put nearly all of the pictures we took up, but you can see more at the Gompers Judo Instagram account that Jimmy Sanchez handles.

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