High life

It’ll be me vs Jean-Claude Juncker at the Judo World Championships

This tournament will be my last — and I’ll win it by imagining I’m fighting that slob

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

26 September 2015

8:00 AM


Jeremy Clarke has wiped me out again, for a change. His accounts of the high jinks on board the Spectator cruise had the mother of my children laughing out loud, something she’s not known for among those of us who consider laughing loudly a staggering breach of taste. Never mind, Jeremy’s talents and his ability to describe the indescribable in vivid prose is a badly kept secret among those of us who love good writing. The only thing wrong with Jeremy is that he shows me up week in, week out.

Being the fall guy does not suit me one bit. And I hope I won’t be falling this week in Amsterdam, where I’m competing in the world veteran judo championships. This is my last competition ever. I’ve said this before, but this time I mean it, just like the girl who said no to her first-kiss opportunity.

I’m quitting because of the training. It’s getting much too hard. Last week I was in bed with flu for four days, then my coach Brian arrived from New York and we went straight into it. Brian is 28, a student of the greatest judoka that ever lived, Yamashita Sensei, and fighting him is analogous to being dynamited by a sushi dish. He looks polite, friendly and smiling — until he throws you. You land rather hard. Judo requires great lung capacity. I’m a smoker and that’s what handicaps me during a tournament. I’m always out of breath, huffing and puffing against men who are mostly slower and weaker. But they tend to cling, hold and somehow make my life miserable between fags and other exotic substances. It’s not a life, really, and I’m seriously contemplating becoming a bird-watcher at the age of 79.

Nevertheless, Amsterdam it is. An added burden is that my son J.T. is coming over from Paris to watch his old man make a fool of himself. It is the first time I’ve had someone come to watch me compete, and it’s making me nervous as hell. I know exactly how it’s going to end. I don’t want to be thrown right away by a counter, so I will fight conservatively, instead of doing it the Panzer way.

But back to the training grind. The most important thing before a competition is strategy. More often than not, one enters the mat and gets flustered when the opponent attacks unconventionally. So what one does in training is practise against left-handed and right-handed holds. My strategy is to respond to the opponent’s power arm with a stiff arm to their collar. This allows me to sense subtle shifts in weight, changes in direction, and resistance so that I can determine the appropriate time to pull, push, and — most important — when to attack. Ah, but an attack leaves one open to a counter, unless it’s a perfect one. And on it goes: every move has a counter and every counter has a counter, and the best man wins more often than not. Unless he’s a smoker and a lover of the high life and other terminological anachronisms like the good life.

I won the world championship big time in Brussels in 2008, and I say big time because I threw my opponent in the final with a leg pick, my speciality, but then the crooks who run judo disallowed the throw, so now I feel a bit like that ghastly Lord Bristol must have felt when he lost his stately home and all his moolah. Just another face in the crowd. Bristol did the right thing and died soon after. I hope to keep going and will let you know the results next week.

The Greek elections, of course, have become something of a monthly, or even weekly, event. They take place the day before the judo championships. I’m not so sure which event is more important. Does it really matter who is in charge when so much will be determined by the country’s creditors? Does it matter who is the prime minister who oversees a bailout that guarantees misery for millions of Greeks? Of course not. Any liar will do.

It reminds me of Brussels back in 2008. Across from my hotel there was a Catholic church and some Arabs were kicking a ball in the courtyard and spitting against the walls. Some of us were watching this outrage but we were warned by the concierge not to interfere. The police would take their side, he told us, and they would be back in force the next day looking to punish anyone who interfered. This is the same Brussels that is telling us to take in more Islamists or else. The same Jean-Claude Juncker who is ordering us around from his château in Luxembourg, a nation that fought the Wehrmacht to a standstill, and from a country that has given the world Goethe, Shakespeare, Socrates and Plato, not to mention Newton, Edison, and even Donald Trump. Yes, we’re all from Luxembourg now — all united and one, thanks to what Jean-Claude tells us.

When I go on the mat in Amsterdam, I will think of that slob and pretend I’m fighting him. And hopefully, I’ll do OK. Yippee!

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  • Ken

    Well said. The only good thing that can be said of Luxembourg is that its radio station was a lifeline to pop starved teenagers 50 or more years ago. After that, nil. Except this loathsome little man.

  • Sanctimony

    Quite ludicrous that Great Britain should be dictated to by a tinpot breakfast boozer from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg…. Population; just over 500,000….

    What is occurring…. who do we get in touch with…

    Feydeau could not have dreamed up a farce to match this hideous human and political pantomime and farrago which is unraveling before our eyes…

    • Fritz123

      The EU is a good idea but it does not yet work the way it should. The first misconstruction of all in Europe is the idea to “keep the Germans down”. And we should ask ourselves whether there is any other reason. And we see that iEU is still better than no EU.


    At an oath-taking ceremony in Heroes’ Square, Budapest, for more than 860 police recruits who will join the Border Policing Directorate of the Riot Police, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated that the Hungarian people do not want a global mass migration to change Hungary.

    Hungary has turned out to be the guardian of the Western World against cultural-marxist anti-white anti-christian USA/ EU. God Bless Orban for being a modern Jan Sobieski and Don John of Austria !!!

    Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria both have known 400 years of Turkish-Arab-Central Asian Muslim attacks and terrible occupation (google White Slave Trade by Turks). In other words, they know what they are talking about.

    Merkel and Juncker and all their fellow EU corrupted marxist Liberal-Left traitors must pay the price for ruining Europe with an uncontrollable influx of young illiterate afghans,somalis,arab jihadist colonists.

    800 000 illegal IMMIGRANTS in Europe in 2015 will soon become 10 000 000 (with family reunification laws and HIGH BIRTHRATES) in 2020 !

    Mr Orbán said: “I think we have a right to decide that we don’t want to have a large number of Muslim people in our country.We don’t want to criticize France, Belgium, any other country, but we think all countries have a right to decide whether they want to have a large number of Muslims in their countries. If they want to live together with them, they can. We don’t want to and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country. We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see.”

    • Fritz123

      What is the common refugee policy? This refugee crisis was too much for burocracy. Everybody is doing what he likes. The only good thing is done by the the Russians with their SU-30 and by the Iranians with their peace agreement in that town. The siege is lifted and the fighters are allowed to flee.

  • Fritz123

    Responsibility of nobody. My favourite nothing is Schulz.

  • Fritz123

    But the biggest nothing in the EU is Hollande. The semantic differences to Germany. He is what the Greeks called an idiot as fas as the Arab spring by ISIS is concerned. I love how the world turns around with the UN and Russia and the Iran in the hands of the very good Mr. Kerry. Kerry and Qatar, he is not a frog. The French do hollydays there, it is enough that they are there. Sitting in the sun and tiorture on demand. They are masters in this. Unthinkable in the UK.

  • Fritz123

    “(A) bailout that guarantees misery for millions of Greeks” is something on which I spoke with Steve whos origins are Greek Jew in Turkey, later in Sanfrancisco and everywhere and now somewhere in the Mojave desert. All Greeks were for the Grexit and some monority said: Well, then you have civil war.

    There are some inner Greek things that are overlooked from the outside. A small “class struggle” or winners and losers. This is where I would like to know more. Who are those “classes”?

    And that case of an “European intervention” is just another case like the case of the Ukraine with other roles and other participians. People in the Ukraine are represendet by the Russians more or less — well, if there were an entity called the Ukraine. Com grano salis. But thats the way it is seen by many old and experienced German politicians.

  • Notsuoh

    You can’t believe a word Taki says, but you wouldn’t want to miss one, either.