Tag Archives: judo

Happy Friday: Juji Gatame Turnover Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Stephan Kesting put up a nice little video on his blog about defending what we call in our academy the juji gatame turnover, or what they are calling the “Ronda Rousey rolling armbar”. Kesting also implies there’s some drama going on between Rousey and some former teachers/training partners, but whatevs- this looks like a pretty cool video and may give you an option if you find yourself in that position.

Check it out, enjoy, and have a great weekend!


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Interview with US Judo Paralympic Coach, Heidi Moore

Good morning everyone!

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the coaches for the US Paralympic Judo Team, Heidi Moore, and ask a few questions regarding her experiences as both a competitor, and as a coach. Enjoy, everyone!

How did you get started in judo/ what interested you in to participate in the sport? 
 I started judo because my little brother was doing it, straight up sibling rivalry. However, he quit after a couple of years and I stayed with it. I have been doing it for 27 years now and am a godan, or 5th degree black belt.
What prompted you to start competing, and eventually coaching the Paralympics team? 
I am not visually impaired, but my husband Scott is. I got involved with the Paralympic program through him. I was able to go watch him compete in Sydney where he won the first ever gold medal for the US in Olympic or Paralympic judo, and in Athens where he won a bronze medal. In 2008 in Beijing he was the assistant coach, and in 2009 he was named the head coach of the US Paralympic team. I had been working with the team for several years as a coach and as a the US Association of Blind Athletes “development coordinator” meaning I find clubs for visually impaired athletes interested in trying the sport. In 2012 I servered as the assistant coach for the Paralympic team in London. I have also been the tournament director for the IBSA (International Blind Sports Association) world youth championships in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and for the IBSA Pan American Championships in 2009 and 2013. 
As a competitor, What do you find to be the best part/worst part of competition?
I think the worst thing for me as a competitor was the nerves before I fought. Even when I was ranked #1 in the US I doubted my abilities and was very nervous before every competition. The best part was the high from winning. 🙂 It was also an honor to be able to represent my country in international competitions such as the Pan American Championships and the World Championships. 
What do you consider to be the best, or most gratifying part of coaching? Also, what do you consider to be the most frustrating? 
The most gratifying part of coaching is being able to give back to judo and to expose new people to what I consider to be the greatest sport in the world. I love it when my students excel in competition, but it is even more gratifying to see them develop an abiding love for judo.  The most frustrating part is when I have an athlete who has a lot of potential or who talks about wanting to be great, but doesn’t back it up with action (doesn’t come to practice regularly, etc). It is frustrating to want it more for someone than they want it for them self.
Is there anything surprising, or unexpected that you have found while coaching?  
I’ve been coaching at Denver Judo for about 13 years now. I guess the thing that I find the most surprising about coaching is how difficult it can be. When I was a competitor I only had to worry about myself, but when you are a coach, you have to worry not only about coaching your athletes, but making sure that they have the information they need, that transportation and lodging are taken care of, that they make weight, etc, etc.  I have a lot more sympathy for my coaches now that I know how much they really did for us!
What is your most memorable moment as a coach or competitor, or both? 
As an athlete, I have several most memorable moments.  The year of 2007 was my best year as a competitor. I won Nationals and the US Open, and took bronze medals in the Canadian Open and the Pan American Championships that year, and fought in the world championships in Brazil. As a coach, a couple of memorable moments where the first time I coached my son at a tournament (he took 2nd place) and when I coached one of the visually impaired women to a silver medal in the world championships in 2010.
Also if you, or someone you happen to know is visually impaired and would like to try judo, please feel free to email Heidi: judoheidi at comcast.net
Thanks so much to Heidi for answering these questions, and thank you guys for reading!


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UFC fighter Rhonda Rousey Talks About Likelihood of Competing in BJJ Tournament

In a recent interview someone asked if female MMA fighter Rhonda Rousey would be willing to enter a jiu jitsu tournament. Not to spoil the video for everyone, but she basically says she just doesn’t have the time at the moment, but would be interested in the future when she retires from her MMA career.

Interesting note, she does mention that what she currently does, fighting in an MMA setting, is closer to the true heart of the self defense/martial art aspect of judo and jiu jitsu and you know, she does have a point. Also, I really don’t think people should take her ne waza (groundwork) experience quite as lightly. Women in jiu jitsu, barring Gabi Garcia and a few others, tend to sit into open guard and begin their work from there. And having a judo player on top is putting them in the first, last and only place they want to be: you are pretty much playing into their strengths and I feel it would present a problem for a lot of Rousey’s competition.

Check out the video and let me know what you think.

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New(ish) Bjj Scout Video: Rhonda Rousey Takedowns

BJJ Scout put this video out on Saturday of former Judo Olympian/female MMA fighter Rhonda Rousey’s takedown strategy: I think the uchimata to kouchi combination is pretty sweet.

Check it out!





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New BJJ Scout Video: Rodolfo Vieira

The writer/creator over at BJJ Scout has a new black belt whose technique they will be examining and breaking down- Rodolfo Vieira. I don’t know too much about him, other than he fought in Metamoris 2 against Braulio Estima (I vaguely remembering watching this match, but nothing really specific is coming to mind about it), but I look forward to checking out the videos the author will put out regarding his game.

There’s already one about Vieira and his takedowns, which from the post look to be very judo heavy- a concept I can totally get down with.

Check it out!

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I was talking with one of our blue belt girls last night about some of her experience and training in the past couple of months.

Involvement with a sport, like most experiences in life, have an interesting effect on people: they are convinced they are the only ones that feel a particular way, but when we start to talk with one another, there is the revelation that others have felt the same way during training: maybe not n the exact situation, but have felt accomplished when completing a technique one week and then feeling like maybe someone should hand us back our white belts the next.

Don’t be afraid to share your frustrations, because higher belts and even those at the same rank have most likely experienced the same thing. Also, what is nice is if you talk about what is frustrating you, there is a chance that someone may have an answer or a perspective you may not have considered.



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New Years Grappling Resolutions

In addition to regular resolutions, which I’ll write down this new years to remind myself- I have some grappling new years resolutions I would like to put into effect:

1- brabo chokes: I would like to get better at them. I can see the potential effectiveness, and now would like to work on seeing and capitalizing on opportunities

2- Mounted triangle: attacks and finishes. Pretty self-explanatory

3- Judo tournaments: At least 1, preferably a couple of judo tournaments this year.

4- butterfly guard, my arch-nemesis.

…Hm, that’s all I can think of for now. Anything you would like to work on in the new year?

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Training For the Zombie Apocalypse

Are you prepared?

Other than the whole “build a bunker and ration food and ammunition” thing, you can also prepare your body for the coming apocalypse. I would like to present you with some options for your zombie training:

1) Check out ZombieFit.org: it has a very heavy emphasis on parkour, which I’m not exactly down for, but it can’t hurt to learn to climb up and over difficult terrain.

2) Judo: as much as I train in Jiu Jitsu, I feel Judo provides better preparation. Depending on how you play, you can combine stamina training with explosive movements, and also importantly will make you “judo tough” i.e., how to fall without breaking anything to keep on running.

3) Bodyweight training and pull ups: Don’t fall prey to the zombie horde because you can’t hoist yourself up over a windowsill and out of harm’s way.

4) Functional Strength Training: This may fall into the same category as bodyweight training, but whatevs. You want to be strong enough to get yourself away from the zombie masses, build a barricade, with the possibility of helping a fallen comrade, especially if they have useful information vital to your survival. I know someone who can operate and repair helicopters, and another who can set  up and operate shortwave radios-I think we all know which people I’m going to make sure stay alive.

5) Cardio, and a way to subdue anyone that gets a little nutty: This is where Jiu Jitsu really comes in handy. The reasons behind the cardio are obvious.  What we all fail to anticipate is someone that just can’t take the stress of the situation, and gets a little out of hand, decides they want to go on their own, or do something else remarkably stupid. Jiu Jitsu is a perfect way to put this person out (most likely RNC) until they snap out of their little breakdown and are ready to be a part of the team again.

Anyone have any suggestions for training for the undead? Physical training, that is; I originally put “learn to shoot a gun” on this list, but I want to focus more on the physical fitness aspect. Let’s hear it!



I was living on the edge yesterday: I ate peanut butter at 3pm-if you have been following along, that’s a pretty big step for me. Unfortunately I did something to the left side of my leg (the groin region) and  so I didn’t train as much as usual, but I was actually pretty level-headed for the Judo class. Hooray! You have no idea how accomplished I feel at the moment.

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday, 10.12.11

I totally stole this from Leslie, and I think it would be awesome if this could be done in real life, just as fast with a line of people.

You’ll understand when you watch 😉

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Give and Take

Tonight I’m going to train with one teammate with some Judo sparring, or randorii, as it is usually called. The girl I train with is totally going to kick my ass. I know this. She’ll probably deny it, but she probably knows it too. It’s ok, because I kick her butt in jiu jitsu. She’s definitely getting better by the day, if not hour, but for now I can occasionally catch her in certain techniques which she’ll also eventually find ways around, and I’ll have to adjust my game accordingly.

I like this kind of give and take; there is a name for this type of phenomenon, where something is a smaller example of something on a much larger scale. I can’t think of it at the moment, but the give and take I have with my teammate is I feel what keeps jiu jitsu evolving. Each person has a strength or weakness, another will get around the strength and exploit the weakness, the opponent will catch up and the game will change. This happens on all scales in the jiu jitsu community, and keeps the sport and game fresh for everyone participating.

But I have to admit, randorii is gonna suuuuuck. 😉


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