Tag Archives: Philadelphia Judo

Happy Friday: Judo Fever Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

There’s apparently an outbreak in our academy: an outbreak of Judo fever.

Teammates are sharing stories of performing uchi-komis (practicing the form of the throw- basically pantomiming the throw repeatedly) at work and other public, non-academy places.

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have an urge now and again to do the same: however I also sit at work for most of my day so I haven’t had an opportunity to act on said urge.

Has something like this ever happened at your academy? Let me know- otherwise, have a great weekend!

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BJJ and Takedowns: Attacking “On the Move”

My coach had an excellent point last night (which you know, happens now and again…I kid, I kid) during class- one of the more difficult elements of takedowns, other than the actual technique itself, is executing it with a live, moving target. We become used to drilling a particular takedeown- a judo throw, a single or double, etc- that when it comes to go time, it’s hard to translate those “static” drills into a smooth execution of the technique.

It’s beneficial to work on attacking “on the move”- either through sparring, or a light back and forth with a partner who isn’t necessarily overly resistant, but more mobile and offering a more dynamic situation to work off of, rather than just standing there (we call this “hop randori” in our academy). Practicing in this fashion is a better representation of just how you will execute your takedown during more intense sparring and in competition, leaving (relatively) little surprise when it comes to use it.

Just wanted to share with you all- have a great day everyone!

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When Committing is Less Painful Than Not Committing

I’m mainly talking about judo, but please feel free to apply this concept to whatever part of your life you may deem this applicable, where not committing to “help” someone can do more harm than good.

So, in judo there are a couple of throws (approximately 5 or 6) that end in “makikomi”- which was explained to me this way:

“I’m going to throw you, and then I’m going to land on top of you.”

Which really sounds scarier than it really is, truth be told, and is one of the prime examples where trying to be gentle with a partner can end up hurting more than actually helping.

See, when you perform these throws, let’s say soto makikomi for instance, you need to maintain contact and basically glue yourself-preferably ribs to ribs- to your partner all the way down to the landing. Which sounds like it sucks, but not really. It’s when the person throwing breaks the connection and creates space between the two players is where the pain happens. Not only does your partner have to deal with the impact of hitting the floor, they get a double whammy of the floor and your weight smashing into them a fraction of a second later rather than taking it all in one blow. I’m sure there is a beautiful explanation for this, courtesy of science and physics, but I’m not really going to get into that right now.

The fact of the matter is sometimes we try to “save” people from harm on the mat by attempting to be gentle, because these are our teammates: we like them and want them to continue training without pain or injury. But keep in mind there are times where these well meaning actions end up doing more damage than just “going all in” and fully committing to your intended action. You partner is (usually) better prepared to defend the full execution of a technique, not a hesitant half-hearted attempt that may end up putting both of you at greater risk for injury than if you had just committed to your original action in the first place.

So keep in mind that while you want your partner to succeed and you want them to continue training, sometimes it really is better, and safer to commit to a technique, rather than forcing them to adjust to some awkward, hesitant attempt.

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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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Aaaand Day 12 of the 12 Days of Judo! Sode Tsurikomi Goshi

Yay, the last one! This was a much more ambitious project than I intended, and to be honest I really think of myself as the least photogenic person on the planet so that was a bit of a hurdle to get over, but it was fun and if it got a couple of smiles out of people my job is done.

And for anyone that watched the video before this, my apologies, the one below is right version. Not that the other one was wrong, per se, it was just a little cut off at the beginning.

So here it is, the 12th day of Judo! Sode Tsurikomi Goshi-enjoy!

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BJJ Female Competitors: The Negatives of Weight Cutting Practices (and Day 11 of the 12 Days of Judo: Suma Gaeshi)

I’m going to make a broad generalization here: most, if not all female competitors know that it is more difficult for a woman to rapid lose, or “cut” weight than a man. I have made this assertion many times, and many other female competitors have agreed with me, but I never really found (honestly, I never seriously looked) for empirical evidence to back up this claim.

Until now.

Jon Gelber, M.D. wrote an article for Sherdog regarding female MMA fighters and cutting weight, and in addition to providing a better explanation behind why it is more difficult (I usually just say something to the effect of “stupid hormones”) he cites a study in which they create a weight cutting situation, and then test the explosive strength of men and women. It was interesting to note for women, even after rehydration, their explosive strength was less than pre-cut levels, and appeared to have a direct relation to the percentage of weight loss. You can find the article Gelber cites here.

So what’s the best course of action? Really, you know what works best for your body/schedule/etc. but personally I would recommend a slower weight loss program with more time between the start date and the day of the tournament. That’s pretty much what I did for Abu Dhabi Pro Trials and I felt pretty good leading right up to the tournament. Granted, I got (just a little) weird a few days before the tournament because I was worried I was going to unknowingly sabotage myself somehow, but for the most part I felt pretty strong and good to go. So, again, do what works best for you, but if you are not sure what approach to take in terms of weight loss for a tournament, take this as an argument for taking a slower, in my opinion healthier strategy.

Aaaand here’s Day 11 of the 12 Days of Judo: Suma Gaeshi. Enjoy!


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Happy Friday: Day 10 of the 12 Days of Judo, or “More Judo than You Can Shake a Stick at” Edition

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you guys finished your Christmas shopping, and if you haven’t yet, well, we’re in the same boat, so you’re definitely not alone if that’s any comfort.

And we’re up to Day 10 of the 12 Days of Judo: Uchi Mata! Just a side note, thanks to everyone who has watched these so far: and also a thanks to the one soul who keeps liking these videos. It’s definitely appreciated. 🙂

Anyway, enjoy!

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Holiday Brain Freeze and Day 9 of the 12 Days of Judo: Tsurikomi Goshi

The title is just a nice way of telling you that I really have nothing to talk about today. I’m blaming it on the holidays- I’m sort of preoccupied with trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to be getting my family and friends for the holidays this weekend in a mad dash through a variety of stores throughout the city. This weekend will be a little stressful, but productive.

Anyway, we’re up to Day 9 of the 12 Days of Judo: Tsurikomi Goshi. The video is below- enjoy!

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IBJJF Gets a Verbal Smackdown, and Day 8 of the 12 Days of Judo: Kosoto Gake

Professor Fabio Santos has some words regarding the sport and particularly the IBJJF, and as Rener would say, Dang:

“Some instructors are ruining the reputation of the art, by viewing the student only as a fountain of money. They come to the United States to teach. After recruiting students and taking their money they proceed to move back and forth between Brazil and United States, ongoing, without respecting their obligations as a business owner or even paying taxes, and in some cases they even abandon their students.

Even the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) is contributing to the diminishment of the integrity of the art by elevating its financial interest over the quality of instruction by accepting changes to the original belt system established by the founders of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and altering the traditional form of Jiu Jitsu instruction. This is done out of greed, pressure from parents and impatient students that think the process required to get a belt promotion is taking too long!

The attitude of the IBJJF is self-serving and not helpful to students or schools, in that it undermines a reputation that has taken decades to create. Furthermore, while it exerts a force of authority and governance to the sport here, it rarely contributes to the support, when needed, by its members. That is why tradition and integrity are important. Tradition strengthens the real martial art where all is earned. The Professor must take the time to know the students character to award them a Black Belt. Some will never have the character to earn this however; it can motivate others to change both mentally and physically to become a better person. If we lose our tradition we lose everything. Greed, complication, inefficiency and breaking tradition is weakening the REAL JIU JITSU! SAY NO TO THE CORRUPTION OF JIU JITSU!!”

-Professor Fabio Santos 7th Degree Red and Black Belt Student of Rolls and Rickson Gracie.

This honestly was pulled from a friend’s facebook post, so if someone knows the original source, please by all means let me know. Professor Santos has some interesting points, but I’m wondering if we will see a reaction to this comment from the IBJJF. ::shrug:: Only time will tell.

Oh! And we’re up to Day 8 of the 12 Days of Judo: Kosoto Gake- the video is below all of the text.

Also, a quick word on commenting on this blog: first and foremost, I moderate and approve of all of your comments- this started sometime in the summer (let’s say May, why not). If your comment is on this blog, it means that I have read and approved it. I always welcome people to comment, and disagree with me if they feel: I’m not always right, and you could bring a new dynamic to the conversation that we had not considered up to that point. If your comment is not posted for some reason however, ask yourself some of these questions:

1. Does your comment call anyone “stupid”, “crazy” or any other sort of derogatory label, not because of any nefarious or destructive behavior/attitude, but for having an opinion different than your own?

2. Does it appear that you are attempting to marginalize the concerns of others with no points, facts, etc. to (even sort of) back up your statement?

3. Was your comment vague enough that it was accidentally caught by my spam filter? I try to pull those out when I can but honestly I visit that folder pretty infrequently.

4. Have I stated that I was on vacation or traveling? I tend not to check my email or pending comments when away from home. I make an attempt to check, but I can’t promise to check for comments in any sort of timely fashion.

Really, that’s about it. It takes a fair amount to “rustle my jimmies” as they say on the internet, so if you disagree with me, go ahead, but if you are just looking for someone to argue with for the sake of arguing, there’s a whole part of the internet just for that: it’s called the YouTube comment section. And the help forum of Craigslist, or as I call it, the 9th Circle of Hell. That is a dark, dark place and I sincerely hope you never have to go there.

Anyway, here’s the video: enjoy!

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Science of Skill Post on Training with Smaller People and Day 7 of the 12 Days of Judo: Hane Goshi

There’s a nice little article geared toward those of a larger stature and about the benefits of training with smaller people (women included). Check it out!

Aaaand here’s Day 7 of the 12 Days of Judo. Sorry for the almost violent cut in between shots: somewhere a single tear is rolling down the cheek of my Communication Technology teacher (I have actually taken a class on audio and video editing- sad, right?).

Anyway, enjoy!

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