Gary Goltz

My name is Gary Goltz. I've been doing judo since 1966 and lead a dojo in Claremont, California. You may have read some of the articles I wrote for Black Belt or saw me on Conan as a 'John Crease' type Sensei questioning the merit of Jack Black's Tiger Roll. I served as President of the US Judo Association and of Nanka (the SoCal Black Belt union) and created the Winter Nationals® America's top judo competition.

In addition to judo, I've been in business since 1977 as an executive and entrepreneur with an MBA where I successfully applied judo to my life outside the dojo.

My blog will focus on all aspects of judo. Back in the 60's it was the dominant martial art practiced throughout the world and here in the United States. It was the first martial art to be accepted as an Olympic sport in 1964. In fact when I started after watching Bruce Lee as Kato in the Green Hornet, it was the only martial art offered at the Jewish Y in Pittsburgh. Back then Black Belt was mostly focused on judo. But that changed as the other martial arts got traction in Hollywood and with the rise of the UFC.

Karate Do - Judo Clip with Gary Goltz

Judo, the gentle way was the first modern marital art as developed by Jigoro Kano in 1882. He refined several popular styles of jujitsu focusing mostly on throwing techniques along with hold downs, strangles, and joint locks. While Kano's eliminated the moves which could cause injuries, the intent was to allow free practice randori at full throttle. In this manner judoka could hone their skills against a fully resisting and counter attacking opponent.

Utilizing judo's falling methods ukemi, injuries were further minimized. It's interesting to note that for years according to Judo Gene LeBell all those doing stunts in Hollywood were required to be certified by him that they were proficient in judo's ukemi.

The result of this intense level training coupled with a high degree of safety was that judoka became very effective fighters. Judoka prevailed in matches set-up by the local government to determine which martial art system was best suited for the police. Bruce Lee often would complement the prowess of judo's randori training.

So Kano's Judo with its philosophy, training and falling methods revolutionized the samurai martial arts thus assuring their place during the modernization of Japan. Kano's development of a belt rank system ranks and gis led the groundwork of the today's martial arts supply industry.

As the original judoka of the Kodokan - or the school of the way, traveled outside of Japan they often engaged in local UFC style contest. The most famous of these roving judoka was Mitsuyo Maeda who spent time in Cuba and Brazil. It was Maeda who is also credited in the early development of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But Kano was concerned that judo must have a higher purpose and thus developed judo's maxims which I will address in detail in my next blog.

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.

Keep Reading Show less

The skill of stick fighting as a handy weapon dates from the prehistory of mankind. The stick has got an advantage over the stone because it could be used both for striking and throwing. In lots of countries worlwide when dealing with martial arts there is a special place for fighters skillful in stick fighting. ( India, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, countries of Africa, Europe and Americas etc).

The short stick as a handy weapon has been used as a means of self-defence from animals and later various attackers. Regarding its length it was better than the long stick, primarily because it was easier to carry and use. The short stick as a means of self-defence was used namely in all countries of the world long time ago.

Keep Reading Show less

The Czech Republic's Lukas Krpalek put himself in the history books Friday when he became only the third judoka to ever win Olympic gold medals in two different weight categories claiming the men's +100 kg division in Tokyo. Krpalek, who won the under 100 kg class at the 2016 Rio Olympics, hit a throw with time running out in the finals against Georgia's Guram Tushishvili and went into a hold down to pin Tushishvili for the full point to earn his second Olympic championship. Meanwhile, two-time defending +100 kg champion Teddy Riner of France, considered by some the greatest judoka in history, was upset in the quarter finals and had to settle for the bronze.

On the women's side, Akira Sone helped Japan break its own record for most judo gold medals in a single Olympics when she claimed her country's ninth gold of the tournament capturing the women's +78 kg division against Cuba's Idalys Ortiz. The win came in somewhat anticlimactic fashion as no throws were landed and Ortiz lost on penalties in overtime.