Japan Judo World Championships

To no one's surprise, Japan added to their medal total at the World Judo Championships capturing gold in the mixed team event on the final day of competition from Budapest, Hungary. After dominating the individual portion of the tournament grabbing more gold and more total medals than any other nation, Japan crushed France in the finals to claim the title in the six-person team event.

Japan swept the first four matches of the finals and didn't even need heavyweight world champion Kokoro Kageura to bother taking the mat for the fifth match. Overall, Japan came away from the world championships with six golds - no other country got more than one - and twelve total medals. The Netherlands was a distant second in the overall medal count with five, all bronze.

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.

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Judging your own students or teammates is probably one of the biggest controversies on the martial arts tournament circuits. But what people really mean by that needs to be defined. I think what people really mean is don't judge your own students or teammates in black belt divisions. I guess my question would be why it would be acceptable to judge your own students in a colored belt division and not in black belt. When you think about it you either have integrity or you don't.
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As the medal results roll in from Tokyo, and the numbers are tallied, it is important to remember that just to participate in the Olympic Games is a goal few athletes ever achieve. As a fan of Judo, high-level human achievement, and elite athletes, I thought it would be helpful to gain some wisdom from a real live Olympian.

Enter Nefeli Papadakis, who at 22, is the youngest member of the USA Judo team. Papadakis is from Gurnee Illinois and started studying Judo at the age of 4. She is coached by her father, Steve Papadakis, and the two have been on the long road to the Olympics together.

Imagine standing at the edge of the stands, seeing her stroll confidently toward the mat, and getting just enough time to ask five questions.

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