Gary Goltz Judo

I recall Floyd Burk who is also a regular writer and contributor to Black Belt Magazine once asked for my input on article he had in the works entitled 'The Aging Martial Artist'.

Specifically he wanted to know the biggest change in your martial arts ability that you've noticed over the years? (Answer could be physical, philosophical, strategic, etc..)

Because judo is so physical, many of the moves I can no longer do because of prior injuries and trying to avoid future ones, (after 60 it takes much longer to recover). So my role have gravitated towards being involved in running the judo organizations, promoting large events, refereeing, developing future leaders, as well as providing wisdom that comes with age and experience.

He also wanted my advice to younger martial artists? 

Focus on the big long term picture. Competition only lasts till you're too old to really get out there and do it. In judo we do have master divisions but I think there are better ways to serve the development of judo by developing dojos and students. I'm much more into using the principle of judo (maximum efficiently with minimum effort) then I was when I was younger.

I noticed it's harder for me to pull off big throws that require getting under an opponent's center of gravity. I favor small throws such as foot sweeps but these require perfect timing and skill to pull off. As I get older being smooth and in touch with the flow of the opponents movement becomes extremely important.

I'm also much more into judo as a life style than simply for competition. Judo has effected every aspect of my life, from my family to friends, even business, I see the tie in between what is done in the dojo as a microcosm of what happens in the real world.

Finally he asked; What can people do to best prepare themselves for those transitions? 

Read books on judo's philosophy that are now more available compared to when I was growing up. These include Mind over Muscle by Naoki Murata, The Art of Peace by George Ohsawa, Judo Heart and Soul by Hayward Nishioka, Three Budo Masters & The Way of Judo by John Stevens, The Second Life of Judo by Alan Rafkind, Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano by Brian Watson, which all give terrific insights on the true meaning of judo. Also take good care of your mind and body by doing things in moderation.

Paul Schollmeier a judoka who's also a Barrick Distinguished Scholar and Philosophy Professor and I talked about the importance of understanding the samurai concept of mushin being focused on the here and now or being present.

Paul recommended these additional books; The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman, The Heart Sutra and its translation and commentary by Red Pine. In Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Live by Shantideva. Epectitus might be a stoic to start with. There is a short collection of his thoughts that served as a handbook for Roman soldiers. It's official title is Encheiridion, but it is also known as the Handbook.

To this end I really appreciate Jeff Przybilla's Life Skills Test which he incorporates into his at SCSU classes.


Jeff in action

Life skills


Nanka will be hosting a free Zoom seminar from 2:00 to 4:00 PM (PDT) on Saturday September 18, 2021.

Dr. Jigoro Kano

Watch Video Trailer Promo

Click here to Register

Nanka Judo Yudanshakai's relationship with Kano Shihan goes back to 1933, when during his then visit to Los Angeles he supported the formation of Nanka. So our interest in being able to present and enable conversation on Kano ideas and intentions is relevant to us and we believe the judo family at large.

It is our pleasure to be able to present this seminar featuring Lance Gatling – Jigoro Kano and Judo, the Secret Behind the Man.

It is well known that Kano frequently spoke about his judo philosophies for many decades, but he never ever disclosed their origins, nor their exact meaning which has escaped judoka ever since. His writings were not only influenced by ancient Eastern philosophy, but also from 19th century English philosophers.

While living in Japan, Lance Gatling has studied and researched Jigoro Kano for the past 15 years, discovering much that has not been seen for nearly the past 100 years.

During this seminar Lance will be present materials originated by Kano on a wide range of topics that include; Kano's judo philosophy; its origin and meaning, Kano's view of education, his thoughts on judo vs. today's sport judo, the five historic judokas, and his Twelve Principles of Judo.

Many of these concepts have never been discussed before and through his unique understanding of Kano, Lance will reveal a side of Kano we were not aware of. We expect a very large audience to this seminar. Register now at the link above!

​The USJA's Board of Director's Election


(Voting has begun Eligible Voters have been notified)

Here are the best choices based on their judo, business, and educational experience

USJA Nominees

From left to right: Paul Bova, Jan Finkbeiner, Bonnie Korte, Dr. Ray Marquez IV, Paul Rivera

Detailed Bios can be found on the USJA's Election Website


Challenge of the Champions

Jefferson City Judo Club is excited to begin hosting Challenge of the Champions! We wish to extend an invitation to everyone, near and far, to participate in this spectacular event. Judoka and grapplers from all styles are welcome to participate. This tournament will be a great opportunity as we will offer BOTH Freestyle Judo and IJF Judo. Contenders are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in both rule sets.

As this event continues to gain momentum, we anticipate a tremendous turn out. Participants, coaches, referees and spectators can expect a great experience as you are greeted into one of the finest dojo facilities in the Midwest. Our school is 9500 square feet with two, full sized competition mats, which will be running simultaneously to keep the day flowing smoothly. You can also expect highly qualified and experienced Freestyle and USA (IJF) referees on the mat.

We will have Junior, Senior and Master's brackets ages 5 and up. Registration/weigh-ins are Friday, Oct. 8th from 3-8:00 p.m. Brackets will be available to view and we will start promptly on Saturday, Oct. 9th at 9:00 a.m. Preregistration is encouraged and can be completed by calling 573-301-1738 / 573-680-4694 or emailing to receive a registration form which can be mailed/emailed back to us.

Payments can be taken over the phone, check by mail and we also accept cash. Cost is $40 per competitor.

Head over to to find places to stay while in Jefferson City.

Other useful links include:

Challenge of the Champions is sure to be one of the most impressive tournaments you will experience this year. Please come, be our guest and allow JCJC to serve you a memorable day full of judo as you step out, share the mat and challenge yourself with other champions. See you on the tatamis!

I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to, thanks.

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Two-Time Black Belt Hall of Famer Hayward Nishioka has been campaigning for judo in the United States to harvest more shodans (1st degree black belts) Shodan literally means student. It's analogous to being a freshman in college. It's not the end but the beginning according to Jigoro Kano, the Founder of Judo.

A very dear friend and sensei of mine the late Allen Johnson, may he rest in peace made a home at Emerald City Judo. In Redmond, Washington.

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Destinee Tartuffe

My friend Destinee Tartuffe a 4th dan and Head Sensei at Good Time Judo in Santa Rosa, CA has always been a pioneer and developer in all her life endeavors. She first took over the judo program at Santa Rosa Junior Collegestarted by my old friend Terry Kelly upon his retirement then went on to complete getting her law degree, JD.

Recently Destinee contacted me about a new training tool she’s invented. Upon my investigation, I was so impressed with this product that I asked her to write something about it for this week’s Black Belt Blog.
Judo Equipment

Members of Good Time Judo using Judo Jaime Training Tools.

As judo practitioners we know judo is an exciting dynamic Olympic or recreational sporting activity that offers social interaction, stress relief, and tons of fun. However, we also know that judo can be a dangerous, and potentially deadly activity when used for self-defense or when not practiced safely.

For all the fun and benefit that judo provides an enthusiast it seems to be the world’s best kept secret from the general populace. My coach and mentor taught me that judo is an inclusive, not an exclusive activity. So, I look for ways to get more people interested.

One of the biggest issues relates to the very idea of inclusiveness, which for me translates to one dojo cannot be everything to everybody. The age old saying jack of all trades, and master of none comes to mind.

Recently, I watched YouTube videos of three respected Judo coaches discussing the state of Judo in the United States. One of their common observations is that students who come to train with them lack the fundamental skills which would allow them to actually help those students reach a level of Judo expertise whereby the student could compete at an elite level of competition.

While I was disappointed to hear their dire opinions, they were similar to what I was experiencing in my college classroom. Honestly, I have been concerned for many years about how to continue when so many of the students come to class with an attitude of being a “super ninja” when in actuality they are often uncoordinated and seemingly unwilling to follow even the simplest of instructions. This creates a situation or environment where “bullies” prevail, injures occur, and students are lost. This attitude seems a direct conflict to the principle of Mutual Benefit and Welfare, and it made me think about hanging up my judogi.

Then, COVID caused programs to close, but as a college Judo instructor I was tasked with creating an online curriculum for my students and doing so within one week! I knew my students did not have the proper safety equipment in their homes to continue with the rolls and falls that we were practicing in class. We spent the last eight weeks finishing out the semester via Zoom class. I found the biggest challenge to be communicating to the student how they needed to correct their postures, or their ability to visualize the skill and apply my instructions for any given lesson.

The last night of class of had a vision of how these issues could be addressed. That’s when I created the Fundamental Directional Movement Mat and a Proximity Training Device that I call Judo Jaime: Your Training Uke. These tools can be used together or separately. The benefits conferred to the user by using the tools together can greatly excel the beginning students understanding of the application of Judo.

These tools are not just for beginners, it is important for even the most experienced judoka to review the fundamental movements regularly. Think about it there are pre-arranged forms (katas) that specifically address movement!

The Fundamental Directional Movement Mat is a durable vinyl mat with an elliptical design (mapping the movement of the Judoka in the plane of applied Judo). The instructor whether in-person or in an online class can assist the student by directing them to orient either along the horizontal or vertical 180 degree lines, which are also used to demonstrate and solidify 90 degree turns/pivots that are important to the fundamental movements for application of Judo. The mat also has indicators for the student to see the 45 degree angle of technique application easier.

Judo Jaime: Your Training Uke is a proximity training device that allows beginning Judoka to develop the proper posture and understanding of the proximity for applying judo techniques without the resistance, frustration, or fear that working with a partner initially brings. My years of teaching adults have shown me that despite what the student says, they often approach contact with another with fear and the mistaken belief that over-powering or resisting their partner is the proper thing to do; however, one-half the goal of Judo is that someone falls down! With Judo Jaime the student has the opportunity to develop the confidence and skills to make an actual attack when they are ready to engage with a person.

The device weighs no more than five pounds and is approximately 53” in height (when assembled). It is easily transportable and fun to use vs. the usual training dummies which are awkward, heavy and unsafe to use without proper instruction or direct supervision. While either product can be used alone we recommend using the tools together. This allows the student to fine-tune visualization skills and apply techniques, here again, without resistance from a partner. The student will develop an understanding and integration of the techniques for proper response timing more quickly.

The Fundamental Directional Movement Mat and Instructional material is copyrighted by Destar Productions, Inc.

Judo Jaime: Your Training Uke is a proximity training device with a patent pending by Destar Productions, Inc. For questions regarding orders and other product descriptions email Destinee Tartuffe at or visit our online store directly.

Judo Jamie

Judo Jaime

Fundamental Direction Training Mat

Fundamental Training Mat

Good Time Judo Outdoor workout with Judo Jaime

Outdoor Judo Jaime2

Judo training Without a Partner/ Introduction of Training Tools for Standing

This video introduces some new training tools for practicing, maintaining and gaining skills for application of Judo technique.Be sure to check out the Demon...

Demonstration of Judo Jaime: Your Training Uke

Demonstration of Judo Jaime: Your Training UkeBe sure to check out our video Judo training while social distancing.

I’m always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to, thanks.

Gary Goltz
Xiaolin Gruv
Photo Courtesy: Carmichael Simon

Title Image: XiaolinGruv Masters 2005 : Nigel Bolton, Carmichael Simon, Kory Watkins, Anthony Gooch, and Jeriel Bey

During the 1980s as BBoys (Breakers), Poppers, and Lockers share their creative spirits within the New York City transit line, Los Angeles nightlife, and media platforms such as Soul Train, we travel a few miles from Bruce Lee’s nostalgic school where the “Arts & Soul” of Oakland, California harmonize. Orchestrating the culture of their roots, heritage of movement, and diversity of social economics, we find the Alice Arts Center.

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