Delgado Olympic Judo
Getty Images

Judo at the 2020 Olympics is now winding down. Kudos to NBC for their excellent coverage. The United States had four players who made the cut.


Angelica Delgado Judo

Angelica Delgado -52kg had a tough match that went almost 3 minutes into golden score where she was able to pull off a brilliant ippon!

Colton Brown Judo

Colton Brown -90kg had a fabulous match that he won by a wazari and an ippon in regulation time.

Colton Brown Judo
USA judo
Colton Brown Judoka
Colton Brown Judoka

Nefeli Papadakis -78Kkg lost to H. Yoon of South Korea by wazari uchimata follow by kesa gatame.

Nina Cutro- Kelly +78kg lost to A. Velenšekvs by ippon.

Clearly the country that prevailed throughout competition undoubtably is the host one, Japan. This included the Abe siblings a brother and sister which was a first in the history of Judo at the Olympics.

Abe siblings

One of the longest matches was the Russian Madina Taimazova, who fought one the hardest matches in Olympic Judo history to win a bronze medal.

Olympic Judoka

The ugly theme of anti-Semitism also creeped in to this event with several players opting to forfeit matches rather than fight an Israeli. I hope the IJF will do something about this once and for all! It goes against the core principles of judo and everything that Kano stood for.

Israel Olympic Judo

Photo AP/ Vincent Thian

However kudos to Tahani Al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia was under heavy pressure to boycott match against Israel's Raz Hershko went forward and according to Hershko: I'm glad the sport won out! He later dedicated his medal to Israel.

A similar incident involving Saeid Mollaei last year originally from Iran resulted in his defection to Mongolia which he represented in Tokyo and took a silver medal.

Since resuming my active class schedule in July at my dojo in Claremont, California I've been teaching five days a week. With no local tournaments it has renewed my commitment to teaching the philosophy of judo to my students in terms of character development, entering the arena, and focusing on the present and not worrying about the outcome.

Having my students go to lots of tournaments becoming obsessed with winning medals now seems silly to me. Simone Biles dropping out of the US Gymnastic Team competition demonstrates the negative effect an over emphasis on a winning outcome can have a player. Mushin or staying focused on being in the present is the key.

On a happy note, it was nice to see 101 year old Yosh Uchida, Sensei of San Jose University's Judo Program who coached the US Judo Olympic Team in 1964 featured in support of his player Colton Brown.

Yosh Uchida

LA Times

That a director of my city's opera company would call me seemed a little odd. There are probably some monkeys who know more about opera than I do. But the director was inviting me to lunch, so of course I went.

It turned out the company was producing a performance of Madame Butterfly, the Puccini opera that tells the story of a doomed love between a French military officer and a geisha in early 19th-century Japan. The opera has come under fire for its stereotyped, utterly fanciful depictions of Japanese culture. The local company was trying to anticipate such criticism, and the director asked me, since I serve on the board of some organizations related to Japanese culture, what I thought.
Keep Reading Show less
Apologies in advance for the title if it gives impressions that this is going to be all that poetic. It's not this presentation that is all that literary, but something else. Haikus and pentameter aside, MMA has moments that are nothing less than poetic on a pretty astral level. Not long ago, irony at the nauseating level (unless you are a psychopath) happened when former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman broke his leg on Uriah Hall's leg in an eerily similar way as the other former champ Anderson Silva did on Chris's in their title rematch. If you know anything at all about MMA and did not know this story, you have to have been living under a rock. Save your energy and do not go look at pictures of either event as it is nightmare material.
Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge

Have you ever watched a film that was just so amazing that when the sequel came out, your mind started developing great expectations and that it would be a pip, which has nothing to do with a Charles Dicken's novel, yet a movie that could be a real humdinger?

In 2017, one of the most engaging and exciting elements of the Sammo Hung and Vincent Zhao starring God of War is that it was a remake of Jimmy Wang Yu's classic kung fu flick Beach of the War Gods (BWG; 1973). This gave me the perfect opportunity to see how a film on the same subject was handled by two Chinese filmmaking eras 44 years apart and how the fight choreography was used to tell the hero's story.

Keep Reading Show less