Scott Adkins, star of Undisputed III: Redemption, was featured in the February 2011 Black Belt issue's cover story about what constitutes the 21st-century martial artist. He's a student of judo, wushu, Krav Maga and gymnastics, and used all of them in his role as Russian inmate Boyka for the two latter Undisputed films. In this exclusive interview, Adkins and respected director Isaac Florentine discuss the difficulties of makeup for the fight sequences, as well as how Adkins trained for the physically intense role of Boyka.
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.
The late Allen Johnson receiving his Rokudan with Greg Dean, Mike Hyatt, me, and Nelson Salazar of Emerald City Judo in Redmond, WA - Greater Seattle.
Sensei Allen Johnson’s Legacy and Impact on Emerald City Judo Club’s Journey
Allen Johnson in Viet Nam
Allen's crash landing story and US Masters (2012 )Winter Nationals (2013)
Allen was an American Hero, a decorated veteran who passed away on April 4, 2018 (Video Tribute 1 & Video Tribute 2). Allen as mentor played an instrumental in helping this dojo codify, understand the promotion process and optimize their impact on their community.
The leaders of Emerald City Judo submitted their own written account of how they develop students at their dojo to understand accountabilities through the kyu stages and preparing them for what's needed to earn their shodan.
Emerald City Judo Club’s Essay on Learnings Along the Way of the promotion process
Senseis Greg Dean and Nelson Salazar presenting Amanda Rasolmoff her shodan promotion certificate.
The road to earning one's shodan in judo is one of the most rewarding things anyone can pursue. Many will find it challenging, life changing and full of its own ups and downs. You must be able to persevere throughout its journey just to achieve it. So how does a dojo help its students get there?
We at Emerald City Judo have experienced our fair share of awarding many students over our 22+ years through many kyu ranks, and for those that have persevered, their shodan.
While it's not an easy road to get students from white belt all the way through to their shodan, it is a rewarding experience for both the student and the sensei's.
We learned early on that to continue to grow and maintain a solid student body across all age groups, we had to start with the young kids. We needed to establish and grow our kids' program which helped in getting new adults, i.e., parents onto the mats and joining in with their kids. By helping cultivate our youth program we began establishing ourselves in the early days as an up-and-coming judo program serving the surrounding communities next to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, WA.
For a time in the first half of our existence, we'd seen many students come and go. It was great to see the growing number of students we had in our classes, broken out across all levels and kids in the first hour and non-beginners in the second. We grew what we called a very long tail of students, i.e., lots of beginner belts with few higher belts, i.e., brown, and black.
Image above: Features the village that supported the journey of both Amanda and Leah Hiatt
Image above: Amanda earned her shodan after starting judo at 5 years of age.
Image above: Many of the older kids in this picture have persevered and earned their shodan and the others are still on their journey, all supported by the village around them of Sensei's, family, and friends.
Image above: Leah earning her shodan after having started at 4 years of age.
Key Learnings Over the Years
Like many dojos out there, we brainstormed on what was needed to get our students from white to shodan, and there were several things we realized were necessary to establish in order to get it done!
1.Retention of our student base was paramount.
2.Optimized and disciplined promotion process where students knew what they were accountable for to earn their promotions.
3.Increased number of similar aged student groups to ensure more like-for-like training partners.
4.Ensure beginners, especially kids, were engaged, having fun, and enjoying their experiences.
5.Establishing the notion of young leaders that act as mentors and student coaches for youngsters, as well as adults and young adults.
6.More social events to increase camaraderie with families and students.
7.Encourage students to compete and establish a competition team which for us, has been very successful and rewarding
8.Encourage those that don't want to compete to serve judo in other ways; help at tournaments, be good training partners for competitors, work ibn katas, help clean the dojo, etc.
9.Develop a platform for students to aspire to reach and achieve bigger things in their journey.
10.Cultivate potential candidates (juniors and adults) for refereeing as another means to serve the greater judo community; i.e. community outreach to high schools and middle schools to share judo and hopefully attract new students. As an example, our dojo has a been a great source for high school wrestling programs in our community, both women and men's programs.
The list continues but ideas that I'm sure many of you have encountered and have implemented as well. This helped ensure our long tail base of students in the kyu ranks continued to grow. Our challenge however was one of retaining those many kyu ranks to stay on their journey long enough.
The one thing that helped was retaining a core group of families and their kids from the very youngest of ages from the beginning as well as adults passionate about learning the art and deeper meaning of judo.
We were fortunate to carry many of these kids through to their shodan. We were able to carry many older adults, most being parents, through to their shodan as well (see image below). Also, we now have a healthy group of new brown belts (sankyu to ikkyu) getting closer to their shodan too.
Image above: Kaleb center in blue, earning his Shodan after having started at 7 years of age.
Image above: Adults beginning their journey with their kyu promotions.
Image above: Adult parent Eduardo earning his shodan, having started with his children.
Image above: Help them achieve their goals – Leah at 2018 European Cadet Championships.
Image above: Emerald City students and Sensei's giving service to judo as referees. The two youngsters are now shodans.
Images above: Developing young leaders and ensuring kids have fun.
Image above: Emerald City Judo kids having fun!
Image above: the late Allen-Sensei addressing our students and conveying wisdom.
Image above: Allen-Sensei always leaning in and helping our kids and coaches during tournaments.
Image above: Lucky group of students learning from Sensei's Gary and Allen (Red White obi's). Amada is the girl in blue belt (first row, 2nd from right) who persevered, stayed on her journey and is a shodan.
Allen-Sensei was an inspiration and role model for the three of us owners and instructors of Emerald City Judo Club – Thank you Sensei Gary Goltz for bringing Allen-Sensei into our lives! His presence continues to be missed.
For someone well into his seventies, he continued to inspire our members by continuing to compete at senior master's level. He helped us organize our students (adults and young adults) who were willing to serve at tournaments (rather than compete) to manage mat tables, be runners, manage athletes, etc. He was a great mentor who helped instill in us and our students, that our combined service to judo and its community would benefit everyone involved…that key tenet of Kano-Sensei, Jita Kyoei - Mutual welfare and Benefit is more than just words, it truly applies!
By focusing on our service to both judo and our community, we've been privileged to help guide many of our early students through their journey in kyu ranks and on to receiving their shodans (as you see in the images throughout). We've been fortunate to experience and guide two main groups of youth and adults in our 23+ years of our dojo's journey. The most recent being the images at the beginning of this essay.
Many of the students in these images we've helped from their earliest beginning by stepping on the mats at four to seven years of age, and those that have stepped on the mats with their children, through their competition experiences, refereeing pursuits, broader service to judo, then on to university and into the work force. It's been great making a positive impact to the lives of so many students through judo.
Our world has changed now, and despite this new age of Covid these past 18+ months, with pandemic shutdowns and great uncertainty for many of us who own and run our schools, we must persevere for our communities, and continue to keep the dreams alive for all our students, young and old.
The pandemic has taught everyone to rethink their priorities, with health and learning new things being top of mind. It's been scary for sure, but it's also helped our dojo and community be rejuvenated with new students where we as a community will continue what we've learned and help them through their journey to shodan.
I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to email@example.com,
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Such as for flexibility. Bruce had some classic stretches, but he learned how to maximize the range in each stretch fully. And the same goes for jogging, one of Bruce’s favorite cardiovascular training activities. He would develop his aerobic speed and distance to be faster and more.
Different Styles of Jogging
Like life and JKD, Bruce was not an optimist nor a pessimist. He did not see the glass half empty nor half full. Instead, he saw the water in the glass take shape. For water, life, and JKD to take shape, it is developed from experiences and angles. Lee’s training was quite the same, and so was his jogging. Bruce never saw or just ran a straight line. He would run forward, backward, laterally, and probably any other direction you can think of, during his jogging. He would run heel to toe, flat-footed, and on the balls of his feet. He would incorporate skipping, hopping, jumping, and sprinting. After a while, he began adding weights into his jogging when it was not challenging.
Bruce’s Reasons for Jogging Every Day
1. It is quick. You just need to jog a few miles or about 20 minutes running your pace.
2. It is safe. You don’t need to over-exert yourself.
3. It improves your cardiovascular system. It is good maintenance for your heart and lungs, and you can do it every day. With strength training and intensity, you have to take a break. However, jogging and aerobic training help your muscles recover faster from intensity training.
4. It helps you lose weight.
5. It makes you feel better. Jogging releases the feel-good hormones that drastically reduce stress and improve wellbeing. It circulates your blood. No other exercise makes you feel good, gives you energy, produces confidence, and a better outlook in life without overexerting yourself. You think better and become more productive.
Bruce felt running was just as essential for the martial artist, much like practicing kata. Bruce always said the natural way is the best. It is true. Simplicity opens the door to greater perspective.
Unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of beings on earth that are structurally different from us, there can be no difference in training and style of fighting. Why is that? Because we have two arms and two legs. What’s most important is how we can use them to maximum? In terms of paths, they can be used in a straight line, curved line-up, down, round line. They might be slow. Depending on the circumstance, sometimes that might not be slow. And in terms of legs, you can kick up, straight-same thing, right? Physically then, you have to ask yourself, “How can I become very well coordinated?” well, that means you have to be an athlete using jogging and all those basic ingredients, right?
Start jogging every day. And when you build an excellent base for jogging where your breathing is relaxed, you can add in exercises to challenge your jogging.To achieve this aim, we have two ways. One is running, but you have to increase the distance of your course every day until you are satisfied with it. The second thing is to observe progression. Start out slow and then gradually build speed as your conditioning improves. All of this will lead to a result of increased frequency of breath and heartbeat. And during intense training, you will feel an unbearable feeling, but you do not have to fear that point. It will be the maximum limit of a man's physical energy. If you do not have heart disease after taking a rest, you will soon recover. It is only through this compulsory hard training that one's physical energy can expand continuously
Bruce Lee’s Exercise for Endurance
Lee also loved stepping. He would take a bench or a stool and step up and down for one minute using the right leg then the left leg. After doing both legs, he would stop and stretch, take deep breaths, do abdominal and arm exercises, and then go back to the chair step-ups. It sounds like Bruce did this for about 30 minutes because he advises you to build up to do the same
For more Bruce Lee videos go to my channel, Balanced Body.
For more information about strength, check out my book INSTANT STRENGTH.
For more information about flexibility/ breathing, check out my book, THE BALANCED BODY
Information in the text is referenced from: Bruce Lee-The Art of Expressing the Human Body: By-John Little, Tuttle Publishing
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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our online store directly.
Fundamental Direction Training Mat
Good Time Judo Outdoor workout with Judo JaimeOutdoor Judo Jaime2
Judo training Without a Partner/ Introduction of Training Tools for StandingThis 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 UkeDemonstration of Judo Jaime: Your Training UkeBe sure to check out our video Judo training while social distancing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heSY5VGeA6M
I’m always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to email@example.com, thanks.
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