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Judo/Sambo UnderGround >> Chances the US can surpass Japan/France/Russia


8/15/12 1:15 AM
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emax
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Now that the Olympics are over and the sporting events are already disappearing from the daily news updates and the majority of the general public has already gone back to forgetting all about these athletes who fight on the world state once every 4 years, I figured it would be good to pose a follow up to what I asked last time.

That is, what are the future chances that US could become a World Leader in Judo ? I mean, now we know that having 2 or perhaps even 3 or 4 Olympic medals is completely within the realm of possibilities and certainly something we can keep up for the next few Olympics or so. Ditto for World Championships.

So the question is, what are the chances that USA Judo goes further than that ? What are the chances that the US can get as many gold, silver and bronze each each, for both men and women, as Japan, France and Russia ? Considering our performance relative to how little the US supports Judo, this seems to suggest that if the US supported Judo the same way France, Russia and Japan does that we could be getting 14 golds or silvers, yes, as in, winning the gold or silver in every single weight class, for both men and women, at all the Olympics and all the World Championships and hopelessly dominate Judo the way we do for basketball. Unless the more likely scenario is that this was just one of those rare miracles brought on by a few athletes who peaked at the best possible time and had the best possible coaching in the form of Jimmy Pedro. And also that there is something else I am missing that is making me way off base here.

I mean, some committed American Judo fans have naturally argued that this is the right time for a complete revolution in Judo and a chance for Judo to become as popular in the US as football, basketball and as popular for girls and women as soccer is. This is something I am skeptical of. I think Judo for can have an increase in popularity for young men in the wake of Travis Stevens' success and someone like Stevens could be an effective marketing tool to cause an increase in popularity and young men training Judo and hoping to be Olympians/World contenders like Stevens. But I have a feeling Judo in the US, at least among boys, is not likely to even rise to the popularity of wrestling, much less football and basketball. And that matching the success of the men's freestyle wrestlers in the Olympics is the best we can conceivably hope for.

And for women, of course, it's an entirely different story. With Ronda Rousey representing Judo in Strikeforce and Kayla Harrison and Marti Malloy becoming new faces of women's Judo, it suggests things might be changing, the question is exactly how much. Most of us remember how with women's soccer the women's World Cup victory over China caused a volcanic eruption in soccer's popularity- Brandi Chastian's celebration of her winning goal is often considered the most iconic moment in women's sports history and inspired not literally millions of girls to follow her lead. Chastian and her teammates were used to make soccer marketable to ungodly numbers of young girls and practically create a gigantic generation of new soccer superstars, the end result being the US winning the last 4 out 5 Olympics in women's soccer. A number of Judo enthusiasts are convinced the Judo community should be able to do the exact same thing with Rousey, Harrison and Malloy we did with Hamm, Chastain and Foudy - rinse, lather, repeat and BOOM, US women dominate Olympic/World Judo as hopelessly as they've dominated Olympic soccer. Is it that simply or are some issues people are overlooking ?

So the issues are 1. Is it possible for the results of the 2012 Judo Olympics to start a Judo revolution that leads to Judo getting 100 times more popular than it currently is or is it most likely that Judo will retain approximately the same level of popularity and support from the US it always has ?

2. Is there a good chance for the US to win as many World and Olympic medals as Japan, Russia and France do each year or even to win more medals than any of them and become as dominant in Judo as we are in basketball or women's soccer ? Would there need to be a huge explosion in the popularity of Judo for this too happen ? Or is this - the US winning the same number of World/Olympic medals as Japan/France/Russia or even dominating Judo like we do basketball something that altogether just isnt gonna happen ?

What does everyone here think ?
8/15/12 2:39 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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 The short answer is no. Below is the longer version.

Japan has 200K registered judokas. Many more besides that.  France has 550K registered judokas. Not sure of the figures for Russia, but they are significant.

The USA has maybe 25K registered judokas. Out of that number, the great majority are children.

Herein lies the problem. Even if we came away with 4 Gold medals, all of the judokas were on national television non-stop for two weeks, hitting the major talk shows on TV and radio, and judo was gaining traction with kids and teens, and you had 200K who were looking to sign up. One question:

Where are they going to train?  Do you think it is easy to find a judo school in most parts of the country within a couple miles of where you live?

I'm not saying anything Jimmy Pedro hasn't said.  We don't have the infrastructure to deal with a surge.

The training center concept seems to be working fairly well given our situation.  At this point in time, SJSU and Pedro's are the places that USA Judo should focus on.   We need at least one educational institute, and Pedro has done a great job.

I think we can compete consistently for 4-5 medals. Much improvement, but not in the upper echelons.
8/15/12 3:31 AM
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emax
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Edited: 08/15/12 3:34 AM
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<blockquote>OCJudoTrngCtr -  The short answer is no. Below is the longer version.<br /><br /><br /><br />Japan has 200K registered judokas. Many more besides that.  France has 550K registered judokas. Not sure of the figures for Russia, but they are significant.<br /><br /><br /><br />The USA has maybe 25K registered judokas. Out of that number, the great majority are children.<br /><br /><br /><br />Herein lies the problem. Even if we came away with 4 Gold medals, all of the judokas were on national television non-stop for two weeks, hitting the major talk shows on TV and radio, and judo was gaining traction with kids and teens, and you had 200K who were looking to sign up. One question:<br /><br /><br /><br />Where are they going to train?  Do you think it is easy to find a judo school in most parts of the country within a couple miles of where you live?<br /><br /><br /><br />I'm not saying anything Jimmy Pedro hasn't said.  We don't have the infrastructure to deal with a surge.<br /><br /><br /><br />The training center concept seems to be working fairly well given our situation.  At this point in time, SJSU and Pedro's are the places that USA Judo should focus on.   We need at least one educational institute, and Pedro has done a great job. <br /><br /><br /><br />I think we can compete consistently for 4-5 medals. Much improvement, but not in the upper echelons.<br /></blockquote><br />






Thanks for helping to explain this. Now that I think about it, when I was in high school I had never heard of a single solitary place to train Judo in my entire school district, maybe like one or two purely recreational places but that's pretty much it, and most people in my school district would probably have had to drive upwards of an hour or more just to get to a purely recreational Judo facility. It seems like the only way the US could ever rise to the level of Japan, France or Russia is if the US collectively decides as a nation that Judo is going to be given a bigger priority than wrestling and the same kind of priority we give basketball or baseball and at the federal, state and individual levels we all commit to building the infrastructure as well as finding the sufficient number of Judo coaches and instructors who have the skills and teaching abilities needed to train Olympic medalists. And the chances are slim to none that Americans collectively prioritize Judo to the extent that they are putting in the massive amounts of time, money and energy needed to build infrastructure and to bring together all the right coaches and teachers and training camps they would need. That now how I currently understand it.<br /><br />Actually, I think there's also a good chance that Japan could also be seriously turning things around and being an even bigger threat then they were before. For their Judo community, it is still a bigger deal than for just about anywhere else I imagine. They can't possibly be even remotely happy about their medal haul in the sport they invented and developed. I suspect they are gonna be making massive overalls and modernizations in how they teach and train their judoka and come out swinging again. And they will for sure be able and willing to put in the time and money to develop whatever necessary infrastructure and training camps and coaches they need.
8/15/12 9:09 AM
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judoblackbelt
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I would like a top add many of of top level junior judoka go on to other sports for college scholarships like wrestling or something else to pay the college bills. BJJ is attracting many of our youngsters to the sport and has developed the infrastructure to support this growth in the US. Many of the BJJ schools are also offering no-gi and MMA to capitalize on the popularity generated by the UFC. A BJJ school could have a MMA,boxing/Muy Thai,BJJ, wrestling coaches to attract students.
8/16/12 3:51 PM
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dpro2716
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Pedro's and SJSU are great of course. What about Cohen's in Northern suburbs of Chicago? 2 former Olympians and Olympic Coaches (I believe) in Irwin and Steve Cohen and son/nephew Aaron was close to Olympic team and RJ was top 5 nationally. How about Tohkon in Chicago? Doug Tono was on or was alternate on 84 Olympic Team and they have 1 other instructor who was a 3 time Olympian. Can have East Coast-West Coast-Midwest training grounds. Just a thought. Phone Post
8/16/12 5:21 PM
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emax
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dpro2716 -  Pedro's and SJSU are great of course. What about Cohen's in Northern suburbs of Chicago? 2 former Olympians and Olympic Coaches (I believe) in Irwin and Steve Cohen and son/nephew Aaron was close to Olympic team and RJ was top 5 nationally. How about Tohkon in Chicago? Doug Tono was on or was alternate on 84 Olympic Team and they have 1 other instructor who was a 3 time Olympian. Can have East Coast-West Coast-Midwest training grounds. Just a thought. Phone Post

I think it is a reasonable thought, but I suspect that the initial responder was explicitly referring to places that can prepare judoka to be Olympic medalists, and so far Pedro's and San Jose State are the only places that have been proven to do that. I have nothing but respect for any place that teaches serious, competitive Judo like the places, but simply put, if they were capable of producing Olympic medalists they would have already done so by now, considering that men's Judo has been around for 40 years and women's Judo for 20. That one Judoka was top 5 in the US and one who was close to making Olympics are certainly good in their own right, but for Americans to have a legit shot at medaling in Olympic Judo, they generally have to be not only number 1 in the US in their weight class but simply miles ahead of where everyone else in the US is, dominating other Americans in their weight regularly without breaking a sweat. There are of course quite a few America Judo training centers run by American Judo Olympians but that doesnt mean they are able to prepare American judoka to win Olympic or World medalists. Only certain types of Dojos and Gyms can do that and right now, Pedro's gym and to a lesser extent San Jose State are all we really have.
8/16/12 7:27 PM
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dpro2716
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 Cohen's has produced a number of Olympic and world team Judoka: 

Olympians

Irwin Cohen - 1972 Munich, Germany

Steve Cohen - 1988 Soul, Korea & 2000 Sydney, Australia (Head Coach)

Bob Berland - 1988 Soul, Korea & 1984 Los Angeles, California (Silver Medal)

Hillary Wolf-Saba - 1996 Atlanta, Georgia & 2000 Sydney, Australia

Colleen Rosensteel - 1996 Atlanta, Georgia & 2000 Sydney, Australia

Martin Boonzaayer - 2000 Sydney, Australia & 2004 Athens, Greece

Aaron Cohen - 2008 Beijing, China Olympic Alternate

 

Sr. World Team Members

Irwin Cohen

Steve Cohen

Robert Berland

Colleen Rosensteel

Hillary Wolf-Saba

Martin Boonzaayer

Aaron Cohen

Josh Oneil

 

Jr. World Team Members

Hillary Wolf-Saba 1994 Cairo, Egypt (Gold)

Scott Rice - 1994 Cairo, Egypt

RJ Cohen - 1998 Cali, Columbia

Aaron Cohen - 2000 Tunis, Tunisia

Katie Unger - 2002 Juji, Korea

Josh Oneil - 2004 Budapest, Hungary

Danny Satinsky - 2008 Thailand, Bangkok

Max Golembo - 2010 Agadir, Morocco (5th Place)

 

Cadet World Team Members

Max Golembo - 2009 Budapest, Hungary

 

USA Sr. National Champions

Irwin Cohen- 1971, 1972, 1974 (Grand Champion), 1976, 1977, 1978

Steve Cohen- 1974, 1975, 1977, 1985, 1987

Bob Berland- 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987

George Cozzi- 1976

Hillary Wolf-Saba- 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999

Colleen Rosensteel- 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999

Martin Boonzaayer- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004

Scott Rice- 1995, 1997

Aaron Cohen- 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Josh Oneil- 2009
8/16/12 9:56 PM
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emax
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dpro2716 -  Cohen's has produced a number of Olympic and world team Judoka: 

Olympians

Irwin Cohen - 1972 Munich, Germany

Steve Cohen - 1988 Soul, Korea & 2000 Sydney, Australia (Head Coach)

Bob Berland - 1988 Soul, Korea & 1984 Los Angeles, California (Silver Medal)

Hillary Wolf-Saba - 1996 Atlanta, Georgia & 2000 Sydney, Australia

Colleen Rosensteel - 1996 Atlanta, Georgia & 2000 Sydney, Australia

Martin Boonzaayer - 2000 Sydney, Australia & 2004 Athens, Greece

Aaron Cohen - 2008 Beijing, China Olympic Alternate

 

Sr. World Team Members

Irwin Cohen

Steve Cohen

Robert Berland

Colleen Rosensteel

Hillary Wolf-Saba

Martin Boonzaayer

Aaron Cohen

Josh Oneil

 

Jr. World Team Members

Hillary Wolf-Saba 1994 Cairo, Egypt (Gold)

Scott Rice - 1994 Cairo, Egypt

RJ Cohen - 1998 Cali, Columbia

Aaron Cohen - 2000 Tunis, Tunisia

Katie Unger - 2002 Juji, Korea

Josh Oneil - 2004 Budapest, Hungary

Danny Satinsky - 2008 Thailand, Bangkok

Max Golembo - 2010 Agadir, Morocco (5th Place)

 

Cadet World Team Members

Max Golembo - 2009 Budapest, Hungary

 

USA Sr. National Champions

Irwin Cohen- 1971, 1972, 1974 (Grand Champion), 1976, 1977, 1978

Steve Cohen- 1974, 1975, 1977, 1985, 1987

Bob Berland- 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987

George Cozzi- 1976

Hillary Wolf-Saba- 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999

Colleen Rosensteel- 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999

Martin Boonzaayer- 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004

Scott Rice- 1995, 1997

Aaron Cohen- 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009

Josh Oneil- 2009

That is enlightening and helpful, so I for sure thank you for posting it, but I am talking about producing Olympic MEDALISTS; that was what this thread was initially about. Don't get me wrong, those are very damn good results for a nation that struggles as much as we do in Judo. But in talking about putting together the training camps we need to create more US Olympic medalists, it still seems unlikely that even with these midwest camps added we would be able to get it done right now and produce as many medalists as France or Russia even if the number of active judoka in the US increased by a factor of 10. As the first poster in the thread noted, Jimmy Pedro himself has said we dont have the sufficient infrastructure (and therefore dont have the sufficient number of training camps that can produce Olympic medalists) to accommodate our talent pool growing to the size of Japan's or France's. And I'm pretty sure Pedro was well aware of the existence of these Midwest gyms as well when he said this. Also remember that in the US, producing national champions usually just doesnt mean a whole lot as to your ability to produce Olympic medalists. By and large, American judoka who even get close to reaching the World and Olympic podiums are not only number one in their weight class for a long period of time, they're also in an entirely different class from the other Americans in their weight class. Ronda Rousey, for instance, was pretty much decimating the other American judoka in her weight without breaking a sweat, much like she currently has been doing with her MMA opponents.
8/16/12 10:06 PM
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judoblackbelt
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I can give a thumbs up to Cohens and what they have produced. I have seen many of the individuals mentioned above in competition at the Senior Nationals and the Midwest. Cohen's latest players Max Golembo and just before him Lee Munster have other sports as there primary. Munster wrestling at Nothwestern and Golembo a baseball career awaits him is what I have been told by Irwin. Irwin gets players from Germany to come to the US to provide his dojo with world classs players. This takes a lot of money and dedication to do this. This is my point. Our top judo juniors are not pursuing judo careers. The sacrifice and injuries and put your life on hold when other opportunites (college paid for,degree) after 4/5 years vs a judo (degree) and expenses traveling all over the world to develope your world class skills and hope you make it.
8/17/12 1:17 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 08/17/12 1:18 AM
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 Tohkon is a great school. I mentioned them on a previous thread which can be found here: www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma.cfm

The Cohen's are great teachers as well.  Solid judoka and national calibre players came from there.

Bobby Berland did get a silver in the Olympics and a Bronze at the Worlds.  He was at SJSU during that time. Swain was Yonezuka's student, but he got his World Gold and Olympic bronze while he was at SJSU.

The subject is passing up Japan, France, Russia, and the answer remains no. While the Cohen's, Tohkon, Cranford (my first dojo) might create some great players, none of the players were able to win at the highest levels in the last 20 years.  Look at the OTC.  They've achieve one bronze medal in 1997 with Brian Olson.

If you are looking at consistency over decades, there is only one program.  That is SJSU.   If you are looking at the here and now,  Pedro is doing some incredible work with his students.  I don't think Jason has produced a world or olympic medalist as Ronda was with Pedro by the time of the Worlds and Olympics.

I'm not diminishing the talents of Tono, Cohens, and especially Yonezuka.  There are many reasons one program can take players to the very top, and others don't.  The smartest thing SJSU and Pedro did was bring those kids who wanted to be the best from around the country into their programs. 
  
8/17/12 3:26 PM
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judom
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I heard from people who went to SJSU that it is a fantastic place to train.

Also, as a side point, after the Olympics, many European players told me they consider Jimmy Pedro the best coach at the Olympic games.
8/17/12 8:15 PM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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 Got some SJSU players coming to OCJTC tonight for the Flores class. They are in town for the GSO.
8/18/12 10:21 AM
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judoblackbelt
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Our Sensei last night announced to class they are planning to bring Marti Malloy to Michigan for a seminar since her style of judo would benefit the Juniors/Seniors and especially our female juniors. So the planning (funding) has begun.
8/18/12 11:42 AM
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emax
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Edited: 08/18/12 11:44 AM
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<blockquote>judoblackbelt - Our Sensei last night announced to class they are planning to bring Marti Malloy to Michigan for a seminar since her style of judo would benefit the Juniors/Seniors and especially our female juniors. So the planning (funding) has begun.</blockquote><br /> Interesting, didnt realize that. Once you get in Olympic Medal it seems only natural your talents would be in high demand and it is always posible to do some self funding. Do you personally think we could soon be matching France, Japan and Russia in Olympic and World Judo medal hauls ? Or do you personally think that, like OCJudoTrngCtr, even though Judo has made some gains in popularity that we could still need a complete cultural upheaval and massive new infrastructure, therefore we are still a long ways away, if ever, from equaling Japan, France and Russia in medal hauls, much less surpassing them ?
8/18/12 11:56 AM
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judoblackbelt - I can give a thumbs up to Cohens and what they have produced. I have seen many of the individuals mentioned above in competition at the Senior Nationals and the Midwest. Cohen's latest players Max Golembo and just before him Lee Munster have other sports as there primary. Munster wrestling at Nothwestern and Golembo a baseball career awaits him is what I have been told by Irwin. Irwin gets players from Germany to come to the US to provide his dojo with world classs players. This takes a lot of money and dedication to do this. This is my point. Our top judo juniors are not pursuing judo careers. The sacrifice and injuries and put your life on hold when other opportunites (college paid for,degree) after 4/5 years vs a judo (degree) and expenses traveling all over the world to develope your world class skills and hope you make it.

Just wondering, do you think that this is the only reason the US is not number in the World in Judo and that this is the only thing keeping the US from equaling or even surpassing Japan/France/Russia in Judo ? I realize that BJJ and MMA schools may be bringing some kids away from Judo but these sports still, I dont think, havent gotten mainstream enough to be luring high school kids away from Judo - and plus it wouldnt explain why the US hasnt been equaling the leading Judo nations before MMA and BJJ became popular. And as for wrestling, well it could be a fair point, but wrestlers only get really attractive scholarships that cover all expenses if they are winning multiple state titles in wrestling and have schools like Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Cal State Bakersfield knocking on their door. And these kind of wrestlers generally had a much bigger interest in wrestling to start with and werent really being lured away from other sports as a result of scholarships.

This is my understanding. Do you think I am missing something, and would you say that US judoka leaving for other sports is the only reason we arent equaling Japan/France/Russia or even leading the world in Judo medalists ? Or do you think that I was saying is accurate ?

Thanks again for your help here.
8/18/12 5:09 PM
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UNIFIEDTEAM1
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It's really simple in the U.S. BJJ is wildly popular. In my town alone within 20 min of ea other is 6 different BJJ clubs w/ black belts teaching. In that same space not ONE Judo club that is legit and open to regular public.

In europe Judo is the sport. We get like 2000 competitors at the largest BJJ events in the U.S. Judo is much harder on the body to learn, and when people see Judo black belts subbed by beginner/ intermediate level (purple belts) BJJers it makes them ask what's the point? I'm gonna take these beatings to learn to throw, just to get choked out for my efforts. Whether it's right or not, this is what people I've spoken to for years have said. And I love Judo, and BJJ AND SAMBO.
So I don't have a dog in the fight before some dickwad gets his panties in a bunch.
8/18/12 6:33 PM
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KNJacobs
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I'm sure this has been posted above in some capacity. The hardest thing in American Judo is that it doesn't have the advantages that other countries have and it never has sadly. I'm a BJJ Purple belt and wrestled for 9 years competitively. One of the biggest reasons for me starting Wrestling in Jr. high was because its free. Judo isn't Nationalised the way Wrestling, Football, and Basketball are. They are offered by both Private and Public School systems. That is most likely a big reason why the US won't surpass the top countries in the sport and probably why there are so many registered Judokas in other countries. Olympic Weightlifting is currently encountering the same problems. Many of their top athletes go to Football and basketball, For Judo it is the same ( you can add in Wreslting and then MMA as well) That being said I do find it sad, because I enjoy Judo, I believe it can help both BJJ & MMA as well (tell me it's not fun landing a big throw). But with the exception of places Pedro's and SJSU it's going to be a serious uphill battle.
8/18/12 8:00 PM
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emax
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KNJacobs - I'm sure this has been posted above in some capacity. The hardest thing in American Judo is that it doesn't have the advantages that other countries have and it never has sadly. I'm a BJJ Purple belt and wrestled for 9 years competitively. One of the biggest reasons for me starting Wrestling in Jr. high was because its free. Judo isn't Nationalised the way Wrestling, Football, and Basketball are. They are offered by both Private and Public School systems. That is most likely a big reason why the US won't surpass the top countries in the sport and probably why there are so many registered Judokas in other countries. Olympic Weightlifting is currently encountering the same problems. Many of their top athletes go to Football and basketball, For Judo it is the same ( you can add in Wreslting and then MMA as well) That being said I do find it sad, because I enjoy Judo, I believe it can help both BJJ & MMA as well (tell me it's not fun landing a big throw). But with the exception of places Pedro's and SJSU it's going to be a serious uphill battle.

It seems like the problem is that there would have to be a gigantic cultural upheaval and the US Judo community would have to be able to start a huge grassroots movement. That is, they would have to not only massively increase the American public's interest in Judo but also convince the scholastic system that Judo is worthy of being nationalized. You would need tons of students not only developing an interest in Judo but showing a real interest in doing Judo on the highest national and international levels and being able to prove to the high schools and universities that it is worth it to make Judo a nationalized sport. Just getting this far would be quite the slow and difficult process.

Also would like to mention that I am skeptical of the whole notion that MMA and BJJ are detrimental in luring large numbers of students away from Judo. BJJ and MMA, I think, have attracted some of new students who werent really looking to train Judo on the highest international level in the first place but I would have to doubt they are luring America's most promising judoka away from the sport. Furthermore, MMA's popularity is, relatively speaking, a very new phenomenon; only in the past 5 years or so has it even gotten big enough that it could be luring kids away from Judo, ditto for BJJ. Wouldnt really explain why we have struggled to keep American judoka interested in the 45 years or so before that.

And even if Judo was nationalized and college scholarships were given, I am still not sure that would by itself be enough to have us equaling the current major players. Wrestling in US high schools is nationalized and available in high school for free, we give some college wrestlers very attractive scholarships and, our success in 2012 Olympics notwithstanding, we still dont exactly rule Olympic wrestling with an iron fist. I believe that if Judo was nationalized and had attractive college scholarships - something that, if it was to happen at all, would take at least a decade from now to accomplish - that could mean the difference between where we are now and getting 4 to 5 Olympic medals a year. But even then I am finding myself in agreement with OCJudoTrngCtr; it doesnt look like we would be going any higher than that and matching the current World leaders in Judo unless Judo Dojos that prepare US judoka as well as Pedro's and San Jose State start springing up all over the nation.
8/19/12 7:18 AM
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judom
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It make sense today that given the choice of training Judo vs. BJJ to the average adult looking to keep in shape, most people would pick BJJ.

BJJ is much easier on the body which is a huge + and perceived to be equally as good or better. No reason to train Judo hardcore.

Look at not even Martial Arts. Where I train we have a huge complex with lots of sports hosted inside the building complex. And I regularly see 'fitness' classes where people dance to music and sweat to have like 200 people at a time. Its insane !

As I walk to the Judo practice past this every time I can't help but ask myself why is that happening. I talked to few people from these classes once and asked them whether they would train Judo.

They knew about Judo, but said that they don't want to get damaged and that it looks dangerous and they just want to sweat a little bit.

8/19/12 9:00 AM
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judoblackbelt
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All the above comments have some truth as to why the US will not surpass other countries in judo.
To emax - I agree with OCJTC but there isn't the attractiveness of judo to the grappling community for many reasons listed above. Look at all the BJJ BB there are locally and their student base vs Judo BB locally and their student base. BJJ wins hands down. BJJ's popularity is awesome to say the least.
When you bring in an athlete like Mike Eldred or Marti Malloy your local organization provides all the funding: plane trip, fee, housing, transportation. And hope to draw from the local clubs maybe 25-35 students for the seminar. Maybe they schedule another seminar the next day in a neighboring state or another part of the state. Bt once again all logistics have to be worked out by the hosts.
8/19/12 9:43 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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emax,

One point of clarification.  I don't think we need to keep replicating Pedro Judo Centers and SJSU's.  I think we need to just have availability.  I am going to give you the biggest example I can think of.  Without a local judo program,  you never hear of Mike Swain.

Everyone knows that Mike was Yonezuka's student.  What most people don't realize is that Mike's first instructors were Rick Meola and Tom Seabasty.  Rick and Tom were Yone's students who left in the mid-60's and started a club called Judo Tech which I believe was located in Colonia NJ.  Mike lived very close to Judo Tech so when his father Harry looked for a place for Mike where do you think he looked? He looked close to his home.

Rick had a heart attack at an early age, and Mike was now 9 or 10 years old.  He had been doing judo for a few years, and even back then you could see the potential.  Harry then took Mike to Cranford to continue his training.  When it was time to go to college, Mike had several college wrestling offers, but it was Keith Nakasone who was a student at SJSU who convinced him that he needed to come there.


8/19/12 10:09 AM
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OCJudoTrngCtr
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Edited: 08/19/12 11:23 AM
Member Since: 10/12/07
Posts: 568
 hi jbb,

I was going to wait for a few days, but I'll be brief on this thread and make another one later. Well, brief for me.  I just spent the last two days with Marti Malloy.   Marti came to our club on the night that Justin Flores was a guest instructor and spoke to the kids, adults who were attending, and the parents of the kids.

My wife and I then took her to the Origins Martial Arts Festival where the Golden State Open was being held.  There were over 4000 spectators there  including more than 1600 competitors from I think 16 martial arts.  I brought Marti there to speak to the young competitors during the opening ceremonies.

Bottom line, she is a rock star.  She took pictures, signed autographs, inspired the kids and parents of not only judo, but every discipline out there.  You should have seen the heads of all these martial arts organizations scrambling to get a picture of her.  It took me nearly an hour to get her from the staging area to the judo tournament area.  Joshua Resnick was there. He can verify if he comes on this thread.

It gets even better.  I needed to put her in a hotel for Friday night.  My niece's husband works for a very nice California hotel chain.  The manager of one of the locations said that he would give her the room free if she showed him her medal and took a picture with him.   No problem.

Marti arrives at the hotel.  They get the manager and he has his whole family there with him. She takes pictures with all of them, and his staff.  Guests are coming in and out, and see what is going on. The guests are all excited to meet an Olympic medalist and Marti is so gracious to stay downstairs in the hotel lobby and take pictures with every single person who wants one.  The hotel manager says that he wishes some of his other staff could have been there, and Marti waits until the very last minute on Saturday morning for them before leaving to meet me at the tournament.

My niece's husband gets the e-mail from the hotel manager.  I will give you the first line.  "She came, she saw she conquered."

I saw with my own eyes for several hours over two days the amount of smiles that went from ear to ear on every person that Marti met.  Not only that, I watched Marti be just as enthusiastic with the first person as the 200th person.  Bear in mind, she came to my club after driving nearly  7 hours from San Jose. She spent 30 minutes there, then drove to the hotel and spent more than an hour there.  She got up early to go spend several hours at the GSO before then driving down to watch Ronda's fight in San Diego.  Even Dana White took a picture with her down there.

I'm very confident in saying that I bet in the last few days, Marti Malloy made a few thousand new fans of judo, and a lot of them probably never heard of it, in the first place.

Why do I relate this story here?  Because judo people have to start thinking outside of our world.  You talk about bringing her in for a clinic, and believe me that is great. That is something that should be done. It will be an incredible experience for those kids and adults.

But why not bring her to events where thousands of people are? Why not bring her out to take pictures with kids and adults who want to meet an Olympian and touch a medal?  Why do we think that the only place to bring our very best is a dojo tatami?   The world should be Marti and Kayla's tatami.


       
8/19/12 3:24 PM
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judoblackbelt
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OCJTR- I mentioned to bring Marti in before she won her Bronze Medal at the Olympics. At the time (before the Olympics) they were talking about brinking in Kayla Harrison. I am only a student and the higher powers of judo (USFJ) and our local state organization will make this happen. I just know the benefit of having our USA judo athletes at seminars. I would like to have Travis Stevens in also. I have learned more from our USA judo athletes than many World/Olympic Champion seminars I have attended because I can simulate better many of the things they teach us. ANd they are very down to earth people. Very likeable.
8/19/12 5:22 PM
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emax
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Member Since: 8/4/12
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OCJudoTrngCtr -  hi jbb,

I was going to wait for a few days, but I'll be brief on this thread and make another one later. Well, brief for me.  I just spent the last two days with Marti Malloy.   Marti came to our club on the night that Justin Flores was a guest instructor and spoke to the kids, adults who were attending, and the parents of the kids.

My wife and I then took her to the Origins Martial Arts Festival where the Golden State Open was being held.  There were over 4000 spectators there  including more than 1600 competitors from I think 16 martial arts.  I brought Marti there to speak to the young competitors during the opening ceremonies.

Bottom line, she is a rock star.  She took pictures, signed autographs, inspired the kids and parents of not only judo, but every discipline out there.  You should have seen the heads of all these martial arts organizations scrambling to get a picture of her.  It took me nearly an hour to get her from the staging area to the judo tournament area.  Joshua Resnick was there. He can verify if he comes on this thread.

It gets even better.  I needed to put her in a hotel for Friday night.  My niece's husband works for a very nice California hotel chain.  The manager of one of the locations said that he would give her the room free if she showed him her medal and took a picture with him.   No problem.

Marti arrives at the hotel.  They get the manager and he has his whole family there with him. She takes pictures with all of them, and his staff.  Guests are coming in and out, and see what is going on. The guests are all excited to meet an Olympic medalist and Marti is so gracious to stay downstairs in the hotel lobby and take pictures with every single person who wants one.  The hotel manager says that he wishes some of his other staff could have been there, and Marti waits until the very last minute on Saturday morning for them before leaving to meet me at the tournament.

My niece's husband gets the e-mail from the hotel manager.  I will give you the first line.  "She came, she saw she conquered."

I saw with my own eyes for several hours over two days the amount of smiles that went from ear to ear on every person that Marti met.  Not only that, I watched Marti be just as enthusiastic with the first person as the 200th person.  Bear in mind, she came to my club after driving nearly  7 hours from San Jose. She spent 30 minutes there, then drove to the hotel and spent more than an hour there.  She got up early to go spend several hours at the GSO before then driving down to watch Ronda's fight in San Diego.  Even Dana White took a picture with her down there.

I'm very confident in saying that I bet in the last few days, Marti Malloy made a few thousand new fans of judo, and a lot of them probably never heard of it, in the first place.

Why do I relate this story here?  Because judo people have to start thinking outside of our world.  You talk about bringing her in for a clinic, and believe me that is great. That is something that should be done. It will be an incredible experience for those kids and adults.

But why not bring her to events where thousands of people are? Why not bring her out to take pictures with kids and adults who want to meet an Olympian and touch a medal?  Why do we think that the only place to bring our very best is a dojo tatami?   The world should be Marti and Kayla's tatami.


       

Thanks for relating that story. I think noone doubts that Marti and Kayla have done a great deal to help place US Judo on the map and I would not be remotely surprised to hear that Kayla and Marti have turned several thousand Americans into new fans of Judo. And I think bringing them to events where thousands of Americans are and have the kids all take pictures with her and sign autographs and tough an Olympic medal.

That could actually help in getting maybe a couple more American Judo medalists over the next few Olympics simply by having a bunch of kids be inspired from meeting them. But then you would still have the issue of lack of availability of Judo in local areas across America that could get kids turned on to Judo and get them down to SJSU Judo and Pedro's training center. You would likely need to have Judo become integrated into the scholastic system to the extent that high schools have Judo teams and colleges have Judo scholarships just as much as they do wrestling scholarships. And even if we brought Judo medalists like Kayla and Marti to places where thousands of people are and have them tough an Olympic medal, I don't think that would be sufficient to start a huge cultural shift in America whereby there's a demand for Judo to be as integrated into our scholastic system as wrestling is and where there is a sufficient availability of Judo in local areas across the US so that all American kids who want to medal in Judo get the chance to head down to SJSU and Pedro's to train. That is going to be a slow and uphill battle over a couple decades even if the Judo community was willing to introduce Kayla and Marti to all of America.
8/19/12 5:34 PM
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emax
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Member Since: 8/4/12
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And in wrestling, even the biggest stars like Cael Sanderson, when they were introduced to the American public, were never able to start a huge cultural shift in America where as the US would collectively decided to shift our entire focus towards wrestling and forming the best Olympic and Worlds wrestling teams possible and look to completely dominate the Olympics at the Worlds and Olympic level. And Sanderson is a mega star in wrestling if there ever was one. Not only is he an Olympic Gold Medalist but he became known as one of the best collegiate athletes of all time in any sport - Sports Illustrated magazine listed his collegiate accomplishments as second only to those of Jesse Owens in their list of the greatest college athletes ever. US Olympic freestyle wrestlers did to very well in this 2012 Olympics but as a general rule, we haven't risen to truly dominant positions in wrestling either even with the appeal of mega stars like Sanderson.

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