"Training for Competition: Judo: Coaching, Strategy and the Science for Success" By Hayward Nishioka

This book by Sensei Nishioka is another must read for any serious competitor.


"De-Constructing The Judoka" By Mark Lonsdale

The Judo Training Development is a good blog for aspiring competitors to read.

"The same is true for competitive judoka. If the foundational training in the principles of Judo is absent or weak, then the competitor will eventually hit a point where he or she is not advancing or improving. This may be mistaken for a training plateau, but simply training harder will not solve the problem."


"Coach, I want To Be A Champion!" By Gerald Lafon

For those aspiring competitors out there, below is a link to a must read article by Gerald Lafon, Vice Chairman, USJA Coach Education Committee.


Competitor Categories in Judo Shias

In general, there are five kinds of judo tournaments and they are:

1. Local – Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose Buddhist (non-black belt divisions), etc.
2. State – California State Judo
3. National - San Jose Buddhist (black belt division), USJF/USJA, US Junior Open, USA Judo National Scholastic, USA Judo Junior Olympics, etc.
4. International without qualifiers – Pacific International, Sanix International, etc.
5. International with qualifiers – Infantil Pan American, Junior Pan American, Worlds, Olympics, etc.

Competitor Categorization

Of the five tournament categories above, tournaments 2-5 follows the standard competitor categorization by age and weight only. Belt color or rank is not considered. Additionally, age is determined by the year in which the competitor was born – the actual age does not matter. For example if the competitor’s birthday is October 12, 2001 and the competition is to be held on June 6, 2016, for purposes of this type of tournament, on June 6th, the competitor is considered a 15 year old. As such, a green belt 15 year old male who weighs 65 kilos can only compete in the Juvenile B (under 17) -66kg or the Junior IJF (under 21) -66kg divisions. Note, because of the age ceilings in the Juvenile B and IJF divisions it is possible that there will be brown and black belt competitors.


Local tournaments categorizes by age, weight and also belt color or ranking. However, there is no standard as far as the categorization factors. Meaning, in one tournament an orange belt will compete in a pool of yellow, orange, and green belts. While in another tournament, the same orange belt can compete with up to purple belt competitors. Another example will be a 14 year old will not be allowed to compete with a 16 year old in tournaments 2-4. However, in a local tournament, with an age waiver, this would be allowed. This is also true with a weight situation.

Novice Divisions

Novice divisions are now available in most tournaments (1-3). Generally the limitations are rank (up to yellow belt) and less than a year of Judo (this requirement varies by tournament).

National Tournaments

National Tournaments are qualifiers for spots in the US National Team. As such, these tournaments are well attended by elite judo athletes. Top 3 finishers of these events are listed in the national roster of elite athletes.

Winning isn't normal

Winning isn't normal. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with winning. It just isn't normal. It’s highly unusual.
Every competition has only one winner. No matter how many people are entered, only one person or team wins the championship.

Winning is unsual - as such it requires unusual action.

In order to win, you must do extraordinary things. You cannot just be one of the crowd. The crowd doesn’t win. You have to be willing to stand out and act differently.

Your actions need to reflect unusual values and priorities. You have to value success more than others do. You have to want it more. WANTING IT MORE IS A DECISION YOU MAKE AND ACT UPON - NOT SOME INHERENT QUALITY OR BURNING INNER DRIVE OR INSPIRATION! You have to make that value a priority.

You cannot train like everyone else. You have to train more and train better.
You cannot talk like everyone else. You cannot think like everyone else. You cannot be to willing to join the crowd, to do what is expected, to act in a socially accepted manner, to do what is “in”. You need to be willing to stand out in the crowd and CONSISTENTLY take exceptional action. If you want to win, you need to accept the risks and perhaps the loneliness because…………….WINNING ISN’T NORMAL!!!

By Dr. Keith F. Bell

What does it take to be a Judo Olympian?

2016 California State Judo Tournament

Five Palo Alto Judokas competed this Saturday, May 14, at the California State Judo Tournament held at the City College of San Francisco. The State tournament follows the national categorization standards by age and weight without regards to belt ranking. Our competitors fought hard and held their own and gained valuable experience competing with some of California's best.

Below were the ones that competed:

  • Daniel - Intermediate 1 - Gold
  • Mattice - Intermediate 1 - Honorable Mention
  • Jonathan - Juvenile A - Honorable Mention
  • Michael - Juvenile A - Honorable Mention
  • Minoo - Junior Novice - Silver


Marti Malloy Red Nose Picture

Marit takes a red nose picture with Corbin and Akiko.

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