Category Archives for "Judo"

Tips To Keep You Safe During Self Defense

So today I did a quick talk where I shared some tips that will help keep you safe if you are ever attacked and find your self having to defend yourself.  These tips do not involve techniques they are all mental but they will help keep you safe regardless of how much training you have done.  Obviously the more training the better. So let me just share these tips quickly and if you have any questions please let me know.

Self Defense Tips


Be Confident

First things first you have to know you are ready and that you will be okay.  Do not let fear getting into your mind at all.  Now training is something that will definitely help you here.  The better your training the easier it is to be confident.  At first when I was training in a karate like style I was not truly confident.  It helped and I thought I would be okay when I needed to defend myself but it wasn’t until I got pretty good in Judo / BJJ that I was truly confident in defending myself.  And its a great feeling to have.

Know Your Strengths / Weaknesses

This will help a ton.  Simply put you want to know where you are strong and try to make the ‘fight’ happen there.  Avoid your weak areas at all costs and make sure that is not what determines the outcome of the fight.  I know I am strong in terms of throwing or in the clinch and on the ground if I end up there.  So I want to make all self defense situations about throwing if I can.  I dont want it to look like a boxing match at all!!

Remember The Goal

To be honest a lot of people really mess this up!  The goal of a self defense situation is to get home safe.  That is it.  You dont need to look cool, you dont need to hurt the other person and you dont need to try a cool move you learned on youtube.  You just need to get home safe.  Make sure your ego does not get the better of you.


No matter how good you are.. or how strong the other guy is.  You should 100% out work your attacker. Your life is in the line.  Make sure you do everything you can to accomplish your goal.  Whatever it takes you need to get home to your family.  Dont forget that.


If you want to watch the video where I talk about this in a bit more detail please visit

As always if you have any questions please just let us know and we will do our very best to help you out!

December 6, 2015

Judo Promotional Study Guide Part II

I wanted to finish up our study guide for the upcoming Judo promotional exam.  In the first post we went over the first set of throws that you need to know for your yellow belt. Today I wanted to give you some info on the 2nd set of throws that you need to know for your green belt.

Again try to make sure you know the names of all of the throws, what they mean, how to perform them and how to fall for them. All of that is part of your test.  Here are the eight throws that make up the 2nd set:

  • Ko Soto Gari – Minor Outside Reap
  • Ko Uchi Gari – Minor Inside Reap
  • Koshi Guruma – Hip Wheel
  • Tsuri Komi Goshi – Lifting Pulling Hip Throw
  • Okuri Ashi Barai – Sliding Foot Sweep
  • Taio Toshi – Body Drop
  • Harai Goshi – Sweeping Hip Throw
  • Uchi Mata – Inner Thigh Throw

By the way if you have heard one of your coaches call the throw by another name that is okay. Certain clubs, dojos and instructors might call the throws by slightly different names but we do not want nicknames for the throws we do want a translation.

Below you will find videos of all the throws in the 2nd set. We will be practicing these throws this week so you will have time to try them out in class and get some help from the black belts.

Ko soto Gari


Ko uchi gari


Koshi Guruma


Tsuri Komi Goshi


Okuri Ashi Barai


Taio Toshi


Harai Goshi


Uchi Mata


OK I hope the names, translations and the videos help. If you give this a quick study and then get to class a few times this week you will have plenty of time to practice and we will make sure to help you out.
As always let us know if you have any questions on these throws or anything else you need to know for your test.

Scranton MMA Quick Tip Judo Vol I

Today I wanted to share a video with you that we recently shot at Scranton MMA.  We had the opportunity to film some really well produced videos so I hope you enjoy them. This first video shows a great takedown that you can use in Judo, BJJ and even MMA.

So first  things first watch the video and then read a bit more about what is going on below:

So I want to talk a bit more about the throw starting with the set up. It is very important to make sure you are in an opposite stance when you execute this throw.  Now I demonstrate this start to finish from an opposite stance but I did want to mention that I train with a great Judo / BJJ player who was able to throw me and many other people with this throw starting with a same sided stance and then switching to an opposite stance as he trapped the arm. Might be a bit more risky but again he did throw a lot of good players with that version.

I like the opposite stance from start to finish because many good players will grab your lapel when you are in that situation so you do not need to bait them into grabbing the lapel. Now if you do need to bait them a bit here are some tips.

First control the distance and what your partner can grab.  You want to make it difficult for them to grab your sleeve so you might need to break that grip or slap it away.  At the same time you dont want them to be able to grab your neck or back so you need to defend that and again control the space between you and your partner.

Next is the ‘grip’ make sure you get lots of practice with the motion and securing that arm. I love doing this almost as a fake grip break or even better after a failed grip break. It starts elbow down then elbow straight up and then elbow to elbow. Keep that arm and wrist trapped and secured.

To me once you got a good grip on that arm you are in a great position to get the takedown.  Again make sure you rep it out in practice and try it during randori or sparring a lot. You want to figure out what is working and what needs improvement.

The last detail to remember is the finishing position.  I love using throws and takdeowns as a means of passing the guard.  With this throw if you remember to bring your opposite hand behind their lead leg and use it to control their hips you will end up in a great position. You will be past their guard and you will make it very difficult for them to try to recover guard.

Here are a few more tips about adding this throw to your game. Again remember this throw is best used as soon as your opponent grips your gi. Maybe its the first thing you do in the match or maybe you do it later in the match but try to do it right as they grip before they get settled in. Work on really securing and trapping that arm.  Don’t shortcut the movement. Start elbow down and go elbow up and then end elbow to elbow. Try to keep your grip on the wrist or by the gi the entire time.  Try to keep your posture as best as you can the entire time. Focus on looking up and keeping your back straight. This will let you move quickly and have a lot of power in your movement. Last but not least focus on controlling the final position and the transition.  You want to end in a dominant position you do not want to go through all of this hard work just to end up in their guard!

I hope you enjoy the video. Please let me know if you have any questions.


December 3, 2015

Judo Promotional Study Guide Part I

This post is mainly for all of our Judo students that will bill testing for their next belt this month.  We are holding a promotional grading exam December 19, 2015.

For the students who are testing they will need to know the names of the throws and how to properly demonstrate them.  To help with the studying process I wanted to share with you eight videos today. These videos demonstrate all of the throws in the first set.  Anyone who is testing for their yellow belt should know this set.

The throws in the first set are:

  • Deashi Barai – Advanced Foot Sweep
  • Hiza Guruma – Knee Wheel
  • Sasae TsuriKomi Ashi – Lifting Pulling Ankle Block
  • Uki Goshi – Floating Hip Throw
  • O Soto Gari – Major Outside Reap
  • O Goshi – Major Hip Throw
  • O Uchi Gari – Major Inside Throw
  • Seoi Nage – Back Carry (Shoulder Throw)

Please do your best to know all of the names of the throws, what they mean and how to demonstrate them.  Also make sure you know how to fall for each of the throws as well.

Ok now for the videos.  Take a look and make sure you get to practice them before the exam.

Deashi Barai:

Hiza Guruma:

Sasa TsurKomi Ashi:

Uki Goshi:

Osoto Gari:

O Goshi:

Ouchi Gari:

Seoi Nage:

Ok that is the complete first set of Judo throws you should know if you are testing.  Please take a look and get some practice in.  We are spending the rest of the month reviewing and getting ready for the promotional exam.  If you have any questions just let one of the Judo instructors know and we can help you out.