So last weekend was the USA Judo Nationals.  I competed in the 81kg Masters division.  I was able to win all of my matches using my favorite throw or at least most effective throw Seonage.  I was not scored on at all during the tournament and I think I was only really attacked standing one time. This was part of the game plan.  Stay very active, use a lot of foot sweeps to keep my opponents off balanced and worried about their feet and if I was in trouble attack before they get to attack.

In my first match I make a HUGE mistake very very early in the match and it almost put me right out of the tournament.  I make a weak attack and allow my opponent to set up a perfect attack while I am turtled up. This is something I preach that we should NEVER do … EVER.. and I made the mistake.  Luckily I was able to escape the pin he put me in Kami Shiho Gatame  or North South position for the bjj guys. I have to be honest that for a split second I thought it was over.  Kami Shiho is something that is normally a position that ends the match.  I only worried for a split second and then put 100% effort into escaping at all costs.  After we are stood back up I refocused and put 100% commitment into my next attack which ends the match.

1st match – I am in the blue gi


So after almost blowing it completely in my first match I came out pretty focused for the second match.  This was a very strong competitor and I was very thankful that I am used to getting beat up by the big guys at the academy.  This match I use a lot of foot sweeps and gripping combos to set up two seonages.  The first was a half point and the second for a full point to end the match.  For those that train with us on the Judo mat if yo pay close attention you will see my attacks come off of situation we are constantly drilling during class.

2nd match – I am in the white gi


So I knew I would face this guy in the finals.  I was at the top of the bracket and he was at the bottom.  We both won all our matches to this point in a very convincing manner.  I competed against him before and the match went into overtime where I threw him for a full point.  So I knew he would be hard to throw and that I could avoid his throws if I was careful.  During this match he gets some good grips that I am able to break away from very quickly.  In the end it was just more of the same.  Lots of foot sweeps and gripping to set up two seonages both for half points the second ending that match.

3rd match – I am in the white gi


I want to thank EVERYONE who is a part of Scranton MMA.  All of the students and training partners, the families and the coaches.  Without the support I get from you it would not be possible.

If you have any questions feel free to ask me when you see me at the academy or post a question online and Ill be happy to answer.



Tom McGuire

Head Judo Instructor – Scranton MMA

2013 USA Judo Masters Nationals Gold Medalist