Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

A great fight to watch

Here is a fantastic fight between Beijing Olympic Gold medalist Choi vs 2009 World Champion Zantaraya. Heaps of huge throws, great athleticism and good ne waza transitions.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weight loss strategies

Weight loss is a huge aspect of modern society. Especially for countries such as Australia, England and USA.

There is a lot of Junk out there regarding weight loss and it is important that you get the right information.
My friend Kate Freeman is a qualified nutritionist and helps me with various strategies to maintain my weight as well as re-hydration and refueling strategies etc.
Make sure you check out her website at

For weight loss click here

OJU Championships Recap

This years OJU Champs was a huge competition in terms of Olympic Selection points for the World Ranking List. To put the OJU Champs into perspective - if i went to Miami world cup or Sau paulo world cup or any world cup around the world and placed 1st i would receive 100 points towards the world Ranking list (WRL.)
The winner of a continental championships (in this case the Oceania Champs) the winner receives 180 points towards the WRL- that's almost 2 world cup wins.

Last years OJU champs i had 3 tough fights - Chevalier from New Caledonia, Bronkhorst from New Zealand and Dikins from Australia. I won my first 2 fights but in the final I got foot swept for Ippon. I was pretty upset as I had trained so hard but came up short.

This year I trained even harder and the hard work paid off. I went to Melbourne in January and trained with Ivo Dos Santos ( and then went off to Budo "university in Japan and trained really hard. We then had a national training camp at the AIS before this years OJU Champs.

This year this comp was held in Tahiti. Tahiti is a great place if you have a lot of money as it is quite expensive but due to the fact that i was dieting to make weight i didn't spend much money on food, which was nice.
We arrived at our hotel on Wednesday at around midnight and my room mate (Steve brown 66kg) and I went ot he gym and do 20-25 minutes cardio on some exercise bikes to help turn the legs over and get the feeling of the plane out of ours legs.

The next day we had a composure Judo session in the morning which consisted of 1 hour of uchikomi, grip fighting and some Randori., The Judo session in the afternoon was optional and out of the 40+ athletes only 10 of us took the opportunity to train a second time. Most of the other athletes relaxed and hung out. Steve and i thought it would be a good idea to train again and keep yourself in 'Judo mode."

The hotel we stayed in was very nice but in saying that though this can sometimes be a bad thing. So often when you stay in a nice place, with a pool and sunshine, sun baking etc you start to think you are on holidays and forget that you are there for a reason and that's to win fights. Although it is great to relax and get your mind off Judo its still not a good idea to sun bake and 'have fun' and have the time of your life.

OIn the Friday we both woke up pretty light so we put our sweat gear on and headed to Judo. We did a lot of really short, sharp but intense throwing drills and Ne Waza transitions.
We then re-hydrated, watched a movie and just relaxed. That night we jumped in the sauna and i lost around 1.6kg there that night.

The night before a comp is always interesting as you are usually hungry, dehydrated and keen to fight. What happens is you tend on sleeping pretty badly and at times drift off to sleep before waking up again. There is a skill in trying not to be paranoid about not sleeping, just try to relax and not think about fighting or the comp day at all. 
I downloaded an app on my iphone that has some rain and thunderstorms on it, its a really good way to get some normal constant noise (besides the crashing of the waves 10 metres from your room - i know poor me :), or your room mate who may snore like a freight train.) 
Noise cancelling headphones are also a must because they block out everything.

Comp day I made weight on the dot and headed to  the comp venue.  Had some breakfast and tried to rehydrate as well as [possible. It is important when re hydrating not to drink too fast and a good guide is 200mil every 15 minutes- this may be hard to manage because all you want to do is drink 1 litre straight away but small increments is a lot better than 1 litre straight.

Warm up was easy as it was so hot in tahiti. due to seeding i had  abye first fight and drew a Young Judoka from French Polynesion (or Tahiti). He had a very strange style of judo and threw tony Lomo from the Solomon Islands pretty quickly with a left Uchimata.
He was a very strange fighter but I managed to throw him for a sumi gaeshi early for a yuko (but referees called Waza ari fpor me) and then in the next exchange he turned in for a left uchimata and i threw him with an ura naga, we both squirmed ands turned and we both landed on our sides. The referee called Waza ari and awarded it to my opponent. the refs then had a chat and changed the score an awarded it too me, so i won be 2 waza aris.

My next fight was the final against Dikins from Australia. We had to wait around for 1000 years because the tournament organisers decided to have a 3 hour break for some reason, so i slept and relaxed and waited to fight.
We were the 20 final to take place so a  long wait ahead. This was a great time to fully rehydrate, refuel and prepare for the final.
The final started and I had a very good plan coming into the fight. I was confident i would win and i did. throughout the match my opponent went for a te guruma pickup but i countered him for ippon.
I was pretty happy that i scored the 180 points for the WRL and this really does catapult me into a good position for seeding for tournaments as well as the fact that 2nd place is awarded on 108 points for the WRL and I don't think this is enough for Olympic selection. It is close but 80 points is a huge amount of points to make up for.

Now I rested over Easter - ate my face off, had fun catching up with my friends and uni work and now back in to hard training. If you have been following me on facebook (search and like Beyond Grappling) I have been doing a huge amount of Hill sprinting and hitting the gym hard. My weight is also really good and I'm so keen for our national champs in June.

Hope you are all enjoying my blog.
I am constantly receiving feedback, comments and questions regarding everything to do with Judo, please be patient with my replies as I am training full time as well as studying a Primary education at University (not to mention writing my next eBook....wanna know what it's on???)

Talk soon


Uchimata Technical Video

I had had so many people emailing me asking to do an instructional on Uchimata. In my opinion Uchimata is one of the hardest techniques to perform in Judo (as well as Tai otoshi).

i am not a specialist at all in Uchimata and I dont think i could give good enough advice for someone to master it. I stumbled across this technical video and thought it was a great step by step way to teach Uchimata.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Brutal Submission

A basic but very nice setup into Juji Gatame by 2009 World Champion Georgii Zantaraya

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Active Recovery for Judo

Active Recovery
Twenty years ago active recovery wasn’t even thought of, it’s common knowledge that after a big Rugby League match players would go to the local pub for a beer and pie These days players must attend a session the day after a football game and the session is based around active recovery.
Most sessions are usually based around swimming or walking laps of a swimming pool (or in the ocean) followed by partner stretching.
Judo players usually after big judo competitions have a big night out and then wake up the next day all stiff and sore due to no active recovery or cool down after a competition. This is due to the fact that football players play every weekend so they must be recovered for next weeks game. Judo players compete every 3 months or so recovery after a competition is really no big deal.

What is active recovery?
Active recovery is another name for a really easy session after a really hard session. You know how, after a really hard session, the next day your whole body aches. You may find that the only way to not feel sore is to do some more exercise. It’s hard to get started first but once you get warm and start moving your body loosens up and you feel a lot better. This is exactly what active recovery is.
Active recovery aims to increase blood flow which helps remove lactic acids as well as helps bring any deoxygenated blood back to the heart.
As part of active recovery you must make sure stretching and protein rich foods are a part of it.

This article is not about active recovery after a competition because no judo player will do it anyway. Here is just a few exercises I sometimes do during the week if I am feeling a bit run down sand don’t feel like a really hard session.
Remember we aren’t going for a massive session of training just a light sweat up. I usually put a few layers of clothes on (or a sweat suit) and get started. I do the following exercises in no particular order just what ever I feel.
- rowing machine - forward & back rolls (& into splits)
- swimming - Handstand into rolls
- exercise bike - cartwheels
- swimming - general running
- uchi komi rubbers

I like doing all of the above exercises because you can go for a slow jog (in a dojo) and add them in whenever you like. They are also low impact which is probably what you want if you are feeling tired and run down.

Finish up with static stretching (partner stretching is better) all of the body making sure you breath and relax. Make sure you hold each stretch for around 30 seconds.

Go home and get a protein rich dinner, take some multi vitamins and have a big sleep.

Matt D’Aquino

Judo Coins

Mike from the Oklahoma City Defensive Tactics Judo has made some fantastic 3d challenge coins. i think this is a fantastic idea and a great present for someone who simply loves judo.

the coins have various designs including a harai goshi and jigoro kano.
To check out the coins and to order one go to:

To read more about OKCDT and what they are all about please visit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do you even like Judo ???

A number of years ago I had the journalist of the local newspaper ask me what I liked about Judo. My response was that I didn’t like Judo....I LOVED it.

I went on to talk about how much I loved the feeling of putting my gi on, tying up my belt and bowing onto the mat. I talked about how when you begin training everything else is forgotten. I love that it doesn’t matter how much University work I have to catch up on - as soon as I begin training I forget all about it. I’m in the zone, trying out new techniques, refining others and trying to become a more complete Judoka.

I love the chess match of Ne Waza, the tactical gripping strategies of grip fighting and the feeling of getting cleanly underneath your opponent with an Uchimata or Seoi nage. Or better still the effortless feeling of a perfectly timed footsweep.

My question is. What do you like about Judo? What do you love about it?

Sometimes we get too caught up in the competitive aspects of Judo and we forget what we love about it.
Today stop and think about what you love about Judo.

Feel free to comment below on what you love about Judo.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pic of the week - Success

‎"He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would accomplish much must sacrifice much" - James Allen

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Types of muscle contractions

There are several different types of muscular contractions used while exercising. These contractions are:
-          Concentric
-          Eccentric
-          Isometric
-          Isokinetic
In this report im going to give a brief outline as to what these contractions are what movements represent each contraction.

Concentric (or isotonic) contractions are the most commonly used contraction within the gym environment. A concentric contraction in scientific terms means ‘an individual muscle shortening under resistance.’ This simply means the muscle getting smaller while lifting a weight. For example on the upward phase of a bicep curl the bicep gets smaller while lifting weight.
Concentric exercises include:
      -          Upward phase of a bench press
      -          Upward phase of a bicep curl
                                             -          Upward phase of a squat

Eccentric muscle contractions are just as common in the gym as concentric contractions.
Eccentric contractions is ‘a muscle lengthening under resistance.’ Meaning the opposite of concentric, the muscle is getting longer while holding a weight. For example the downward phase of a bicep curl the bicep muscle is lengthening while holding a weight.
On average most people are 40% stronger on the eccentric phase of any given lift. For instance its easier to longer the weight down on bench press but so much harder pressing it up.
For advance weight trainer’s eccentric muscle training is a program where the trainer only ever eccentrically lowers the weight and never concentrically lifts it. This type of training is only for advance lifters due to the fact that they are lifting more weight than they can lift concentrically.
Eccentric exercise include:
-          Downward phase of a bench press
-          Downward phase of a bicep curl
-          Running downhill or walking down stairs

Isometric contractions are rarely seen in the gym. This is because they are hard and not very practical. Isometric contractions are when ‘a muscle maintains the same length under load.’ This means that your muscles are staying the same length but are still contracting as hard as they can. Pushing against a wall is a perfect example. When you push on a wall (or any immovable object) your muscles are contracting but are staying the same length.
Isometric training is really only good for people that are always pushing against something that barely moves. For example:
-          Arm wrestling
-          Pushing in a scrum in rugby
-           Pushing your car to jump start it

Isokinetic is very similar to concentric contractions so a lot of people get confused by it. Isokinetic is “constant resistance to a particular muscle throughout the entire range of movement.’ In simple words this means that the weight is the same throughout the entire range of movement of any given exercise.
For example on a bench press the bottom third is the hardest part while the middle and the lockout (for most people) is the easiest. Isokinetic training means that the same resistance is used throughout the entire range of movement.
Exercises include:
-          Swimming
-          Any exercise on a hydraulic machine

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fantastic Japanese Technical Video

This video is a must watch for all judokas. It will really help you understand what each Judo technique is trying to accomplish.