Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holiday Schedule 2015

Quick Nov. and Dec. reminders/updates as the Holidays quickly approach:
Tonight Nov 19 - The temple has asked for our help moving some cabinets off the auditorium stage in preparation for the Thanksgiving interfaith service.  It shouldn't take us that long to do with several hands assisting.
Nov 23 - Practice as usual
Nov 26 - Happy Thanksgiving NO PRACTICE, but all are welcome to the:

Denver Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Denver Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Thursday, November 26, 2016 - 10:00 am
Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Islamic congregations. Arrive early! Garage parking will be limited. Off street meters are free due to Holiday.  
Nov 30th - Early entry deadline for the Brian Olson Winter Classic.  Entry form attached.
Dec 5th - Brian Olson Winter Classic Boulder/Lafeyette
Dec 17th - Judo year end potluck 6:30pm at practice.  Winter break - NO PRACTICE until Jan 4th.
Jan 4th - Welcome back!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Grip Fighting Against Same Side Opponents - Ai Yotsu Kumi-kata

Danny Williams, Judo Olympian, Commonwealth Champion and Coach of Camberley Judo Club is here filmed by the Warrior Collective giving a tutorial on different ways to grip fight in order to nullify your opponent and gain the upper hand when they are right/same handed in Judo.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Koji Komuro - Russian Roll Armbar(Yaskevich Juji-Gatame)

Attacking the turtle while seated above
Drop off to one side, post
Secure lower back/hips with legs
Secure arm
Drop top leg to opponent's neck
Scissor legs and turn into opponent
Swing top leg from neck to over head

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Passing of Kenny Kuramoto - Service 10/17/15

Dear Fellow Judoka,

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Sensei Kenny Kuramato. He passed away Monday evening. He was the son of Sensei George Kuramoto, one of the founders of the Denver School of Judo. On behalf of the Colorado Judo League, our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and relatives of the Kuramoto family.

In Deepest Sympathy,

Brian Levitt, President
Colorado Judo League

A celebration of his life will be held at

Advantage Aurora Chase Chapel
1095 Havana Street
Aurora, CO 80010
(303) 366-3551

Saturday, October 17, 2015
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Kenny Kuramoto Biography

Born on January 24th, 1941, in Sacramento, CA to George and Alice Kuramoto. They lived in Walnut Grove, CA at the time until 1942.

In 1942 the federal government built an internment camp to house thousands of Japanese Americans, forcibly removed from their homes in California. The facility was called camp Amache located in Colorado. It was one of ten relocation centers, guarded by armed military police established during World War II and designed to detain more than 120,000 Japanese; about two thirds of whom were U.S. Citizens. This was the beginning of a new chapter in Kenny's life and his family, relatives, friends and anyone of Japanese decent. They were given a few days to pack all their belongings and to board a train, not able to see out of the blocked windows, and not knowing where they were going. They left behind their homes and businesses which were later vandalized or destroyed. They lived at the camp til October 1945 after the war had ended and were released to start a new life. Kenny's sister, Michi was born at the camp.

The family found an apartment in Denver and settled there. Kenny's father was able to find an auto mechanic's job near the Denver Buddhist Temple on 20th and Lawrence which later became George's Motor Service. This area became the start of many Japanese businesses and the heart of Japanese town. In 1946 Kenny had a new brother, Arthur.

When Kenny was 5 he went to Ebert Elementary in Denver and when the family grew they moved to 3220 Gaylord St. He attended Columbine Elementary School, Cole Jr. High and Manual High School. During high school he was working for his father as a mechanic. Later, he joined the Army and traveled to Texas, California Washington and Alaska. He worked for United Airlines for 30 years and retired.
In February 1953, under the chairmanship of Bob Maruyama and sponsorship of the California Street Methodist Church, his father George and Fred Okimoto recruited 40 young boys 10 years and older and initiated judo classes in the basketball gymnasium of the 20th Street Recreation Center. In April 1953 a new dojo was established.. Both Kenny and Arthur participated in Judo tournaments over the years. Kenny earned a 2nd Degree Black Belt and became an instructor. Judo was always a big part of his life whether participating or attending tournaments.
Kenny's favorite movie of all time was"Go for Broke" He became very passionate, collecting momentos, and following anything written about the Japanese Americans who fought in World War II. He saw the movie many times over.

The movie was about "A triumphant look at the grit and guts of the Japanese Americans who made up the 442nd regiment during World War II dealing with their prejudiced commander and facing battlefront horror with true heroism and team spirit that earned themselves national respect".
Kenny's hobbies consisted of Judo, shopping, watching T.V. and keeping up with the Broncos.

At age 74 Kenny passed away on Monday, October 12, 2015. He is survived by his sister, Michi (Tom) Hoshiko and his brother, Arthur (Charlene) Kuramoto; nieces, Lynette (Chris) Sykes; Jillian (Patrick) Hamlin and their 4 children: McKenzie, Connor, William and Ashlyn; nephews, Derek (Tati) Hoshiko, their foster child Trevor; and nephew Kurtis Kuramoto.

Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Beat Teddy Riner by Neil Adams

In the article above, Neil Adams contends that Teddy Riner's opponents fall time and time again by focusing too much on the big overhand grip and not the initial sleeve grip that throws them off balance to begin with.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ronda Rousey vs 3 Japanese Judoka

Ronda Rousey vs 3 Japanese comedians/TV personalities who have done judo in high school

Monday, August 31, 2015

Drawing larger steps through kuzushi

Dealing with loading weight onto your opponent and subsequent weight transfer for better ouchi and ko uchi gari

Monday, July 27, 2015

Biomechanics of Kuzushi by Attilio Sacripant (PDF)

Biomechanics of Kuzushi - Tsukuri and Interaction in Competition ( A new global didactic Judo vision )

Attilio Sacripant

ENEA (National Agency for Environment Technological Innovation and Energy) Robotic Laboratory
University of Rome II “Tor Vergata” Italy
FIJLKAM Italian Judo Wrestling and Karate Federation
European Judo Knowledge Commissioner
European Judo Didactic Commission Scientific Consultant

Link goes to Google Drive - PDF format

Video Footage of 9th Dan Kazuzo Kudo - Judo Masters

Kodokan New English/Japanese Judo Dictionary (PDF)

English section starts page 35


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pacquiao vs Mayweather: Stance and Angles (in Boxing & Judo)

Mayweather's Philly Shell vs. Pacquiao's Southpaw

by Yoon Chang

Of the many factors that led to Pacquiao's loss and inability to hit Mayweather yesterday (outside of the possible right rotator cuff injury), I will explain how Pac-Man's inability to use the advantage of his Southpaw stance against the main weakness in Mayweather's Left-Forward Philly Shell led to Money's win, and how it applies to both boxing and judo as martial arts.

(Author: Please note that I know relatively little about boxing)

Respective Stances:
Mayweather - Orthodox Philly Shell
Pacquiao - Southpaw (+ Box/Puncher)

Pacquiao's Southpaw stance is considered to be one of the best examples of a Southpaw volume puncher - the southpaw stance allows for quick counters against feeler jabs and Pac-Man's slightly squared up resting stance allows for multiple punches to come in rapid succession. Pacquiao's Southpaw stance makes setting up combinations and counters easier when stepping outside of the lead leg and giving the user's right jab a leverage advantage against the left jab and makes the lead hook against an traditional opponent's defenses much more effective.

The Philly Shell was described to me as 'Advanced Hood Boxing' - a style specifically designed to frustrate and counter sluggers and aggression. It protects the body with the lead hand while the back hand is there to swat away punches to the head, and the stance itself allows for the body to lean to all directions very smoothly, giving the user the ability to roll punches off smoothly and punish with the back power hand immediately afterwards while keeping the center of gravity over his base.

Mayweather used the Philly Shell consistently and effectively by combining the major advantages offered by the shell -

1. Leaning forward and baiting the jab at a distance
2. Using the lead hand/shoulder to glance closer jabs off easily
3. Pivoting after the jab to avoid the power hand

After frustrating opponents by easily rolling their feeler jabs off with his upper arm, Mayweather baits the combinations by leaning forward then being ready to pivot his back foot out of the way, Mayweather tricks opponents into starting their combinations at a distance further than their opponent generally chooses to start their attack from, making their follow-up power punch hit nothing but air by pivoting or bob/weaving. Pacquiao played right into this and got frustrated, often ending up over-committing and throwing his weight too forward instead of keeping his center of gravity over his base.

On the other hand, Pacquiao (and his corner) didn't take advantage of the Shell's main weakness. (...And given the revelation of the lead arm injury, I suppose it's understandable)

The main flaw of Philly Shell comes directly from how it draws its advantages - it's an illusion with a side-heavy advantage. If you look at any striking style, the power of the strike doesn't come from the arm, it's a chain reaction that starts at the feet, The traditional punching stances have their feet pointed at the opponent and hips squared up to allow for follow through and quick returning of the arms for follow up shots. The Philly Shell turns this against the opponent by having those shots be aimed at the wrong point/distance by using a lot of upper body motion + pivoting off the lead leg and uses the opening created by those misses to attack.

The flaw is exposed in the body mechanics - to move the upper body around so much, the base of the body/legs must remain relatively solid and stationary, and to pivot away from attacks toward the back so easily, the feet must be pointed away from the opponent. This means the mobility of the Philly Shell is an illusion - when rocking in and out, the opponent himself isn't moving any closer or further from you, it just seems that way, and his range of mobility is actually limited.

Also, with the Shell protecting the body with the lead arm, the body is hunched and the shoulder is tucked in toward the body, making the favored pivot towards the back leaving shots toward the backside easier. (A pivot the other way would leave users open for many straight shots down the centerline.)

Pacquiao could have taken advantage of this with a combination of two adjustments - stepping out more towards his right (which he generally does) + closing the distance. This would have left Pacquiao with no longer being tricked by the upper body, a leverage advantage with his lead jab over Mayweather's (If only Pac was 2+ inches taller and arms longer), opening up the lead hook to the body/head, and  making the left straight (which Pacquiao loves and landed a few times during the bout) easier to land the second the lead shot gets blocked/evaded.

To describe the effect of breaking down the technique of having an opponent trick your senses of perception and distance, check out this somewhat cheesy clip of 90's Japanese anime Ruroni Kenshin where the swordsman goes up against a ninja kenpo practitioner.

What can Judoka learn from this?

When you are frustrated with the grip/stance of your opponent controlling you/preventing you from attacking, remember that every non-neutral stance has its strengths and weaknesses.

High collar grip by a taller opponent jerking you around?
Drop your elevation quickly and use his grip to set up a throw.

Opponent stiff-arming you and preventing you from closing the distance?
Use his arms like a lever and rotate around his body rather than towards it.

Opponent dropping his hips and creating a solid base (Jigotai) to prevent you from throwing him?
Take advantage of his lack of leg mobility and force him to pivot or attack his legs with sweeps/ashi-waza.

Remember that all applied martial arts is physics and all non-applied martial arts is psychology.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2 Turnovers Against the Flat Turtle Position

2 Turnover options for flat-on-belly turtle

French Turnover (Feed the gi, walk over)

Crossed Legs Turnover (Guard Pull to Mount)

Friday, February 20, 2015

BJ Penn vs Rhonda Rousey

BJ Penn and Rhonda Rousey Sparring at the Mendes Brother's AOJ dojo:

Ronda Rousey and BJ Penn sparring at AOJ from Roots of Fight on Vimeo.

BJ Penn's meteoric rise to becoming a Black Belt in BJJ (note clip of Rhonda Rousey's kuzushi in video)

BJ "The Prodigy" Penn from Roots of Fight on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Twelve Judo Throws and Tsukuri by Gunji Koizumi

A text explaining how to create the openings needed for various throws

Copyright © 1948, 2002 The Budokwai. Reprinted courtesy the Budokwai. All rights reserved.

Text HERE: 

Saturday, January 10, 2015