My first judo tournament

I competed in my first judo tournament this weekend. It was quite the experience, in more ways than one. Let me explain what happened. At the beginning of the tournament the host, a respected judoka, divided all competitors into separate divisions based on age, weight, rank, and gender. Instead of placing me in an adult division he pulled me aside and paired me up with a 15-year-old who was roughly my size and weight. Initially, I was a little embarassed, but I wasn't going to make a big stink out of it. If the host wanted me to compete against a 15-year-old then that's who I was going to compete against. I did inform my judo coach, but I didn't really expect him to do much since my judo school is a pretty traditional one where you rarely question the grandmaster. Well, while I'm waiting for my match to begin I tuck my right arm in my belt. When my 15-year-old opponent sees me doing this he asks me about my arm and I tell him I can't use it. That makes him pretty uncomfortable and he proceeds to go up to his coach and tell him I can only use one arm and he doesn't want to compete against me. His coach proceeds to go to the host and try and get him switched into another division for this very same reason. The host stands firm with his decision and says the 15-year-old will be in my division. For the next 10 minutes while I'm waiting for my match my plan is to completely smash this kid into the ground and teach him and his coach a hard lesson in life. One thing's for sure though, I'm not going to complain about competing against a self-perceived "inferior" opponent because that's exactly what my opponent and his coach were doing. When it's time for our match to begin, I decide to just go out there and have fun with no ill-feelings. I know I can't go too easy though or else risk the chance of confirming people's belief that this was the division I deserved to be in. At the end of the match my opponent's coach comes up to me to express his admiration and talk to me about my jiu-jitsu; someone told him I was a black belt in jiu-jitsu during the match. He proceeds to tell me he's a blue belt. He was a nice enough guy and I was able to forgive him for judging me prior to my match. My opponent also slaps hands with me and says "Why didn't you tell me you were a BJJ black belt." I smile at him and say "Next time don't underestimate your opponent." All in all I think a lot of us learned something valuable from this experience, myself included. I had fun during our match and it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. I made sure I didn't impose my ground game and I tried to win with throws. At one point I stood up after I got side control and the judge asked me "Why didn't you keep pinning him?" Well here's the video if you're curious as to what happened. Match starts around the 40 second mark. Camera calms down by then.

Ttt for aaron

Too bad i didnt get a chance to train with you while you were still in Chicago... Phone Post

The Fist of Jiu Jitsu - that's pretty awesome, Judo is hard enough as it is, is your arm just injured or is it disabled?


 cool match

Congratulations! I remember you posting on the other gimp dude's ;) thread from last year and it's cool to see you competing. All things considered you did well, especially with your gripping and transitions to newaza. Did the ref not score either tani otoshi? I didn't see any hand signals, but I'd say both throws should've been called wazari, with you winning by wazari-awasete-ippon.

Also, boo on the opponent and coach's actions. You and they may not know it, but judo has a proud heritage of providing training and competitive opportunities to fellow judoka who just happen to be blind/disabled, and as far as I know the rules have always been that if a competitor is physically capable of competiting in regular shiai they have every right to do so. So once again, boo on them and next time you see one or both you should tell them to reconsider the meaning of jita-kyoei!

Nice job Aaron! I was scheduled to do my first judo tournament a couple weeks ago but sprained my MCL the week of. Looking forward to earning a legit judo black belt.

very nice job, and inspirational!

Very good job! I'm impressed with Ur throws for being a black belt.'and very impressed u would stand up from side, instead of just grinding him easily. Congratulations on great match!! Phone Post

Congradulations Aaron!!!

CGBJJ Aurora/Naperville.

First congrats on your judo. Your judo was excellent for a one handed grip. Attacking the front leg is best when you only have a collar grip. Your challenge will be when you fight another lefty (left foot forward) and how do attack then. Not sure why they didn't let you compete in the Adult novice division. My thinking is they thought you would be at too much of a disadvantage only being able to grip with one hand. Watching the kids judo it is par for a 15 yr old kid. The general rule is age 17 and below is juniors. And minimum age for juniors to enter up into the adult div is 13. I hope the next time they let you compete in the Adult novice within the same weight category. I am sure you wanted more matches and a stiffer challenge.

 Nice!  I did my first Judo tourney a couple years ago, and had a blast (except for the part where I got kneed in the face during a guard pass and put my teeth almost all the way through my lip).

I can't wait to do more.

my first judo BB division tournament was tough! Very fast pace.

When is your next judo tournament? please provide video if you can.


You sir are the F-ing man.

And you rocked that Yellow Belt like a champ!

aaron u are the man bro... :)

OK I have to ask since you fight with one hand what are your common chokes and sweeps? I fight with one arm tucked in once in awhile for various reasons but its fucking hard as hell.

 Very Cool.

yeah just watched the video, didn't realize you're fighting with one arm, good job, and very inspirational!

worth the read and watch

well done sir

Good stuff, Aaron. :)