Taraje Williams-Murray

Wins Tre Torri:


Congratulations Taraje and Rhadi!!

Very cool

i guess nobody even got a score or a penalty on him. great showing. congrats taraje.

congrats. however, i think the people who compete in these tournaments (especially this year) are not usually the ones in the A-level's. i am not even familiar with the names here.

i wonder why did he not go to any of the A-levels, there was a whole series of great tough tournaments starting in january ?

Famliman, Thanks, but I'm only part of the equation. His coach Arkady and his folks at the New York Athletic club are part of a comprehensive team.

Judom,  when Ronda Rousey wins, win Val Gotay wins, when Justin wins, everybody writes, "Congrats, great job" etc.,.

When Taraje wins, there's little to no comment and then you write "Congrats, however."

Bro. once you've said, "however" you completely shytted on the whole congratulations that you gave.  Your comment was boo-boo.

The man pays close to 2,000 dollars, prepares like his life is depending on it, sleeps on the couch when he's at home because there's no bed for him there, comes down to me for a training camp, where he has to walk through hell with gasoline draws on, prepares his ass off, doesn't have a clue who is going to be there when he gets there, lines up and beats everyone there, doesn't get a point scored on him and then you say, there weren't any A Levels there and questions why he didn't compete in January while he was finishing up his undergraduate degree.

Did it every occur to you that Taraje is an A level type player after finishing 9th in the World in 2005?  :-/

Judom, I like you, but you still gotta be straightened out right here.  As a former elite player and currently a coach, you'll never realize how disrespectful your post reads. And I know you don't mean it like that because I read your posts, but bro. I'm just letting you know.



man! congrats, and its so great that taraje has a blog up to document his
preparation for this tournament. ive been following it since the first post.

what an inspirational athlete.

congrats. that is awesome. His blog is one of the most interesting things I have read.


After you make a bold prediction that this guy is supposed to be the new world 2007 champion, its natural to wonder why we didn't see him in a single A-level tournament. A-levels are usually indicative of how people do at the worlds/olympics.

Also, i can assure you the difficulties training at a high level (and living day to day) in eastern europe are much greater than anything Taraje (or most western people) have seen or experienced. Things have become much worse for sports since communism ended (and not just sports). I can tell you many stories about that, but thats not the place. Many great judoka have quit due to the conditions and those that continue such as Georgiev are basically unusual cases (i.e. he has no real coach).

Anyway...I don't want this post to come out negative, it was mostly a question on why he wasn't at the A-levels. I was looking forward to seeing him in the last world cup at Romania after all the positive talk about him here.

We will see Taraje at the Worlds in September, so a Super A tournament is in the near future.

In the meantime, all he can do is beat everyone that is put in front of him. That he has done.

Congrats to Taraje, Rhadi, his coaches and training partners. He was ready, and got the job done in Italy.

Also, Reser took bronze in Italy. Otherwise, not a very good showing by the USA at Tre-Torri.

Congratulations to all that competed.

I think we congratulate really fast the people we know read and post even occasionally on this forum. I personally think it's great when any American does well overseas.


 You are being pretty critical of Taraje. I am sure that he will make his voice known at the big tournaments this year. None of us really know what athletes themselves here or in other countries have to endure to acheive in this sport.


Remember when we took that long ride back from the tre torri years ago and you gave Taraje the "hammer and nail" talk? I do. I think you might actually have it on tape. Taraje sure has turned into the hammer now and I hear the athletes don't have to take that long ass ride back to Rome anymore. I bet Taraje for one remembers that bus ride.

Congratulations to all that competed!!!! No one knows the individual sacrifices you guys/gals make more than you. We can only live vicariously through your wins and losses.


You're one of my favorite people on the forum. So I'll just say, you are entitled to your opinion and although I disagree, I do so respectfully.


i wasn't being critical at all, may be it sounds like that. i love judo and i follow judo all the time. i was simply wondering why he wasn't at the A-levels that lasted for a long time and now suddenly appears in Italy. I am not really asking for an answer, there may be 1000 reasons, i.e. peaking cycle, studies, family, etc, i was mostly looking forward to seeing him, because i follow almost all junior and world cups and i have watched many of the judokas long before they became stars (i.e. Aleksander Mihailin).


I think your work for judo is great and thats what i like the most. If more people did that in Europe, judo would be in much much better shape.

As i said many times before, i wish luck to all the athletes at the worlds/olympics. to get to that level something most of us will never do and these are usually A-level material great judoka. That said, as a fan, I'd love to see him on the euro circuit. :)

Thanks Judom.

Remember, Taraje, didn't return to the 60kg weight class until the New York Open. 

Will Taraje eventually move up to 66kg?

he is young and I am sure still growing.

Congrats on his win.

I have been to the Tre Torri 2x. To get through that tourney without having a point scored against is an amazing feat. The last year I was there, they had a lot of "unknown" players who came to be pretty well known, Suzuki and Yazaki from Japan. There was a guy from Germany whose name escapes me but has played well on the "A" level who threw Nate Torra harder than any throw I have seen.

John, you are right, you can now fly into Ancona just north of Porto San Elpidio. The problem is you have a 50/50 chance of getting your luggage. I loved the bus ride from Rome.