Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Big Judo Success at National - Only Part of the Story



Big Judo took eleven people to the Nationals this year, Seven children and four teenagers.   The eleven competitors won:
  • Three  Gold Medals (Noah Walliss, Bella Bianco and Tommy Willson)
  • One Silver Medal (Noah Wallis)
  • Two Bronze Medals (Jack Leslie and Noah Walliss)


Just as importantly the people that did not get medals all did really well too. Most won fights and some were very close to medalling (i.e. two lost their Bronze Medal fight) and all were young for their age groups and have another chance next year.

Over all it was a fantastic day and the coaches are proud as punch. 
Tommy with his Gold medal.




Noah on the podium getting his Gold for the Junior Mens Under 81kg. 
Jack with his Bronze. 

Success at the Nationals is only part of the story. The real story is the commitment of everybody that makes our training special. Whether it is the people that turn up just because they enjoy Judo, or the parents that come and support or the coaches that are there week in week out we all have a part to play in making Big Judo successful.

The Pukekohe crew on the mat the Tuesday after Nationals.  We put the mats down each night and the dojo is a school hall but everybody turns up has fun and learns good Judo.  This group of kids has won a fair few medals and one of them is now national champion. 


So Thanks to everybody for all your support.  Whether you fought, brought a child down to Rotorua or even if just turn up to training regularly you are making a difference and contributing not just to winning medals but to developing brave, confident and successful people. 

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Big Noah Medals in Queensland International Open



Another good shot of Noah on podium in Australia.  Well done mate! We are all proud of you.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Last Day of a Big Judo Term


A nice busy kids randori session to finish the third term.  Nelly down the end watching the crew in action.  We have number of kids getting ready for the nationals and these types of session are great for building up their stamina and strength.

And at the other end of the spectrum me and another retired black belt working with the little kids. 
Lots of the kids in the photo above looked like this when they started!


 And last but not least a photo of Nelly watching some ne waza (ground fighting).  Cool seeing her looking after the kids and teaching them about ground work (even if a few have a long way to go)

Over all a great term! See you all in two weeks.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

News from Woollongong



Nice photo of Noah on the podium in Australia. Makes us proud/

Monday, 9 September 2019

North Island Champs 2019



We had three people fight at the 2019 North Island Championships. Scott, Wiremu and Jack all of them fought well but are the bottom of their age categories so we did not manage any medals. But winning is not the most important thing. What is important is that they are enjoying their Judo.  Loved this photo,

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Big Judo Female Fight Night




We have been talking about hosting a Friday night, female randori night for a little while and finally we are ready to go.

Details are:

o   Date: Friday 9 August
o   Location Big Judo Dojo, St Martins Church Hall, Corner of Sandringham and Mt Albert Roads
o   Time: 7  pm


In summary:

·         Nellie will run the session. Nellie has been doing Judo for more than thirty years and in her prime was one of our top Judo players. Competing at the Commonwealth Games. She also lived and trained in Europe placing in European competitions.  She is also very well respected in the BJJ and MMA community having won many competitions in these disciplines on top of her Judo success.

·         She is tough and committed to developing women’s Judo i.e. it will be a safe, supervised, social environment and there will be no bad or unsafe behaviour.

·        Nellie knows how tough it is for women and girls to keep up their Judo. With a small pool of people too often females are small minority in a club and either have to train with men or the same females all the time. 

·        So we wanted to provide an opportunity for a fun, safe randori session. We aren’t going to teach technique (that’s up to coaches) but we do want to provide an opportunity for females (of all ages) to get together and do Judo.

·       The aims are:

o   Network i.e. meet other women doing Judo
o   Practice with women
o   Have fun

Be great to see you there. 

Big Judo Term Three



Term 3 has started and numbers are good.  Across the team we are moving kids 'up'. The teenagers starting to train more with the adults and kids moving from the beginners to the advanced class. 


The beginners class.  

The advanced kids class


Combined with a successful run in Tauranga in which we took 15 kids and won 11 medals including four golds we think Term Three will be a good term at Big Judo. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Big Judo - Our Aim More People Doing Judo








Big Judo Sandringham recently ran it's first promotional activity. Normally, 'word of mouth' keeps our number reasonably high.  But now that we have a better dojo and a growing pool of instructors we felt it was time to cast the net wider and try to grow a bit.

The promotion was a 'Bring a Friend Day".  I ran the kids session and Nelly ran the adults. 

Ben talking to the kids doing safety briefs and discussing the dojo's rules and protocols
And here is Nelly doing the same with the grown-ups and teenagers.  

Two of our teenagers helping out demonstrating. Awesome to have them helping out.  

And more of our awesome teenagers helping out. 'Service' is one of Big Judo's three values and it is very satisfying to see our young Judoka helping out, 



Three photos of me and Nelly busy running things.  It is fantastic to be working with my sister introducing more people to Judo,

Teaching ne-waza (ground grappling) skills because big or small we are going to let you have a wrestle. 

Adults playing balance games.  

What it is all about.  More children on  the mat doing Judo,



Saturday, 25 May 2019

Saturday Big Judo - Reflection



Kids sitting quietly after Judo.  Parents on the side of the mat.  Next class waiting. Awesome Saturday afternoon.  Sometimes calmness and reflection are the action only action required. 

Monday, 13 May 2019

Big Day for Juniors at Auckland International Open


The Auckland International Open is New Zealand's premiere Judo competition. It attracts players from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. 

Three competition mat areas going for two days so that 350 competitors all had an opportunity to compete.

We only enter our most confident and competent players in this competition. This year we had four juniors  fighting.  Unfortunately one was injured training before the competition (but he still came and watched his team mates!) 

The remaining three all got medals. We were very proud of them all.  Great to see a group of competitive kids working together and doing well. Here are some photos from the day. 


Jack with his Bronze medal.  
Bella with her Silver medal. 
The chaos on the sideline.. Coaches, competitors, officials.  This year the spectators had to remain in the seating area. This is to make sure that the sidelines are kept clear and are able to be managed.

More chaos on teh sideline.  Part of our support crew. 








Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Big Judo Big Boys Back


We told you Jacob and Noah our two competitive players currently residing in Sydney are back in town. It was awesome to see them on the mat and we will all be catching up again on Thursday before the competition.  



A group photo with some of the crew who were on the mat on Tuesday. 




Big Judo Term Two Starts

Well Term Two has started and at both ends of the city we had classes going.  At Sandringham the big news was that Noah and Jacob are back from Sydney for the Auckland International Open.  Noah is not fighting (he was injured recently) but still came along to support and stopped by to help out with the kids class.  Great to see a young guy willing to help out like that. 


Meanwhile out in the deep south the Pukekohe crew are growing we are getting a regular crew of adults on the mat now including Jimmy Danger. Its great to see that he is staying involved and on teh mat.  I'm sure that the team in town will be happy to see that he is still on the mat! 










Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Big Fun at Hajimie Judo Club Fun Day





Some of our Big Judo kids with their medals from this weekend's Judo fun day organised by Hajimie Judo Club.  Well done to the kids and well done to the organisers too!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Australia Update



Medalists at the Illawara Restricted Kyu Competition.  Noah did well,  Blue belt gets Gold, awesome. 

Restricted kyu competitions are a great idea.  We used too have them in New Zealand but can't remember one for a long-time. They are a great opportunity for people to gain competitive experience and feel the thrill of victory.  I notice that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions are organised by grade. 




Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Big Judo Old Skool in Pukekohe



A nice photo of Tracey back on the mat after a maternity break. Tracey is another of our awesome female Judo instructors and tonight I was thinking about how nice and 'old skool' we are at Pukekohe.

Some readers will remember doing Judo in little clubs based in school halls, scout dens or church halls. Once upon a time there were lots of little clubs like that. Mats down dojos were rare so we all had to work together putting the mats down and lifting them up after training. It was hard and you had to be committed. 

In fact Nellie and I started at Mount Roskill Judo Club in 1982 before going to University and tonight I was feeling a little nostalgic.  

It was awesome to see senior people like Tracey, Todd and Geoff who like sharing their knowledge so much that they never moan or complain about putting out the mats.  Instead its all about teaching kids and other adults Judo. Even if the set up is a little basic the 'old skool' Judo principles of bravery, service and Judo excellence were being put into practice.  


Todd, Geoff and the big kids. 

Tracey and Geoff with the beginner kids class

I guess my reflection from tonight is that isn't a flash dojo that makes a good club but rather good people.  At Big Judo we are really lucky to have a great group of people who love Judo and are keen to help others learn.  Even if we don't have a mats down dojo in Pukekohe we certainly have a good 'old skool' approach and plenty of happy kids (and some happy adults) learning good Judo.  


Saturday, 23 March 2019

Big Judo Kid Training in Sandringham




We had another nice Saturday in Sandringham this week.  I am back from Sydney and it was nice catching up with the kids again. One of the things that we are most proud of is the way that everybody pitches in and helps with the instruction. 

This Saturday we had Nelly help out with both kids classes.  Normally she focuses on the seniors, but we believe it is really important for the young female Judoka to have a connection with older female players in positions of authority.  So its wonderful to see her on the mat with the kids.

We also had Dave Mair on the mat.  He provides lots of great technical advice and really helps the rest of us deliver better quality Judo.


Awesome to have such a nice session after visiting the two big guys in Sydney.  They are getting stronger and tougher and behind them we have a strong family working together to build the next generation. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

BIg Judo Classes




Ben was in Australia this weekend and the kids must have known because they showed up 'in numbers' at Sandringham. Nelly took the class and worked them hard out.

Meanwhile in Australia Ben caught up with Noah and Jacob who are having a great time in Sydney.

The guys are doing us proud training hard, being polite and humble and making the absolute most of being at Zenbu.  It made us all proud to get such positive feedback.  Especially when we have lots more kids coming through behind them!

Friday, 1 March 2019

Good 2019 Sydney Open Photo


Nice photo of Noah in action at the Sydney International Open.  Next step Melbourne.  Then Auckland in May.

Big Judo Workshop Two 2019


This Friday Matt Rowley came and sheared technical knowledge with our young Judoka. It was a good night we had small group of our young people that are interested in developing their throwing technique learning from a really good instructor with excellent technical Judoka, 

Big Judo's focus is developing a strong base and this was another brick in our foundation, well done kids and thanks heaps Matt.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Sydney International Open 2019



Jacob and Noah both had there first taste of off-shore competition last weekend in Sydney.  Tony, Shaun and Oliver went over and supported them.  No medals but great experience and Tony said he had an awesome time with Ivor and Morgan at Zenbu.  Cool weekend.

Bummer about the stink photo. It was the only one the crew took that we could use! Oh well I'm in Sydney next month and will try and get some decent shots.