Saturday 16 December 2023

Another Awesome Catch Up - Noah Wallis is Back in Town

It was awesome to see Noah again, after years overseas and competing at the World Champs he came out and visited the team in Pukekohe and Pukekawa.  He trained with the kids, shared his experiences and demonstrated some technique. 

Most importantly he was there!  An international player taking the time to do randori and let them know that  once he was just like them, a kid doing Judo. 

Noah is now travelling and doing Judo with the best Judoka in the world, but his visit is a reminder for our young Judoka that every journey starts with a step. 

My favorite photo is this one.  Noah helping to put the mats away.  Demonstrating his humility and willingness to help, even with the boring bits.  A really good example for our young Judoka. 

It was awesome! Thanks Noah. 


Friday 8 December 2023

Catching up with Old Friends

I spent last week in Australia and took the opportunity to catch up with Morgan Endicott-Davies and the crew at Zenbu Dojo is Sydney.  It was great fun and I really enjoyed catching up with Morgan.

The team at Zenbu remember Noah and Jacob who they hosted previously. We did Judo together and shared some great memories.  Thanks heaps for the hospitality. 


Friday 17 November 2023

Saturday Morning the Highlight of my Week!

Saturday morning Judo is really good fun at the moment.  We have a good range of skill levels and some fantastic 13-16 year old's willing and able to train hard and learn good Judo. It makes for a really enjoyable session for Nellie, Todd and I because teaching keen, motivated and capable students is great fun.  


Friday 27 October 2023

Another Great Saturday Morning at Big Judo Pukekohe

We trained hard today and had a good turnout. We had visitor, Souki an Indian national level competitive player.  It was nice watching him throw our Cadets around.  

It is really good when a good competitive Judoka visits because it gives the team a great training opportunity. We rally appreciated it and hope that we see him again. Even so we have a great crop of young Judoka learning and getting better at Judo.  It was a good day. 

Sunday 15 October 2023

Awesome Training in the City on Saturday

A nice big training session at Big Judo City. Puni School where the Pukekohe team trains was a polling station for the election so we filled up a car and drove into town and trained with the city crew. 

The training was great fun with plenty of randori and we did a little bit of technical coaching.

A great way to spend a Saturday!


Wednesday 30 August 2023

Not just the City either a Picture of Last Night's Pukekawa Class

Big Judo's three dojos are back together and numbers are growing.  We slowed down a bit during COVID but now our numbers and training are gaining momentum.  In September we have team going down to the Secondary Schools, our first competition in ages. So hoping for some success.


Wednesday 23 August 2023

Big Judo Back in the City!

After a brief break, Big Judo is back up and running in the city and trained together on Tuesday.  It was fantastic to see our Big Judo crew back together again.  

Nellie visited and it was awesome for her to see how people that she had taught as kids were growing up; and to catch up again with old friends.  

New Zealand Technical Director Zane Lightfoot also visited and taught some technique; and had a roll with the team.  It was bloody good night and everybody enjoyed it. 

Expect to see more from the City Team, their new dojo is nice and alongside Tony and Scott, Nellie and I will be training there regularly.  

Its fantastic to see the team on the mat and enjoying themselves! 

Zane Lightfoot demonstrating Judo techniques. Zane is the National Technical Director.


Friday 18 August 2023

Big Judo Pukekohe Saturday Class - Gaining Momentum!

Class sizes are building up out in Pukekohe and the technical level is improving.  We are especially proud of our group of teenagers whose technique is developing very rapidly.  We have been concentrating on basics especially uchi komi and randori. It is tremendous to see the team getting better at Judo and enjoying themselves. 

Nellie keeping a close eye on training.

Ben and Nellie doing ne-waza with the kids. It is really good just staying moving and helping teach the kids how to do Judo. It is a low-risk way for older people that still love Judo to stay active. 
Start and finish formally, a time for reflection, thought and for the instructors to provide some positive reinforcement. 


Sunday 6 August 2023

Good Saturday Inter-Club Training Session


Another awesome inter-club training session last Saturday. We focused on an older age group, 13 + and
extended the invite to include the clubs in Hamilton.  So even with a few regulars away at a BJJ competition we had 40 competitors on the mat and more than two hours of randori.  Just what the doctor ordered!

A fun day and we will post more pictures soon.  

Sunday 2 July 2023

Good Saturday Training - And a Visitor

Nice training on the first day of the school holidays. We even had Ben Davies back to visit. It was great to see him again, he has grown up heaps and we had a good tussle on the ground. It is always nice when a Judoka comes back to train after an absence. Seeing the Judoka we train with growing up and maturing is really satisfying. 


Friday 16 June 2023

Good Turnout for Training Day at Big Judo

Big Judo hosted a training day at our Pukekohe dojo on Saturday.  The focus was randori and we did two and a half hours of newaza and tachiwaza randori.  It was great and almost all of the coaches that attended joined in.  

At the halfway point Brendon Crookes and Tim Slyfield, both Olympians demonstrated technique and spoke about their experiences. Then we got back into randori, providing the young Judoka that came an opportunity for an extended randori session with lots of different people.    

We started with ne waza randori. 

Then Tim and Brendon did some teaching.


But not too much before we did more randori. It was neat to see Tim and Brendon working with the youngsters. By doing randori with them the young Judo players get to 'feel' how good Judo feels and learn through experience.

In summary it was really good day that provided a good opportunity for young Judoka to learn from some top international players and then practice their skills in a relaxed, fun environment. 

Thanks to Tim and Brendon for helping out.  Thanks to the other instructors that came over and helped out and most importantly thanks heaps to the parents that brought their children to training. 

Friday 9 June 2023

Saturday Training Lots of Good Moving Judo

Nellie coaching some of the class about breaking balance.

Nellie watching randori. In the background the sumo club that shares the hall with us is warming up.  

Another good Saturday training, our crop of teenagers is expanding and today we had a really good visitor on the mat who worked out with our crew.  It was a good day, unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the whole class we had 15 on the mat a good turnout for a teenagers class because we were missing a few of our regulars.  But overall a really good training. 

In the background you can see the sumo players that share the venue warming up,. Its good having them around it means we get a whole day of Japanese martial arts in Pukekohe.  Awesome to have them sharing with us. 

Sunday 4 June 2023

King's Birthday Training

A nice Saturday training at Puni. Kings Birthday meant we had fewer people than normal at training but it was good opportunity for Nellie to do some solid technical coaching and for me and Todd to teach the newbies some basics.  We have a really good group of teenagers developing some nice Judo,  We are taking things slowly and re-building post COVID.  


Friday 19 May 2023

Wet, Windy Saturday - Big Judo Training

Even though the weather was a bit wild, Saturday training was really good.  Nellie, took the lead today and provided some really good technical instruction.  We have a strong group of regular 15-16 year olds that are fun to coach and getting good at Judo. A great way to spend a windy Saturday morning. 

Friday 28 April 2023

Big Judo - Behind the Scenes


The not so fun bit of Judo is looking after the mats.  Putting them up and down, mopping them, repairing them and generally making sure that the dojo is ready for training.  

Tonight we had one of the young guys helping; and in the background a picture of Nellie and I's Sensei. 

Saturday 22 April 2023

Lots of Black Belts on the Mat

A real joy of teaching at Pukekohe is that we have the support of lots of local Black Belts keen to instruct.  Currently, we have three ex-international's including two females coaching. We also have two retired- national level competitors.  

The club is really, really lucky and we are working hard to build on this base.  

Nellie, one of New Zealand's top ne waza (ground fighting) exponents teaching teenagers.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Wednesday in Pukekawa - Awesome Class Lots of Fun


Recently, we have been travelling down to help Tracey, who is pregnant, with her Judo classes.  Tracey has done an awesome job building a strong local club and it is always a pleasure training there.  It takes me back to 1982; when I started Judo, and there were small local clubs all over Auckland.  

Every suburb had a small local club and Pukekawa is a great demonstration that starting and running small clubs is viable.  

Tracey has built an awesome group of committed kids and families, and helping her out is a real pleasure.  And; for old Judoka teaching and helping teach is really satisfying.  

As you get older randori and competition become harder and if you want to stay involved teaching is really satisfying.  Passing on your knowledge and seeing kids get better at Judo is a really good feeling. 

So if you are an aging competitive player maybe have a think about coaching it might be more satisfying than refereeing, kata or masters competition,  

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Good Tuesday Night Training


Tuesday night we trained in Pukekohe, and had a really good session. The most encouraging thing is our solid group of teenagers that is developing.  This is really promising, teenagers this size and age are great to work with picking techniques up quickly able to use relatively technical Judo. It was really good night. 

Sunday 26 February 2023

Lots of Big Judo Training this Week


It was a busy week in Pukekohe, Nellie coming down to help coaching teenagers on Saturday.  Along with two old friends Todd and Kay who were also there teaching and helping out.  

And; on Wednesday, Ben was down in Pukekawa helping Tracey out with her classes. 

A satisfying week, because it is by only teaching kids that we develop top competitive players and the next generation of coaches. It is also how we build Judo's recognition in the community. Not every kid will become a top competitor or a coach but many will form a life-long positive perception of Judo.

So even though teaching might not glamorous work it is important, satisfying and helps promote the martial art that we all love. 

Saturday 18 February 2023

Big Judo 2023 - Saturday Morning Training


Big Judo is back up and running for 2023 and trains at 9am on Saturday mornings.  A benefit of training in a school hall is that we can lay out a large mat area and train hard.  

We also have five black belt instructors; including two retired female internationals and a strong group of teenagers so if you are in Auckland or the Waikato please feel free to stop by and say Hi.