Our Story

Big Judo teaches Judo, grappling and self defence.  The following paragraphs outline the team at Big's vision, our mission and the values that we will demonstrate.


Our Strategic Vision
  1. Promote Judo and mixed martial arts as a positive recreational pursuit
  2. Develop all people that join our team whether they are instructors, students or supporters
  3. Grow Big Judo so that it becomes large enough to be strategically sustainable so that we can continue to achieve the first two objectives.
Our Mission Statement

Big Judo will provide excellent martial arts instruction that builds better people.

Big Judo's Values
  1. We are a family friendly environment.
  2. We relentlessly pursue excellence in our instruction.
  3. We are always disciplined
  4. We have no distinction between people except that of grade
  5. We are humble and always maintain our sense of humour.
Big Judo's History

Big Judo's style is derived from the Japanese 'Kosen' style of Judo. Ben's Sensei is Rick Littlewood and he has been training with Rick at the world famous Auckland University Judo Club (www.judokong.com ) for more than 30 years.

The Auckland University style of Judo fuses traditional 'Kosen' Judo with modern competitive Judo. It is characterised by a focus on grappling, ground-fighting and 'gameness'.  The Auckland University Judo Club has produced four Olympic Judo players and is unique in New Zealand because of the close links it has with Mixed Martial Arts and Ju Jitsu. 

Rick spent the late 1960's and and 1970's training in Kyoto.  His current Sensei is Isao Okano (Olympic Gold medallist and World Champion) and they were both instructed by Kimura Mitsuro (Mr Sankaku) and Ebi Goichi (the 'God of Ground-fighting). At the 1972 Olympics Rick achieved New Zealand's highest placing in Olympic Judo.

Rick in Japan in the early 1960s

This photo is of Rick and his training partners in Japan in the late 1960s.
Rick is the one on the far right.

Rick in the 1990s with Isao Okano


This is a recent photo of Rick and his old Sensai Kimura Mitsuro.


At Big Judo we work to continue this legacy by instructing children and adults in Judo and Judo based grappling skills.