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. Bravery -  This is the 'base virtue' because a person with moral and physical courage is confident and able to 'live' their other values. An expression of  moral courage is that we expect members to be well disciplined
  2. Service to the club and wider community - With physical and mental strength comes a responsibility to be kind and helpful to all people.  We expect our students to value service to others, 
  3. Technical excellence - We relentlessly pursue excellence in our instruction. We expect our students to work hard to be the best they can at Judo.  
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 trained 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'.

Auckland University Judo Club 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.