LOCATION: CHAIN O LAKES COMPLEX 210 CYPRESS GARDENS BLVD. WINTER HAVEN, FL. PHONE: (863)291-5675
CLASS TIMES ARE MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS AT 7:30PM.
Cost: 55.00 PER PERSON MONTHLY. 69.00 NON RESIDENT
For more information you may also contact the instructor, Barron Shepherd by email at winterhavenjudo@gmail.com

Sunday, November 15, 2015

RYOHEI UCHIDA : JUDO'S NINJA



Ryohei Uchida was born in Fukuoka prefecture. He was the son of Shinto Muso-ryu practitioner Uchida Ryōgorō, and from an early age was interested in many forms of Japanese traditional martial arts, including kyudo, kendo, judo and sumo. In 1895, he attended the Toyogo University, where he studied the Russian language and in 1897, made a trip to Siberia.

It was 1903, and in less than a year, Japan and Russia would be at war. Russian intelligence officers would have paid dearly for information that Ryohei Uchida was in Vladivostok, Russia and that Japan's first overseas judo dojo, the Urajio, was in reality a secret headquarters for the spy activities of The Kokuryu-kai (the Black Dragon Society).

The dojo in Vladivostok was run by six hand picked men by Ryohei Uchida to specifically cater to young Russian military officers by exposing them to the new Japanese art of judo and hopefully gain access onto the military base under the guise of instructing officers in judo.

In all the annals of Japanese history there has been nothing more mysterious and sinister than this secret organization. The Kokuryu-kai flourished as a special headquarters for espionage, sabotage, revolution, intimidation and assassination.

Known to a relative few in Japan, and then only by the innocuous name of the Amur River Society, the Kokuiyu-kai was founded in 1901 by Ryohei Uchida. In the 40 years of its shadowy, cloak-and-dagger existence, the long hand of the Black Dragon Society could be found in wars and revolutions, the assassination of a queen and the abdication of an emperor, the murder of prime ministers, the overthrow of cabinets, the intimidation of statesmen, the annexation of foreign colonies and the operation of extensive overseas spy rings. It even organized and financed Manchurian bandits, Korean fanatics and Filipino revolutionaries.

Uchida was the descendant of a long line of samurai, one of whom had been exiled to an offshore island for his rebellious nature. His father, Ryogoro Uchida, served in the Kuroda clan as a bushi in the late Edo Period, and it was from his father that the young Uchida developed an ambition to see Japan expand into Korea.

Uchida's father Ryogoro, was quite famous in Kyushu for his skill in the martial arts, attaining great proficiency in the Itoryu School of kendo, the Shinto-Muso ryu School of jojutsu and the Kyushin-ryu school of jujitsu. Ryohei Uchida attained repute as a renowned marksman in kyudo at a very early age. He was also a fine sumo wrestler, while his father became his personal coach in kendo and jojutsu. Uchida also began to study judo.

As a youth, Uchida joined the Genyosha nationalist group and soon became the leading disciple of its founder, Toyama Mitsuru. The Genyosha was active in raising funds and agitating for a more aggressive foreign policy towards the Asian mainland. When the Donghak Rebellion began in Korea in 1894, Uchida went to Korea to help the rebels.

While in Korea Uchida had taken over the tactical operations of the Genyosha and organized a subsidiary group called Tenyuko (God-Gifted Samurai) — 12 handpicked adventurers dedicated to the task of ensuring that Japan would not be robbed of the fruits of its victory over China.

 The 12 men hand picked by Uchida created a small riot, and in the confusion, dressed as tonghaks, but wearing masks, they successfully entered the Royal house and slew the queen, Empress Myeongseong . The tonghaks, rebellious Koreans, took the blame for the incident.

By 1895 Uchida was in Tokyo at Toyogo University studying Russian. He also worked out at the Kodokan and established a special relationship with shihan Jigoro Kano. Ryohei achieved the rank of go-dan, and some years later became master of the Keio University Judo Club. His father not only continued to coach him daily in jojutsu, but also found time to teach Navy men and police in the art of the short stick.

The young Uchida also played a part in organizing the first judo dojo in Kyushu together with Jigoro Kano in 1897. Called "Tenshinkan," it was headed by a colleague of Uchida named Hyozo Chiba who later became the first instructor to visit the U.S. to teach judo. Needless to say, the young volunteers who would comprise the newly formed Dark Oceean Society and later the membership of  the Black Dragon Society were given a thorough indoctrination in the martial arts as well as in the ultra-nationalistic philosophy of the two societies.

By 1901, Uchida founded the Black Dragon Society and by 1903, Uchida was sneaking around Russia and Manchuria directing his network of spies, mobilizing Manchurian bandits and Chinese guerrillas for the coming struggle against the Russians, Mitsuru Toyama formerly of the Genyosha (Dark Ocean Society) was "persuading" politicians to his way of thinking.

Front row Left to Right: Ryohei Uchida, K. Iizuka, Sakuzo Uchida, Ikkan Miyakawa. Back Row: Isogai, Nagaoka, Jigoro Kano (seated) Yoshitsugu Yamashita (taught Pres. Teddy Rosevelt Judo).
Toyama mapped out the policies, while Uchida directed the operations. Singly, each man was impressive and powerful in his own right, but together they made an unbeatable pair. They sent literally hundreds of their followers to Manchuria and-Siberia as secret agents.

Mitsuru Toyama was just beginning to make good headway when he suddenly locked horns with the stubborn Prince Ito who favored coming to an understanding with Russia. As the nation's leading elder statesman, Prince Ito exerted more influence on governmental policy than any other single man in Japan. Toyama realized that unless the Prince threw his support behind those advocating a war policy, there would be no war and the Black Dragon's cherished crusade of driving Russia out of all territory below the Amur River (dividing Manchuria from Russia) to make way for Japanese expansion would collapse.

One day in the summer of that year, 1903, Toyama and three burly judoka approached Prince Ito at his seaside villa in Oiso, some 50 miles south of Tokyo. By cajoling, flattering and threatening the Prince, Toyama was able to alter the Prince's war policy.


When war with Russia finally came in 1904, the Japanese Imperial Army took the Kokuryu-kai under its wing temporarily as an intelligence organization. Black Dragon agents were even attached to the army in the field as interpreters and guides.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

JUDO IN THE MOVIES: Close Quarters, Gun play and Judo

by Barron Shepherd



In the fast paced, bullet laden action spectacle 'John Wick' we see Keanu Reeves as a retired A-list hit man. John Wick (Keanu Reeves), has just lost his wife to an undisclosed illness,  he receives a gift from her posthumously in the form of a Beagle puppy, along with a letter from her saying she arranged for him to have the puppy to help him cope with her demise. Initially indifferent to the pup, he eventually connects with it as they spend the day driving around in his vintage '69 Mustang.

At a gas station, he encounters a trio of Russian gang members, whose leader insists on buying his car. John refuses to sell. The three follow John to his home, break in at night, and attack John kill the puppy and steal his car. Robbed of his opportunity to grieve Wick takes his revenge and It doesn't take long before the Russian gangsters wish they had crossed paths with someone else.

To portray the assassin John Wick whose very name strikes terror in the cold hearts of Russian gangsters required a 50 year old Reeves, to pull off a series of physically grueling and highly complex action scenes involving high body counts and make it all look effortless.

In preparation for his role of John Wick Reeves spent four months getting in shape and learning Judo using the practical grappling martial art and mixing in guns to create a brutal style of close-quarters combat. The result exhibits a creative simplicity that gives Reeves fight scenes a ferocious honesty. Revealing the emotional angst behind John Wick each fight scene told a story with the brutal choreography counterbalancing the stages of Wick’s grievous loss.

The mix of Judo and gun play was something I have always wanted to see put in a movie, After watching “John Wick” I have to say that is the best movie to incorporate Judo in the fight scenes that I have seen. You don't see these type of  fight scenes in movies and it fit perfectly. I personally hope that judo has opened eyes of Hollywood and we see a lot more.

Judo competitor Tadahiro Nomura attended the 'John Wick' Japan Premiere at the Differ Ariake Arena on September 30, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. I honestly hope that we begin to see more and more utilized in mainstream movies. Close Quarters, Gun play and judo!!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

JUDO IN THE MOVIES


By Barron Shepherd


Hollywood tough guy James Cagney gave American audiences their first real taste of Asian martial arts action by playing a judo-trained newspaper reporter who uncovers Japanese plans to attack the U.S. in the pre-World War espionage thriller BLOOD ON THE SUN.

Cagney starred as Nick Condon, the American editor of a pre-WW2 Tokyo newspaper. When two of his best friends are horribly murdered, Condon suspects that the "peaceful" Japanese military government is up to no good. He dedicates himself to getting his hands on the "Tanka Plan," a Japanese blueprint for conquering the world, and bringing this document to the attention of the Free World. As a result, he is targeted for persecution by the corrupt Tokyo police.

 Insisting on doing his own stunts, Cagney a judo black belt incorporated authentic judo technique in the film’s action sequences.  Cagney performed numerous judo techniques in the film. The screen fighting in this movie is exceptional for its day. The throws and locks were very well executed. 

Cagney's character is first introduced as a skilled student of judo and this becomes a key element of the plot He developes a rivalry with Oshima that builds up to a climax as the two do battle using rugged Judo moves never before seen in Hollywood at the time and rarely seen since Cagney's Judo fight scenes were way ahead of their time. 

For many martial artists, they will say that Bruce Lee got them interested in martial arts or he influenced them in some way. While that may be true for most it isn’t in my case. One of my earliest recollections of Judo was back in the 70’s around "78" I had seen the movie “Breaking Point” on Television.


“Breaking Point” starred actor and real life tough guy Bo Svenson, he played Micheal Mcbain, an ex marine and judo instructor who witnesses a murder carried out by the mob and he and his family are entered into a witness relocation program. However the mob threatens him and his family and will stop at nothing to keep Mcbain from testifying. 

Mcbain (Svenson) and his family are stalked relentlessly and nothing and no one seems to help until the Svenson  goes outside the law to fight back. With his believable performance, Bo Svenson practically carries this film himself.

There are some well handled and intelligent action scenes but it is the drama that makes it interesting and very different from other films. Robert Culp is good as the cop who tries but fails to give good advice to Svenson and keep Svenson’s family out of the mafia's reach. The main mafia henchman has some great scenes and causes a lot of mayhem. Svenson's anger at Culp's never ending failures to protect his family, and the mafia henchman's dirty mouth make for some tense moments. Svenson makes his way out of the witness protection program and takes out the bad guys one by one in one scene he breaks a guy's neck in one brutal scene and throws another sending him crashing thru a window.

 Mr. Svenson served in the U.S. Marines and trained in Judo and earned his shodan (first-degree black belt) at the famed and notoriously tough Kodokan in Japan, the home dojo of the sport, in 1961 while stationed there in the U.S. Marines. He earned his nidan and sandan (third degree) in ’62 and ’63. Injuries forced him from the sport in 1965. He was also the 1961 Far East Judo Champion in the Heavyweight Division.


In 2009 Bo Svenson competed in his first judo tournament in more than 40 years winning silver in the 2009 USA Judo National Championships, a bronze in the IJF World Judo Masters Championships, and a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter Nationals.

Monday, May 25, 2015

JUDO IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY




Judo from its very beginning has been a self-defense and combat discipline. The original Judo from Jigoro Kano was and still is a full featured combat discipline which formed the basis for many Military and Police tactics around the world.

Judo served well as an official system of Japanese Imperial armed forces and Japanese police. In 1886 the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Academy hosted a tournament between the Kodokan (The Kodokan Institute, is the headquarters of the worldwide judo community in Japan.) and the prominent Jujutsu style, to determine which "style" the Academy would adopt into their training regimen. Out of the tournament's 15 matches the Kodokan won 12 and had 1 draw. The reason why the Kodokan was so successful at this historic meeting lies in one word: Randori. Randori or free sparring trained Kanos judokas in as close to real life and death combat as possible.

Judo was probably the first Japanese martial art introduced to the west, most notably through the U.S. military in the modern era. As American GIs were introduced to the Japanese culture from the early 1900’s onward it was inevitable that the martial art of Judo found its way into the American culture.

CPT. Allen Corstorphin Smith of the United States Army trained at the Kodokan in Japan. CPT. Smith was awarded a  judo black belt from the Kodokan in Japan in 1916 and was the hand to hand combat instructor at the Infantry school at ft, Benning Georgia.

Various aspects of Judo were taught to all U.S. military police as an effective way to deal with arresting and controlling drunken, brawling GIs without seriously harming them.  The great Judo legend Masahiko Kimura shared a story in his biography about being approached shortly after WWII in the summer of 1946 by a Capt. Shepherd of the U.S. Military Police to train Military Police personnel in Judo.

The United States Air Force has at times in its history been at the forefront of Combatives Training. Soon after the establishment of the Air Force as a separate service in September 1947, GEN Curtis Lemay was appointed as the Commanding General of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). GEN Lemay, who had masterminded the US air attacks on the Japanese mainland during World War II, knew that more US bomber groups in Europe had suffered more combat casualties than the US Marine Corps had in the pacific. Many of the lost Airmen ended up as German Prisoners of War. He was determined that all of his flying personnel would have a working knowledge of hand-to-hand combat to aid in escape and evasion.

In 1951 GEN Lemay appointed Emilio "Mel" Bruno, his Judo teacher and a former national American Athletic Union (AAU) Wrestling champion and fifth degree black belt in Judo, to direct a command wide Judo and combative measures program. He devised a program combining techniques from Aikido, Judo and Karate. In 1952 the Air Training Command took over the program. The Commanding General was General Thomas Power. Because of the deficiency in qualified instructors, Power sent two classes of twenty four Airmen to train at the Kodokan for several weeks. Based upon the success of this trial and after an official delegation from the Kodokan toured SAC bases in the United States, Bruno set up an eight week training course at the Kodokan. Students trained eight hours a day, five days a week and upon return to the United States were assigned throughout SAC. The course was a Japanese designed mix of judo, aikido, karate and taihojutsu.

From 1959 to 1966 the Air Force Combative Measures (Judo) Instructors Course was taught at Stead Air Force Base in Reno Nevada. The 155 hour course consisted of: 36 hours fundamentals of judo, 12 hours aikido, 12 hours karate, 12 hours Air Police Techniques, 12 hours Aircrew self-defense, 18 hours judo tournament procedures, 5 hours code of conduct and 48 hours training methods. There were also a 20 hour Combative methods course and a 12 hour Combative survival course for Aircrew members.

Being recognized as so effective in combat, Judo became the basis for most of the hand-to-hand combat skills taught to soldiers in basic training throughout all branches of the U.S. military.

Combatives, US Army Field Manual FM3-25-150, Department of the Army, 18 January 2002, Washington D.C.

 "Strikes are an inefficient method of ending a fight. However, they are a significant part of most fights, and a solider must have an understanding of fighting at striking range. It is important to note that while at striking range, you are open to being struck. For this reason, it is often better to avoid striking range."

US Marine Corps Close Combat, MCRP 3-02, Department of the Navy, 12 February 1999, Washington D.C.

 "Marines should avoid being on the ground during a close combat situation because the
battlefield may be covered with debris and there is an increased risk of injury. However, many close combat situations involve fighting on the ground. The priority in a ground fight is for Marines to get back on their feet as quickly as possible."

Judo is a sport but it is much more "combatives" oriented.  The judoka trains at grappling range, a close quarter combat range developing avenues to quickly put an end to a hand to hand or close quarter combat situation. Current Judo rules on groundwork foster such a mindset – execute and explode into a groundwork submission technique in a matter of seconds or get back on your feet.  Judo also prepares you mentally and physically to withstand the rigors of an assault. There is a reason that old school law enforcement and the United States military taught Judo...IT WORKS.

Department of Defense. Department of the Navy. U.S. Marine Corps


"Judo instruction is one of the high spots in the life of the latest addition to the Leatherneck Marines here. An instructor shows a recruit how to make the enemy's bayonet useless. Cpl. Arvin Lou Ghazlo, USMC, giving judo instructions to Pvt. Ernest C. Jones, USMCR.", 04/1943

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

JUDO: TOUGHER THAN THE REST



By Barron Shepherd

             It has been a long while since I have written on my judo blog page but it seemed appropriate that I start back posting. I am now 50 years old and still training in judo starting a new judo program in my hometown and even more appropriately in the exact same place where I learned judo. So I am highly stoked highly motivated. So here is my rant for the day. 

 For everyone who told me that 50 is old or those who call me an old man…. To the guys who are half my age and feel they are better stronger and faster because they're younger…. LISTEN UP!!! The question isn't can I keep up with guys half my age, the question is... CAN THEY KEEP UP WITH ME!

Don’t let others define who you are or what you want to do. Set your own goals. My goal in the martial arts has never been to be a 10th degree black belt or a GRAND MASTER. It has always been about being effective and being the best I can be. It hasn't been about riding the skirt tails of a known martial arts personality. It isn't about notoriety. It's not about having the biggest school with the most trophies. It has always been about blood sweat and tears hard training and putting in the work needed to be in shape and be the best that I can be.

 I didn't start training in judo until later in life. In 1991 at the age of 26, I stepped into a judo class for the first time. Judo was like no other style I had trained in and I was assured of two things by the Judo instructor; Rank would nt come easy nor would it come fast. I was told by the instructor that this would be an endeavor that would take years of hard work. My Judo instructor wasn't kidding.

Finally seven years later in 1998, I tested and was awarded shodan. I had never taken as much pride in achieving something as I did when I had achieved my shodan rank in Judo. I hold higher ranks in other styles but the rank I have been most proud of are the shodan and nidan ranks I attained in judo.

As I look back, my judo experience was like developing a taste for beer, at first it was tough and unpleasant but after awhile I got used to it and then eventually began to enjoy it. This however would take years of showing up to class. A lot of times during those I would ask myself, "what am I doing here?" Being too stubborn to quit after several years I attained brown belt. It was nt until brown belt that a love for judo developed. 

 I have been involved and trained in several martial arts, MMA, Wrestling, Kick boxing and boxing. However, if I was to compare all of my experiences and training I would say that Judo by far was the toughest. I am not putting the other styles down in any way. I enjoyed training in each and everyone of them. But Judo offered the ultimate in every aspect of sports, martial arts and self defense.

Judo prepares you mentally and physically to withstand the rigors of an assault. There is a reason that old school law enforcement and military taught Judo...it works. It’s  a more complete close quarter combat system and combat sport because it has both standing and ground fighting skills. Judo also provides a better sense of true accomplishments because there is no “make believe” in its training. There is no faking it. You throw and you get thrown, in either situation it requires skill in technique and mental and physical toughness.

There is fit and there is “fighting fit. There are individuals who are fit for their chosen sport or activity and then there are those who are fit for fighting. Judo falls into the latter category. Judo uses finesse but, requires a high degree of other attributes like strength, power, endurance, speed, et You cannot be successful in judo and be out of shape. I don't do judo to get in shape. I get in shape to be good at judo. 

The physical demands of Judo are unique and rather complex.  A Judo fight is too long to be pure anaerobic effort, but too intense to be aerobic purely. Part of what makes judo so tough is the fact that rounds require five minutes of constant contact between competitors. 

Judo is more difficult than MMA or any other martial art.  When it comes to sparring for MMA during practice sessions, competitors rarely give 100 percent to prevent injury. Judo is a rigorous and demanding physical activity. In judo practice you can give 100 percent and engage with your opponent constantly using everything you have physically in randori/free practice/sparring.  In MMA one is able to train in different techniques and disciplines which make MMA “more forgiving on the body than judo.

In Olympic-style wrestling there are three two-minute periods with one-minute breaks between rounds… For boxing, you fight for three minute rounds with a one minute rest between rounds. In boxing, you can just stand in front of your opponent lay on the ropes or just dance around and or pace yourself.  In Brazilian jiujutsu you can get into positions and rest and pace yourself. You can be on your back in the guard and reserve energy while as your opponent expends his.

In judo there are no rounds or periods or rest. A Judo match can consist of five to ten minute time frames, when compared to other sports activities, the aerobic demands of judo are quite intense. The time involved is often greater than the time of an Olympic 1500 meter race.

The demands on the grip are very high Judo players pull and tug on each other’s jackets incessantly. Grips, grip strength and grip fighting remain constant and consistent thru ought the match not allowing the judo competitor to rest of coast during a match pace themselves. High tension and power moves are to be expected and performed at almost any moment.

Even a decent local level player needs to be able to do five to seven minutes of frequent high intensity bursts. Wear and tear on the body is an issue, one that will pervade all aspects of training. While one of the best ways to train for judo competition is to hit the mat, not everyone has the body to withstand dozens of hard falls each day from the dynamic throws found in the sport. In addition, judo requires at least one willing partner who is able to absorb the same, if not more, punishment from the player.

 You become tough with Judo physically and mentally. Physically you have to endure regular pain in Judo.  You have to overcome someone trying to throw you, choke you, arm lock, pin you, you get slammed, you face exhaustion, you deal with someone's weight on top on you in newaza or ground fighting . Mentally enduring all this competitiveness makes you competitive. 

At the age of 50 I am still training and setting new goals, challenging myself both mentally and physically. I am a guy who believes that hard work keeps a man honest. I don't really care about what others may say about me good or bad. I am always doing my own thing and I am cool with that. Life is just too damn short to let others hold you back.

Defiance is ageless. You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. Be a wolf, be a lion, set goals and smash them. Take advantage of no one. Don't lie. Be a better person. Live right. Eat right. Take no shit. Don't apologize for being awesome. Defy the odds and most importantly stay the course.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Returning to my grappling roots

I sort of feel like Al Pacino in the last Godfather movie. His line "Everytime I try to get out they pull me back in." LOL. The line Seems to apply.

I had moved to Evansville last year and gotten involved with a local judo program then later that year I started teaching a Kenpo class. As of two weeks ago I am now active teaching Judo at the Y. The previous instructor left and I was offered the judo class.

We are two weeks into the NEW session and of course this week will be a good week everyone in class will have thier gi's and we can get moving with our Judo training.
It seems that Judo is always brought up to me no matter what I am doing or how far I run. LOL. Not that I am avoiding Judo but I cant help but think it is an omen something meant to be. It seems I am for what ever reason supposed to be involved with judo, which I gladly accept.

I am looking forward to this new Program with the Y which will be taught on Mon and wed as my Kenpo classes will be on Tuesday and Thursday.

As another added bonus my Daughter will be involved with class also. She attends college and has the judo nights free and will be attending when she isnt working. So this really makes it special a chance to develop a stronger bond with my daughter. You cannot know how elated I am. Judo has turned out to be a real blessing in my life.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

LOOKING BACK: SEAQUEST DSV

I find myself being a tad bit nostalgic and felt compelled to jot down some memories of my past. As all can see the page has evolved from just being about judo to more about me as a martial artist as a whole. We garner inspiration from different things and there are times when reminiscing  about why one started an endeavor serves as an inspiration.

I have stated before in an earlier post JUDO: LOOKING BACK my interest in the martial arts began at the age of thirteen in 1978. I was inspired by movies such as "Breaking Point" starring Bo Svenson, (Breaking Point is my earliest recollection of martial arts used in a movie)

Later I would see "Enter the Dragon" starring the late Bruce Lee, after that I purchased the book "Bruce Lee's Fighting method Vol. two: Basic Training" published by Ohara Publications. I studied  the book and followed the training that was described in it. I would train by myself using information garnered from Bruce Lee's book  until the summer of 1979. That summer I went to work as a laborer for my father and uncle who were a block masons. I used the money I  earned, to enroll myself at the Winter Haven 6th street Karate Dojo. Little did I know then what my experience with the martial arts would lead to nor did I know the doors it would open later.


I earned a 1st degree black belt on Feb. 12th 1987 then in 1989  I became an Auxiliary Law enforcement officer and certified Law enforcement Instructor thru the state of Florida. In April of 1991, I received my 2nd degree black belt and opened my first school which was located at 42 3rd st. n.w. Winter Haven, Florida. In addition to my dojo, I taught self defense classes for the Polk County Board of Commissioner's office later that same year and continued doing the classes until 1993.


1994 was an extremely busy year for me. I would hold other classes, seminars and demonstrations on crime prevention and self defense for other community groups, corporations and businesses. I had been working off and on for a company called Stunt Dynamics which was owned and ran by John Zimmerman. He had used me on a couple of things such as commercials and live stunt shows at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. John had gotten me a job on the TV series "Seaquest DSV"during it's second season run. The second season of the series was shot at Universal Studios in Orlando. (Steven Spielberg was the executive producer for season1 and 2 of the series) I  worked as set and personal security for the TV series and landed parts on several of the episodes.

The series started the second seaon off with a two hour television movie entitled "Daggers" in which the crew of the newly rebuilt SeaQuest must deal with a hostage crisis at a UEO prison colony, where genetically engineered soldiers have risen up against their captors. For one part I played a dagger, which was a gentically engineered super soldier with camouflaged skin.

For the part of the dagger my hair was sprayed black and my skin was painted from head to toe to make it appear like I had camoflaged colored skin. I can be seen performing a kata with a group of daggers. I also had a part as an extra in which I played a UEO security guard in the same episode. I would play a UEO soldier in other episodes such as the episode "The Fear that Follows". I also landed parts on the TV series "Fortune Hunter" that same year. I had some memorable experiences and cherish them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

JUDO: Body weight workouts and the late Woody Strode

The Body weight exercises have left me sore but I was up again this morning and knocking out more Hindu Squats along with other body weight exercises. I used these exercises to help get back in shape after an illness I suffered from a couple of years ago. (A story I will share at a later time) I have also started a push up training program which I have incorporated into my work out. There is nothing like bodyweight exercises to boost confidence, motivation, and improve athleticism.

A proponent of body weight exercise was athlete turned actor, Woody Strode, who was a top-notch decathlete and a football star at UCLA. During his time in high school/junior college Strode began doing pushups, knee squats, and situps daily. Strode worked up to 1000 reps of each exercise. The situps and squats were done continuously and the pushups were done in sets of 100 and was done everyday, that would take an incredible level of concentration. He tapered back his workouts as he got older, although 500 pushups a day for the most part is not tapering back, but he continued to train hard the rest of his life.

"I’m an old man, but life will never make an old man out of me. As long as you look like you can run on Santa Anita’s race track, even if you take last, you’ve still made the field. People see that horse and wonder what it is doing out there. They don’t know its 100 years old. Well, this is how nature has left me, so it is good." - Woody Strode

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

JUDO: Morning workout.

I woke up early this morning went outside and began to warm up by stretching and then got into some calisthenics. First up was a set of Hindu Squats. Hindu squats are simply a great excercise for building explosive power and strengthening the lower back, calves, and chest as well as increasing lung capacity. Done properly they can build real power in a short period of time. In order to reap the rewards from Hindu the squat, proper attention must be paid to form and breathing.

A set of Hindu squats was followed by a set of regular push ups and then some Hindu Push ups. Then back to a set of hindu squats followed by knuckle push ups, and palm in push ups. Then I did a third set of hindu squats followed by more push ups. Then I moved on to concentrating on my core with sit ups, crunches, V-ups and back raises.

I then switched to some weight training working with dumbells. I did front and side lateral raises 3 sets of each and then moved on to triceps extensions finishing up with dumbell preacher curls and alternating dumbell curls.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

JUDO: The past week

Last week was a good week for training. I am bit by bit getting an overall game plan together. Training smarter. Making sure I am eating right and getting plenty of rest. Taking advice from those who are more knowledgeable in different areas of judo and physical preparation.

This week we trained using techniques such as tai otoshi, Seoi nage and some ashi waza. Tai o toshi was drilled solo as well as in combinations. First using a double stab tai o toshi and then using ashi waza to set up tai o toshi.

Seoi nage was drilled again going off a different varity of grips some off the sleeve others off the lapel. There are a lot of variations of seoi nage. One in particular is Koga's version which I like and work on. It is a some what different variation of seoi nage and uniquely his own.

I spent alot of solo practice time working innner tube uchi komi with this particular technique. Things are needing to get more detailed and I see that but a plan is forming.