Utah Judo

The smile of a child

In this day and age, where it seems like kids feel so entitled, it is easy to overlooked the fact that this doesn’t necessarily translate into actual self-esteem.

I have a son who is ten years old. Like many 10 year olds, it’s a struggle to get him to do much of anything that doesn’t involved a mouse or a game controller.

After various stints of Judo attendance over the years, we just recently got him going again. I have been hoping, that as he nears his 11th birthday, that some of the testosterone will kick in a bit more, and the draw of Judo and Jiu Jitsu will as well.

He did pretty well in class. As we walked out to the car though, Sensei followed us out. Mike walked out to the car, and leaned down to my son. He told him how impressed he was with his efforts, and how well he was doing. He told my son

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that he would like to take him and a few of the other boys over the next few weeks, and have them work on some specific moves in order to prepare to test for the next belt.

My son was thunderstruck. He looked in shock, and said one of the most heartfelt “thank you”‘s I’ve ever heard.

As we drove away, he informed me that he was actually proud of himself.

It may sound like a small thing to you, but I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to hear those words from my son. to see him really happy with himself.

He sang along to the radio all the way home. So did I.

Thank Sensi Mike Hermosillo for all that you do.

Kaizen Judo Tournament 2013

Kaizen-Utah-JudoThis past weekend Kaizen Dojo put on a great Judo tournament (which they do every year).

It has actually been a couple of years since I’ve been to a Judo tournament, and going to this one reminded me how much I have been missing. It is such a great environment when compared to Wrestling, Grappling, or Jiu Jitsu competitions (all of which I also love). Some of the key differences:

- Judo matches tend to end a lot quicker. They don’t drag on and on, and break a person’s spirit. As such, it’s a lot less threatening to try out, because you’re really not signing up to be brutalized for minutes on end, or have the hell choked out of you.

- They are more controlled, and a lot more fair. With three skilled judges on each mat who collaborate on point given it tends to be a lot better than most sports.

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- It’s much more kids friendly. Many Grappling or wrestling events are made up of hard core people and kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that there were not skilled competitors at the event. But it is a lot less threatening and hard core of an environment for those”newbies”.

In short, if you have thought about trying out something like this, Judo really is a great place to start. Additionally, rather you want to stick with Judo, or head into MMA or Jiu Jitsu, all of the skills you have learned will lead directly into those areas and make you even better.

Thank you so much to Kaizen, and to all of those who came out to support the event!

Everyone is a Puzzle to solve

One of the things I like most in my Jiu Jitsu or Judo training is when I have someone to roll with with who really starts kicking my ass in one area or another. For me, this is a great opportunity to really start thinking.

I tend to go over each rolling session again and again in my head for days, asking myself where they were giving me the most trouble. I’ll pick one specific area, and try to really understand what I could be doing better to deal with what was happening there. I’ll try it out the next time we roll. Then I’ll move on to another little piece of what they were doing that was a real challenge to me.

For me, an opponent is like a puzzle. not just in that one rolling session, but a longer term puzzle to really give you a chance to improve your game.

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Even if it’s someone who you easily dominate in a rolling session, almost everyone will have one specific area where they p[ose more fo a challenge for you. Start to ask yourself why, and what you can do to tighten your game to do better.

It’s not about beating the person. It’s about the person being the fire that helps to forge you, and to make you better.

Don’t shy away from rolling with people who are better. Just view them as an opportunity to start working on a piece of your puzzle.

The month of the arm bar

Okay, so I’m just going to admit it: I suck at arm bars. I have developed my skills at all sorts of other submissions, while avoiding going for the arm bar because I knew I would miss it.

But watching Ronda Rousey has inspired me.

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It’s time to stop running from the arm bar. This move is just too damned lethal not to have.

So, this month for me will be the month of the arm bar. My goal is to only submit with arm bars this month. To pass up everything else, and go for that arm bar. Wish me luck. No doubt my arm bars will improve. But I think I may also get a lot of beat downs while I work on it :)

The Magic of the Sweeps – MMA, Judo, and Wrestling

I have been doing Judo for roughly five years now, but recently I have started to change a fairly significant area of my game:

I use my sweeps a LOT more.

By sweeps, I mean stuff like Ouchi Gari, Kouchi Gari, as well as just some general “foot tapping” as I circle a person.

First let me start with why: I am a fairly large guy. But as a large guy, I have found that I often end up with even LARGER guys. The problem here is that their legs are like tree

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trunks! Trying to move them can be very hard. But… Big guys rely on that. They know their legs are solid, and they depend on them. But that means that there is this “magic moment” right before they fully plant, when they are vulnerable.

Also, as MMA and No-Gi gains more traction there are more and more wrestlers on the mats. These guys have amazing balance, they’re fast as hell, and you don’t have all of those Gi-handles to throw them around anymore.

But start introducing foots sweeps, as well as just some “foot prodding”, and you’ll see it really get into the head of a good wrestler. They’re really not used to it. It can make them snatch a foot back, and blow their balance.

In either the case of the big-man-pillar of stone, or the freakishly nimble and balanced wrestler, this technique really serves to do one key thing: create unplanned movement. It makes them react, and react quickly in ways they had not planned on. Even if you don’t get your sweep, this creates openings. This is when people mess up.

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3 Barriers to training succes

I’ve been training in Judo and Jiu Jitsu for just about five years now, and have struggled through many hurdles during that time, as well as helped many other students through those same challenges. Based on what I’ve seen, I thought it might be worth while to put together a list of the top 3 barriers to success that I

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have seen over and over in training.

1: Competing in Training

If you’re going hard all of the time people will not want to work with you. Training is a place where it’s okay to try things. Where it’s okay to tap. And where you need to be willing to let your training partner try new things as well. Everyone hates that new guy that goes “ape shit” ever time he works with anyone.

2: Comparing yourself to others

There will always be someone better than you (at least in some aspects of your training). There will always be that “new” student that is frighteningly good. Don’t just look at where you are now, and don’t get hung up on where you are in relation to others. Be willing to objectively acknowledge how far you’ve come. This is the true measure of your success and advancement. I cannot tell you how many solid students and friends have dropped out over the years due to this basic issue.


3: Out to win, not to Learn

In class there will be times when you roll with people. This is more aggressive than simply training, but not as serious as a competition. This is when you want to test things out a bit closer to real speed. This is also where you should be trying to improve your skills in areas where you need to. If you just go for your “best” moves, the ones that always work, you will never improve your other areas. Your goal in class is to improve, not to win. Tell yourself when you walk on the mat that you are checking your ego… That you don’t care if you win at anything on that mat, so long as you walk off of it improved.

Judo Training and Coaching Seminar





Location: Zenbei Judo Club 3341 south 275 east, Salt Lake City

11:00 – 1:00 For Junior’s 11 – 16 years of age

1:00 – 3:00 pm for Senior’s and Coaches

Fee: $20

  • Hands on experience with teaching drills to students
  • Learn position control and set ups
  • Learn Judo specific exercises
  • Improve your throws and ground game
  • Learn Strategies and Tactics

The seminar Instructor is Sensei Ian Siu from the UK. Sensei Siu is a 3rd Dan, certified British Judo Association club and area coach. He is very knowledgeable in the area of coaching and training.

Sensei Siu is visiting Salt Lake City and has worked out with several of the dojos in the area and he has been overwhelmingly received. Sensei Siu is willing to share his knowledge with us. Please take advantage of this opportunity to train with a passionate and dynamic istructor this weekend.

Coaches/Sensei’s if you are looking to improve your coaching/teaching techniques you will want to hear and see what Sensei Sui has to teach you.

This will be a sanctioned event.

Zenbie Judo Club – BJJ and Judo Seminar Feb 4 2011


Saturday, January 14, 2012

In the Spirit of the 1967 World  Judo Championships held in Salt Lake City Utah 45 years ago. Utah Judo Inc., Is proud to announce our annual 2012 Utah State Judo Championship to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. This Shiai is open to all USJI, USJF and USJA member Judokas.

This Shiai is designated as a qualifier (State Championships) for the 2012 Senior National Championships and the 2012 Jr. Olympics.


  • 5 years of age or older on the date of the tournament
  • Current registration and insurance with either USJI, USJF, USJA
  • All competitors must show proof of registration and insurance (NO EXCEPTIONS)
  • USJI membership will be available at the tournament site.
  • $20.00 for one weight category in one skill division
  • $10.00 for one weight category in additional skill division (senior categories).
  • Competitors may only enter one weight category per skill division.
  • Junior:  8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Senior:  9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Entry Fees

  •  $20.00 for one weight category in one skill division
  •  $10.00 for one weight category in additional skill division (senior categories)
  •  Competitors may only enter one weight category per skill division.

Registration/Weigh In

  • Junior: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Senior: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


  • Juniors: 10:30 a.m.
  • Senior: 1:00 p.m.

Method of Elimination

  • Modified Double Elimination: Five or more competitors (1st place is winner of finals, 2nd place is loser of finals, and 3rd place is winner of consolation bracket).
  • Round Robin: 4 or less competitors, points awarded as below.
  • Tie-Breakers: 1st tie-breaker: Win/Loss record, 2nd tie-breaker will be decided by head to head competition, 3rd tie-breaker will be points as follows: according to waza ippon = 10, wazari = 7, yuko = 3, hantei = 1, 4th  tie-breaker will be replay by Golden Score.
  • Junior:  2 minutes
  • Senior Novice: 3 minutes
  • Senior sankyu/yudansha: 5 minutes
  • Masters 3 minutes

Match Times

  • Junior: 2 Minutes
  • Senior: 3 Minutes
  • Senior sankyu/yudansha: 5 Minutes
  • Masters: 3 Minutes

Rules of Competition

  • All current IJF rules will apply with the following exceptions:
  • Drop knee seoinage/seoiotoshi allowed for competitors including players under 13 years of age.
  • No kansetsu waza for competitors under 17 years of age and/or under sankyu
  • Competitors who enter a higher skill division compete under the rules of the higher skill division.  Includes Juniors in Senior Divisions.
  • IJF bowing procedures will be enforced.Refusal to comply will result in disqualification from the match and ejection from the weight/skill division in which the infraction occurred.
  • Current IJF medical rules apply for all senior divisions 17 years and older. All junior divisions 16 years and under will use pre-2004 IJF medical rules.
  • Footwear is required at all times when not on the tatami.
  • Match Times are modified (see Match Times section)
  • Referee uniform – black slacks, black socks and white polo shirt.


  • NOTICE: IJF Coaching standards with modifications will be implemented at this tournament. Only ONE coach per competitor in the designated coach’s chair. All others must be in the spectators’ area.

Minimum Dress Code: Collared shirt and long pants, or team sweats . Closed shoes. No shorts or cutoff jeans, t-shirts or sandals.

IJF Standards may be found here:


New IJF Rules may be found here:
New IJF Rules


MICHAEL HERMOSILLO (801) 347-3471 Bjj@Hvjudo.com



KEN BARLOW (801) 669-5075 Rockymountainjudo@hotmail.com

MICHAEL HERMOSILLO (801) 347-3471 Bjj@Hvjudo.com

FRED LOUIS (801) 243-5313 zenbeijudoslc@gmail.com

Additional information as well as Tournament forms can be found at the event web site here.