Coach Of The Month - March

April 27, 2016, 9:15 p.m. (ET)

Coach Of The Month

Joseph Cannizzo

Joseph Cannizzo is a Kodokan 2nd degree black belt and a Youth Representative with the United Nations.  During the day he attends high level meetings, which focus on some of the world’s most pressing issues, to look for ways to bring Judo to the darkest parts of the world where he believes they need it most.  At night he teaches kids and adults Judo and Jujitsu.  On weekends he coaches his competition team of outstanding juniors - some of which are National Champions.  Joseph also competes when he finds the time from his demanding schedule. This year he won the 2016 Masters M1 Championship at 66kg and placed 5th in the Senior Division.

At an early age Canizzo knew he wanted to “open a recreational center where kids could go to be safe and get out of trouble”.  Now at the age of 32 “Joe” owns and operates Staten Island Judo Jujitsu Dojo located in Staten Island, New York.  With roughly 100 students his school continues to grow quickly in size and spirit. When it comes to training Joe is a firm believer that Judoka must spend their time on the mat wisely and by wisely he means practicing.  He not only teaches but he practices Newaza and Randori almost every day.  He is unyieldingly dedicated to creating a dojo that embodies Jigoro Kano’s vision.  He teaches martial arts with a strict focus on Self Defense first and foremost.  He believes techniques should only be taught if they will be practical for self defense as well as competition.

Joe travels around the globe to expand his current knowledge base and to use judo to spread cultural diversity, education and peace.  This past August, Joe traveled to Japan to conduct various judo clinics to impart his knowledge of the sport to youngsters.

Cannizzo is currently collaborating with various international Judoka to create an International Judo Disaster Relief Program. Judo athletes would enroll corporations to contribute funds based on each athlete's performance while demonstrating Judo themed skills. The funds collected would be pooled and Judoka would compete to see who could raise the most funds all while spreading the principles of Judo. The program has great potential as a model for youth community service, which would raise money for natural disaster victims.  Students would be eligible for various educational rewards including the ability to travel to United States Judo schools; this initiative would allow students to share their experience with community service and social responsibility.