Coach Of The Month - May

June 14, 2016, 12:44 p.m. (ET)

May 2016

Rich Moss
Southwest Judo Academy
Mesa, Arizona


With over 45 years of judo experience and the founder of Southwest Judo Academy, it is clear why Sensei Rich Moss was selected as Coach of the Month for May.

Rich Moss started practicing Judo at the age of 5 under Sensei Willy Cahill at Cahill’s Judo Academy in San Bruno California. He currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree) as well as being a USA Judo certified coach for many years. Rich opened Southwest Judo Academy in 2007 along with Dave Faulkner with only 6 students. They have grown to almost 50 athletes currently registered with USA Judo and many compete and win, not only locally and regionally, but nationally as well.

Sensei Rich contributes much of their success to their coaching staff, which includes:

  • Yahya “John” Houssni who was a member of the Moroccan National Team
  • George Uema a top level national competitor from Wisconsin,
  • Babak “Bob” Esmaeili who was a member of the Iranian National Team and current USA Masters Champion
  • Chandler Wade has been a great addition to our staff with 20 years of judo experience
  • Lee Koe who trained in China

Rich’s accomplishments include: 6x Champion and 7x Silver Medalist at US Jr. Nationals, Bronze medalist at the 1976 Jr. PanAm Games in Mexico City, and 5th Place at 1983 Jr. World Championships in Puerto Rico. He was a member of the 1983-84 San Jose State Judo Team and also served in the U.S. Air Force where he placed 7th in the 1985 Military World Games and 5th in 1987 Military World Games. Rich is also 4x US Air Force Champion from 1984-88. He was the 1987 Sr. National Ladder Champion in Oklahoma and a 1988 Olympic Trails qualifier and spent time training at the Olympic Training Center from 1987 to 1988. Rich leveraged his judo skills to become a MMA professional fighter where he competed for 8 years. He has recently been the Team Manager for our National U-21 Teams, as well as Assistant Coach for many of the International tournaments.

SWJA is a not-for-profit judo school dedicated to the advancement and growth of Olympic-style judo through the safe teaching, training and coaching of traditional judo fundamentals and contemporary tournament techniques to students of all ages and skill levels, from 5-year old beginners to elite competitors.