Positively Judo is a new feature that will be posted by USA Judo on its website and Facebook Pages every Friday. There are so many positive stories about the sport of judo and USA Judo Members, we thought there should be way to share them. If you have a positive judo or USA Judo Member-related story to share for consideration of being posted in the Positively Judo feature, please e-mail your story, photos, etc. to Cara Fasciani at cara.fasciani@usajudo.us. Thank you!


Longtime Coach has Successful Legacy
The Odessa Boys Club Judo Team has been around for more than 50 years and its founder, Dale Lehman, was officially recognized for his promotion to eighth degree black belt during a recent training.
Click here for the full story: http://www.oaoa.com/community/article_31c27cea-e9cc-11e7-8f36-53caa419e5d0.html


USA Judo #1 Rank Certificates
Congratulations to everyone who received their #1 rank certificates last week!


A Former Team USA Judoka Fighting to Keep US Kids in Sport
Toni Geiger, a Team USA athlete at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships, is using the life lessons and "moral code" judo taught her to educate a younger generation. One of the many places Geiger coaches at is Palisades County Day School in New Jersey, teaching kids not only how to exercise but making them believe in themselves, too. Geiger's project, ChampFusion, aims to bring judo to kids in schools through after-school programs or winter camps. Such was the success of her first year -- Geiger's project reached 600 pupils -- she is now expanding to create three judo academies, set to launch on February 1. The kids, it seems, can't get enough.

Read more on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/15/sport/toni-geiger-combat-kids-exercise-health/


Dartanyon Crockett Works with “Natural High” to Empower Youth to Say No to Drugs
“Natural High” is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and empower youth to find their natural high and develop the skills and courage to live life well. The organization partners with celebrity ambassadors across the country who are living life on a natural high, to produce videos and educational curriculum to inspire over 8 million youth in all 50 states to do what they love — and not allow drugs or alcohol to get in the way of their dreams.

“I really enjoy spending my time helping others. I feel it is my calling is and it’s what I am going to continue to do for the rest of my life,” says Dartanyon Crockett. “If it was even possible, I’d go to every single school to personally meet with the kids and talk with every last one of them just to share their stories and to understand their lives to know what they are going through. It’s part of my natural high – not only helping others but hearing stories and talking to people and finding out how we are all the same. A lot of stories are so relatable; everyone has a me-to moment. No matter who you are or what you are going though, there is always someone that can really understand; It helps you focus on your similarities instead of standing on your differences."


The 1st Chief Pride Invitational
After having to reschedule both to their tournament date and venue due to Hurricane Irma, Chief Pride Judo Club hosted their first ever Chief Pride Invitational! Over 250 participants from 23 different clubs travelled to Fort Myers, Florida to compete. Teams also had the opportunity to win awards - the top three completing teams were selected based on the number of gold medals won. The winners were: #1. Kiitsusai National Training Center, #2. Real Judo of Naples, and #3. Budokan Judo Club.

After a successful tournament, Angelica Delgado (Florida native and 2016 Olympian) hosted a clinic.


Alaa El Idrissi Brings Home Medal From African Open
Alaa El Idrissi won a bronze medal last weekend at the Africa Open in Yaounde Cameroon. Job well done!


Zarza Wins Silver at the Cup of Aragon
Congratulations to American Judoka, Carlos Zarza who won a silver medal at the Cup of Aragon in Spain in the -50kg weight category.


Marissa Arndt make history at the USA Judo National President’s Cup
History was also made today when Marissa Arndt (52kg) from the OTC won a bronze medal in the Women’s Senior 52kg division, making her the first VI female athlete to medal in an able-body event and the first VI female to be on the able-body point roster.


Natalija Stanojevic and Her Week to Remember!
A 9-0 record with eight ippons against players from 8 different countries, 16,000 air miles traveled and two major International Junior titles, not a bad week’s work! That’s exactly what 14 year old Natalija Stanojevic was able to accomplish earlier this month. Click here for the full story: FULL STORY


Two GOLD and a SILVER in Vanuatu Open
On November 11th, Anne Suzuki, Nathaniel Keeve and L.A. Smith III traveled to Vanuatu to compete in the Oceania Open.

Anne captured GOLD in the -48kg division, Nate took a GOLD and L.A. took a SILVER in the -90kg division. Congratulations!


Nick Delpopolo Hosts Clinic at Tri-County Judo
Nick Delpopolo was in the Tri-Cities on November 11th hosting a judo clinic teaching a range of skill sets to judoka of all ages. KEPR Action News interviewed Delpopolo about giving the clinic and Veteran’s Day.

“The core principle of judo is: you fall seven times, you get up eight; and that applies to life. I don’t care if they become superstar judoka or superstar athletes, I just care if they understand that core principle. If you fail, it’s not a definite failure. You’re going to get back up and learn from that failure - that is how you succeed in the long term.”

“I was adopted, so every time I get to represent the United states it really means something extraordinary to me. I am really fortunate to be here and have this opportunity. I am fortunate to be alive living in America. Any medal I can bring home, any representation I can give, I am really happy and honored to do it.”

View Video Interview Here:  https://twitter.com/AHoshidaSports/status/930193655821885440


Albert Foronda Represented USA at Infantil Pan American Championships
Staten Island Judo Jujitsu Dojo student Albert Foronda was given the opportunity to represent his country while showcasing his talents in Peru, and he didn't disappoint. The 12-year-old earned a bronze medal representing USA in the under 52 Kg division of the Infantil Pan American Championships last week in Lima, Peru.

"I felt a lot of national pride to represent USA and I was also proud of myself for my accomplishments," said Foronda. "I never imagined that I would have this opportunity."

Read the Full Story here:   http://www.silive.com/youthsports/index.ssf/2017/11/amazing_athletes_albert_forond.html#incart_river_mobile_home

Scott Moore and Larry Lee were inducted into the USABA Hall of Fame
This Friday, November 3, 2017, Scott Moore, the first U.S. athlete, Olympic or Paralympic, to win a gold medal in the sport of judo, and his coach, Larry Lee, were inducted into the USABA Hall of Fame at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

“What an incredible morning! I was inducted into the USABA Hall of Fame along with my coach Larry Lee! Such an honor and proud to have my wife and son along with a few of the athletes I coach there! We also got to spend a little time with a group of potential donors for the USOC, there for a completely separate event. They light the caldron at the OTC for the donors and was able to get a picture of Larry and I holding the torch, very cool!” – Scott Moore’s message on Facebook.


Texas A&M Hosts Judo Reunion
On Friday, October 27th, approximately 25 current and former Texas A&M athletes practiced together, followed by a BBQ at the home of Bob Perez. Texas A&M Coaches Past & Present - Bob Perez (current), Wiley Cunagin (past), Dan Gomez (current) were in attendance.


DeLeon Judo Club raises funds to help Fire Victims
Many are aware of the Major Fire that hit Sonoma and Napa County 2 weeks ago. It affected many of the Judo Club Members at the DeLeon Judo Club. Fortunately no one from DeLeon Judo Club lost their homes, but a number of the families had to evacuate, many gone for a week living in motels. It caused not only emotional stress, but a financial stress on these families having to spend hundreds of dollars on Hotel costs and food.

DeLeon Judo Club, on October 26th, hosted a “Fun” night for the students by having a Club tournament and Potluck dinner. In addition to this, they had a silent auction of Japanese Collectible items, including a Book on Sugio Sensei, a Budo master, samurai sword, handmade jewelry made by one of their Assistant Instructors, and other items to raise funds for the families who suffered losses. 100% of the funds raised were given to the families of their Judo Club.



Atlas Extreme Team Choose Books Before They Hit the Mat
In today’s day of electronics, these boys choose books to escape before they hit the mats. A few of the students from the Atlas Xtreme Team in Yorkville, Illinois read before the Illinois State Judo Tournament.


Nicole Stout takes her Harvard Midterm Exams at the Junior World Championships
Nicole Stout takes her Harvard mid-term exams while training and competing at the Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia this week.



Congratulations to Professor and Sensei Luis Guardia 9th degree Black Belt – KUDAN!
On August 27, Sensei Guardia was honored with the Prestigious IJF Lifetime Achievement Award at the 65th Anniversary International Judo Federation Gala held at the historic Budapest Opera House.

Sensei Guardia’s contributions to the sport of judo covers more than 60 years and several different countries. Starting in his native Cuba where he was an organizer of the first Pan American JUDO Championship which propelled judo all over the island of Cuba and Pan American countries. In addition to Cuban judoka, Sensei Guardia mentored and trained judo players in Spain and the United States, especially South and Central Florida.

On behalf of USA Judo and all the individuals you have positively impacted throughout your judo career, congratulations for such well-deserved recognition.



USA Judo submitted an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status application for the USA Judo Foundation
This week, USA Judo submitted an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status application for the USA Judo Foundation and re-invested existing foundation funds to the U.S. Olympic Endowment fund. Once the U.S. Treasury has approved USA Judo Foundation’s non-profit status, more information will be shared about the foundation and how you can support it.

KIND Bar becomes USA Judo Event Sponsor
USA Judo is excited to announce KIND Bar as our newest event sponsor! KIND products will now be available for athletes and referees at the 2017-2018 USA Judo National Tournaments.


Zarza Wins Gold in France
Congratulations to Carlos Zarza on winning his first gold medal representing Team USA at an international tournament! Go Team USA!



Develop Your Child’s Body and Mind Through Judo and Discovery Toys
Discovery Toys is now a sponsor of USA Judo! When you shop with Discovery Toys through the USA Judo Fundraising Initiatives page, 25% of all proceeds will be donated to USA Judo . You can shop Discovery Toys year round for gifts for newborns, birthday parties and those all-important Holidays (which are right around the corner!). For over 35 years, Discovery Toys has been dedicated to helping children learn and grow through Pure Play. Discovery Toys specializes in premium quality, kid-powered learning products for newborns through school aged children as well as family games.
Shop now: www.discoverytoys.com/usajudo


Your Input Will Help Create the Future of USA Judo
USA Judo is currently in the early stages of creating a strategic plan for the immediate and future years to come. As we continue to push a culture of collaboration, inclusion and transparency within the USA Judo Community, we would like your input. Surveys are currently being developed and will be distributed within the next several weeks. Please start thinking about the USA Judo you would like to see in the future. Your feedback is important, valued and appreciated.
More to come….

Seven Reasons Why You Should Start Judo – by Neil Adams
Judo is an art that to the outsider could be seen as violent, after all, we are throwing each other into the air and adults even use arm locks and strangle each other until a submission. However, for those that take the time to delve deeper into Judo, they will see a sport that is like no other. A sport that will test the mental and physical fortitude of its participants, while also growing the individual in ways they never thought possible. Judo is simply incredible, and in this article, we hope to share with you why we believe Judo is an activity that you should start today. Click here to see the seven reasons:



Driven to Succeed: Brousard Training for 2020 Paralympic Games
Kevin Brousard was born with Stargardt disease, a rare retinal disease that causes central vision loss. He can see some shapes, but his vision is skewed by dozens of little dark spots. His view of the world has always been like that of “a camera that’s out of focus”. Brousard has been through the ups and downs of growing up blind in America and emerged as an advocate for the disabled and a world-class athlete competing on the biggest of stages. Brousard now lives in Colorado Springs, within a few discus throws of the United States Olympic Training Center, where he trains twice a day. He works as the membership and outreach coordinator for the United States Association of Blind Athletes, working to get more blind people involved in sports and recreation. Click here for the full story:


Han Wins Silver at Italy Open in Follonica
Sunday, September 10th, Lincoln Han fought at the Italy Open Judo Tournament as the only U. S. competitor. After several close matches, Han claimed his silver medal. The Italy Open is an IJF Veteran/Master tournament and the last tournament before the World Championships. Next week, Lincoln Han will be representing Team USA along with 18 other US Athletes at the 2017 Veteran World Championships on September 30th – October 3rd.


Judo in School Program is Underway
One of the pilot “Judo in Schools” Programs has 46 students signed up for the after school program. The IJF-sponsored tatami mats were delivered from Italy and survived the hurricane at the Port of Miami and are now at the school! The 600 IJF-sponsored judogis are on their way to the port of NY and will be shipped to FL for arrival in early October.


Utah's Sahara Cares Autism Carnival
The Sahara Cares Autumn Carnival for Autism was held at the Legacy Event Center on September 2, 2017, in Farmington UT. The USA Stars of SLC lead by Sensei Dr. Julia Connelly (Clinical Director of Autistic Studies at the University of Utah) and Sensei Adam T. Blackburn funded a space to let children see a judo demo and participate on the mat. The event was well attended, with 75+ youngsters on the mat and throwing around Sensei Adam.


Zarza Wins Silver in Switzerland
Congratulations Carlos Zarza on winning a medal at your first competition representing Team USA at a tournament in Switzerland. Go Team USA!


Mackenzie Williams Donates Items to Victims of Hurricane Harvey
USA Judo athlete Mackenzie Williams put together care packages and donated items to a local shelter for victims of Hurricane Harvey.