Tag Archives: NYC

Judo workout video

Here is a Judo workout video from KBI.



We started off the workout with some light running. Followed by Ukemi (break fall practice). Newaza is next which is ground fighting, the mother of Brazilian Jujitsu. This is the best part… Randori (live fighting). What is a workout without push ups to top it off?!

A photo from the workout.

Judo workout

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Judo frustrated? let it go, let it goo!!!

Coming into Judo is hard. First, you have the lug the Judo gi all over the city throughout your commute. It takes up space in the office; it’s heavy, bulky, and inconvenient. Then you must bring it to the dojo along with your briefcase. After all that, you get slammed, fingers contorted, toes bent, leaving contused and confused. Now, with an even heavier gi (sweat infused) you must limp home….

landing on head

landing on head


I would be lying if I said Judo wasn’t hard and frustrating. The learning curve is quite steep. You can’t learn a technique and put it to use for a long time. It isn’t like taking a local kickboxing class where you learn to kick, hit the pads right away, feel good about yourself instantly and go home feeling like you’ve learned a skill you could put to immediate use.
Do you remember the first time you ever picked up a basketball? I do. It wasn’t until very shortly after, that I was able to enjoy the pleasure of the ball swooshing through the hoop (I was hooked and dreamt of the NBA for most of my teens). In judo, from the moment you grab a gi and learn your first arm throw, the time it takes where you can throw an unwilling participant takes a much longer time. Usually far longer than most people can keep interested.


Shintaro Higashi uchimata

So yes it’s frustrating. Many people quit. Therefore it isn’t a very good business to be in. Unfortunately for me, my only other option is putting my Masters degree to use by working for the NYC DOE. Screaming kids, scolding administration, bureaucracy, taking orders? No thank you!

For the many that come to Judo and have these frustrating feelings, it helps to know your purpose and set smaller goals.

Here are some purposes along with differentiated goals for your reference

Trying to be a national level competitor
1. Fight 6 rounds minimum
2. Throw Joe 3 times
3. Do 300 uchikomis
4. Beat Torazo at judo today
5. Off balance the sensei

Just want to get in shape
1. Do hard uchikomis
2. Don’t get frustrated on the outcome of the rounds (you’re there for a workout after all)
3. Stay diligent with the conditioning after class
4. Do extra calisthenics at the end of class
5. Stay persistent
6. Ask the guys who are in the best shape about their diet

Want to learn Judo marathon style, no need to compete
1. Your focus should be on self-aware metacognitive drilling
2. Ask many questions
3. Stay before and after class
4. Don’t worry about live fighting so much
5. Observe and take notes
6. Befriend the black belts!!!

I want to make friends
1. Be friendly
2. Ask questions
3. Grab dinner after judo
4. Grab drinks after judo
5. Exachange phone numbers
6. Spend a lot of time on the Kokushi Budo facebook page

Everyone has a different reason why they seek out Judo instruction. Not everyone will be a National champion. If you have a clear cut purpose, it melts the frustration away since you are NOT comparing yourselves to the 10 year black belts, the World cup medalists and the Shintaro Higashis. Rather you are holding yourself accountable to the smaller goals that are set forth differentiated to your personal judo needs.

Judo frustrated? Let it go!

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Osoto Gari Instruction video

Please enjoy my osoto gari instruction video.



Osotogari is one of the original 40 throws of Judo as developed by Jigoro Kano. It belongs to the first group, Dai Ikkyo of the traditional throwing list, Gokyo (no waza), of Kodokan Judo. It is also included in the current 67 Throws of Kodokan Judo. It is classified as a foot technique.


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Haiku New York City

Check out this lovely set of Haikus written by one of our own.  Michael lives and trains Judo in New York City.  He is originally from Boston and he is a Harvard grad.

Here is the link to NYC Haikus

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Judo for life in NYC

Judo is a way of life. My father who started KBI as a branch of Kokushikan university 50 years ago is 75 years old. He is in excellent shape. He taught me that Judo is forever. Why? Let me tell you…

The merits of the sport are apparent. Not only does it promote growth in physical aspects (strength, speed, etc), but it also helps the mind flourish. Jigoro Kano developed judo as an education system that encompasses all areas of life. Many sports has the sole mission to build the athlete to acquire a certain skill set and to excel within the realm of the sport itself. However, Judo helps you to become a better citizen of the world.

I believe humans are supposed to reach out and grab someone. To fight, grapple and play. Throw, trip and wrestle. The fight or flight is the most primitive of human responses and I believe Judo training caters to this human need. In the modern tech age, we spend most of our days staring into a glowing rectangle, hunched over our artificial communication centers. Couped up in our 9-5’s. Even the food we eat is processed to a point where there aren’t any remnants of what nature originally intended for us to consume.

In a world like this, no wonder people fall into the depths of dark psychological abyss. Although I know I am biased through the childhood indoctrination, I believe judo is the Panacea to this pandemic. Throw a gi on, reach out, Grab someone and fight them! But not JUST fight… BUT The way Jigoro kano meant for it to be… In congruence with an education system that develops the mind, body and soul.

Here is a thread about Judo and longevity. Enjoy.

Is judo harsh on the body?

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JudoNYC clinic in North jersey

Over the weekend, I hosted a Judo clinic at North Jersey Judo. I taught a myriad of combinations off Sasae. Maybe I will share the video with you one day! But today, allow me to share with you, where it all began.

The sensei at North Jersey Judo is Ramon Hernandez. He was someone I looked up to in my early teenage years. You see, my father was very ambitious when it came to judo competition. He signed up in the local ADULT judo circuit as early as 12 years old. I remember when I was 12, i entered the Promotional judo tournament where I had to fight a 28 year old man. Boy did I fight for my life. Still to this day, it might have been one of my scariest moments. I was riddled with fear for the days before and after the tournament. Anyway, during that time in my life, Ramon was a stand out fighter. He was a charismatic young stud who launched his opposition, tournament after tournament. When I was 13 years old, I developed a natural respect and healthy fear of Ramon. One day, one of our many weekend competitions, our brackets crossed into each other. 2 lines converge into a slot designated for the Superior…

Left Uchimata. Boom. I should have left the gi at home and sported a parachute instead. That loss helped me propel my career forward. It was a humbling experience and it made me a better person. Thank you for that.

So here we are, a decade and a half later.

Judo clinic at North jersey judo

Judo clinic at North jersey judo

Thank you Ramon!
Kokushi Budo
Norther Jersey Judo

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Martial Artist’s mirror

This might be embarrassing for me admit, especially on a public site like this, but I stare into the mirror twice a day, everyday.

I think it is an absolutely fascinating phenomenon that I can completely deceive myself while looking at this reflection of mine. My perception changes from day to day, depending on my emotional state.  Sometimes, I can’t stop admiring myself while I flex and pose.  I see limitless potential, a Judo Olympic Gold, NYC marathon winner, strongest man in the world, a Nobel Laureate.   Then again, sometimes, the most minuscule flaws haunt me.  Are my shoulders uneven?  Are my calves too small?  Should I cut to 81kgs for my next Judo competition?

Everything about the mirror titillates my curiosity.  How humans are the only species in the world that uses this tool.  Or how a well placed mirror can open up the room, play with the light, change the levels, and complete your DIY feng shui project.  How some gyms uses skinny mirrors and how others use wide.

While doing a little reading about mirrors, I have come to realization that many people see mirrors as a negative thing.  Whether you are ugly or beautiful, fat or thin, mirrors can be your worst enemy.  So I challenge you, to defeat this emotional association.  Here is the challenge.

Every night before going to bed, stare into the mirror and ask yourself

  1. Did I exercise to develop my body and mind today to improve the reflection that I see now?
  2. Did I eat well so I can function at higher level?
  3. Did I learn something new today?
  4. Did I help someone today?
  5. Did I make progress towards my goals?

If you answered to yes to all the questions, then you are on your way making the best possible association with your own personal reflection.

Take this challenge every single night.  As opposed to seeing the outer most layer of your current self, see the bigger picture and all that untapped potential.  Make steps towards your ideal self and make the paradigm shift to loving the person staring back at you!



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Why Judo is underrated in MMA!

Judo Boom is coming to NYC I’m telling you!!



Judo Schedule click here

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I love Judo!! NYC!~

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Sharing our love with our Judo brothers and sisters



Let us be our dojo brother Lokke Highstein’s guest and see the Memorial Exhibit of his fathers work, who was a pioneering American sculptor. Jene Highstein, was a formative, process based, exploratory sculptor, who has sadly recently succumb to cancer and passed on. Come celebrate his life and work, absorbing organic sculpture and other works.

Thursday, July 25th
Meeting at 6:45 – 7pm SHARP

108 Leonard Street


Please Email Sensei Shintaro at shintaro.higashi@gmail.com or Laird Banks at lbanks@nyc.rr.com with your name to be put on the list.


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