Blog | Kokushi Midwest Judo

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  • Judo Clinics

    Judo Clinics

    Judo is one of the most popular sports in the world (unfortunately, not in the US), but we do have some of the most highly skilled athletes on the planet. And fortunately, for us, they are very accessible and are always glad to share the mat and their knowledge with us. This past weekend, we hosted Shinjiro Sasaki -- he was a top Japanese judo player, but was just shy of qualifying for the Olympic team. He decided to move to the US (with just pennies in his pocket and almost no English), and start his own dojo. This was probably 15 years ago. But now, he's one of the most respected coaches in the US. His judo is explosive and innovative. He spent the weekend here, and presented so many ....

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  • Re-Branding


    I haven't posted in a really long time because we've been a crazy busy with our expansion, re-opening and some cool clinics. We also decided to rebrand -- our logo was a bit outdated and I decided it was time to step into the current times. Our old logo didn't really tell people what judo was. I can tell you everything about the old logo -- it was an honorific to my first dojo and teacher, Sensei N. Ogasawara at Kokushi Dojo in Westwood, NJ. I didn't know what to call my new dojo, so rather than figuring out a complex Japanese name that I might later make the mistake of finding out that it means Potato.... I asked him if I name my new dojo, Kokushi.... and add Midwest, since we're in the ....

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  • Parents' Night Out

    Parents' Night Out

    We began hosting "Movie Nights" at the dojo just to give the kids a chance to hang out with each other. All of our students are fully vaccinated and wearing masks while in class which gave parents the peace of mind for the kids to socialize in a casual setting. We try and do these once a month, and the kids love it! They have pizza, juice and can kick back on the mats and watch a movie on our 120 inch screen!! Some parents wonder how I do it, but I just turn the movie on and let them bounce around the mats. Super fun and glad that we can all watch movies again!! ....

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  • Judo During a Pandemic

    Judo During a Pandemic

    In the midst of the pandemic, we have sort of figured out how to run in-person classes again. It's a little bit different -- even though I can't see their smiling faces or the toothless grins of the 6year olds, I have come to recognize "Happy Eyes".... their cheek bones raise and their eyes light up. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and it is so true. All of the kids have to have a mask on as do the parents (despite vaccination status). I want to show the kids that we are all in this together and we'll work as a team until they are able to be vaccinated. The kids still get a workout in and they've gotten used to working out in their masks.... I, on the other hand, have not. I ....

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  • Socially distanced judo

    Socially distanced judo

    As Illinois enters Phase 4, we are cautiously deciding on what is safe for all of our students. During the shutdown, we continued with online zoom classes, inviting clinicians from all over the world. We had the voice of judo, Neil Adams conduct our first clinic, which was no less than amazing. He emphasized the basics and fundamentals. Both he and his wife, Niki were a riot to work with. Not only was this open to our supportive students throughout the shutdown, but people from all over the country entered our virtual dojo. It was a great time to share judo. Our next clinician was from Japan -- Michihiro Omigawa, a Japanese MMA fighter and former National team member. Again, people from ....

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  • On hold for now

    On hold for now

    Due to the extraordinary circumstances of our world today, all in-person classes are on hold until further notice. We have just opened our Virtual Dojo where you can go through solo exercises and workouts on your own. You can also learn basic judo terminology and history. There's even a section for kids. We will also be having modified Zoom-Judo classes in the week. Let's adapt and see where this new world will take us. For starters, please download the Spark Member App to access the virtual dojo. All members should already have access to them. I'll send out a link for our first virtual class soon. We also have limited edition Tshirts that are available from Weiskamp Printing in ....

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  • Coming Soon:  Kokushi Midwest Virtual Dojo

    Coming Soon: Kokushi Midwest Virtual Dojo

    With the sudden change of lifestyle this past week, we had to temporarily close our doors to the public. Even though we can't be on the mat together, we can still train at home through our Virtual Dojo. We've been working hard at creating an online learning platform so that you can still do your solo practice in the comfort of your own home. I hope for your continued support in these difficult times, but hopefully with this online resource, you'll keep your mind and body filled with judo spirit. Thank you, Grace Talusan ....

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  • Kids' Winter Testing

    Kids' Winter Testing

    Time flies when you're having fun, and I couldn't believe it was time for testing already. I had five kids test for their next level and they passed with flying colors. The ones testing for orange and half yellow belts, had to throw as many throws as they could name. If they didn't know the name of the throw, it didn't count towards their test. They also had to teach a technique to the entire class and show a few other things. One of the most important skills as a kid is confidence in speaking in front of others. Even though our class is small, it can be intimidating to speak in front of a group. I remember I used to turn bright red when I was a kid, and am glad that these kids have an ....

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  • Neil Adams Clinic 2020

    Neil Adams Clinic 2020

    This past weekend, the family and I hopped on a plane and flew to Washington DC to attend a clinic by Neil Adams. He is a 9th degree black belt, two time Olympic silver medalist, world champion and 5x European world champion. And since retiring from competition, his voice can be heard on thousands of commentary tracks during any major judo event. He is one of the nicest and most sincere people on the planet. He naturally talks up a storm and his depth of knowledge on the sport is second to none. I've met him a few times before and he actually remembered me this time! He thanked me for traveling such a distance and was very ecstatic to be on the mat with my kids. My two kids loved him --- ....

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  • Judo for development

    Judo for development

    Our club Tshirts have the saying, "Eat, Throw, Love, Judo" written on the back... I came up with this modified slogan as a play on "Eat, Pray, Love" or "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman". There are things in life that are so essential to the well-rounded person.... nourishment in the form of food and water as well as nourishment for the soul (love!)... but also, judo. Kano's philosophical approach to judo was to use judo to develop the person as a complete and contributing member of society. Always look for the ippon -- perfection. Never settle for anything less and to keep striving for it, no matter how long it takes. Our kids class focusses more on development of good technique, good manners, good ....

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