It certainly changed after I had my son Rufus but
it really changed after having a daughter. I’m not
sure what it is but there is something just different
about raising a daughter. As my son gets older, I
want to show him how to be a man, what that means,
and how he should govern himself.
I want him to be strong and powerful, yet economical
with his words and humble. I want him to have a
healthy sense of ego but not be arrogant or big-headed.
I want him to learn how to win, expect to win but lose
with grace if losing besets him.
With my daughter, I want to show her how to be loved
and accept love. I want to highlight my wife’s strength
so that she can see what a Godly woman looks like
and what to expect when you are one. I want her
to be strong yet graceful. But the hard part is that
I know that I must let my son go, but I don’t ever
want to let my daughter go and as time goes by I
feel like I have sand slipping through my fingers.
One day, she will be someone else’s. Someone
else will take care of her, hold her, console her and
be her shoulder to cry on. I know it’s my job to create
the standard for my replacement, but man, it’s hard.
As she gets older, similar to my son, the kisses are
less frequent, the hugs not as long and the running
to the door when they see you reduces in terms of
occurrences. And I feel like I’m living my life in slow
motion but that they are growing so fast.
It makes me sad, but happy at the same time.
I love both of my children and am super in love with
my wife and today as my daughter turns 4 years old,
I truly Thank God for the blessing of having her for 4
years and am appreciative of the honor and responsibility
that he has bestowed upon me and I ask for many more
years of such a blessing.
Please join me in celebrating my daughter, Rhadi Isabelle
Ferguson’s birthday by accepting my free gift to you.
It will be ZERO DOLLARS for the next 48 hours. It’s my
new book which you can find on Amazon dot com right
IJF RULES APPLICATION AT 2014 USA CUP AND CHERRY BLOSSOM REPORT by Rhadi Ferguson
Bahamas Judo Federation National Coach and Technical Consultant
the 1st Annual 2014 USA CUP and the 20th Annual Cherry Blossom Classic were run simultaneously in Delray Beach, FL at Atlantic High School.
The gym setup had 3 may areas and the new IJF rules were applied save for the gi standards for 2014. The gi control rules for 2013 were en force.
The referees did a quality job at managing the tournament and candidly and honestly I will say that the A level referees truly showed why they are A level referees and did a spectacular job.
The other referees did we also but the difference in the elite level was noticeable, as it should be.
I can say FOR A FACT, that many of the coaches applauded the refs for making themselves available after walking off the mat to come to coaches and explain calls and were very accommodating when coaches wanted to see how the commission handles calls with the CARE system.
As coaches we understood that such insight is not normal but for the sake of clarity, understanding and respect for the integrity of the process it was allowed today.
I was impressed and I work for a totally different governing body than which these ladies and gentlemen belong and I was truly impressed.
With that being said, here’s how the rules seem to be applied to date:
Grip Fighting is as alive as ever and those that think differently are sorely mistaking. You MUST aggressively grip and also pay attention to your positioning on the mat.
Grip fighting includes distance, spacing, timing, hand placement and positioning.
As in chess, owning the center of the mat is PARAMOUNT. Since it is a penalty to step out of bounds it’s almost as if the rules make it so there are imaginary forces pushing you to the center and if you do NOT meet in the center and dance around and circle, the assumption is that you are not engaging. It’s similar to the other combat sports i.e. Boxing, mma, etc.,. Understanding mat generalship is key and it falls under the positioning aspect of grip fighting.
The cross gripping penalties were not issued capriciously but were consistent with the explanation provided by Dr. Gary Berliner before the tournament. “If you assume a cross grip to the sleeve or lapel, you must attack immediately, or let go of it immediately as you advance to another gripping position. This is allowable but you may not use it to set something up. There is no time allowed to move around to set something up with the cross grip.”
All day the refs were consistent with the grip penalties and not looking for penalties but looking for those who were trying to force the action and operate under the spirit of the rules set forth.
There were some matches, however, that were decided by having two hands on one side.
It seems like most of the players have adjusted to the “no slapping the hand off” rule and I didn’t see anybody peel off a grip with two hands.
The most problematic scenario for players seems to be kenka yotsu situation and how to handle them.
The gripping game has kind of advanced in some ways and has really passed by some coaches who think that you can just “grip and go.” It does not work like that.
There were not a lot of penalties given for crunching a person, but there were more than a few false penalties which I mostly attributed to doing a bad attack due to poor hand placement and body positioning.
All in all, the rules are very much similar to last year but the intent to make competitors engage is clear.
Now here is where I was super impressed. MATWORK IS BACK!!
in this tournament the referees allowed the players to play in newaza.
Learning how to function in the guard is important. You have time to set up the triangles, omaplatas and armbars and just because somebody stands up, that is NOT matte! The intent to create a more exciting ground game is clearly evident. I was happy to see it. There were some really great newaza exchanges today. It was also clear that the former rules impacted our sport such that many players have sloppy newaza because it was not something that was emphasized.
It is also clearly evident that the referees are erring on the side of allowing the matwork to continue to know for a fact that there is no progress before calling matte when they did not recognize a move or position.
Also, FROM THIS PARTICULAR tournament it was evident that the influences of Brazilian Jiujitsu and Mixed Martial Arts have impacted our sport enough so much so that the fans, coaches and referees understand that even though someone may look like they are “safe” in the guard that such a positioning does not mean that they are and time was given for people to set up triangles (sankaku), sweeps and to pass. And standing passes were allowed because standing up does not constitute “matte’ any more. You have to stand and disengage FROM THE PERSON. Disengaging from the ground is not an immediate matte anymore either if you are caught in a submission.
If you do NOT have control and have shown that you are no longer in danger, matte will not be called immediately, although it will be called.
The synopsis on this point is the following. The term and phrase, “the spirit of the rules” was mentioned so many times at the IJF seminar in Fort Lauderdale that I could not count. But here’s bottom doggone line. YOU MUST LEARN NEWAZA. RUNNING FROM A HOLD DOWN BY SCOOTING OUT OF BOUNDS WILL NOT SAVE YOU FROM THE HOLD DOWN. AND IF YOU KEEP SCOOTING UNTIL YOU GET TO THE FLOOR THE CALL WILL BE HANSOKUMAKE. If you are caught in armbar and pick the person of the floor and do not exhibit control to let the ref know that you are not in danger, the hold will continue, as it did this weekend.
Because picking someone up off the ground is NOT A VALID ESCAPE TECHNIQUE FOR JUJIGATAME. Period. Such an action does not fit within the SPIRIT OF THE RULES. The new rules are about judo and technique. You must LEARN how to apply and escape in newaza. And they are allowing time for that. So that days for running and standing up to get the matte are few. There will be some refs who are still inclined to call matte, as I saw this weekend, but NONE of the A Level referees made this mistake. And I SPECIFICALLY ran over to a mat when I saw someone caught in Jujigatame and they tried to stand up instead of tap. The person’s arm was subluxed and the ref immediately called the doctor to tend to the athlete in and then awarded ippon.
Soooo, a small note to athletes and coaches. If you want to hang in there and not tap, it’s cool. But don’t think you are going to roll around on the mat and writhe in pain and think the other person is going to get hansokumake. What’s going to happen is that the ref is going to call the doctor out there for you and award the other person the match. Period.
Because based upon the spirit of the rules, a valid technique was a applied, you did not utilize a technique to escape but tried to rely on a tactic, and the technique rendered you unable to respond to the command to stand up and get to the line.
Now understand, that THOSE are not the rules, but the SPIRIT of the rules and (as they said at the IJF meeting) and common sense apply.
YOU MUST LEARN JUDO. And that means newaza and tachiwaza. The days of saying, “I don’t like newaza” are OVER!!! You better get good at newaza or you will meet your demise on the ground.
That leads me into my next topic…
THE DYNAMIC EDGE
Per this weekend’s assessment, it seems as if you need to think about the out of bounds like this……
Assume that there is a force field around the edge that is pushing you into the middle. And that force field carries the “spirit of the rules” with it. As you work your way toward the edge, you are in violation of the the spirit of the rules. PERIOD.
That is the way that I looked at it. That is the way that it is being reffed and that is how you need to teach it.
The THEME of this weekend’s tournament was STAY IN THE MIDDLE AND FIGHT or get banged for a shido. PERIOD.
If the action was such that both competitors were fighting and by way of chance or happenstance somebody walked out, there was not penalty. If the same person walked out again, a penalty was given due to the competitor not being mindful of the rules and provide a message to the competitors and coaches of how the match is supposed to be played.
In terms of newaza action and tachiwaza action, as a coach, I will make thinks this simple for you. Refs may not agree but I’m not a referee, I’m a coach and an advisor. MY ADVICE TO YOU IS TO ADVISE YOUR ATHLETES NOT TO STOP UNTIL THEY HEAR THE SECOND “MATTE.”
Unfortunately, that is kind of what the rules of the tournament are requiring coaches to instruct their players because I saw about 3 occasions where the referee said “matte” and then and action occurred and ippon was then called. As a matter of fact, I was sitting in the chair and coaching one of my students when it happened. Fortunately for him, at Tampa Florida Judo I teach my kids the same why that I was taught in American Football. In American Football, you play all the way through until you hear the “whistle”. In Judo, the new whistle is the second “matte.”
I’m not here to talk about the IJF rules, I’m here to provide my take on how they are and were applied at THIS tournament. Now, per the directive of the Bahamas Judo Federation President, D’Arcy Rahming Sr. I was instructed to watch the IJF referee seminar that was held in Malaga, Spain this year which can be found on Youtube. I watched at 3 hours and 3 minutes of it (it was grueling). And then I was instructed to watch the 2014 Europe vs. Asia Ecco Team Challenge which was also 3 hours (and that was grueling), and I attended the IJF referee and rules meeting seminar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 2 days to get a better understanding of the rules. I am pretty confident that in North American there are few coaches who have a better understanding of the application of the new rules and the spirit of the new rules as I do and that is because I’ve studied.
Now, my report is public because this is my (public report) and I’ve been provided with instructions to do my due diligence to grow the sport and help out as much as I can to promote the sport of judo, not only as a representative of the Bahamas Judo Federation and as an Olympian of the sport of Judo but also as a fellow judoka.
And my opinion is ONLY my opinion, but one that I am very well compensated for. With that being said, here is my recommendation for you:
1. If you coach, play judo or are a judo parent. Take the time to watch these videos:
Ecco Team Challenge –
IJF Referee Seminar in Malaga –
IJF Referee Seminar in Malaga (Part 2) –
IJF 2014 Rules Breakdown -
2. Take the time to really learn and invest in the development of newaza. It is just as important as tachiwaza and YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, if you coach that the previous rules of the sport may have biased your current knowledge base and there may be some things that you just do not know and you club has been inundated with your style and thought processes so when your kids roll and randori with each other they may not expose themselves to the available options that they may run into during competition.
3. Being in shape is at a premium. I am really interested in seeing how some of these competitors make is through 4, 5, and 6 rounds of play.
I am in the process of putting the finishing
touches on Underground Grip Fighting Secrets 3.0
and I am making sure that the product addresses
all persons who train in a gi. That goes for those
who practice, Judo, Chidoaba, BJJ, Kurash, Sambo,
Aba Gures and Celtic Wrestling.
I have been studying tremendously and vigorously
to get not only an understanding of the 2014
rules for judo but to get a broader and better
understanding of the full culture of jacket
wrestling and how it has changed over the years
and the impact that certain cultures have had on
certain facets of the aforementioned sports.
Because the desired culture affects the rules, and
the rules are put in place to direct the players,
coaches, and to uphold the “spirit” and core
tenets of the sport. This is important when you
are strategizing, theorizing and coming up
with tactical maneuvers for sporting excellence.
I also want to provide you with the best in class
for development and coaching.
I want to give you what it is that you need while
you are competing and also give you what it is
that you need in order to be a well rounded coach
when you are finished competing.
So please bear with me as I take the next couple
of days and weeks to finalize Underground
Grip Fighting 3.0.
If you have any comments, questions or feedback
concerning the new product before it’s released
please let me know.
Also, check out this video that I gave to a
client who I am helping with some new tectical
I have really been blessed in my career at a Judo player and
Brazilian Jiujitsu player. I have experienced some of the best
opportunities available in the area of sport. I have competed at
the Olympic Games, competed at the Brazilian Jiujitsu World
Championships and fought for one of the biggest MMA organizations
in the world. I competed at the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling
World Championships and had the opportunity to coach at the Olympic
Trials in Judo, the World Judo Championships, the Cadet World Judo
Championships and the Grappling World Championships.
I’ve also served as the head coach for the Bahamas Judo
Federation and was able to implement the same program that I am
going to offer to you, there, and aided in the process of creating
the first ever Olympian in the sport of Judo for the Bahamas Judo
Federation. As someone of Bahamian descent, this meant a great deal
to me and is one of my proudest moments in sport.
Although I’ve done much in sport, the most joy that I receive
is from coaching and mentoring.
And the most impact that I’ve been able to have on people and
their careers has been through Individualized Educational Programs
(IEP) coupled with the philosophical approach of Deliberate
Practice. This along with a steady and constant approach of hard
work, dedication and unwavering devotion over a period of time has
been extremely successful in the area of sport.
Right Now I would like to invite you to take part in one of the
most rewarding, challenging and educational experiences ever in
your sporting career. No matter if you are a coach or an athlete, I
guarantee you that you will see improvement beyond your wildest
Here Are The Program Details. There are 2 Options:
THERE ARE ONLY 3 SPOTS AVAILABLE
As Of 1/2/2014 IN TOTAL FOR BOTH PROGRAMS
“Of all the things successful people do to accelerate their trip down the path to success, participating in some kind of coaching program is at the top of the list. A coach will help you clarify your vision and goals, support you through your fears, keep you focused, confront your unconscious behaviors and old patterns, expect you to do your best, help you live by your values, show you how to earn more while working less, and keep you focused on your core genius.” – Jack Canfield
THERE ARE ONLY 7 SPOTS AVAILABLE IN TOTAL FOR BOTH PROGRAMS
I have really been blessed in my career at a Judo player and Brazilian Jiujitsu player. I have experienced some of the best opportunities available in the area of sport. I have competed at the Olympic Games, competed at the Brazilian Jiujitsu World Championships and fought for one of the biggest MMA organizations in the world. I competed at the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships and had the opportunity to coach at the Olympic Trials in Judo, the World Judo Championships, the Cadet World Judo Championships and the Grappling World Championships.
I’ve also served as the head coach for the Bahamas Judo Federation and was able to implement the same program that I am going to offer to you, there, and aided in the process of creating the first ever Olympian in the sport of Judo for the Bahamas Judo Federation. As someone of Bahamian descent, this meant a great deal to me and is one of my proudest moments in sport.
Although I’ve done much in sport, the most joy that I receive is from coaching and mentoring.
And the most impact that I’ve been able to have on people and their careers has been through Individualized Educational Programs (IEP) coupled with the philosophical approach of Deliberate Practice. This along with a steady and constant approach of hard work, dedication and unwavering devotion over a period of time has been extremely successful in the area of sport.
Right Now I would like to invite you to take part in one of the most rewarding, challenging and educational experiences ever in your sporting career. No matter if you are a coach or an athlete, I guarantee you that you will see improvement beyond your wildest dreams.
Here Are The Program Details. There are 2 Options:
THERE ARE ONLY 7 SPOTS AVAILABLE
IN TOTAL FOR BOTH PROGRAMS
Coming off of Thanksgiving and into the December holiday season
presents many challenges and blessings. We are challenged through
and blessed by reflecting on the events of this year as we close
out this one and enter into another one.
We look at those who have not made it, are struggling to make and
those that did make it.
We look at the things we got done and those we did not.
But all in all, coming off of Thanksgiving, we are thankful to God,
the master architect of the universe for all that He has done and
will continue to do.
I wanted to share something with you that means a lot to me.
Some of you know that I served as the Head Coach for the Bahamas
Judo Federation and held that position for almost 2 years and in
that time we were able to produce the first Olympian in the sport
A young woman by the name of Cynthia Rahming now holds a place in
history that no one can or will ever surpass. She is the first
person to represent the Bahamas in an Olympic Games. She did this
by representing her country at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in
After resigning from my head coaching position and still working as
a Technical Consultant for the Bahamas Judo Federation I am happy
to see the program growing and flourishing. The program went from
non-recognizable to now being on the front page of the
International Judo Federation’s web site –> http://www.intjudo.eu/News/cikk2899
Such recognition is humbling and it was nice during the bi-weekly
meeting with the President of the Bahamas Judo Federation,
D’Arcy Rahming, to start out the meeting with such good news on
how far the program has come and to know that the work in the
Bahamas is being recognized on a grandiose scale.
It is also great to see that the President of the International
Judo Federation Marius Vizer, not only looks at the major
powerhouses of judo but also recognizes, supports and reaches out
to tomorrow’s future medal winners and hotbeds for growth.
Strategic development, event planning, athlete preparation and
continuous growth are all things which were identified as
imperative for the Bahamas Judo Federation in 2008 during my first
meeting with Mr. Rahming and he stated that these things must occur
not only in the areas of athletics but also coaching and
refereeing. As a coach my charge was to develop the athletes. As a
Technical Advisor, I provide input and direction on all aspects of
growth of the Bahamas Judo Federation and I still learn a GREAT
DEAL from Mr. Rahming.
Although I work, for him, you couldn’t ask for a better mentor.
A graduate of Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern’s
engineering programs, he understands attacking problems that
don’t have a readily available answer but have a solution.
Yesteryear, nobody knew who we were. Today we are on the front page
of the International Judo Federation’s site and
“Tomorrow” we will walk around the track of the Olympic
Being a part of such a process is not only rewarding but also
breath-taking. I watch some of the practitioners from the Bahamas
on video, but they don’t even know who I am, but I’ve
LITERALLY watched them grow up in front of my eyes. I watch them
do the protocols that I provide in training and see the advice that
I’ve provided used in training and competition and am in awe.
As the year closes out, I thank God for the opportunity to coach,
share and consult. I’m looking forward to opening up some of
my coaching programs again in 2014, and I’m also looking
forward to spending some time with my family at the end of December.
Have a Great Day and God Bless.
Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
P.S. If you have not yet picked up my new book, which is on Amazon
dot com right now, please do so. It is a wonderful read. Please