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Samurai Slam-Prix II September 2nd, 2017

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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Samurai Slam-Prix II

September 2nd, 2017

Please join us for the Samurai Slam-Prix II Judo tournament directed by Dr. Lisa Capriotti.  This tournament will feature competition in Olympic Judo, Kosen-style groundwork, and novice and advanced Kata.  All Kata competition will commence at 9 AM, Junior competition at 10 AM, and Senior competition after lunch.  Keeping to this schedule is VERY important to us, so PRE-REGISTRATION BY 8/31/17 IS REQUIRED for all competitors.  Registration will be accepted by mail, email, or online (www.samuraislam.org).  Payment can be made by check or credit card through Paypal (payable to American Judo Foundation) and qualifies as a charitable donation.  Early Entry Discounts apply until 8/24/17!

We anticipate a large number of players, especially 10 years and under; therefore, players 10 years and under are encouraged to weigh in at their dojo with their coach between 8/28/17 – 8/30/17.  Coaches can submit weights using the included Coach Certified Weigh In Form in the registration packet.  Players must declare a weight division on the entry form but may change weight up to 8/31/17, so brackets can be prepared before the competition.  At the tournament players should check in for confirmation of entry form, waiver, entry fee, national judo membership, and registered divisions, then weigh in if not already complete.


If you have any questions, please contact the tournament director, Dr. Lisa Capriotti, at SamuraiJudoAssociation@gmail.com OR 302-897-9106.

2016 Class Schedule

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



AJJA Code of Conduct

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Code of Conduct

Conduct of students

  • Be on time for class.
  • All Judoka should ensure a high standard of personal hygiene when attending training sessions.
  • The Judogi should always be clean and neat and properly worn.
  • Always face your instructor whenever he is talking.
  • Always call your instructor “Sensei” (pronounced “Sen-say” which means teacher).
  • Always show respect for your instructors and others.
  • There will be no talking during class instruction and during the practice
  • While watching, students will sit either cross-legged or on the heels or stand as instructed by the “Sensei”
  • Students must stop all activity immediately upon the command “Matte” (pronounced “Mah-tay” which means stop).
  • The courtesy of bowing will be observed at all appropriate times
  • Swearing, harsh and vulgar language will not be tolerated.
  • Horseplay and fooling around are strictly prohibited.
  • Always be careful and look out for your fellow judoka.
  • No one will leave the mat without first gaining permission from one of the instructors. The one and only exception to this is in the case of illness a student may leave immediately without seeking permission.
  • Students may not leave the mat to go to a parent or to the edge of the mat to talk to a parent without gaining permission from one of the instructors.
  • Students are expected to take care of water and toilet needs before class and during breaks.
  • Judo is not to be practiced or played with outside of class.
  • Food and drink are not permitted on the mat.
  • Students must pay attention at all times.


Courtesy & Respect
Judo remains the most courteous and respectful sport in existence today.  The etiquette of bowing demonstrates the courtesy of and respect for Judo, Judo Sensei’s and other judoka. Bowing in Judo equals to the  handshake and has nothing to do with any religious practice.  The courtesy of bowing will be observed:

  • When entering and leaving the mat.
  • At the beginning and end of classes.
  • Before and after practice or sparing with a partner.
  • Before and after contests.
  • Before and after receiving promotions and awards.

Conduct of Parents

Parents are invited and encouraged to watch classes.

However, we have certain expectations of our parents as well.  These expectations are as follows:

  • Parents are expected to get their children to class on time and to pick them up on time.
  • Outside of class, we expect the parents of our judoka to reinforce the conduct that we expect from our students.
  • In class, we expect parents to not intervene under any circumstance in order to allow our instructors to maintain the control of the class.
  • Parents may not call their children to the edge of the mat or off the mat without gaining permission from one of the instructors.
  • Parents may not come onto the mat without permission from one of the instructors.
  • Parents may not offer instruction to anyone.
  • Parents may not criticize their children’s skill or performance.
  • Parents are expected to enforce the rule of no practice or playing of Judo outside of class.
  • Parents are expected to display respect for Judo, the coach/instructors and other Judo officials at all times.

Summer Camp is coming again in July!

Posted by on Jun 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

summer campIf you haven’t heard yet, Summer Camp was amazing in June! The only thing better than how great it was, is that Summer Camp is back for July! July 7th – 11th 8:00am – 4:00pm is our schedule for Camp. This is 40 hours of the best Judo and Jiu-Jitsu instruction by certified instructors. Every day has new activities during lunch and break time. Some of our favorites from June were Underwater Archaeology, Tie Dye Shirts, Waterpark Day, Fathers Day Cards and the Drum Circle. The days are packed with lots of great martial arts and specifically designed games to make sure students are having fun while they develop the critical thinking skills and athleticism needed to be successful in life on and off the mat! This is a great opportunity to give your kids a real head start in Judo and BJJ. We have family discounts and focus on making camp affordable and accessible to everyone. Stop by or call today to lean more!

Sambo Seminar at AJJA

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Don’t miss this Amazing opportunity to train with one of the best Sambists in America! International Champion Master of Sport Vladislav Koulikov! This Friday and Saturday! Call in sick, clear your calenders and make it to this once in a lifetime chance to train with the best! American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy have dedicated their time and energy to make these added-value events very affordable for their students and reasonably affordable for those outside of their school. Remember, don’t give excuses if you want results. This kind of training will definitely change your game and make your throws and groundwork superior!vlad flyer 2014

Sambo Seminar at AJJA

Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sambo Seminar at AJJA

Vladislav Koulikov Sambo Seminar at American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Master Vladislav Koulikov is a long time friend and training partner of Sensei Al Jacobs. Last year Master Vlad came and taught a two day seminar at AJJA. It was amazing! This is by far the most technical grappler we have ever hosted. He began training in 1984 at the prestigious academy Sambo 70 in Moscow. He currently holds the rank of Master of Sport.  He was a Gold and Silver medalist of two All Soviet Cups. USA Sambo Open Silver and Bronze Medalist. Multiple time Naga and Grappler’s Quest Champion to include the most technical fighter award. 2004 ASSA Super fight champion. He also holds a Nidan (Second Degree Black Belt) in Judo, a Nidan in Ni Hon Kenpo Karate and Black Belt in freestyle Jiu-Jitsu. He is an American Sambo Association certified Freestyle Sambo official. Vlad is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the highly effective combat art of Russian Sambo. Sambo is known for it’s superior throws and ground fighting. No one is more qualified to teach you this devastatingly effective art.

Day 1 will be all throwing, grip fighting and strategy. The seminar will be 3 hours and in a Gi.

Day 2 will be various submissions, positions and transitions on the ground. This will include pins, armbars, chokes and leg locks as well as, escapes, counters and combinations. The seminar will be 3 hours and in a Gi.

Come see for yourself why this is the event you do not want to miss. Whether from here in Charleston or from out of state get here early and contact us for lodging and inquiries about private lessons. This limited time opportunity is coming up soon and space is limited call and reserve your spot today!

Coach Clinic

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

coach clinic amended


Summerville, SC

June 14, 2014

(Please share this email with black, brown, and green belts in judo and/or jujitsu, in your club or clubs in the region.)

Certification is for USJA brown and black belts, in either judo or jujitsu.

I will be teaching this same course at the 2014 June Greatest Camp near Charlotte, NC.  You can take it there if you miss this offering in Summerville on June 14.  Taking this course before camp saves you eight hours at The Greatest Camp on Earth, time you can spend attending other activities.   

If you are not going to camp, this seldom-offered course saves you having to travel a great distance to take it.  Very few individuals are authorized to teach this course.  

There is a nominal $5 clinic fee to cover sanctioning expenses!  Other coach course instructors charge $50 or more for this.  I work hard to keep expenses to a minimum for all of us! 

The course certification fee is $30, to send in when you wish.  Most pay at the conclusion of the course, though you may mail in paperwork with the certification fee at any time.  

Green belts in judo and/or jujitsu may attend but may not submit paperwork until they earn a brown belt in either art. 

The $16 Background Check fee is required of all who teach and of all who are black belts.  Anyone wishing this USJA Coach Education Course credential — our most prestigious document — must have a Background Check already on record or must pay to have this done, at your leisure.  The background check validity is for four years.  Most of you already have completed this, and it still is valid.

Effective recently is another requirement to complete the online SafeSport program, at safesport.org on the Internet.  That costs $12.  Do that at your leisure and submit to the USJA office the completion certificate.  When this has been done, along with the background check, the USJA will process your Coach credential. 

Don’t forget to send in a head and shoulders photo of yourself by email, if the USJA office does not already have one on file.  

Badges are available from the USJA National Office, valid for four years, cost $25, for those who feel a need for them.  Most times these are not necessary.

Whether you teach, assist regularly, fill-in occasionally, or are simply a brown belt or black belt student working out and/or competing, this course is important to your judo development.  Things you learn will enhance your judo growth and directly benefit you, your club, and your sensei.  Most of the course takes place in a classroom environment, though we will have some mat sessions.  This course covers much material. 

Most who teach or assist in instructing never have attended a college of education to take courses in pedagogy.  This course addresses:  teaching techniques;
 foundations of learning;
 harassment; bullying; legal issues
; methods of grouping students;
 course and individual class preparation; lesson planning;
 responsibilities; negligence;
 chaining; individual needs; and differences in learning styles. 

This is considered continuing education, to refresh yourself on material, and to learn what works and what doesn’t.  It exposes attendees to a different aspect of judo and/or jujitsu — instructing.

You will earn clinic attendance points toward your next judo promotion and, upon course completion/certification, Service to Judo points toward future judo promotions.  Those who have taken the course are welcome to attend/audit as a refresher or to renew at the same certification level.

If you took this as a brown belt, your certification level would have been Level E.  The level nomenclature has changed, so all going through this will earn level 1 certification.  Those renewing would earn level 2.  Those already certified must attend one more course (this one) for renewal.

We will complete this in one day, beginning early on Saturday, June 14.  It will be an eight-hour event.  We may ask someone to run to the Mexican establishment across the street with orders from attendees, to bring back grub to munch as we cover material.  Feel free to bring snacks to gobble and/or share.  Bring something (non-alcoholic) to drink.  Judogi is required. 

I will give attendees (not those who audit and not to those to whom I already have given) two free books:  P.M. Barnett’s JUDO GROUNDPLAY and Sam Allred’s DYNAMIC SELF-DEFENSE.  I also will give out a free judo calendar; though outdated, it is a collector’s item.

Anyone wishing to audit may attend, and also participate as students in the mat evaluation mini-class exercise during which each participant will demonstrate teaching style and skills in a five-minute session.

All candidates should read Coach Education Committee Chairman Bill Montgomery’s Coaching Guide, available on the Internet (under Programs, Coaching, Coaching Guide).  I have sent this Coaching Guide to prospective attendees via email.

WHO MAY CERTIFY:  USJA brown and black belts in judo or jujitsu.  Green belts may participate, and if/when they become brown belts in either judo or jujitsu, they may submit the signed-off paperwork and be certified.  The USJF accepts this course, too. 

WHO MAY ATTEND:  Interested others may audit the course.  Those with expired or expiring course credentials should attend to recertify at current level.  Those with current accreditation receive continuing education credit.

LOCATION:  American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy, 3208 Mill Street, Summerville, SC  29485.  Contact Eli Fletcher for directions at (501) 844-1883.

TIME:  8 a.m.  – 5 p.m.  Kindly be punctual.  We have considerable material to cover.  Estimated ending time is 5 p.m., though we may finish earlier.

CLINIC COST:  $5.  Current USJA membership is required.  If renewal is needed, the cost is $50 for annual members, $30 for (sustaining activity fee) life members.  Background Check, if not already completed, $16, valid for four years.
  Course certification fee to be sent in with paperwork at any time, $30.  The certification fee includes a certificate and judogi patch.
  SafeSport online course completion, that takes only a couple of hours, costs $12 and can be done after the course. 

I look forward to seeing you at the clinic!

BRING:  USJA member card (if insurance has expired, you may renew insurance, payable in cash or via credit card, on site); snack to share; beverage of choice; judogi; notepad and pencil or pen.  Bring other eligible course candidates from your club or a club near yours.

RECOMMENDED TEXT:  Rainer Marten’s 3rd edition of Successful Coaching.  Bring it if you have it.

INSTRUCTOR:  Ronald Allan Charles, Ph.D.  Course content changes somewhat from time to time, which is why judoka and jujitsuka retake the course for continuing education, to refresh and also to learn new things about teaching.  My doctor of philosophy and two master’s degrees are in education, so I am trained to teach teachers how to teach. 

This course teaches participants how to teach.  It does not teach specific judo techniques, rather the principles of imparting material from the source (instructor) to the recipients (students) and the responsibilities of presenting a class or program.

Former Coach Education Chairman Bill Montgomery recommends the following:

Taking a USJA Coaching Certification Course?

Here’s what you should do to prepare:

As you prepare to take a coaching course, there are several things you should do prior to the course itself:

·    Make sure you have read the USJA Coaching Guide.  It can be downloaded from the Coach Education Committee page on the USJA web site.

·   Purchase Successful Coaching, 3rd edition, by Rainer Martens (2004, Human Kinetics).  Please read this prior to attendance.  As you do, reflect upon where you are as a coach/instructor.  What is your coaching philosophy?  What are your strengths?  Upon what would you like to improve?  What questions do you have?

·     Make sure that your background check is up to date.  The application can be filled out at the time of the session, but it makes things more efficient if you have this done ahead of time.

·       Ready yourself to actually take part in the mat sessions.  Observation is fine, but all candidates must be on the mat.  If you have a physical limitation, accommodations can be made, but you should be actively involved as much as possible.


Further information:  Call Eli Fletcher at me at (501) 844-1883 or elijahfletch@gmail.com.


National Champions!

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

rob lisa champRobert Gouthro Sensei and Lisa Capriotti Sensei competed at the USA Judo Senior Nationals this weekend (May 3rd) in Reno, Nevada. They earned Gold in the Goshin Jitsu Kata Competition , Silver in Nage No Kata Competition and fourth in Katame No Kata Competition. This earned them them the Gold as Overall Mixed Team Champions! There were 50 Kata teams in attendance to include, world champions and the best competition in the country.

They practice together every night after attending a 90 minute Judo Class. Hard work and talent came together and earned them a very prestigious National Championship. Traveling to compete and learn from the best around is just part of what makes this team so special! They are assistant instructors at American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy as well as Dr. Charles Sensei (8th Degree Black Belt) assistant instructors at Samurai Judo Association. Their love for Judo is apparent in their dedication and drive. Congratulations to the State and National Kata competition team! We are all very proud to call you part of our family!

To give you a brief understanding of how much work goes into the preparation of competing in Nage No Kata here is a brief description of some of the information involved in learning, practicing and perfecting. Nationally certified Judges award points based on proper technique, speed, force, overall flow, timing, distance and balance. Nage No Kata is a demonstrations of 15 throws to the right and to the left. Remember that Robert Gouthro Sensei and Lisa Capriotti Sensei performed 3 Katas at the Nationals. (Goshin Jitsu Kata, Katame No Kata and Nage No Kata)

Forms of Throwing




The Nage no Kata was developed in 1884 and 1885 at the Kodokan. This kata consists of 5 sets of three throws, each performed on both the left and right sides. The two participants formally bow onto the mat and begin the kata with the tori, or thrower, on your right and the uke, or person being thrown, on your left. In each case, the uke attempts an attack on tori. There is a progression of attack styles here, demonstrating how tori must adjust to these differing attacks. Uke then changes his attacks based on the previous adjustments made by tori.




Te Waza (Hand Techniques)


Uki Otoshi–Floating Drop


Here uke, having no prior experience with tori, starts with a very agressive attack by grasping tori’s jacket and pushing tori backward. Tori responds by stepping backward, demonstrating the principle of yielding and pulling uke forward culminating in the throw that you see. This throw exemplifies the beauty and dynamic precision of the forces which can unbalance an opponent and cause his body to trace a long arc in the air as he is snapped forward, off his feet, by the downward drawing power of the thrower’s body transmitted through his arms.


Seoi Nage–Shoulder Throw


Uke changes the attack here to an aggressive downward strike to the top of tori’s head, which tori blocks, steps in and lowers his body to effectively use the momentum generated by the attack to throw the attacker over his back and shoulder. This throw is a modification of a jujutsu throw in which the arm is broken during the throw and clearly shows the self defense aspect inherent in the kata.


Kata Guruma–Shoulder Wheel


Uke attacks as in the first throw, but holds back a bit and braces his front leg to prevent himself from being pulled down as in the first throw. To counter this action, tori takes a large step backward, stretching uke out and drops down and in to take advantage of the bent leg and lifts uke across his shoulders to throw him in a motion like a wheel.




Koshi Waza (Hip Techniques)


Uki Goshi–Floating Hip


Uke attempts to strike tori but keeps his other hand in front to block tori’s hip so that he cannot turn into the shoulder throw as in the first set. Tori compensates by turning opposite to the first throw, coming in under the strike and grasping the outstretched arm of uke, bringing his hip into uke and turning to throw uke, while pulling on uke’s arm and lifting uke with the arm on his back. This throw was the favorite throw of Jigoro Kano.


Harai Goshi–Sweeping Hip


Uke attempts to block the previous kinds of throws in this attack by softening his body. Tori, is able to float uke upward and forward to compensate for this in this sweeping hip throw, which is an adaptation of techniques from jujutsu and sumo.


Tsuri Komi Goshi–Lifting Pulling Hip


Here uke, anticipating the previous throw, stiffens more dramatically to prevent the previous throw but tori, by taking a high grip on the collar and adjusting the stepping action, never lets uke get going. The sudden, unexpected lowering of tori’s body enables uke to be thrown end over end, like a stick.




Ashi Waza (Foot Techniques)


Okuri Ashi Harai–Double Foot Sweep


Uke begins to attack but tori takes away the initiative by sliding to the side and pulling uke with him. Uke tries to catch up to avoid a throw over his leading side and as he passes tori, tori sweeps his legs out from the trailing side.


Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi–Lifting Pulling Foot Block


Here as uke attacks, tori yields but changes his footwork on the third step by stepping to the side and turning. Using the force inherent in this action to offbalance uke, he is able to block uke’s advancing foot and execute a large arcing forward throw.


Uchi Mata–Inner Thigh Throw


Uke attempts to attack but again the initiative is taken away by tori who moves in a circular fashion, pulling uke around behind him. As uke is pulled in closer to tori’s back, he is thrown just as he is about to place his advancing foot down by the sweeping action of tori leg upward against the inside of uke’s thigh.




Ma Sutemi Waza (Rear Sacrifice Techniques)


Tomoe Nage–Stomach or Circle Throw


Uke attacks by advancing his right foot. Tori yields a bit but then takes the inititative, unbalancing uke, by advancing his right foot forcing uke to step backward with his left foot. Tori continues advancing, pushing uke backward until uke pushes back. At this point, tori drops down onto his back, swinging his advanced foot up onto uke’s hip and sliding his other foot under uke, between his legs. This action completely destroys uke’s balance forcing him in a circular arc over tori’s body.


Ura Nage–Back Throw


Uke attempts to strike tori’s head with a downward blow to the head. Tori steps in, under the blow, blends with ukes body, falling backward with uke’s forward motion and culminating in a flat throw over his body.


Sumi Gaeshi–Corner Throw


Uke attacks with a modified defensive posture intent on pulling tori forward to unbalance him. Tori steals the initiative by also gripping in a modified defensive stance and pulling uke forward in one arc step. Uke resists by straighten up. Tori takes advantage of this by further floating uke upward and dropping straight down on his back and under uke. The lifting action of one of tori’s feet combined with the momentum of uke’s falling body, lifts uke in a high arc over tori’s body.




Yoko Sutemi Waza (Side Sacrifice Techniques)


Yoko Gake–Side Hook


Tori yields to uke’s attack by stepping backward to preserve his balance and attempts to unbalance uke forward. Uke attempts to regain his balance by stepping forward again continuing his attack. Tori changes his horizontal pull to a inward and turning motion, causing uke to stiffen in order to resist this motion. As uke advances a third time, tori slides his foot into uke’s advancing foot, cutting it out from under him and falling onto his side and pulling uke down with him.


Yoko Guruma–Side Wheel


Uke attempts to attack with a strike once again. Tori attempts the same back throw as before by ducking in under uke’s arm. Uke counters this by using his striking arm to force tori’s head down. Tori takes advantage of ukes reaction lauching a counter attack in the form of a wheeling action. He slides a leg between uke’s legs, falls onto his side and slings the unbalanced uke in the direction of his bent body.


Uki Waza–Floating Throw

kata15.gif Uke attacks in the modified defensive stance to pull tori forward. Tori again assumes the same posture, resists uke’s attack and counterattacks by pulling uke forward with an arc step. Uke resists by straightening up and tori counters by floating uke even further, falling to his side, and drawing uke over his

Summer Schedule

Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Our Summer Schedule is packed with Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes for everyone!

Evening classes, day camps and private lesson available!



Summer’s Almost Here

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As it is warming up we are all thinking about the beach, the lake, the pool and the water park. Have you been thinking about your evenings? We have! Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are here in Summerville for everyone to enjoy. Get in amazing shape with our complete grappling program. Learn from expert instructors. Compete and have fun! For those of you going out for wrestling in the fall, Judo and BJJ can take your game to next level. Competing with our Nationally ranked body of competitive students and instructors will push you to the limit and teach you things you just wont learn anywhere else! For those of you that have never tried a combat sport, you will ease into the beginner program and in no time at all become a competitor and enjoy all the recreational benefits of Judo and BJJ. American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy is here to offer unlimited training opportunities that can help you reach your fitness and competition goals. Give it a try for free and if you don’t mind working out and putting in some sweat equity then we can guarantee we will turn you into a more fit and more prepared version of you in no time. It also doesn’t hurt to feel great and look good in a bathing suit, right? See ya on the mats!judo-beach_98301-480x360

Feeling Better

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Do want to know the secret to feeling your best? Getting enough sleep, maintaining healthy nutrition and staying active are the three most important things you can control. Your psychological health is affected as much as your physical health if you can commit to these three rules.

Giving up unhealthy vices is a start. Anything that is “bad” for you only makes you feel good for a little while. For example, drugs and alcohol give you a temporary feeling of euphoria but the side effects stick around and lead to decreased productivity of the mind and body. Denial will set in and tell you that you need these substances to feel good. This is the beginning of a downward spiral that leaves you incredibly out of shape and depressed. Managing your feelings to work for you, instead of against you, is so much easier during sobriety.

Along a similar line, foods void of nutritional value may taste good while you eat them but they wreak havoc on your body and leave you feeling drained and sluggish. Eating a balanced and reasonable amount of healthy foods will increase your energy, jump-start your digestion and leave you feeling and looking better every day. You will start to look forward to meals, popping out of bed in the morning and realizing you have enough energy to exercise!

Exercise may be hard at first. It can make you sore and tired for a short time. The benefits of exercise, especially over time, will increase your energy and help you process foods in the best ways. Burning fat and building muscle are just part of the benefit. Your heart health, or cardiovascular endurance will become much stronger, allowing you to exercise longer and harder. This makes everyday tasks a breeze and leaves you with all the energy you need to stay on top of your work out plan. Judo and Jiu-Jitsu is for anyone in almost any condition. You will start slow and work up to higher levels of training. It takes time but a hard Judo class, for an athlete that can give it his/her all, can burn around 900-1000 calories! This is all while gaining strength, endurance, flexibility and skills that no ordinary work out plan has to offer. Falling and tumbling properly is the first thing you learn and practice each day. Practical exercise like grappling develops your whole body and will send you home ready for a good night sleep after every class.

Staying up late and over-sleeping through the morning may feel good once a week. Continuing to deprive your body of sleep or sticking to a healthy rhythm will cause you to feel exhausted when you shouldn’t. While the amount of sleep will differ from person to person, the National Sleep Foundation generally recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Kids and teens need more sleep (teens need 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night, while school-aged kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night). This is the time when your body heals the most and prepares you for your day ahead.

A lot of things can get in the way of our goals. Setting priorities and keeping them is the fastest way to achieve our goals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will decrease the psychological barriers such as, fear, denial and a lack of self-esteem. It is important to know and be constantly coached that you are capable of achieving your goals and doing a great job getting there. Confidence in your coach will allow the relationship between teacher and student to do it’s job, which is, get you where you want to be!

At American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy our staff of instructors are all trained to bring the best out of our students. Obviously you can learn Judo and Jiu-Jitsu but learning about yourself, your short and long-term goals, your nutrition and your team make the journey to the best feeling version of your self so much easier than trying it on your own. Let us show you how we change lives in every aspect and give us the chance to have you feeling better in no time. With a free trial and free health assessment you have nothing to lose. Get up right now and hit the mats!2014 summer schedule

State Judo Championship

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

State Judo ChampSouth Carolina State Judo Championship was today and American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy did very well! We took 12 competitors and all 12 placed in their divisions! Some of us had our first tournament and some of us maintained our regular competition schedule…

  • Eli Fletcher – Bronze
  • Thurston Linning – Silver
  • Anna Putnam – 2 Golds
  • Robert Gouthro and Lisa Capriotti – 2 golds Kata Champions
  • Heather Morrison – Silver
  • Justin Mata – Silver and Bronze
  • Levi Mata – Bronze
  • Christopher Fitzgerald – Bronze
  • Benjamin Parker – Bronze
  • Jimmy Rundell – Bronze
  • David Rundell – Silver

Sensei Al Jacobs coached our team to a great showing amongst the best regional players from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. National Champions and Olympic hopefuls were abundant in this tournament and the high level of competition was impressive and pushed all of our team mates to the limit! There is always a tournament around the corner and AJJA will always be there! Thanks and congratulations to everyone who competed and thanks to everyone back home who helped us train for this tournament season!

Why Judo Benefits Children

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

DSC_4608Why Judo benefits children


Mark Lonsdale, Judo Training Development

“Winning a championship is a temporary accomplishment

– being a better person is for life”

More important than just building a better athlete, sports should build a better person. Judo in particular, develops discipline, manners, punctuality, strength, stamina, tenacity, toughness and confidence – all character traits that are essential to success and respected by society. Society also respects a person who wins with humility and loses with grace.

One of the unique aspects of judo training is the respect for others that is taught and required in the dojo. In time, through judo, this respect grows into a heightened level of self-confidence and discipline. For the parents of a rambunctious 6 or 8-year-old, this cultivated respect and discipline can appear “heaven sent.” As a result, very rarely does one find a junior judoka who is poorly behaved or disrespectful to adults.

While judo is a martial art, and therefore a combat sport, the fighting that children do in the dojo is actually a form of preparation for life’s many challenges. In life, as in judo, we do not always win. So doing randori, and competing within the rules, teaches children persistence, resolve and perseverance. They also learn that it is not winning that is always important, but the time and effort dedicated to the training, and finding the courage to compete, that separates the judoka from others.

In its simplest form, character building in judo comes from the ability to be thrown on the mat, and then to get back up and keep fighting. This determination and toughness should never be under valued. The first step towards success, in any endeavour, is to learn the lesson taught by Kyuzo Mifune – “seven times down, eight times up.” Or as John Wayne would have put it, “You need to dust yourself off, Pilgrim, and get back on that horse.”

Junior judoka also learn the lesson of responsibility, or more specifically, taking responsibility for one’s own success or failure. They learn that if they want to succeed in grading, promotion or competition, they must turn up for class, pay attention to Sensei, learn their techniques, and then apply them in randori. Failure, on the other hand, can be directly attributed to how little effort they put into their lessons and training. And since children like to have fun, they also learn how much fun it is to succeed in games, pass a belt promotion, or win in shiai. In time they learn that the medals and trophies are just the icing on the cake. It is the peer acceptance and respect in the dojo that is more important. Recognition and a pat on the back from stern-faced Sensei are more valued and last much longer than a coloured ribbon.

There is also the self defense aspect of judo. With all the weirdoes, stalkers, crazies, and bullies out there, parents constantly worry about their children. But through judo, children gain fitness, strength, stamina, balance, agility, and awareness. Randori and competition also develop a rough and tumble level of self-confidence that allows even junior judoka to identify a threat and react appropriately (provided the judo training has been supplemented with sage parental advice).

To conclude, judo teaches many of life’s lessons and develops strong character traits that will serve children through their difficult teen years and into adulthood. These virtues may seem to go well beyond what is practiced in the dojo, but in reality, this is exactly what Professor Jigoro Kano intended when he created Kodokan Judo. Jita-kyoei, mutual welfare and benefit, is one of the most important maxims in judo, and exemplifies the greater value of judo training. Jika no kansei, strive for perfection, is another significant motto, provided one understands that we strive for personal perfection so that we may better help others.

“The man who is at the peak of his success and the man who has just failed

are in exactly the same position. Each must decide what he will do next.”
– Jigoro Kano

The Benefits of Competition

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

We have another tournament this weekend and the whole team is going! This might be a great time for your first tournament or another notch on the belt for the seasoned members of our tournament team!1960005_1443694622531423_829855841_n

Tournament competition is about more than just winning trophies, it is an essential element of your training!

If you haven’t competed in a tournament yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. The benefits of tournament competition are so great, that if you asked me “What does it take to become a great martial artist?” I would respond with “a good teacher, lots of practice, and tournament competition.”

Why are tournaments such a vital part of your training? Here are 5 of the countless benefits:

Reason #1: Tournaments let you test your skills.
You spend hours in class and at home developing your skills, drilling your throws, holdings and escapes, learning effective competition strategies, working on your strength and flexibility… isn’t it time to put that training to the test? Tournaments offer a safe and positive environment for you to showcase your abilities and learn about what you need to improve. You will get feedback from the judges, as well as other competitors, on what you did well and what you should work on.

Reason #2: Tournaments help you overcome your fears.
One of the benefits of martial arts training is the ability to stay calm and clear headed in stressful or dangerous situations. So how can a tournament help you to stay calm instead of panicking? Just ask anyone who has competed. When you step into the ring your adrenaline starts to flow. Your pulse quickens, you feel butterflies in your stomach, and your legs will feel heavy. This is a result of the “fight or flight” response, and in a tournament you will literally be conditioning your body and mind on how to handle these stresses. With each competition, you’ll become stronger and more confident. Tournaments force you OUT of your comfort zone, and while that doesn’t always sound pleasant, it is necessary for true growth.

Reason #3: Competition helps you stay motivated.
Like everything else in our life, our level of motivation never stays constant. We see this the most in children who are still learning about self-discipline, one day they are extremely motivated future black belts, the next day they want to quit altogether. Tournaments can help keep students motivated by providing them with “mini goals” throughout their training. Once you commit to competing in a tournament, you start to train harder. And then when you do compete, you feel a tremendous amount of pride in what you have accomplished.

Reason #4: You get to watch and learn from others.
When you train in your school, you usually end up competing with the same people, over and over again. You eventually get used to the way they randori, and can start to anticipate them. Going to tournaments allows you to compete against new people that can challenge you. Remember that even inside of a single Judo organization, each school will have its own unique style and personality, due to differences in the master instructors. So another benefit is that you may learn or see something you wouldn’t have seen just by attending your classes.

Reason #5: You will become closer to your fellow students.
Tournaments offer a unique bonding experience for students. As you train together for a common goal, travel to competitions and then compete with and cheer for each other, you will become closer. You will also have the chance to meet with and create friendships with students from other schools. Nothing brings people together like a shared experience.

In the end, the benefits of competing in tournaments are much greater than any reason you could have not to. It’s about more than just competing and winning trophies and medals, it’s about taking your martial arts journey to the next level. If you do have any reservations or concerns about competing, I urge you to talk to your instructor about them. I know that once you experience all that tournaments have to offer, you’ll be hooked and looking forward to the next one!

For Our Military and Police

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

No one sacrifices more for their community than the Military and Police who serve! How would you like to protect your service and engage in something that supplements and prepares you to go far beyond your requirements for PT, Military Combatives and Tactical Training? American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy partners with the Joint-Base Charleston and Local Law Enforcement to offer an opportunity to get into the best shape of your life, learn Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and better prepare you for life beyond your call of duty. This is also a great way to spend time with your family! Our tuition is affordable and the best value available in the Charleston area. We have special family discounts for ages 5 and up.  Nothing matters more to us than our students. Getting in shape is not easy but with the team at AJJA it can be fun and go so far beyond physical conditioning. We have programs for almost anyone on almost any schedule. Whether you want to be a competitor on the international stage or just enjoy Judo and BJJ as a recreational sport, our club is for you. Stop by today and see what we can do for you. A free week will show you what you have to gain! rp_group-fun-300x198.jpg

Junior Judo Summer Camps!!!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


AJJA SUMMER CAMPGive your child the chance to learn an Olympic Sport!
In this camp, your child will gain confidence,
lose weight, develop team work and leadership skills,
build strength and endurance, increase flexibility and
master critical thinking for life on and off the mat.
Black belt instructors teach classes that are full of
drills and games designed to build champion athletes.
Call and reserve your spot today!

The Closest A Family Can Get

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

group funThe closest a family can get is on the mat! Spring Break is here and summer is right around the corner. Do you want something positive for your kids to do? What about something you can do together as family? American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy might be right for you. An active lifestyle improves the quality of life for the whole family! Great exercise and expert instruction in Judo and BJJ can open doors that you never knew were there. Watch as your child’s confidence grows and they learn how solve problems in the healthiest ways. Through hard work, preparation and perseverance everyone in the family learns how to set and reach goals that can change their life forever. Doing something positive with your free time will bring your family closer than ever. We have a full schedule of fun and challenging classes for the whole family. Junior Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes teach the fundamentals of grappling in a safe atmosphere where the student comes first. With multiple instructors on the floor for every class, every student gets the personal attention they need to grow and progress. Competing in tournaments are a great way to take short road trips and build the bond that only a team can know. Training, competing and eating together offer the time to teach life lessons that stem from a healthy activity. Having professional coaches to offer nutrition counseling and lifestyle tweaks will lead to an improved quality of life on and off the mat. The reasons go on and on to try it out but maybe the most compelling reason is that it is free to try with no commitment if it’s not for you. Our classes are affordable and we offer private lessons for those that want to ease into the regular program or go beyond class and become a serious competitor. Come see what all the buzz is about in Summerville and bring your whole family or just bring yourself and we will do the rest. American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy are here to help your goals become a reality!

Judo Olympian Travis Stevens On His BJJ Journey

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

BJJ Rants: How did you find Judo and BJJ?

TS: I found judo on accident when I was 7. I signed up for the wrong sport at the local youth center and stuck with it. I found BJJ when I first moved to San Jose State for judo. I was looking for extra training sessions so I walked into AKA and started training with Dave Camarillo. I stayed there for about a year. Then almost 6 years later I stepped onto a BJJ mat again at Renzo Gracie’s Academy in NYC in March of 2012. I sought out Renzo’s because I suffered a terrible foot injury just months away from the games. And I needed to stay active and in shape so I figured why not BJJ my foot is bad but I should be able to sit on my butt and play guard. Then after a few moths there I fell in love with it.

BJJ Rants: Is there a big cultural difference between the Judo and BJJ Lifestyles?

TS: Judo and BJJ are exact opposites. In judo we are allowedd to train at other clubs without being considered a “traitor”. Yet most judo players are cold you could walk into a judo club in Japan and no one would say hello or help you out. It’s almost the mentality of you can be here but figure it out on your own. With BJJ you’re not allowedd or suppose to train at different clubs. Yet everyone individually in BJJ gets along great at least with the people I’ve met.

BJJ Rants: Can you share what a normal training routine would be for you?

7:15-8:15 no-gi BJJ
10:30-12 judo
12:30-1:45 running and sprints
2-3:30 lifting
6:30-8 judo
10:30-11:30 running (only 1 week out from departure of competition)

7-8:30 judo
12-1:30 BJJ
2-3:30 lifting
5:15-6:30 BJJ
10:30-11:30 running (only 1 week out from departure of competition)

7:15-8:15 no-gi BJJ
10:30-12 judo
12:30-1:45 running and sprints
6:30-8 judo
10:30-11:30 running (only 1 week out from departure of competition)

7-8:30 judo
12-1:30 BJJ
2-3:30 lifting
5:15-6:30 BJJ
10:30-11:30 running (only 1 week out from departure of competition)


Option 1                                                     Option 2:
7-8:30 judo                                              7-8:30 judo
8:45-9:15 running and sprinting     8:45-9:15 running sprinting
10:30-12 lifting                                       1:30-3:30 BJJ RGA Manhattan
6:30-9 BJJ                                                7-9:30 BJJ RGA Fort Lee Teo BJJ

11-12 BJJ Teo BJJ
12-1 no gi Teo BJJ
2-3:30 gi RGA Manhattan

BJJ Rants: What were some difficulties that you find yourself having in competition for Judo and BJJ? What advice could you give for competitors in competition?

TS:  Judo: my biggest difficulty is dealing with staying healthy. I’ve spent the last two years dealing with injury, after injury; so when I walk away from a competition injury free that’s the real victory for me at this point in time.

BJJ: My biggest difficultly is the scoring! In judo when there is a score, the referee signals it and verbally announces it for everyone to hear. In BJJ they just signal, so some times I look up and I’m just thinking to myself where did that come from and I’m clueless. I lose my focus trying to wrack my brain around how he got that point or advantage. But if I had to give advice to competitors it would be never become complaisant or have an attitude of “oh well better luck next time”. Strive for improvement there is always something to be learned or improved on.

BJJ Rants: Unlike most of the BJJ top names in competition today, you have actually competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics how has that experience helped you in big competition such as the IBJJF Mundials and Copa Podio?

TS: It doesn’t help at all. Judo and BJJ are not the same in anyway shape or form and anyone who thinks so has never done either at a high level. Yes they both complement each other but being good at one doesn’t make you good at the other it just means your learning curve is smaller. I wished it helped. I thought it would but, that was a huge mistake. When I go I to a judo competition I know exactly what to expect from every competitor in my weight class in the world there are no surprises so I can really game plan and mentally prepare. But in BJJ, I have no clue what’s going to happen. I don’t know what I’m going to be dealing with it’s all just spur of the moment type stuff. (I’m assuming that will change with experience in the sport) I’m sure the top guys in BJJ have game plans for everyone in there divisions. I couldn’t even name you one person in my division.

ts 3

BJJ Rants: You have competed a lot, who was your hardest competitor when you competed? And what changes have you made since then?

TS: There is no such thing as a hard competitor. Yeah there are skilled ones that give me problems but no one in judo gives me such a problem that I stay awake at night wracking my brain trying to figure out how I’m going to win. I know how to win it’s just executing it that’s difficult sometimes. But that being difficult is my fault. It has nothing to do with my opponents. In BJJ everyone is tough. I feel like a blind dog most of the time trying to sniff out his bone. And it’s not that I don’t know what to do or how to react I am just unsure of what the result will be every time we move. Every time I compete in BJJ, I find myself asking people on the side of the mat if I’ve scored or gotten an advantage or not. So I’m really nervous most of the time just because I don’t know the out come of each individual exchange. Like is he doing this for an advantage or a sweep? But that’s what I love about it it’s like a puzzle I need to figure out and there is no better way then trial by fire.

BJJ Rants: With such a busy schedule competing and doing so many Judo seminars, how do you fit teaching in your new academy in Massachusetts?

TS: I feel terrible every time I’m not at class with my students I truly love watching them grow and develop. I love to see the look on there faces when the “light bulb” goes off and the move they have been working on finally clicks. I’ve decided to cancel all seminars and I’ve put a price tag on all seminars for me at $5,000 plus air fair and hotel. Just because it’s not fair to my students who need me there teaching and mentoring to be gone all the time. But I’m fortunate enough to have help and when I’m gone I have a black belt who takes my class run class while I’m gone.

BJJ Rants: What would you say is your strongest asset to you in competition and why do you think it is to you?

TS: For judo my strongest asset is my aggression I can be a mean S.O.B. For BJJ though you can’t really approach the sport in that way. You don’t get very far so for BJJ I would say my ability to dictate where the fight is going to take place. Because of my judo I can almost assume 95% of all BJJ guys will pull which is nice but if I do get swept I’m very happy playing guard or deep half and I can quickly reverse the position and sweep back or just kick out and stand up. And go back to playing from top.


BJJ Rants: With so many jiu jitsu and judo events up ahead, which events have caught your eyes the most. Also, what about the rumors of you going into MMA?

TS: I’ve never heard any rumors of me doing MMA just a lot of people asking if I would. And if someone is willing to pay me I’ll glove up and fight. But until then ,I’ll stick to judo and BJJ. Well I’ve just finished the expo with a very disappointing performance. I’m so ashamed to even call myself a brown belt under Renzo and John Danaher with that performance. I just can’t figure out the rules and scoring system. I keep giving up points and advantages for no reason other than I just didn’t know that they would get points for it. So I’m constantly fighting a losing battle.  For that reason I’m not even sure when I will do another BJJ competition; other than Copa Podio on January 11 2014. But right now I feel like my Jiu Jitsu is good enough to win a world title. I can train with just about anyone and hold my own I just can’t figure out the score and strategies to BJJ. It’s sad to say but, that only comes with competition experience and with my judo schedule I just don’t know if and when I’ll be able to compete enough in BJJ to gain that knowledge. I’ve talked with a lot of top level BJJ guys to help me in this aspect but, it’s so foreign to me. It’s like trying to throw a ball with your opposite hand. For judo I’m finishing out the year with a Grand Prix in UAE, a Grand Slam in JPN, and the European Club Cup Championships in FRA. Judo will always be my main focus at least until after the 2016 Olympic Games. But I would like to clarify that I have every intention of wining an Olympic Gold Medal in Judo and a World Title at black Belt in BJJ along with an ADCC gold. Right now competitions like the expo and Copa Podio are all geared to gain knowledge so that when the time comes I’m ready to win those titles.

Brown Belt Promotion

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Brown Belt Test April 2014Congratulations to our newest Brown Belts! Dustin Peal received his Nikyu (Second Degree Brown Belt). Deron Ellington received his Sankyu (Third Degree Brown Belt). Thurston Linning received his Sankyu (Third Degree Brown Belt). Their test was amazing. They each demonstrated fifty throws as well as chokes, submissions and pinning combinations. This achievement is the result of hard work, dedication and countless hours of mat time.

Sincere appreciation goes out to the instructors who traveled in to sit on the evaluation board. This included Sensei Ben Bergwerf 9th Degree Black Belt in JuJitsu and 8th Degree Black Belt in Judo, Dr. Ronald Allan Charles 8th Degree Black Belt in Judo and 6th Degree Black Belt in JuJitsu and Renshi Curtiss Robinson 6th Degree Black Belt in Goshin-Jitsu. These high level black belts were impressed by the technical excellence and physical prowess of the Brown Belt Candidates and even recommended that they were beyond their new ranks in skill! This is a great honor for our club and these young men to have such distinguished members of the martial arts community feel so strongly in the quality of our program!

Al Jacobs and Eli Fletcher are the head instructors at AJJA. They could not have been more proud of Dustin, Deron and Thurston. The brown belt candidates demonstrated a great variety of technique at an expert level. The time spent on the mat shows and is a testament to the point that if you trust in the process, come to practice and try your hardest you will progress and become an expert one day.

Congratulations again guys! You Rocked The House!

Judo & BJJ Diet

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

healthy foodsEating a balanced diet is important for everyone. Whether you are an elite Judoka, an elementary school teacher or a builder, eating a balanced diet will mean you can perform everyday tasks to the best of your ability.

Eating a balanced diet means you will be getting all the essential nutrients needed for your body to function to the best of its ability. Making healthy food choices will ensure that you have enough energy to get through everyday life as well as enough energy to train to the best of your ability while on the mat.

A balanced diet takes planning, time and organizational skills but the reward of feeling awesome will greatly outweigh the hassle of eating a good, healthy, balanced diet.

Eating a balanced diet has been proven to lower the risk of illnesses such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Eating a balanced diet means eating a variety of different foods. This is not only beneficial, but you will not get bored with eating the same thing day in, day out.

In preparation for some Judo competitions I make sure that I know how much I am weighing a few weeks out form competition. Therefore it is important to be eating well and get the most out of the foods I eat.

Not only that, but the meal is extremely beneficial to lowering inflammation which is a leading cause in injury, I will also have a side of fish oil supplements to help not only with my recovery but in lowering the overall inflammation within my body. This is something I believe all Judo players should be aware of, and certain foods such as sugar, grains and dairy can really promote inflammation within the body which doesn’t help with injury prevention.

As a Judo player, recovery is extremely important, so is making weight!

The Ground Never Misses!

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The Ground Never MissesFree flying lessons at American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy! You learn how to land the first day, for safety! Ukemi (falling) is practiced every day. This will allow you to learn how to fight with confidence. As you get into shape, you will take harder falls and make harder throws but in the beginning everything is pretty easy going. Judo is for anyone of any age, size, gender or ability. The balance and power gained from Judo can help wrestlers become better wrestlers, football players become better football players and it can even help someone who has never gotten off the couch change their lifestyle and become a competitor! Come give class a try for free and see what it can do for you!

Hard Work

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

hard-work_takahashi-copyHard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. The key to tomorrow’s victories lie in today’s training. Never convince yourself that it’s too hard or you’re not talented enough. If you show up, put faith in your training and never give up then you are already a champion!

STRENGTH & MUSCLES FOR JUDO by Mark Lonsdale, Judo Training and Development

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments



By Mark Lonsdale, Judo Training Development


As we discussed in the previous article on fighting fitness, there is fit and there is fighting fit. So this begs the question, which muscles do we need for fighting and for judo? We already know that judo is one of those sports that requires almost every muscle when doing randori or competing, but which ones are the most important?


To explore this question, let’s start with a novice to judo. The first thing he or she learns in judo is usually ukemi (breakfalls), which does not require any particular muscles, but the rolling and falling does help to strengthen the core and build confidence. Therefore, the first real strength comes in gripping, and as you will often hear in judo, “No Grip – No Throw.” In other words, if you lose your grip you often lose the throw. Therefore grip strength found in hands, wrists, and forearms, is important and often a weakness that must be addressed with female athletes. The novice will develop this strength with regular judo practice but elite athletes may want to supplement this with more specific exercises, such as rope climbs or pull-ups with judogi sleeves over a pull-up bar.


Teddy Riner (FRA)

Teddy Riner (FRA)


However, the novice also learns quite quickly that it requires leg strength to lift someone, particularly with the thigh muscles. Leg power is also important in reaping throws such as osoto-gari, plus the legs are integral to developing attack speed and balance. Balance comes from all the small muscles and tendons in the toes, feet, and ankles. Again, uchi-komi, nage-komi, and randori help to develop these areas over time, but this can be supplemented with exercises on a bongo-board.


At the more advanced level, when you watch an experienced judoka execute a throw, you will see the drive that he or she develops, mostly coming from the lower leg and calf muscles. This driving power is a critical component to finishing many techniques. Toe lifts, sprints, running stairs, and plyometric jumps all help to develop the required explosive leg power.


Many throws also have a turning or twisting component which requires good core strength in the abdominals, obliques, and back. Strong back and abs also prevents an opponent from bending you over, while allowing you to block attacks and execute counters such as ushiro-goshi. The pulling and lifting component of a throw should come from the trunk and legs, but it does not hurt to have strong arms as well.


Where arm strength becomes even more important is in ground fighting (newaza). Often times, escaping from a hold can be similar to executing a bench-press movement, combined with a bridge-turn. Working for a turnover, breaking out an armbar, or digging for a choke or strangle all require good hand and arm strength, particularly in the forearms. The force multiplier for the arms is in the shoulders and upper back. Ground fighting also draws on abdominal strength. If you are trying to resist a choke or strangle it is helpful to have strong neck muscles, which are also important in those bridge-turn escapes.


So in a one-page description of judo, you will have realized that the judoka uses almost every muscle in judo. This is not by chance but by design. Jigoro Kano put a lot of time and thought into selecting the techniques for judo, not just to limit injuries but also to exercise the entire body. Professor Kano’s goal, all along, was to develop a comprehensive form of physical education and human development, embodied within the value system of bushido and the martial arts.


To conclude, if a judoka has limited time for supplemental strength training, then the priorities would be core strengthening exercises, grip strengthening, and developing explosive leg power. All of these can be done in the judo dojo with a minimum of equipment, in most cases with just a training partner.

Judo and BJJ for Self Defense

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

1546349_1437824956451723_574744900_nJudo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are martial arts that have become popular sports. Self Defense is not a separate piece of the puzzle. They are made of the same cloth. When we train there are rules in place to govern what we practice, how we practice and manage the risk of practice. For example, we do not gouge the eye out of a training partner when they attempt their throw. We would run out of eyes after two attempts. How good can we be after trying something two times? Rules and safety are foremost in our training and competition. This allows for thousands of repetitions to refine our skills and make them second nature. Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu were developed to be practiced with intensity and resistance in competition and intensity and compliance in practice. This is the heart of what makes them effective. If you only go through the motions, what will happen when someone resists? If you only fight and never learn technique then you will waste energy and never have an arsenal of effective techniques. Practice is the key. A one hour class can open your eyes to the necessity of training but it can never prepare you for a would be attacker that is stronger, larger or meaner.

We have a women in our program that are initially intimidated by the prospect of fighting a man. After many practices, they are throwing men twice their size effortlessly and immobilizing them with submissions and chokes until the man submits. This is a very empowering feeling. This empowerment many times is the true key to self defense. Knowing with confidence that you have worked hard to gain a set of skills makes you stronger and more prepared. Nothing comes easy and nothing is a guarantee. However, if you better prepare yourself your chances of being attacked or subdued shrink considerably. The confidence gained is usually enough to avoid becoming a victim all together. Wolves don’t usually attack wolves, they attack sheep. The sheep do not pose a threat. Most instances someone resisting an attacker is enough for him to decide it isn’t worth it.

We have women in our program of all ages, sizes and skill levels who are happy to train with anyone and have confidence in their ability. Anna is one of our fiercest competitors, not just for women but for the whole gym. She is pictured above throwing Sensei Eli with her awesome uchimata! Come meet her and the team at American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy and see what all the buzz is about. We work hard to have a realistic, strong, competitive and family friendly program. Hope to see you soon and remember it is better to be prepared and not need than need and not be prepared!

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

group ajjaAt American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy part of the pride of our program is our diverse group of students and instructors. Martial arts can be for anyone! We have a large staff of black belts at our disposal each night. Many of us are from different parts of the country and have different backgrounds professionally as well as in our training. The one thing that brings us all together is the love to help kids and adults find what what works for them in Judo and BJJ. A passion, love and respect for the art can be felt on the mats any night of the week. From our highly knowledgeable 8th Degree Black Belt (Hachidan) Dr. Ronald Allan Charles, all the way to our newest white belts, everyone brings something special to the table at AJJA! You can’t get better without training partners that want to get better and push you in the right direction. Beginner to Master, this is a club that will help you grow into a stronger competitor, instructor, recreational martial artist or maybe, just a better you. With an emphasis on exercise and real life application, our realistic methods of instructing and training will better prepare you for whatever the world throws your way. We believe that in order to improve the mutual welfare and benefit of our community, it starts at the beginning of every class and never ends. Training minds and bodies is our opportunity to help the world, by bettering the individual. Our group is ready to help you! Stop by anytime and be a part of something great!

Reaching the Community

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

2014-03-27_12_2.31.30 This week, we performed a demonstration at Gregg Middle School (Summerville, SC) for their Health Fair. We wanted kids to get a chance to see Judo and BJJ up close and realize the healthy lifestyle they promote. For seven, one hour classes we showcased throws and grappling techniques to display the level of conditioning and skill that practicing Judo and BJJ provide for those who take the journey. 1100 kids “oooohed and ahhhhed” at the hard falls and slick submissions. Mostly, they asked how bad it hurt. We explained that the first thing you learn is how to fall (Ukemi) without being injured and how to train safely under the supervision of professionals.

At American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy, helping the community is foremost in our mind. We created our schedule and tuition to make our classes easily accessible to anyone of any background. The positive effects training has on teens especially is amazing. You arrive to a culture of respect and discipline and are challenged by mastering something that simply takes time and dedication. Goal setting, positive outlook, perseverance and work ethic are just some of the life lessons taught in Judo and BJJ. The nutrition and exercise associated with competing make it an all around benefit to the practitioner for life. We make the world a better place, one student at a time and help people become the champion of their own life! Train Hard, Help Others and as always, See Ya On The Mat!

Creating Champions On And Off The Mat!

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

kids competeOur Junior Program gives kids the chance to learn from Champions. They don’t just learn how win at a tournament, they learn how to win at life. Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teach kids how to think critically, how to prepare for obstacles ahead, how to overcome adversity, how to be confident and fearless and to trust their coaches and their team. We know there are a lot of sports to choose from. Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are year around with an impressive safety record and an international community that may only be matched by Soccer world wide. While training is a team effort, competing is a something that a student must face alone on the mat. Their coach and team may be cheering from the sidelines but they are the star during their match. Everyone makes the team if they want to be on it. Some kids just want to learn and don’t like competition. We can help these young men and women become champions as well! The physical and mental health benefits of martial arts are well documented. Articles like the one below are all over the internet! Check it out!

“When considering extracurricular activities for your children, to boost not only physical health but also mental health, consider activities such as Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Providing a health benefit, many families are turning to martial arts as not only a recreational activity but one that fosters an improvement in overall health.


So, how do martial arts improve the health of parents and their children? First, there is a notable boost in self-esteem. Because martial arts are commonly taught as a method for self defense, both parents and children often experience a boost in self-esteem and confidence after completing several sessions. This is especially true for children who are generally considered to be unassertive. With lessons in martial arts techniques, your shy and timid child will soon become more assertive in varying aspects of life outside of the classroom.

Since martial arts programs tend to focus on defense programs, many parents find the programs are useful in assisting children who may be victims of bullying at school. Without teaching a child to become aggressive, martial arts can provide your child with the necessary tools to ward off the school bully through a powerful mind and body connection.

In terms of physical and psychological help, martial arts have been shown to make a profound impact on children, and adults, with ADD and ADHD. Because children who suffer from ADD and ADHD commonly lack the ability to focus and concentrate, martial arts, through repetition and structure, provide some structure and focus to the student’s life. Ultimately, this may help the child, or adult, apply those same principles in their activities outside of the classroom thereby alleviating, or controlling, the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. ”  – Christine Cadena

All-Star athletes and kids that have never gotten off the couch can all benefit in our grappling programs! Give us a chance and we guarantee we can create champions, on and off the mat!



A story of loss and a story of gain!

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

matt schnarrOne of our students, Matt Schnarr, wanted to share his story. He came to us almost a year ago in these Size 40 Levis with a desire to lose weight, get stronger and improve the quality of his life. He also wanted to learn Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! Well, almost a year later he has lost 65 pounds the right way, slowly and steadily through proper nutrition and exercise. He competed in his first Judo tournament this year in the under 100 Kilo division! This is one of many goals he set for himself and drove towards with fierce determination. He doesn’t miss class, he eats sensibly and he never gives up! That is all it takes when you have a team that fights for you every night on the mat. We all benefit one another and in this way we make the world a better place! See ya on the mat, Matt!

Amazing Junior Program!

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

kids class 483 kids class 508Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are year around sports that offer children (and adults) the opportunity to compete at local, regional, national and international competitions. All over the world, these martial arts are consistent in their regulations and traditions. This creates an atmosphere of community. The community is one of respect and self-improvement. The focus and determination provided by Judo and BJJ have helped millions of people realize their goals and their true potential. Strong minds, bodies and spirits are what Judo and BJJ create!

At our academy the focus is on the student. Our Junior Program has grown so much over the last year because of the positive results our Juniors have shown at home, school and on the mat! Come and try a free week and see for yourself what we can do for you!

Our first Randori Night!

Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

aja randori nightThis is a group shot from our first Randori Night! Randori Night is a special event that American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy hosts leading up to major tournaments. What makes this event so special is we invite (free of charge) other Judo and Jiu-Jitsu schools from the area to come and participate in a 2 hour class every Thursday within a month. This class consists of an intense warm up and then matches organized in the style of competition. This is a great way to prepare for competition and we have hosted 16 events since this first one. It is a great way to gather local talent, have a great time and share tournament techniques! Come check us out and stay posted for our next Randori Night Month coming soon!

The closest a family can get is on the mat!

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There is no better way to connect with your family members than training hard together and working towards a common goal. The fun memories of when your kids throw you for the first time will last forever. Sisters will pin brothers and moms will get a chance to choke dad all in a safe, structured, family atmosphere. Judo and Jiu-Jitsu share in the principal of promoting mutual well-being for others. This means we all work very hard to make each other better and thus we improve the world. We offer the best exercise for your body, mind and spirit! Come spend some real quality time with your family today! ajja family

Get in shape with a team!

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment


Getting in shape isn’t easy. However, with a team and an exciting sport, it can be fun. You won’t even know two hours have gone by and you’ve worked harder than you ever have before! By becoming mentally engaged in Judo everything else seems to fade away. It demands your focus and full attention. Nothing feels better than leaving it all on the mat with your team that becomes a family. It takes a relationship to push anyone towards their goals and potential. Come give it a try. A free week means you have nothing to lose….except the weight you don’t want! Start Now!

Why we do Judo!

Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Judo is many things to many people. The training and development of Judo offers students the opportunity to have fun as a team, get in the best shape of their lives, compete at local, regional, national and internationally sanctioned tournaments and learn a safe and effective martial art that is practiced the world over. Judo is the second largest sport under soccer on a global scale. The season is never over and everyone makes the team. For some, Judo is way to improve their lifestyle and be part of something healthy and positive! Stop by and see what Judo will do for you or just call for more information. Don’t wait. You can change your life right now! KIDSAJJA


Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy 2-22-14

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Great Job American Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy taking the team trophy home from Sgt. Major Mayfields Judo Open!

We owe it all to our great coach Al Jacobs!!!! Thank you Sensei Al!!!

Levi Mata Silver

Justin Mata Bronze

Max Negreiros Bronze

Sean Jacobs Silver

David Rundell Silver

Anthony Vaccarro Silver

Rob Gouthro 2 Golds

Glen Chears Bronze

Heather Morrison Gold

Gafar Odufuye Silver

Marshall Peagler Gold

Andy Zylks Silver

Matt Morris Gold & Bronze

Deron Ellington 2 Silver

Thurston Linning Gold & Bronze

Anna Putnam 2 Golds

Eli Fletcher 1 Gold 1 Bronze

Sandy Austero 4th

John Merwin 4th

Ray Burnett 4th

Matt Schnarr 4th2-22-14 Judo Tournament NC

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Arianna Perez Putnam National Champion!

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Our Team | 0 comments

Arianna Perez Putnam National Champion!

Winner of 2013 National Tournament – Arianna Perez Putnam!

Welcome to AJJA!

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Our Team, slider | 0 comments

Welcome to AJJA!


Judo and BJJ are Sports for Everyone

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Our Team, slider | 1 comment

Judo and BJJ are Sports for Everyone

aja randori nightOn an average night at AJJA there will be at least 4 Black Belt instructors. Everyone receives an awesome amount of personal instruction and our ultimate goal is to make these amazing martial arts available to everyone. You will have the opportunity to train with and learn from some of the most accomplished instructors in the country at AJJA. We also strive to bring in World Champions and Guest Instructors throughout the year to give perspective and something fresh to our students as added value. Come and see why training with the best can help your travel down the path of Judo and BJJ be safe, enjoyable and the most rewarding experience available. Call today or stop by and try a free trial.

Junior Programs

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Our Team, slider | 5 comments

Junior Programs

We have 3 distinct Junior programs for different ages and abilities! Everyone is welcome at AJJA and we work hard to cultivate a family atmosphere and a team culture built on strong character and values. Check us out for free and see how much your son or daughter loves Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. They’ll have so much fun, they’ll forget how hard they’re working out!2016-fall-schedule

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