How did you get into Judo? How long have you been doing it?
I joined a free Judo class at a Morale, Welfare and Recreation gym with my brothers and have been practicing it since I was six years old.
Do you study any other martial arts?
I have dabbled in Jiu Jitsu over the years but try to focus mainly on Judo.
Ronda Rousey is the first woman to ever medal at the Olympics for the USA? (Have there been anymore) (Ronda was the first, I was the second, Kayla Harrison took the first ever Judo gold at the Olympics for the USA in London). Has she been a lot of talk around the Judo community since her UFC super stardom and being in movies etc.?
Yes, Ronda is one of the most exciting MMA athletes to watch and with her roots in Judo, I am pulling for her. The attention she has been receiving is well-deserved and is the product of an excellent work ethic.
Do you train any other martial arts or would you ever be interested in transitioning to MMA? Do you watch the UFC or any other MMA organization?
I am not interested in practicing MMA at this juncture in my martial arts career, although I do enjoy watching. I consider myself a “Judo purist.”
Some of the best takedowns or flash, as you will, is a lot of Judo Trips and Throws. It really gets the crowd going. Are there any fighters you specifically like to watch?
I enjoy watching Ronda Rousey – she’s an amazing fighter. Having competed against her growing up, I can say that she is nothing but a professional both on and off the mat. I am also a huge fan of Daniel Cormier, who is also an Olympic medalist in wrestling and a great person in and out of the octagon.
What are you future plans and goals?
Currently, I’m training around-the-clock with the San Jose State Judo team and my coaches, Mike Swain and Shintaro Nakano, for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, where I hope to win gold. Before then, I will be traveling to compete in elite Olympic qualifiers around the world, including the World Championships this August in Kazakhstan, where I also hope to take the title.
Additionally, as a Dollamur Sport Surfaces’ athlete, training on their high-performance mats has provided me with the peace-of-mind to push myself to the next level safely and efficiently.
Do you have any tutorial videos or techniques you can share with us that may be your favorite or go-to move?