Its with great pleasure and honour that former World Judo Champion and twice Olympic medalist Neil Adams has sat down with us and given the Self Defence Expert and Judokafighter.com this exclusive interview.
In this interview Neil talks about how he developed his famous arm lock, the benefits of Judo and BJJ cross training and also the need for Kazushi training.
Im sure you will agree its a brilliant interview and I have included some of his videos to enhance the article.
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1. Hi Neil thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I know you are really busy, and on that subject could you tell us what the average day in the life of Neil Adams looks like. You never seem to stop working and promoting Judo.
My average day is as normal as possible when ever I can, taking my kids to school , working out ( One hour for me each day) and working on the business that Niki and I have which is a Coach Education business aimed at developing the technical and tactical levels of coaches and improving their levels of presentation. I am also the lead commentator for the International Judo Federation and travel to 23 different Countries each year to commentate the top Judo tournaments .
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2. Grappling is huge now and I’ve noticed a product you have created which are resistance bands with a twist. Could you tell me more about them and how you came to bring them out?
The Uchi komi or resistant bands have been around for a long time and I have used them all the way through my career. We have modified them with specialized grips that emulate a judo jacket and also introduced different resistances so that they are adaptable for children to use. If they are too strong then they do not have the required effect. We use them for resistance training but also to emulate a judo turn-in which co-ordinates the hands, feet, body and head all at the same time.
3. The kuzushi revolution is a great campaign, however could you explain to our non Judo readers just what kuzushi is
Kuzushi is the breaking of the opponent’s balance. With the correct pulling or pushing action with the hands, we take the opponent off centre or off their balance lines and the technique is therefore much easier to execute. This is where the power of the throw comes from. Kuzushi should start the technique and then finish it.
4. I was once told that Judo is among the most demanding sports on a person’s fitness. In fact i was told you dont do Judo to get fit, you have to be fit to do Judo. How can a Judoka use your kuzushi bands to develop their fitness?
All kinds of fitness are relative to how you train for the discipline that you need to perform at. It’s a case of Fit? Fit for what? If you are training for a Marathon you need longer distances in training and if you want a particular time achieved then your pace that you train at is very important. If you want to be ‘fit” for judo then your training has to be related to the sport and you have to exercise the muscle groups that will be needed. The intensity of the training and the amount of sparring done is determined on the level of the Judoka and their goals. The Kusushi bands are just one of the training aids that can be used at all levels of preparation.
5. Judo has come under a lot of scrutiny of late as BJJ is growing so fast and many feel that this may be effecting the ability Judos growth. I saw a recent interview you did where you felt Judo and BJJ could learn from each other. Could you expand on how people involved in the sports can achieve this collaberation?
I do many seminars for BJJ and Jujitsu groups and also for Karate groups as well. I think that because Judo is the all round martial art with throwing, groundwork, armlocking and strangling that each one of these martial arts can draw something from the sport of Judo that could help them. On the other side of that Jujitsu and BJJ have specialized with certain aspects of their training and many Judoka are now working with these groups to improve certain aspects of their games. We all work with each other.
6. Your Juji Gatame is known across the world. Just how did you get your armbar to that standard
In 1978 I was beaten by someone on the ground and I said afterwards that it would never happen again. It made me focus.
After deciding that I needed a technique to work on and watching a friend of mine, Alexander Yaskervitch, win an important match with it, I decided to start with Jujigatame . I worked relentlessly with it and performed it my own way and was never afraid to try it in every opportunity. I became a hunter with it and chased it until it was almost second nature.
7. You have seen more Judo than most, which Judoka have inspired you over your career and which currently active Judoka do you advise people to study and learn from?
A very good friend of mine Kashiwazaki sensei is one of the best Judo newaza people that I have ever seen. He is a genius. The other on the look out for is Katanishi sensei who has many training aids on the internet and has some incredible Judo.
8. Your bands have been out for a while now, what kind of feedback are you getting from people who have them?
We are getting great feedback from the bands. It is like many things it is about educating people as to how to use them properly and how they can help them to develop their particular skill sets. A lot of light bulbs are going off and people are starting to realise the importance of kuzushi. They now realize the real ethos behind Kano’s philosophy: Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort.
9. And finally. Do you think other martial arts like BJJ can benefit from using them?
Absolutely they can help. BJJ and jujitsu especially need throwing skills and drills. They just need to attend some of my seminars as well reevaluate their purpose. Not only does it help with focusing you on training the technique and the stages needed to make it most effective, but also, helps develop overall strength as it is creating muscle memory for the arms, legs, core, and head when when done correctly.
Thanks Neil Adams for that amazing interview.
For those of you who want to learn more from Neil or to buy his Kazushi bands or his other products please go to his website Neil Adams Effective Fighting by clicking here
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