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Upcoming events: Don't really know. I couldn't compete at the first tournament of the because I had to follow four players. I am not training judo more than twice a week because other times I have to train the others. I truly enjoy medium-high intensity training combined with technical training, and I miss it.

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Upcoming - Saturday, November 5, 2016 Sankaku International Tournament (Bergamo, Italy)

Sunday, October 31, 2016 Coppa Italia (Italy Cup) Qualification (Naples, Italy)

-73kg Match 1:
Short match.

Match 1 vs. Valerio Chierchia

-73kg Match 2:
My opponent is a younger play from one of the clubs where I train, so I talked to his coach beforehand to see if they want me to forfeit the match to give him the win. In the Italy Cup qualification, every five players can qualify one person to the national final, we were eleven in -73kg that day, so four players can qualify (because of the two third places). So I told them I can give the win to him. They wanted me to fight, and I did a friendly match with him, giving him the match by two penalties.

Match 2 vs. Salvatore Capuozzo

-73kg Match 3:
In the fight for third place, my opponent again is a younger play from one of the clubs where I train. I asked him if he really wants to go to the final, and if he does, I will not fight him and give him the match as a gift. So I forfeited the match and did not show and made him very happy. It means much more to him than me to go to the final.

Saturday, October 15, 2016 Grand Prix Turin (Turin, Italy)

-73kg Match 1:
I was somehow overweight by about 0.5kg the morning of the competition and have not fully recuperated from the hectic and tiresome previous two weeks. So I felt more tired than I should. Still, I ended up being able to match well against all my opponents.

Match 1 vs. Marcello Fanzini.

-73kg Match 2:
My opponent is a young and up-comer from Rome. We were evenly matched until I got countered for my poor foot technique attempt for wazari and I could not recover the score after that. He ended up going to the final eventually, winning all except one match by ippon.

Match 2 vs. Davide Ripandelli

-73kg Match 3:
My first repechage match was agains this French opponent whom I really thought I could beat. In fact I caught him with a yoko-tomoe-nage for yuko, before he evened the score with some dubious technique. We ended up in golden score and the referee give a yuko for what obviously was a yuko from his dubious and feeble drop seio-nage attempt.

Match 3 vs. Collin Agnes

Saturday, October 8, 2016 Trofeo Lombardia, last part of the Italian Master National Championships (Ciserano, Italy) - 2nd place

-73kg Match 1:
Once again, my opponent and I found each other in a match, shortly after our fight a month ago. This time I finished with a rolling perpendicular okuri-eri-jime.

Match 1 vs. Alessandro Zanttiero.

-73kg Match 2:
He was strong and very defensive throughout the match. However, I was very happy to capitalize on the grip and attack to finish with an ippon using o-soto-gari.

Match 2 vs. Giuseppe Gasparro

-73kg Match 3:
It was a long match, I felt tired and slow. It should not have gone as long and I ended up losing by a penalty in golden score when he pushed me out of bound. Certainly I did not expect to lose this one in the final.

Match 3 vs. Massimiliano Nobile

Saturday, September 10, 2016 Italy Open Master Judo Championships (Follonica, Italy) - First place

-73kg Match 1:
I fought him at last year's World Master Championships, and this match was almost a replay of last year's.

Match 1 vs. Daniele Calzoni.

-73kg Match 2:
I fought him at last year's edition of this event, and won by osae-komi. This year I got yuko, wazari and ippon.

Match 2 vs. Francesco Bertoncini

-73kg Match 3:
After going through my record by chance, I realized that I found this opponent seven years ago at another tournament when we were both much younger.

Match 3 vs. Alessandro Zanttiero

Sunday, April 10, 2016 U. S. National Championships (Dallas, U. S.)

Open Match 1:
I knew who I am up against. The famous Tokozu Takahashi who is practically undefeated since moving to the U. S. I stood little chance. Still, I have to try. I wanted to grip and attack, come in and out, not to give him a chance to settle on his dominant grip. In addition, I tried hard to not let him take the lapel grip and I succeeded in doing it. However, once he got over the shoulder grip on my back, he attached with uchi-mata and I was launched mid-air and landed for ippon. The good things about fighting someone like this is that he has good control so I won’t get hurt, and he will certainly go to the semi-final and pull me through.

Match 1 vs. Tokozu Takahashi (JPN)

Open Match 2:
My opponent is a talented young player who just beat yesterday’s -100kg senior vice-champion Andrew Jacobs by ippon with an uchi-mata. I made speed and high frequency attack my strategy. In the beginning I was caught with a de-ashi-barai when I tried to do ko-uchi-gari on him, and later he threw me with a uchi-mata for wazari. I came back strong and caught him with a ko-uchi-maki-komi and threw him on his back, I thought it was ippon at the moment, but only wazari was called. He was exhausted, and I was tired. I thought I could win if I just keep on attacking. I came for an attack but failed and put myself vulnerable for a strangle, in defending the strangle I turned the wrong way and he pinned me with my arm trapped. Being tired and under a 100kg guy, I couldn’t really escape. But, I believe had I not made that error, it is very possible to win this match.

Match 2 vs. Harun Bogdanic (SRB)

Mr. Takahashi ended up beating everyone except his opponent in the final by uchi-mata, and in the final it was even shorter than my match. Takahashi threw Joshua White with a ko-soto-gari and pinned him for the win.

M1 -73kg Match 1
The M1 -73kg division was small but high quality, full of current and former elite players. My first match I had another leftie, David Beckman from Tokon Judo in Chicago. He was physically strong, although I was able to get in some throws, but I could not score. We went to golden score and reached the limit of golden score (in master I believe it is 1 minute golden score). I won by judge’s decision.

Match 1 vs. David Beckman

Match 2
The next match was against Adam Moyerman, a friend whom I never fought in competition. I think he won bronze medal two or three times as a senior in -73kg at the U. S. National Champinoships. He is also quite strong. I got a penalty for briefly grabbing one side. We were evenly matched until the last half a minute where I came for an attack and we ended up in newaza, I knew he had a good transition but did not feel particularly threatened. However, he caught me with a sankaku-gatame and turned me over. I was too tired and did not escape. Good job to him in catching me in the first sankaku-gatame in all my competitive career.

Match 2 vs. Adam Moyerman

The last match was again another leftie, and it was a full match, decided by a single shido to give me the win. I ended up second place.

Match 3 vs. Garry Tana

I was really drained physically by now, and I still had session 3: Master Open.

In the Open division, I have three fights scheduled. The first one was against a very heavy and stocky opponent. I came right away with a yoko-tomoe-nage, and scored yuko. I continued into newaza and eventually caught him in okuri-eri-jime for the win.

Match 1 vs. Demonn Smith - was not recorded properly.

The second match I fought David Beckman, another -73kg, whom I have beated earlier in the M1 division. I was leading by two penalties, then I came in for a weak attack and he countered me for a yuko. He ended up winning this match.

Match 2 vs. David Beckman

The third match I fought Peter Stanley, who had won a bronze medal in the +100kg senior division the day before and took first place in the +100kg M1 division. He was also third place in the 2015 World Master Championships M1 +100kg division. My tactic was to not let me establish a dominant grip, and just keep attacking. My attempt landed me a penalty in the first twenty seconds. He initially caught me with a ura-nage when I came for an ippon-seio-nage, and I landed enough on my side to be a wazari. Then I came back and caught him with a ko-uchi-maki-komi for wazari. Now we are even. I knew it is possible to win this match, but I made a tactical error of attacking with yoko-tomoe-nage without setting it up well enough. He passed my legs and ended up pinning me. I couldn’t get out and lost. However, his scores all came from my failed attacks. I think if I had a different approach winning could be within reach.

Match 3 vs. Peter Stanley


Saturday, April 9, 2016 U. S. National Championships (Dallas, U. S.)

First match I drew Arthur Guhkasyan, from Kenam Dojo in Los Angeles. He is a left-handed player. I attacked continuously but he only received one penalty for passivity. Later when he attacked with one hip technique after another, I defended and got a penalty for passivity, which is puzzling. I got him in the air three times with yoko-tomoe-nage, including one which he fell on his side, but no score was given. Another one I landed him into position for an arm bar, but the angle was a bit off so I could not finish it. I felt more tired than usual as my forearms were sore. I did not expect this feeling as I had been doing many randoris when I was in Beijing. I attribute it to the lack of intense warm up or just the traveling. So we went to golden score, and in golden score he came for a bad drop seio-nage, I pointed it out to the referee that it should be a false attack, instead, my opponent took advantage of this and pulled me down and did a turn over in newaza, but it was nothing. Yet, the referee stopped the match and gave a wazari! I don’t understand how it could be possible to give score for a turn over in newaza. He lost his next match to Salama Salem from Tech Judo (New Jersey) by a penalty, and Salem went on to take second place. So I was out.

Match 1 vs. Arthur Guhkasyan

I performed 3 yoko-tomoe-nage. At least one got him to his side and into position for juji-gatame. Forget about the juji-gatame, where is the yuko for continuous action? If someone had done a drop seio-nage, and continued to rotate and pull, it would have been a yuko. I believe the referees were too focused on the transition to juji-gatame and totally neglected the fall.
Match 1 action analysis - first tomoe-nage
Match 1 action anaysis - second tomoe-nage
Match 1 action analysis - last second attack using tomoe-nage

Highlight of my techniques, two ko-uchi-gari
Ko-uchi-maki-komi against +100kg player
Ko-uchi-maki-komi 2 against -100kg player

Saturday, March 19, 2016 Grand Prix - Giano di Umbria (Terni, Italy)

After being sick for a month and training judo only once a week, I decided to use this tournament to test myself. I did exactly as expected - out of shape, and static.

I went without focus, underestimated my opponent and got caught in a counter to my sloppy foot-sweep technique, fell and almost got caught in a juji-gatame. He changed position to tate-shiho-gatame as I defended well. I thought osae-komi is called so I tried to escape, during which I lost the grip of my own lapel and he was able to straighten my arm. I ended the match in disbelief as the last time I was caught in a juji-gatame was more than three years ago. I thought that was it because if he wins the next few rounds and make to the quarter-final he would face one of my former teammates who is not a professional judo player in the military. I though my opponent will not have a chance.

Match 1 vs. Riccardo Coppola

My opponent who beat me ending up beating the odds in the quarter-final by catching this strong opponent with a juji-gatame. So that puts me back in the game. The repechage I felt static, but I won the second match.

Match 2 vs.

Match 3 I won by default and went straight to Match 4. This was a even match with me doing most of the attacks and getting most of the penalties. It ended 2 to 1 penalities.

Match 4 vs. Joshua Accardi



Sunday, December 6, 2015 First Experimental Tournament of Freestyle Judo +73kg (Foligno, Italy)

Again, I came to this tournament mainly for one of my students to give him more experience. It is a small tournament so I volunteered to fight and get a feeling of fighting under modified old rules, and ended up fighting +73kg. My opponents were 81kg to 94kg who train judo, MMA and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Leg grab attacks did not change my judo much, nor gave me some extra scores. I ended up playing judo mostly like how I usually play, except with more time in newaza. I'm glad to take first place under different rules and finishing all matches by ippon in newaza. This tournament concludes 2015 competition for me.

They asked me if I mind fighting their 94kg player, and I agreed. I won the match with a koshi-jime.

Match 1 vs. Michele Babusci

My second opponent normally fights at -81kg, and I felt he is very strong physically. In fact he was able to counter my momentum when I tried a kata-guruma, but eventually I finished the match with a juji-gatame

Match 2 vs. Ciro Babusci

We had a rematch in this round-robin format and again I did a juji-gatame.

Match 3 vs. Ciro Babusci

Saturday, October 17, 2015 City of L'Aquila Tournament -73kg (L'Aquila, Italy)

I was not training much after the World Championships, and came to this tournament mainly for one of my students to give her more experience. In fact I ended up participating only because my divisino begins after hers so I thought to do it since I came a long way alrady. I was not prepared and had little sleep (4 hours), so while I ended up with a bronze medal, it still accentuates the fact that without adequate preparation, a tournament can be tough. Every tournament is a new experience without consideration of previous result. However, I am glad I had my longest ground work in a match.

In the first match I caught my opponent in a sankaku-jime several times and had the longest continuous newaza in a match that I have ever had in Italy.

Match 1 vs. Adriano D'Ambrosio

I actually caught him in a juji-gatame armbar to pin transition and the referee stopped the action. The jury gestured and looked at him incredulously but we had to restart standing.

Match 2 vs. Jacopo De Angelis

A tough opponent who is very defensive, but I simply ran out of stamina and did not defend his attack well and lost.

Match 3 vs. Luigi Chetry

Another tough opponent in the final for the bronze medal, and I was very tired. However, I really wanted to come back with a medal and pushed hard in this match. I caught him in the last seconds and won with two wazaris.

Match 4 vs. Gianmario Cappella

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 World Championships -73kg M1 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This is the one competition of the year that I actually took time to really prepare, unlike all the other ones. I was in good (not top shape compared to when I was training full-time) shape, and felt rested the day of the competition. It went well and became the highlight of my year when I took the silver medal in the final. After a disappointing 5th place last year, finally I got my medal.

Here are the five matches

Match 1 vs. Hamid Noor (GER)

Match 2 vs. Daniel Calzoni (ITA)

Match 3 vs. Vincent Blom (NED)

Tough Polish oppoent who is short and stocky. He made a mistake of habitually grabbing my leg and got disqualified and put me through to the final.

Match 4 vs. Bartosz Garsztecki (POL

The final was an exciting match which I was quite aggressive against my Russian opponent. He did not receive penalty of stepping out of bound several times yet I did. With less than 40 seconds to do, I had to risk a big attack, but it did not pay off.

Match 5 vs. Maksim Mustafin (RUS)

Sunday, September 6, 2015 Italian Open Grand Prix -73kg M1 (Follonica, Italy)

I did this as a warm-up tournament to the upcoming World Championships (Master). I brought some students with me. Although I won it, I felt I did not do the throws I wanted.

Won by koshi-jime (okuri-eri-jime)

Match 1 vs. Alessandro Vallesi

Very defensive opponent, but I won on penalty.

Match 2 vs. Fabrizio Caprari

This one I couldn't work in a good forward throw, so I had to do another ko-uchi-maki-komi.

Match 3 vs. Francesco Bertoncini

Saturday, May 30, 2015 Italy Cup National Championships -73kg (Crotone, Italy)

First match wasn't too bad, won by ippon (ko-uchi-maki-komi)

Match 1 vs. Emilio Pozzoli

My second opponent is a strong junior who medalled at the Italian U23 Championships. Although he is strong, I did most attacks, yet I got penalized more. I ended up losing on penalties. He is from Calabria and this is an event in Calabria with many local referees. Naturally, the penalties has to go to the foreigner.

Match 2 vs. Andrea Gismondo (partial video)

Saturday, May 16, 2015 Italy Cup qualification (Campania) -73kg (Caserta, Italy)

I actually did not plan to participate at all since I qualified in 2013 and they "found" a problem with my judo registration and blocked my participation for almost two years. Instead, I was notified that my registration problem is finally fixed just one week before this event. I am not even preparing for competition. However, being the home club, I thought just to give it a try regardless. Even though I am not in good shape, I was able to qualify.

A judo friend from a friend club I had to fight the first round, so I took my time and tried not to go too hard. I won with a combination of ko-uchi-gari gaeshi and yoko-shiho-gatame.

Match 1 vs. Vincenzo Capuano

I face my opponent whom I fought and beat twice before, recently at the CSEN National Championships final. This time I was penalized three times for false attack, and he won.

Match 2 vs. Giuseppe Romanucci

For the bronze final, I faced a upcoming young talent who is much taller than the rest of us in -73kg category. I did not feel much difficult and was able to secure a throw with one second remaining, after keeping a wazari from an earlier throw.

Match 3 vs. Pietro D'Alessandro

Saturday, May 9, 2015 Trofeo Gran Premio di Judo Lazio -73kg (Monterotondo, Italy)

Someone informed me about this tournament one day before, and I decided to go as a practice competition. Since I have been teaching and training lightly, I want to see how my condition is in a competition.

I know my opponent, a strong African from Congo, we are judo friends so I would have preferred not to fight him, but a match is a match.

Match 1 vs. Beldo Okassa Adou

My opponent again, is someone I know and he is the younger brother of my judo friend, so I did not try too hard to fight him. I just wanted to see what he would do, and we went for the full match, he caught me last 30 seconds with a seio-osoto-gari. Eventually he won the division.

Match 2 vs. Davide Faraldo

My third opponent is again someone I know, fought and beat twice before. This time I got a penalty for passivity which decided the match.

Match 3 vs. Riccardo Pampena

Saturday, March 14, 2015 March 14: Grand Prix Italia: Giano di Umbria -73kg (Terni, Italy)

This event turned out much better than I expected with about 70 competitors in my category. However, I felt very confident to reach the final. That is, until I got robbed by the referee in the quarter-final.

This young player used to train with me in Turin, so I knew him very well. He became stronger over the last five years, but I was determined not to let him win.

Match 1 vs. David Spacuglia

I felt kind of bad for throwing him so quickly because I borrowed his red belt (we need white and red belt to distinguish the players).

Match 2 vs. Stefano Gaggero

He just beat the son of a famouse Japanese judo master who lives in Milan (Kunihara) in the previous match by ippon with uchi-mata, so I had to be cautious, but he did not turn out to be a problem.

Match 3 vs. Emanuele Santoro

In the quarter-final, I fought Alessandro Sercia from Sicily, a good player, but I was dominant the whole fight, we both got penalized twice for different reasons. With about ten seconds to go, I attacked with a ko-uchi-maki-komi and he fell on his butt, but when we got up, with only two seconds to go on the clock, the referee gave ME a penalty for false attack! Incredible. He ended up winning the next match by ippon and went to the final.

Match 4 (Quarter-final) vs. Alessandro Sercia

I ended up going to the repechage match just before bronze final, and we went to golden score, I attacked many times, my opponent defended well, and in the end, he put almost no attack and I got penalized for doing a morote seio nage when he pushed.

Match 5 vs. Angelo La Fauci

Saturday, January 31, 2015 Belgian Open -73kg (Vise, Belgium)

I drew the 2015 German national champion in the first round. Technically I did not think he is very strong to be a serious threat, but he was going 100% at the start. I took a fall from drop seio nage three minutes into the match, and eventually lost in osaekomi as I did not keep my position well. Many good players exited first round such as the French national champion, Arthur Clerget, Italian national champion, Augusto Meloni, a strong Russian, Nikita Khomentosvky, another strong Georgian-French Giorgi Tsutsishvili.

Match 1 vs. Tobias Schiarrin (GER)

Sunday, February 1, 2015 Belgian Open -81kg (Vise, Belgium)

I wanted to maximize the value for my trip and fought again the next day at -81kg. Everyone is strong in this division and I ended up losing to a Frenchman. The video is incomplete, but I started with a tomoe-nage and we went to the ground, he tried to pin me but I escaped. Later I did something else that I don't remember and we ended up on the ground again. He tried juji-gatame, and I escaped, then he transitioned into tate-shiho-gatame for the win.

Match 1 vs. Clement Guilloux

Saturday, January 24, 2015 30th Natioanl Championships (C. S. E. N.) -73kg (Monterotondo, Italy)

For family reason, I had only 3.5 hours of sleep. I had no explosiveness, speed; with a bit of luck (three referee format which helped the standard to be good), the only way I won was by tactics, techniques, and heart. I had not even a wazari from any of my matches, and it was not an exciting tournament, but I came through.

Match 1 vs. Nicola Erculei

Match 2 vs. Alessandro Frontori

Match 3 vs. Miccoli Marziali

I didn't have much left in me for the final, but I had beaten my opponent once before, and I wanted to win. His style matched mine very well and I had not much trouble and got my only score of the whole tournament.

Final match, vs. Giuseppe Rominucci


Sunday, October 26, 2014 Trofeo Vesuvio -81kg (Naples, Italy)

I didn't really want to cut weight for this regional tournament, so I went to sign up for -81kg, weighing at 75.8kg. I just wanted to play some matches, because the refereeing standard is terrible overall. I had fun, and made some good ippons.

First match I pushed my opponent out of bound several times and no shido was given to him according to the new rules. It didn't matter, I threw him with a wazari with a seio-o-osoto-gari.

Match 1 vs. A. Santagata 

Second match I had many attacks, and the video is not complete to show the whole match. Aorund the last twenty seconds I received a penalty when actively trying to get a grip on his sleeve, he was evasive but I was the one who got the shido.

Match 2 vs. V. Filippo 

Last match for the bronze medal, I just cruised throughout the match, got a yuko in the first half of the match, then in the last few seconds I threw him with an ippon seio nage. No score was given. That just shows how the referee was.

Match 3 vs. Salvatore X

Saturday, September 27, 2014 World Master Championships M1 -73kg (Malaga, Spain)

I had to cut nearly 2kg the day before, and barely made weight on my third try thanks to an lienent staff. Master competition is shorter by two minutes so the match tactic and rhythem is different than the normal 5-minute match.

First match we were evenly matched. I stupidly stepped out of bound to get the second penalty, which gave him the match. Fortunately, he went to the semi-final and allowed me to play again through repechage.

Match 1 vs. Javier Hernandez Fernandez (ESP) or Download MPEG4

One never knows when matched with a French player, so I had to be cautious against this physically strong opponent. I was able to catch him with an osoto-gari turned into ashi-guruma.

Match 2 vs. Nicolas Valin (FRA) or Download MPEG4

Considering that Russian took the majority of the top places, one should never underestimate an Russian opponent. He defeated a German and gave my first round opponent a hard time, but I was able to catch him quickly with a tomoe-nage.

Match 3 vs. Jurijs Kusakovs (RUS) or Download MPEG4

I thought this was the final for bronze, and I was not sure how it will go. He is very strong physically and almost caught me twice with a uchi-mata and later an ippon seio-nage. However, I did catch him at the beginning with a yoko tomoe-nage, initiated just a split second before matte was called. It did not count. In the golden score, I was very satisfied to counter his o-uchi-gari with a yoko tomoe-nage. When I later found out it was not the final, I had to refocus for the next match.

Match 4 vs. Flavio Chastinet Pinheiro (BRA) or Download MPEG4

This is the bronze final match. I really feel that I could win, but got caught when I had a poor position and did not attack (either ko-uchi-makikomi or seio-nage). I was disappointed because I was so close to the medal, but he caught me well, and I accept it. Until next year.

Match 5 vs. Nicolas Odout (FRA) or Download MPEG4

Sunday, June 8, 2014 Trofeo Nazionale Citta' di Monterotondo -73kg (Rome, Italy)

Consider it my first post-retirement tournament which I came just to play for fun and try some new ideas. It went well, the tournament began shortly after I arrived in the afternoon and my division finished quickly. This tournament went down in my book as one of the best organized tournament in Italy that I have attended. I won first place and got the best medal that I have received in Italy. It is big and feels solid, which is a nice contrast to the average medals they hand out at all the other tournaments including the national championships, which is not much bigger than a two-euro coin.

First match ended quickly as I tried something different than I normally do. I would probably give wazari for the throw, but under current IJF rule, bridging is automatically given ippon.

Match 1 vs. Emanuale Santoro

He is my opponent from the final at Guidonia tournament two months before, and at that time lost to me by a penalty in golden score. This match I decided to try some different techniques, ko-uchi-maki-komi, o-uchi-gari (drop), uchi-mata, and ura-nage. It turned out I did my first uchi-mata in competition! What joy it was!

Match 2 vs. Riccardo Pampena

Last match went without much action as my opponent was very defensive about my gripping, few shidos should have been given to him for not gripping and stepping out of bound, but in the end he got one in golden score for false attack, which I did not agree. I would have preferred to keep fighting or have the referee penalize him for the right infraction.

Match 3 vs. Iacopoe De Angelis

Saturday, May 10, 2014 British Open: London European Cup -73kg (London, England)

I came to this competition sick and had three hours of sleep (woke up at 1:30AM). It was a poor performance.

Match 1 vs. Bram Crans (NED)

Sunday, May 4, 2014 U. S. National Championships -73kg Master and Senior Open divisions(Reno, Nevada)

Another day of pervasive very bad refereeing throughout the day. There is no consistency in applying the new rules or the old rules. Even top player like 2008 Olympic Champion Satoshi Ishii was on the receiving end of very bad calls that resulted in four shidos against his opponent's three shidos. He was so upset that he did not even bother to fight the repechage.

Edwin Vallejo and I are the lightest players, both being -73kg, in the Senior Open division, and by chance we fight each other in the preliminary round. I was being very active with my gripping and movement, and he was behind in two shidos for passivity. He kept covering his lapel with his other hand to prevent me from gripping, which is against IJF rule. The referee should stop him and give a shido, instead the referee did not issue any penalties. After he did it few times, I got a grip and he was covering his lapel, I pointed it out to the referee but the referee did not do anything and Edwin being the smarter player took advantage of the moment and came for an ippon seio nage which caught me unprepared. My mistake to point out the referee's negligence and cost me the match. Because Satoshi Ishii was upset and left the competition earlier, it opened up the pool for Vallejo to win a bronze eventually.


Open Match 1 vs. Edwin Vallejo

In the Master -73kg M1 division, my first match had few bad calls, notably a penalty from a legal grip breaking using one hand to pull my own lapel away. Some of the throws were not correctly called.

Match 1 vs. Ronald Coleman

He is a good judoka, and difficult to throw because of his height and experience (5th dan). The second match my opponent kept trying to block my hand by grabbing my wrist, which is also not allowed. The referee and scoreboard keepers can't do their job and I ended up losing to the referee by penalty and his existing penalty was somehow missing from the scoreboard.

Match 2 vs. Llyod Timothy Llamas

Saturday, May 3, 2014 U. S. National Championships -73kg Senior (Reno, Nevada)

I came to this tournament with high hopes, but various factors changed my match tactics and flow. The referee level was incredibly bad with no consistency. The head referee even acknowledged and apologized for the poor refereeing. This is completely unacceptable at a national level tournament.

Match 1 vs. Tylor Shimizu

He took bronze medal last year, but I did not felt he was particularly a threat. At first, I tried to force two shidos under the new 2014 rules again him for stepping out of bound, but the referee did not call it. Instead, later I was given two penalties for passivity. It changed the flow of the match. We both attacked and he caught me at first with a kata guruma for yuko, which was obvious in the video but not to the referee so the referee gave a wazari. Later when I was taking too long to setup a kata guruma on my own he came for morote seio-nage, I fell off the wrong side, again on my side, and the referee gave ippon. The jury commission was not even paying attention, much less the playback.

Match 2 vs. Alex Turner

Saturday, April 5, 2014 Trofeo Nazionale Citta' di Bari tournament (Italy)

The competition began with Esordienti A and B (10~12, 12~14), when we arrived at 14:30 they have not even began the Esordienti B division and after them, the Cadets (14 to 17) will fight, and finally the combined Junior/Senior division. I knew it is going to be a long wait and my division is unlike to begin until after 18:00. I also asked the tournament organizer how they planned to organize the divisions. They replied that first they will finish all the cadet categories before to begin the senior division.

Match 1 vs. Francesco Vicino

After 18:30, while I was warming up, we heard the name Kodokan Caserta in the announcement, since there were other teens fighting in the cadet division, I didn’t think more about it and continued to warm up. Someone came to ask me, “Are you Han?”, and I confirmed, and he said, “They are calling you on mat 1”. I was puzzled but immediately ran over there, in my mind I think they must have made a mistake putting my name in the cadet category. Then I realized they began the junior/senior division without warning while the cadet division is still going.

I changed quickly and stepped on the mat, my opponent came strongly at me, and I realized he is left handed. I was not really mentally prepared, but I did what I can and attempted yoko-tomoe-nage, and he landed for ippon.

Match 2 vs. Francesco Aiello

This is a match that I would rather avoid because my opponent happens to be my judo friend and training partner from Star Judo. I asked him before the match how we should proceed and he said we can fight. Nevertheless, neither of us pushed beyond 70% of our maximum, it seemed. There was a shido given for my grip breaking, which according to the current IJF rules, is allowed, but apparently the referee did not understand the rules in English correctly when they learned it before. They said if I break the grip, I have to attack immediately, which is not true. I can do it twice before attacking. In a flurry of attack and counterattack, I earned a yuko for countering his uchi-mata.

Match 3 vs. Michel Giorgadze

The semi-final and what I expected to be the most difficult match. Due to poor organization, instead of going to the semi-final after all the quarter-finals completed, they decided to begin other divisions and our category’s repechage, which took no less then forty minutes.

I fought this Georgian back in 2012 Bellizzi tournament, where I lost by two shidos. He is a formidable opponent who is physically very strong and he relies much on his strength to attack and restrict my movement. I almost got caught in a strangle early on, but since he had my lapel across my face, I was lucky to get out when the referee notified. He was not able to score until I tried a cross-step drop morote seio-nage, except my step was too small and my rotation and entry was not sufficient. He pushed me over for a yuko. He won all his other matches by ippon.

Match 4 vs. Marco Corvino

This one was for the bronze medal and it began very shortly after I spent all my energy from the semi-final. Unfortunately I was not sufficiently recovered. Although my opponent is not very difficult, I could not perform my techniques with optimal speed and power. Tired as I was, my opponent could not land one score. Puzzling is why the referee did not penalize him for several false attacks? At the end, neither had a score, and we went to golden score. In gold score, again no penalty was given to him for either passivity or false attack, and at the end I attempted a yoko-tomoe-nage at the same time he tried for a yoko-sutemi-waza. It was my own action going to my back, he shouted and the referee gave him a yuko for the win. I was not pleased. I understand it may look controversial, but this type of situation no score should be given as I was the one who went on my back to do a technique.

Sunday, March 30, 2014 Guidonia tournament (Italy)

After a poor performance two weeks ago, I fought this tournament at my normal weight of -73kg.

It was a long day, after just four hours of sleep, I woke up to find out the time became one hour ahead due to day time saving and we went to a place near Rome, waited six hours before my first fight (the teens and juniors fought first).

Match 1 - Lincoln vs. Carlo Alberto Corazzini  

Match 2 - Lincoln vs. X

In the final, it lasted much longer than I liked against my left-handed
opponent. The combination of sleepiness and waiting made the last match
harder than I should feel normally. Nevertheless, it was good to
have fought.

Match 3 Final - Lincoln vs. Riccardo Rampena

Saturday, March 15, 2014 International tournament of Giano di Umbria (Italy)

This is my first tournament of 2014 and first in five months. I wanted to test myself in a higher weight category, even though I was only 73.5kg, the lightest fighter in the category of -81kg. However, for a practice tournament, the attendance and level was much higher than I expected. The previous years, this tournament was an one-day event which had children and adults, often finishing at midnight. However, this year they split the event into two days, with the junior/senior division on Saturday. Many top players came and -81kg had 45 participants. I felt that I could at least do few matches, but my first match ended quickly. My opponent is physically strong and really tried to pull me close to lock me in. The first two osoto-gari he did, I casually escaped and felt I was not in much danger. Although he is strong, I felt technically I can handle him. However, the third attempt, the weight difference came to play, I actually though I would step out of it, but he kept on pushing. I was still fighting like -73kg, but the extra power pushed me into the air and I fell. There are some tactical improve I could have made, but -73kg is really my category.

Match 1 - Lincoln vs. X