Jimmy Pedro: Judo and the Forging of Champions | Lex Fridman Podcast #236 | Summary and Q&A

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October 31, 2021
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Lex Fridman Podcast
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Jimmy Pedro: Judo and the Forging of Champions | Lex Fridman Podcast #236

TL;DR

Jimmy Pedro, a legendary judo competitor and coach, discusses the most beautiful throw in judo, the principles behind it, and the greatest judo competitors of all time.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the most beautiful throw in judo, according to Jimmy Pedro?

Jimmy Pedro believes that uchimata is the most beautiful throw in judo due to its dynamics and amplitude. The throw involves standing on a single foot, raising the other foot in the air, and throwing the opponent head over heels.

Q: How does uchimata work?

Uchimata involves pulling the opponent's upper body towards the thrower, sweeping the leg underneath theirs, and finishing with a twist. This complex throw requires balance, timing, and the ability to turn your back on the opponent during the throw.

Q: Who is the best uchimata practitioner besides Jimmy Pedro?

According to Jimmy Pedro, Shohei Ono is one of the best uchimata practitioners. Shohei Ono is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and his uchimata is unstoppable. He has been incredibly successful in the lightweight division, winning multiple world championships and Olympic medals.

Q: Is winning a world championship or an Olympic medal the measure of greatness in judo?

Jimmy Pedro believes that winning a world championship or an Olympic medal is a measure of greatness in judo. While there are many talented judo players, being able to consistently perform at the highest level during major events demonstrates unstoppable excellence and makes an athlete the best in their weight class.

Summary

In this conversation with Jimmy Pedro, a legendary judo competitor and coach, they discuss various aspects of judo, including the most beautiful throw, the principles behind it, and the best practitioners of the throw. They also touch on the measure of greatness in judo, the path to becoming an Olympic medalist, and the training methods used to prepare athletes for competition.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the most beautiful throw in judo?

According to Jimmy Pedro, the most beautiful throw in judo is the uchimata. It involves standing on a single foot, raising the other foot in the air, and executing a forward throw. It is dynamic and visually impressive.

Q: How does the uchimata throw work?

The uchimata throw is complex and difficult to learn. It starts with pulling the opponent's upper body towards you and as their momentum comes forward, you sweep your leg underneath theirs and lift them onto your hip. The throw finishes with a twist and often both bodies are in the air before coming down.

Q: Who is the best practitioner of uchimata?

Shohei Ono, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is considered one of the best practitioners of uchimata. His version of the throw is different from others, but it is unstoppable and has helped him win multiple championships.

Q: Is Shohei Ono the greatest judoka of all time?

While Shohei Ono's achievements are remarkable, he is not considered the greatest judoka of all time. The title of the greatest is often given to Tadahiro Nomura, a three-time Olympic champion in the lightweight division.

Q: Is winning championships and Olympic medals a measure of greatness in judo?

Winning championships and Olympic medals is indeed a measure of greatness in judo. It represents the ability to perform at the highest level, consistently proving oneself against the best competitors in the world.

Q: How difficult is it to stay undefeated in judo for a long period?

Staying undefeated in judo for a long period is incredibly difficult. As the top athlete, everyone is studying and trying to find flaws in your game. The pressure to perform is immense, and the margin for error is very small in judo.

Q: What does it take to become an Olympic medalist in judo?

The journey to becoming an Olympic medalist in judo requires a solid base of fundamental skills and a professional level of training. It involves having a strong work ethic, constantly competing, and being tested against top-level opponents.

Q: How do you train recreational judoka to improve?

Recreational judoka who want to improve but not necessarily compete can focus on learning good technique, movement, and timing. They do not need to do as much randori (sparring) and can benefit from drilling and developing their skills.

Q: What skills are important for competitive judoka?

Competitive judoka need to learn how to implement a strong gripping system that allows them to control the movement of their opponent. They must understand how to position themselves for effective attacks and scoring opportunities.

Q: Is there value in specializing in a specific throw?

Specializing in a specific throw, while also developing a variety of other attacks from the same grip, can be valuable. It keeps opponents guessing and allows for a mix of techniques. However, the main throw should always be drilled and fine-tuned.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Jimmy Pedro believes that uchimata is the most beautiful throw in judo due to its dynamics and amplitude.

  • Uchimata is a forward throw in which the thrower stands on a single foot and raises the other foot in the air, while the opponent goes head over heels.

  • The throw works by pulling the opponent's upper body towards the thrower, sweeping the leg underneath theirs, and finishing with a twist.

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