Monday, July 25, 2011


When I got home I took about 7days off from judo to spend some time with my family, start work again and just relax a bit before I started my prep for the world championships. It was nice to have a change of pace for the time that i took off. This year has been crazy for travelling and just having some quality time with my family was great.

This week we are going down to Boston for a US-Canada training camp in preparation for the world championships being held in Paris, France at the end of Aug. The camp should be pretty good.

I will get back to everyone with details on how training is going when I get there.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last trip on the pan am tour...

Well I know it’s a little late but here is what happened in Venezuela.

Coming in to this world cup I was feeling great! I had just taken a bronze medal at the US World cup and a 5th place finish at the Super world cup in Rio. In the first round I fought a guy from Brazil who I had never seen before, which is rare for me because normally at this level I have pretty much seen everyone that I normally face. Having said that I went into the fight being very cautious. Normally any Brazilian judo player that Brazil actually sends onto the world cup circuit are pretty good, so I just wanted to be careful not to get caught.
During the fight I ended up taking him down to the ground and submitting him with a triangle lock. This win put me into the 3rd round because I had a bye in my first round. In the 3rd round I was up against the Bosnian player who I had beat the weekend before in Miami. This time however the fight did not go as planned. During the fight I was controlling all of the gripping exchanges and was actually up by a yuko(quarter point) until he surprised me with an attack and scored a match ending ippon(full point). After the match was ok I was extremely pissed off at myself, because normally I don’t make mistakes like that, and again this weekend because I was left with only a chance for bronze.

Coming back to win the bronze meant I had to win 2 more matches and in both matches I faced the number 2 and number 1 seeded Americans who are both ranked top 22 in the world. First up was the number 2 American, Michael Eldred. Having fought so many times in our careers we pretty much knew what the other player was going to do, so it became a chess match of who was going to make the first mistake and who was going to be the aggressor. At this level it really comes down to the smallest of things sometimes, anyone can win at this level so it extremely important that you stay aggressive during the entire 5min of a fight.
After the first 5min of regulation time the match was tied so we went in to sudden death over time. During overtime I was able to score a full point (ippon) with a hip throw, putting me into the bronze medal match against the number 1 American player. Nick Delpopolo(who actually beat me at the world championships in 2010 – knocked me out of contention for a medal) – In this fight it was a similar match to the previous one because we have fought each other for so long, we have even trained together so when it came down to it, the match was going to be decided by who was the more aggressive fighter. During the fight the USA player was given two penalties giving me the bronze medal and my 12th career world cup medal (2nd overall behind Nicolas Gill for men’s total in judo Canada history)

Overall I was happy with the result but it was bitter sweet due to the fact that I had not been able to take the gold medal home. NO worries I still had one more world cup to fight before the world championships – or so I thought !!!!

On Wednesday before the next world cup we took a flight from Venezuela to El Salavor (where the next world cup was being held) but things did not turn out as planned. After being delayed on our first flight (which was a 45min flight) by over 2hrs, we ended up missing our connecting flight in Caracas. After some delay there and trying to rebook our ticket with the airport staff we also found out that no one on the team would be able to leave the country and fly to El Salvador without there immunization forms and documents that showed we had our yellow fever shots. Not good news seeing how no one on the team had those documents with them. I guess this is a new rule that they have decided to enforce, but just not tell any travellers until they get to the airport.
So now team Canada was stuck at the airport with no idea of how or when we would be able to get to El Salvador.

After finding out what exactly we needed, everyone called home and got the documents scanned and emailed back to us, while the coach tried to buy new tickets for everyone. This put us over a day behind schedule, and also very close to the start of the tournament. Not good news.
The other thing that sucked was that there were not enough tickets for everyone to fly to El Salvador the next day, and the ticket that the team ended up getting was leaving at 6:30pm Friday and landing at 11pm – so that meant the team after travelling for more the 45hrs would only get into the hotel about 8hrs before they had to weigh in. They would actually be dead tired from 45hrs of travelling, hungry and just not in the mood to fight.

So after talking with my coach I decided that it was best for me not to head to El Salvador anymore because we did not think that it was worth the hassle and money to get there so late before an event. I changed my ticket from Venezuela to come home.

A short 40hrs later I finally touched down in Montreal – couldn’t be happier.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Welcome to Miami

So Miami World Cup is one of the world cups I was looking forward to competing at this year, not because it was in Miami, although that is an added bonus - but because its somewhat close to home and that means the rest of the world has to travel to get there - not only us. A lot of the europeans are not used to travelling long distances for world cup events and are not used to getting used to the time change - like we always have to do when we go to europe.

This year we had to fly straight from Brazil to Miami for this world cup but it was only a 1hr time change which didnt really effect me at all. Last year at this event I took Gold and was hoping to do the same but I made a little mistake in the quarter final which changed the plans of owning the podium to hopefully getting on the podium.

The day started off normal - I woke up at 6am for unofficial weigh in, which is basically just to make sure that your on weight and that you dont have to go for a run or anything to lose .1kg or something. My weight has been great as of late so I actually weighed in like 1kg under 73kg which is fine, it just meant that I could eat more leading up to the event. In the first round I had a bye because the guy I was suppose to fight from Chile did not make weight, so it gave me a little more rest and time to warm up before my day started - now I just had to wait and see who I would fight in the 2nd round, which ended up being Bosnia. Normally Bosnia does not have so many good fighters but in the case of the 73kg player it is actually quite the opposite - I think he is probably one of strongest physically in the world for 73kg.

During the fight I received two shidos and that meant I was down by a yuko score with 2min30sec remaining in the match. In my head my game plan was not working so I decided that I had to just kept coming forward until he was unable to keep the pace that I had set - finally with only 10sec left in the fight he was too exhausted to stop my attack and I threw him for ippon. It is not normally the way you want to win but it sure does feel good when you come from behind to win a match with no time left on the clock. With that win I was now into the quarter final where I was matched up against the Slovenian player who used to be one of the best in the world but has just recently started to come back onto the scene to qualify for 2012 - in my 2nd match everything was going fine until I made a very costly mistake and got caught on the ground. I only managed to get out after 22sec which meant he had a very strong lead and I was unable to come back from that to win the match. After loosing that match I was going to be only able to take a bronze medal home at best.

In my 4th match of the day (semi final to bronze) I had the romanian player who had just taken 3rd at the grand slam RIO, he is a very good player and a very tough match up for anyone. The match started off slow for me and I found myself down again by 2 shidos but as I did in my 2nd match I kept coming forward and with about 2min left I could tell he was starting to get tired and I knew it was just a matter of time before he made a mistake that I could capitalize on. Shortly after that(just as I was hoping) the romanian made a mistake and I counted his attack for a wazari score and took the lead. From that point on it was just a matter of playing it smart. I could not take another penalty or else the match would be tied so I continued to look busy and I actually finished the match by throwing him with about 15sec left on the clock. With the way judo has been changing over the last couple of years - cardio is becoming more and more crucial to win events and today it was no different, I kept to my game plan, pushed the pace and eventually the people who I was fighting either made a mistake because they were too tired or just gave up because they could not keep the pace I set.

My 5th match of the day was the bronze medal final. For my Bronze final it did not get any easier, I was matched up against the former world bronze medalist and european medalist from Spain who in my opinion is one of the toughest 73kg players. With 73kg for this world cup being stacked I was expecting a tough draw anyway I looked at it, so it was no surprise when I saw that he had won his way back to the bronze final as well.

So for my bronze medal match I ended up winning by 3shidos, the match was not overly exciting, it was mostly a gripping match that went back an forth, but that was my game plan going in so it was a great win and another world cup medal. During the fight I knew that if I stayed aggressive I could win the fight. The spanish guys style is very upright and more japanese style, so if I relaxed too much it would give him to many chances to score. Overall the tournament was a success - I ended up on the podium and it was my first world cup medal of the year!

Next week we are heading over to Venezuela for the world cup there so I will keep you updated. As for my personal life - well I dont have one haha. No no things back home are going great, Emma(my daughter) is doing good - growing up fast, missing her and my family a lot! Well thanks for reading - leave some comments if you want!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Well I got into Miami today, Everything is going good pretty good - just thought I would let everyone know that it looks like its going to be a strong event, seems to be a lot of top players who have come over to compete here at the Miami World Cup.

Also some bad news, when I got off the plane today, I checked my phone messages and someone left me a message to call them back for a potential sponsor of some kind, which is awesome RIGHT!! Well BELL is having some "problems" right now with the answering service so they deleted all my saved messages, so now I dont have the persons contact info, or even her name, and bell has no idea if I will be getting that message back.. so if that person is reading this please call me back!!!!!! PLEASE


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Well I just finished the Sao Paulo World cup here in Brazil, and it seems my bad luck continues for 2011. Going into the event I felt good, everything seemed to be in line for a great tournament and my weight has been really good so I didn't actually have to cut any weight at all, which is always nice. Anyways I was seeded number one on the draw which just means that I had the highest world ranking of any player who was fighting in this world cup.

At world cup events only the top 8 people are seeded so having seeding is very important with how the new draw system works. In the past with the old rules, if you lose to someone who makes the semi final, you were "pulled" back in to the draw and had a chance for the bronze. But in the past couple of years the IJF has made some extremely dumb rules changes, and one of those is the quarter final rule, all this rule mean is that you have to make the quarter final in order to have a chance to make the podium. So even if you lose to the guy who wins, if its before the quarter final your day is done!!This rule is used for the World championships, Olympics and World cups. But to make things even more confusing the IJF(international Judo Federation) made the Grand Slam events - single round knock out, meaning if you lose your done.. so in order to place you have to make the semi final. No one knows why, that's just how it is..

What really sucks is that NO ATHLETE really like the system, because it's an unfair system. Like I said before if you lose to the guy who wins the tournament - then you dont have a chance to be on the podium - but in reality you could actually be the 2nd best person in the draw but still have no chance to place because you lost before the quarter final or in Grand Slam events the semi final.

Anyways so as I was saying I was seeded number one in this World Cup, but ended up getting a very very tough draw. In the first round, I fought a guy from greece, who I beat by wazari. In the 2nd round however I ran into the 66kg world champion from Mongolia, this fighter is one of the best in any division for judo and he is known for being very tricky. He decided to fight 73kg this past weekend because he has a lot of problems making weight for 66kg so sometimes he fights 73kg(which is my category). This is actually the 2nd time I have fought him. In our first fight I beat him by yuko and ippon but at this event he got the best of me and beat me with a score of 3shidos to 1shido, putting me out of the event because it was one match away from the quarter finals. He ended up making the gold medal final against the real 73kg mongolian - so his team mate. They actually fought but in overtime he lost to the top 73kg Mongolian. The rest of the podium was people who I have beat before. So that kind of sucks.

Judo as most of you know is not based on time so you cant actually know if you were good, great or bad - its all feel. You can fight great and still come away with nothing, judo when you look at it can really be disheartening for someone who puts in the time and effort but is just not winning.

2011 has been tough for me. From injury to injury, to just not getting the job done! whatever the reasons may be, i'm working on it - and hopefully ill get out of it soon. This weekend in miami I am aiming to not only get back on the podium but win. I won this world cup last year in a tough field so hopefully I can repeat and get myself back on track! The goal is to get my world ranking up into the top 8 again for world championships so I can be seeded - so these next 3 world cups will be important, right now i'm 10th. :P

As for everything else well I am planning a Golf Tournament in September, so keep that in mind, were trying to get as many people involved as possible!! If you have any questions please send me an email at - We are looking for Donations, Door prizes, hole sponsors, and of course teams! As everyone knows its not cheap to be competing and travelling this much, so we are making the Golf Tournament a fund raiser to help offset some of the costs.
Some people don't know but the Judo olympic qualifying process is crazy - we have to go all over the world to pick up points towards the Olympic and world ranking, because only the top 22 people in the world can qualify for the olympics - the draw will be made up of the top 22ppl plus about 10 wild cards to different countries that are not represented - so that means only a 32man draw!! the best of the best!!

Other then my judo life, my daughter Emma is growing up to be a little fighter herself, she is a little over 16 months now and doing great! My girlfriend and I also decided to purchase a house just outside of Montreal, we figured it would be better to have a yard and somewhere for our daughter to grow up in and call home. Also it turns out rent in montreal is about how much you would pay to own something on the south shore.. so other then the little commute, it works out pretty good! well I will update you with Miami etc, when i'm there...

Thanks for reading..

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 - Start of the Olympic push

Hi Everyone,

Now that we are in the final 16months or so before the olympics I will be updating my blog to let you know how things are going on and off the mat.

OK so in January 2011 - I was ranked 7th in the world and got invited to the World Masters, to sum it up for everyone, this tournament is the BEST of the BEST and ONLY the top 16 players in each division are allowed to fight, you also have to be invited to attend this event. This event is somewhat new being its only the 2nd year that it has taken place, but this is also the 2nd time I was invited :P. The first year I was injured and unable to attend.

Leading up to the 2011 World masters, I was feeling on top of my game, having just placed 3rd at the Grand slam in Tokyo I was sure and ready to fight at the world masters. BUT about one week before I was scheduled to fight I injured my rib at training, which hurt me a lot but I decided that it was not that bad and I was still going to take part in the Masters and my european tour - BAD CALL.. First round I had the Uzbekistan player who I had beat in our previous fight, but during the fight I blocked an attack in the first 2min of the fight and heard a pop.. which was my RIB. I actually finished the fight but ended up loosing, I think the adrenelin was pumping and I figured I could still push through, which was also not a good call.

Well to sum it all up - my 6 week tour ended in just 5days. And if anyone has broken a rib before or injured a rib they know how it feels, I couldnt get out of bed without working my way over to the edge of the bed and then rolling over quickly, pushing myself up on to my knees and then on to my feet... On the way home I had to ask an older lady for help to put my bag up into the overhead storage on the plane - I couldnt run, lift weights or do anything.

The night I hurt my rib I was also extreamly sick and the Dr. said that my rib probably pushed against or scratched my liver and it was probably a reaction to that. Was not a very good way to start the year by any means!! My rib injury took about 10weeks to heal!!!

My goal after coming back from my rib injury was to win and focus on the Pan american championships but I was set back yet again only after about two weeks being back on the mat, when I tore my miniscus during training - which I took another 2 weeks off for which left me in in the best shape. However I was still able to take bronze, only loosing to the top Cuban fighter in a very close match, so I was still happy with my result - considering how much time I was off from training.

After the pan american championships my world ranking had dropped to 12th due to the fact that I had not been able to compete and pick up points in Jan.

My plans and goals had now shifted to the next european tour which was in early may starting with the grand prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. Leading up to this event my goal was not only to compete but to win this event, I was starting to feel better, stronger.. and the only thing that was still bugging me was my knee(which I will get to later on) but with a lil tape and some pain I pushed through. 3 weeks before leaving for Baku though I injured my elbow to the point where I could no longer lift weights or even grip during training, so I decided to take some more time off and try to let it heal.

When I got to Azerbaijan I was in horrible shape(by my standards) my cardio was not good but I was somewhat healthy enough to compete or so I thought. It seemed being back in Azerbaijan was bad luck for me because I got killed in my first fight against the Georgian player. After my match I had to really sit down and look at what I needed to do to get myself back into shape both physically and mentally. A lot of people dont realize the amount of stress an amature athlete is under during the olympic qualification period and for Judo we start our qualification 2 years before the games. The stress of not placing at events was starting to get to me.

Seeing the podium and people who I beat win and place at the tournament did not sit well, I was in a slump - thats all I can say.. you can make excusses all you want about why your in the slump, injuries a bad call but you just have to try and work it out. After the training camp in Azerbaijan we went to a European Cup in London england where I started to feel great, back to my old self... In the first round I wasnt feeling 100% but with my first win I started to feel it, in the 2nd round I had the top British player who I beat up and threw within 1min30sec and all of a sudden the clouds around my head started to vanish.. haha - little did I know that in the 3rd round I would make a huge mistake that would end up costing me the match and put me out of the tournament - the clouds were back!! Judo is such a funny sport when you actually sit down and look at it - being the number one seeded player doesnt mean much because any one little mistake and the match is over.

The draw is somewhat similar to a tenis draw, but in tenis normally the best player on that day wins.. in judo you fight like a tiger, feel great.. be killing someone and then bam its over, and your day is done. Thats how my tournament finished. The only good part about the tournament was that my team mates in other divisions were fighting great!!

The next two weeks leading up to the grand slam in Moscow were spent in holland training with the team there. When we got to moscow I felt good, each tournament I felt better and stronger, my confidence was back. After I saw the draw I knew I had a good chance to make the gold medal final, every match up was a good one for me. In my first round I beat a young up and coming Italian kid with a lot of good wins under his belt this year, so I was pleased with my fight against him, which put me into the 2nd round against the German player who I had previously beat. In the match I was fighting good, was up by a shido(penalty) but around 4min into the fight I started to gas - I was running out of steam, and the match was starting to turn - the ref gave me a penalty and the match was tied at the end of regulation - overtime it was.. about half way into the over time period the ref gave me a 2nd penalty giving the match to the german and sending me into the bleachers to watch - The german ended up losing in overtime in the gold medal final of the Moscow Grandslam.

After the tournament I was not mad at my self, just mad that I ran out of steam, my cardio was still not up to par like how it was in Dec. and it cost me the match!

That was the end of the european tour and yet again I was going home empty handed. When I got home I had more stress waiting for me. This year I decided that I would buy a house, and it was now time to do some renovations before I moved in - the only bad part was I only had two weeks home before I had to leave again for the Pan american World cup circut. With the help of my father and a lot of all nighters we finished the upstairs well enough to move in. We finished moving everything into the house the day before I had to leave for Brazil - and I left everything with my girlfriend and daughter to take care of.. the house looked like a pile of S#@$ boxes and stuff just basically thrown everywhere. When I was packing to come here I had no idea where anything was.. to say the least I was a little stressed.

I am now in Brazil and just fought at the Grand Slam Rio - where I took 5th. I had a first round bye and won my next two matches. My cardio is still not where it needs to be!! in the 3rd round (quarter final) I fought the number 2 player in the world from Japan, we have had some battles in the past with both of us beating one another in different world cups. This match however did not go as planned, in the first min of the match the japanese player tried an illegal move which hurt my already injured elbow even more. The refs wanted to Dq him from the tournament but the head ref did not see what happened so the match went on!! Like I said sometime there are bad calls but you have to live with them. I ended up getting pinned in the last minute of the fight and the Japanese player went on to win the event, leaving me with a 5th place finish and some good points towards the olympics. Right now after this event I am ranked 10th in the world and will continue next weekend In another World cup in Brazil.

We are at training camp right now, and because my knee and elbow are bad I am only able to train once a day on the mat, due to the fact that I dont have enough power in my arm.

As for my knee, well I will get an MRI done when I get back from this 5 week tour, and I will prob go in for a scope(surgery) to clean it out and repair what is broken after the world championships in Aug.

Next up like I said is Sao Paulo World cup, then Miami World cup, Venezuala World cup and El salvador World cup.

Sorry for the spelling - this spell check wont work on here.. haha

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hey Everyone,

So I guess your wondering why I have not been on my blog at all in the last 2 years or more now, well I guess I don't really have an excuse :P, except that I have just been busy with everything. So let me catch everyone up on where I am in my life and how my judo is going.

After my lost at last Olympics I found it very hard to stay focused on judo and it took me awhile to get the confidence back that I needed to start winning again. Actually from the end of Feb 2008 until the same tournament in 2009 I did not win a single match at the 4 world cup events I participated in. I was really struggling with winning on the big stage. A lot of people don't understand how much we as athletes sacrifice and what we put out bodies through day in and day out. Its taxing mentally, emotionally and of course physically. Judo is not like other sports - there is no peak season, rest time or relaxation. The only time we are not training or competing is for one week during Christmas and when we get injured, but then there is the physio, the weights and the massage. And trust me the massage is not as relaxing as it sounds when you have a Russian therapist :P.

For the 2012 Olympics the IJF - international Judo federation changed the qualification system for the Olympics. They wanted only the best of the best at the Olympics plus some wild cards. So I will break it down for you. ONLY the top 22 men in each weight division will qualify, so you have to be ranked in the top 22 in the world just to make it to the Olympics. Now that being said the draw is for 32 people so the IJF will give out 10 wild cards to poor countries who could not afford to go to all the world cups around the world to qualify themselves. So for myself I need to be ranked in the top 22. As of right now I have a world ranking of 8th!.. In order to collect points for the Olympic there are world cups that are all over the world, so we travel and we travel and we travel some more, from Canada to all over Europe and even to Mongolia and back to asia... this year has been crazy because well the Olympic selection start 2010... which also makes judo different from a lot of other sports... Well to sum it all up for you, training is going good, I'm focused on getting results and trying to make my own path to the 2012 Olympics!

So that was how judo is going, now on a personal note - I am a father now. My daughter Emma was born on Feb 25th, 2010 and she is doing great. I call her my good luck charm because since I found out I was going to have a kid my results have just kept getting better and better.

As I write this blog to everyone, I am actually in Azerbaijan getting ready to compete at the World Masters - which is a tournament that only the top 16 players in the world from each division are invited too. This is also a pointable tournament for the Olympics. The draw will be out soon on if anyone wants to check it out. Well I hope you guys enjoy the blog, please leave some comments so that I know people are actually reading it :P...