Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Elite Newaza: Craig Fallon Profile

Craig Fallon: Former Simultaneous World Champion/European Champion @ 60kg in Judo
Here's his Int'l and Nat'l medal count
Fallon is also one of the elite Judoka who utilize mat work in the form of pins and chokes to win matches.
Watch the below to see what I mean:

You hear a lot about the lack of mat work at all levels of Judo, in particular, elite level Judo.
This is a fair criticism, but also due to the limited time constraint on the mat. Add in the fact that a considerable portion of Judokas are primarily focused on the win by throw mentality, and win by choke or pin when it presents itself rather than spend time on the mat draining the clock in hunting for pin/submission, and you'll understand this trend.

Some notable names come to mind in discussing those Judoka that utilize mat work/newaza to win: Flavio Canto and Craig Fallon. Flavio Canto's career is so expansive, I'm saving him for a later post.

Fallon's turnover, seen at 1:52 in the video above (and posted right below), is one I have seen him use across all levels of competition. Against players from countless countries. Few escape the turnover into the pin.

Like most Judoka, Fallon began with a recreational club as a kid and eventually progressed into international competition.

Below: a short interview with some training footage of Fallon in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics

In Judo, there are Individual 7 weight classes for each gender.
There are only 7 people, every 2 years that can be World Champion in Judo (for each gender).
There are no different champions at different belts.There are not separate master's divisions by age that are also coined "world champions".
There is only your weight class. In the entire world.
As of 1992, the open weight class was dropped from the Olympics as well. 
(There is the separate Master's event, but when you say "world championships" in Judo, the vast majority mean the senior/adult divisions by weight, not the Master's as it is held each year).

Further Reading:
Interesting and strikingly honest insight into the mindset of an elite level competitor
Interesting post about the physiological breakdown of Craig Fallon's Judo matches
Great recount of Fallon's senior career in Judo with breakdown of key matches

Off Topic:
The evolution of Judo Rules/weight classes etc

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