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looking for the best judo school in chicago Rate Topic: -----

#16 User is offline   COJudoka 

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 02:23 PM

Really don't know of Jiu Jitsu Institute or heard of them or seen their players at tourneys, so can't really say for sure....... On the other hand, I have seen Tohkon's players winning matches at higher level shiai's, know that they have "ranked" players in their club as well as a large pool of bb's with different styles to learn from.

That being said, the ultimate choice is the students and what they get out of their club. If it were my choice I know what it would be.

HTH
"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before they fight,
while the ignorant fight to win."
-Zhuge Liang

check your ego at the door!

Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
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#17 Guest_Guest_guest

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 04:38 AM

I just came back from checking out their place and I was very dissapointed.

Most of their BB were out of shape, one seemed like he was about to have a heart
attach.

Their newaza was really bad, I was expecting that from WB, but they had better newaza than BB. That doesn't mean I liked what I saw, none of them knew how to take the back. One person actually did it, but he crossed his ankles in doing so, of course the other one didn't know that you could take advantage of that. I did not see mount, half mount, I think I saw guard for 2 seconds. My guess is that WB saw a few sub-wrestling videos and that is why they newaza was better.

OK, Judo is not known for their newaza, but I was expecting to see some nice throws and takedowns. Their throws were terrible, half the time the both guys would just fall down and end up lying on their back. Othertimes the guy who threw his opponent, ended up giving his opponet his back(not that the other guy knew what to do with it). I actually saw one guy attempt a clock chock from the back, this was the highlight of the day. Of course 0 takedowns.

I also did not like the fact that they spend 1 hour exercising. That's half the class just for warm ups.

The guy running the class spent more time talking, than helping out his students, while there were live wrestling.

Their stand up < high school wrestling
Their newaza < high school wrestling < bjj

I was going to ask that guy if those BB are just old Karate belts and they are too cheap to buy white, but he was busy drinking beer after class to talk to me.

I am guessing this is either a really bad place or all of their good students left home for 4th of July.
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#18 Guest_Guest002_guest

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 06:32 AM

Guest,

Which place are you talking about -- Tohkon or the Jiu Jitsu Institute?
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#19 Guest_Guest_guest

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 12:05 AM

Guest002, on Jul 2 2005, 06:32 AM, said:

Guest,

Which place are you talking about -- Tohkon or the Jiu Jitsu Institute?

Tohkon
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#20 User is offline   Dave 

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:52 AM

I assume you went to watch the Tohkon advanced class. They push you hard there. They are preparing you for high levels of competition. Part of being ready for competition is being in shape. Many of the drills you see in the first hour apply readily to randori situation. Warm up (running, pushups, situps, stretching, etc.) is essential before stretching. After warm up there are drills, and then lots of uchi komi. There is speed uchi komi, moving uchi komi, combinations, you name it, they do it. Warm-up ends after stretching. Depending on the time and what tournaments are coming up, technical training may occur. After that, we spend whatever we've got left doing randori.

The workout is very hard. Even the young guys have trouble getting through them. The fact that everyone is exhausting means they are pushing themselves to the limit. Would not that be an explanation for people being extremely exhausted? I'm 21 and sometimes I think I'm going to have a heart attack.

And since this is the advanced class, the white belt probably wasn't a white belt, although I suspect that may be an exaggeration. In all honesty, what no-trained white belt can compete with anyone with experience, especially a black belt? I went there as a white belt out of respect for their ranking system, but I had some experience before hand, and I was still easily humbled.

There are many black belts there that help you. One guy talking with another doesn't mean anything. Everytime I randori with any of the higher ranks (there are so many!!!), they provide me with useful advice in every round.

Sorry to sound rude, but, I can't let this criticism pass. You state that their techniques were terrible. Many of the judoka there currently compete at high levels of competition or formerly did. I don't think terrible technique gets people into the national, international, and olympic level.

The atmosphere at Tohkon is very relaxed and respectful. They are very friendly and outgoing as well.

I think you should pay another visit and have a workout with them, and perhaps have a drink with them (of water, even, if that's your thing). I hope you can keep an open mind and have a more positive experience next time.
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#21 User is offline   Judo Concierge 

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:15 PM

Dear Guest,
As the fourth largest club in the country (USJF) I feel another visit is warrented.
Last night for example a Russian National coach led the class (warm ups as well)
And spent a great deal of time on Ouchi Gari. (Dave I'm sorry you missed it)Please pay another visit, and feel free to introduce yourself.

Quote

I was going to ask that guy if those BB are just old Karate belts and they are too cheap to buy white, but he was busy drinking beer after class to talk to me.


Busy drinking beer yes, too busy to talk about judo is hard to believe from this bunch.
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#22 Guest_Guest_guest

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:45 PM

Judo Concierge, on Jul 6 2005, 02:15 PM, said:

Dear Guest,
As the fourth largest club in the country (USJF) I feel another visit is warrented.
Last night for example a Russian National coach led the class (warm ups as well)
And spent a great deal of time on Ouchi Gari. (Dave I'm sorry you missed it)Please pay another visit, and feel free to introduce yourself.



Busy drinking beer yes, too busy to talk about judo is hard to believe from this bunch.

This was my review of the class.

If anything that I stated was false, please point out.
I did not immagine guys with beer bellies, not sure which competition they were training for.
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#23 User is offline   COJudoka 

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 02:17 PM

Guest, on Jul 11 2005, 07:45 AM, said:

This was my review of the class.

If anything that I stated was false, please point out.
I did not immagine guys with beer bellies, not sure which competition they were training for.

Hey Guest,

I had been planning to drive down (3 hrs) on a Saturday to work out at Tohkon. Mainly because of their people I have met at shia.

I finally got to last Sat and wasn't disappointed, at all. Out of a 2 hr (plus a little) class here's how it went.

The head sensei (Doug Tono) was there and was the first to greet me, pointed out where the facilities were and such. He really doesn’t know me from Adam but was as friendly and welcoming as people have said.

20 to 25 min warm up.
Moving loading practice (uchi komi)
Static loading practice count down to throw (9 loads throw on 10, 9 loads throw on 9 until you get to one.
Showed 3 techniques with 5 – 7 min drills trading off with your partner.

The balance was all randori. For 5 min intervals (I sort of hung back during the first 10-15 watching to see how they viewed randori, some clubs do it differently.) I worked with mostly bb’s and a few kyu ranks.

The highlight was when I got to randori with Majemite 5 Dan (multi year Olympian). This was the second to last 5 min interval and I was gassed, arms almost numb etc… (doing a 3 hr work out that morning probably didn’t help ;) but this is a no whining zone right). Lasted about 4 ½ min and what a learning experience. It was like he was “playing with me” not in a bad way, but it was clear that I have much to learn. At the end I asked him for pointers, he was very specific and showed me what I was doing “wrong”. So said thanks now when I quit doing that you will just throw me with something else :lol: he said “yes probably”

The end was a light jog around to stretching, meditation to bow out.

After class, some went and did mat work for 5min or so the rest showered changed and bought out the beer steins.

As I was changing sensei Tono came to find me and asked me how it went and offered me a beer (Saporo sp?) sent someone find a stein (and brought back a frosted one!) I sat and talked judo and such with the people who stayed. An enjoyable social event to say the least!

I have visited quite a few clubs when I travel. I would say that from what little of judo I know, theirs was top notch not to mention the hospitality.

Couple of questions, how much experience in judo do you have? From the terms in your post I would guess you do primarily BJJ?? As Judo Concierge said Next time bring your gi, and as my tag line says “check your ego at the door” (if you have one). Standing toe to toe is a little different than sitting and watching.

This post has been edited by WIJudoka: 11 July 2005 - 02:19 PM

"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered,
those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid.
Thus the wise win before they fight,
while the ignorant fight to win."
-Zhuge Liang

check your ego at the door!

Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
0

#24 Guest_Guest_judolife_guest_guest

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:19 AM

I just read this thread, which I actually started. After WildBlue gave me more information on Tohkon, I did observe, and instantly, I was awestruck! After two hours of observing the advance class, I immediatley signed up on the spot!

I have taken about 8 beginners classes so far, but I am loving the learning process. In addition, as stated above, the atmosphere is both relaxed and competitive. Another aspect that I was impressed was the quality Judokas at Tohkon. Several attend or have attended the University of Chicago, Northwestern, and Stanford. While I was observing, I was not merely observing how good they as judokas, but also and more importantly, as people.

Although I am getting older, I am once again rejuvinated by being a part of this outstanding academy whose judokas are not merely there to win or lose during competition. Instead, they empower each other mentally and physically.

I am not sure if the Dave who posted above is the same Dave who impressed me during the first night of observation. He was a lower belt at the time, but he worked hard, and held his own against the black belt. If he is the same person, he recently won his weight class in the Tohkon X classic. HE IS NOT OUT OF SHAPE at all! If he is saying he is gassed, it is because of his work ethic.

Finally, Doug Tono is extremely approachable. Maje is just outstanding! Ashlie Martini...ranked #2 in the country. A judo academy filled with former Olympians, European Champions, U.S. champions, and many hard working people---yet humble, quality individuals, and "they pretty much check their egos at the door!"

To Guest...visit again, and work out with them...I work out too, but when I saw those black belts, I was like, "Man, those guys are huge!"

I don't care though, for me, Tohkon has been outstanding thus far, due to the quality people in it...who cares about a black belt if that person is jerk! Thanks for teaching me...and looking forward to working hard.
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#25 Guest_Guest_JudoLife_guest_guest

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:46 AM

I would also like to add that the Head Sensei, Doug Tono, is the embodiment of Tohkon Academy. Even though he doesn't know me at all, and of course a total beginner, he was exceedingly humble, patient, friendly, approachable, and professional. He made me feel important and special. Even though is an highly accomplished and decorated judoka, he was so humble.

Hence, if I was to learn the intelligent art of Judo, then I am honored to be learning it from Tohkon Academy. Doug Tono is a role model not just because of his accomplishments, but once again and more importantly, because he is a person with substance.

Oh, Tohkon also teaches junior judokas, and it is always admirable watching parents observe their kids learn judo. Once, I have my own kids, I would love them to learn judo at Tohkon.

I would highly recommend Tohkon to anybody in a heart beat!
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#26 Guest_Guest_judolife_guest_guest

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:51 AM

I need to clarify what I said in the first paragraph above. With regards to Sensei Tono not knowing me at all THE FIRST TIME I met him, he still took the time to answer all my questions, and helped me exchange my gi for a better fitting gi as well as asking me questions about myself...

I didn't mention the "THE FIRST TIME" part before...
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#27 Guest_different_guest_guest

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 10:15 AM

Sorry to up and resurrect this thread but I was just that suprised that out of what seems to be the two main judo schools in chicago everyone in chicago seems to like Tohkon. Much props to them though, I ask because I am in a similary situation as the original poster and it's hard to weigh pros and cons with the both of them. Is there anyone here that has had personal experience with the judo-jujitsu institute?
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#28 Guest_WildBlue_guest

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:08 PM

different_guest,

I don't have any personal experience with the Judo-Jujitsu Institute itself, but Hollis Barnett, who is the main instructor there, often helps with Tohkon's belt promotion clinics and tests. Key people at Tohkon have known him for a long time, so there is a positive link. He seems like a pretty nice guy, from the limited interaction I have had with him.

WildBlue
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