Frequently Asked Questions

Tampa Florida Judo’s
Message To The Parents


Here’s what you should ask yourself before deciding on Tampa Florida Judo or any other dojo for that matter:

Is The Head Judo Coach An Olympian?

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson is the only U.S. Judo Olympian in the Tampa Florida Area who instructs Judo and Brazilian Jiujitsu and the ONLY Olympian in the Tampa, Florida area who has trained Olympians.

2004 Olympic Judo Team

The United States 2004 Men’s Olympic Judo Team

judo

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson at 2004 Olympic Press Conference for the US Judo Team

Tampa Florida Judo Head Coach At Olympic Trials

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson coaches at the 2008 Judo Olympic Trials

Does the Head Coach understand teaching, learning or hold a PhD in Education?

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson holds a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Education with a concentration in Professional Studies (Capella University). He also holds a Masters of Arts of Teaching Degree (Howard University) and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Howard University).

Tampa Florida Judo Head Coach Rhadi Ferguson

Dr. Ferguson being interviewed by local area news reporter about achieving a PhD and being an Olympian

Tampa Florida Judo Head Coach Rhadi Ferguson

In 2009, 2004 Judo Olympian Dr. Rhadi Ferguson graduated from Capella University

Is the Head Judo Coach and are the majority of the coaches also Parents?

Knowing how to teach children is great. You can definitely learn this skill in school. However, it is very different to be a mother or a father. And there’s nothing more powerful when you couple the skills of education with the life experience of being a parent. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson is a parent of two lovely children. His son, Rufus and his daughter, Rhadi. Whom both practice here at Tampa Florida Judo.

Tampa Florida Judo Family

The Ferguson family from Left to Right (Rufus, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, Dr. Traci Fergsuon, and Rhadi Ferguson)

Is the Judo Instructor a teacher or have they learned the professional skills of being an educator?

Dr. Ferguson is an educator and lecturer and has served as an adjunct professor at the University level and has lectured both nationally and internationally

 

Rhadi Ferguson Speaking at Florida State University

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson speaking at Florida State University

Rhadi Ferguson of Tampa Florida Judo

Head Coach of Tampa Florida Judo, 2004 Judo Olympian Dr. Rhadi Ferguson delivers a motivational lecture and life lesson on the campus of Howard University to elementary school age children.

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson provided the pre-game speech to the Howard University Football Team in 2012

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson provided the pre-game speech to the Howard University Football Team in 2012

Is your instructor intimately familiar with the sport and world of Mixed Martial Arts or the sports which they say that they know?

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson has competed at the Olympic Games in Judo, the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships, for Strikeforce (Mixed Martial Arts), and was a NCAA Division One 3 sport athlete in college (football, wrestling and track & filed)

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson has competed at the Olympic Games in Judo, the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships, for Strikeforce (Mixed Martial Arts), and was a NCAA Division One 3 sport athlete in college (football, wrestling and track & filed)

Many schools say that they do MMA, or practice MMA or train MMA, when in fact they’ve learned most of what they know about MMA from being a fan. Now while I understand that you DO NOT have to do the sport in order to be able to coach it well, there’s no doubt that they Dr. Ferguson also holds PROFESSIONAL RECORD of 3-0 and fought for, at the time, the 2nd largest MMA Organization in the World, Strikeforce. He also has coached many Mixed Martial Arts Fighters and was voted as one of the top 100 Coaches in the World by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Magazine.

Judo in MMA

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson competed in Strikeforce on January 2011. The fight was on Showtime and Dr. Ferguson competed against John Richard and won the fight via submission in the 2nd round

tampa judo

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson competes against Jang (KOR) at the 2004 Olympics.

What is your Judo Instructor’s Ranking and Lineage?

It is important to know who taught your teacher and who taught your teacher’s teacher? Dr. Rhadi Ferguson holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu. He was promoted from white belt to brown belt by Lloyd Irvin and received his Black Belt by Ricardo Liborio. Both of his BJJ Coaches are, like him, legends in the sport. Dr. Ferguson is also the only person in the world to compete at the Brazilian Jiujitsu World Championships, The Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Champions (also called the Olympics of Submission Wrestling) and the Olympic Games. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson’s first Judo Instructor was “Sensei Rick” from Oak Grove Elementary School. He then began training with Sensei Jack Williams from Miami Dade Community College. 

Dr. Ferguson has also trained under the tutelage of former Olympic Training Center Coach and 1984 Olympic Bronze Medallist Eddie Lidde as well as 1999 World Judo Champion, 2x Olympic Bronze Medallist and 4X Olympian Jimmy Pedro.

Rhadi Ferguson BJJ Black Belt

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson receives BJJ Black Belt from Ricardo Liborio

What has your Judo instructor done to further his knowledge?

There’s nothing like going to a “dead-end” dojo or to an instructor who doesn’t learn or won’t allow you to learn. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson is also a published researcher having written peer reviewed journal articles and sat on the board for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. He has written academic articles on Mixed Martial Arts, he is also a Professional Blogger for ProMMANow which is syndicated by the USA Today and is a professional. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson is also a published author who has produced DVDs, CDs and books.

Why is knowing all this information about Dr. Ferguson important?

Because you need to know that there are some people out here who are teaching martial arts who are, quite honestly, frauds. If you or your child train at Tampa Florida Judo, you will not only learn from a REAL martial artist but learn from arguably one of the best coaches, not in the city or state but in the country.

Dr. Ferguson is also the first and only United States Judoka to have an international coaching assignment where he served at the Head Coach for the Bahamas National Team and aided in the training and the production of the 1st and ONLY Olympian in the sport from the Bahamas.

Dr. Ferguson is here to teach you and your children the necessary skills for survival, for leadership, emotional regulation, honesty, fair play and high quality citizenship.
Because Dr. Ferguson has trained Olympians, he has also trained people who have NOT made the Olympics. Because Dr. Ferguson has trained National Champions, he has also trained people who have not won National Champions. This is important to know because winning on the mat is great, its nice, its somewhat important, but it is NOT the most important thing at Tampa Florida Judo and it is not the most important thing to Dr. Ferguson.  Although Judo is great, the most important thing is becoming a winner in life.