Gino Collura on Tampa Florida Judo and Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
Lifelong martial artist and PhD Candidate at University of South Florida, Gino Collura, explains and tells about his experience with Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, the head sensei of Tampa Florida Judo.
“As a practicing martial artist for the past 20 years and lifelong resident of Tampa, Florida I have had the privilege of training with many great instructors within the Bay area. Yet, none have been able to expose me to the level of DETAILED INSTRUCTION and WORLD CLASS PEDIGREE that DR. RHADI FERGUSON HAS.
In my time training with Dr. Ferguson, my understanding of both fundamental and complex concepts within Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have been taken to a whole new level. His unique ability to not only TEACH the physical and mental aspects of both arts as well as PERFORM them on a DAILY BASIS encompasses the key ingredients of a FANTASTIC INSTRUCTOR. Far too often, martial arts instructors can do techniques but they cannot teach them; or, they can teach techniques but cannot execute them in “real-time”….DR. FERGUSON DOES BOTH and DOES THEM SUPERBLY WELL!! As a student, this has pushed me to a level of performance and mental conditioning that I never thought was possible. Being taught by an individual that is not only an expert in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but also a professional MMA Fighter, Olympian, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach, PhD in Education, Pioneering Scholar, Stellar Role Model for ALL ATHLETES, and a truly good person with his students’ best interest at heart is a RARITY. His unique combination of experiences, achievements, and accolades shines in the quality of instruction he provides. He doesn’t just simply teach you a technique and expect you to know it…he makes it HIS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that you master it. Dr. Ferguson dedicates the time, communication, and one-on-one interaction to ensure that you are not just learning techniques; he makes sure you understand WHY you are executing the techniques. This has elevated my grappling game tremendously and has separated him from other instructors in my past.
Furthermore, my time training with Dr. Ferguson has made me a better person through character refinement and pushing me beyond limits which I once thought I had. Because of his unique and rare teaching style, my performance in completing my PhD at the University of South Florida has improved as well as my performance in professional settings. His proprietary methodology of instruction has carried over into all facets of my life and has pushed me to grow athletically as well as competitively.
It is wholeheartedly an honor to have Dr. Ferguson as my instructor. His level of didacticism and passion for educating his students in the RIGHT WAY to practice Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu makes me proud to call Tampa Florida Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu my martial arts home.”
– Gino Collura
Tampa Florida Judo
I just wanted to write and thank you for the opportunity for my daughter Ella to train at your dojo, Tampa Florida Judo. She was very excited to be invited to train with you and I appreciate that you are such an open-minded coach that allows her to explore different training options and perspective in order to stimulate continued growth. Your specialized coaching ability give you the insight to to see her strengths as well as areas of opportunity to always improve her Judo. With your help she continues to be a top competitor at any tournament she competes in and we anticipate her continued national ranking this year. Thank you!”
– Frank Valenti
TNT Judo Academy
and a member of Tampa Florida Judo Family
“Our patience with Judo was really running thin, and our energy is reinvigorated, since working closely with you.”
“We initially met Dr. Ferguson at a local novice Judo tournament in Riverview, Florida. The gymnasium echoed with the typical sounds of a beginner’s event; “go get ‘em,” “come-on,” “get out of there,” and “throw-throw,” however this was not the approach taken by Dr. Ferguson. His fighters were provided clear direct instruction, which certainly provided his students with an advantage. This impressed me so much that I asked our Sensei about him. We learned that Dr. Ferguson had recently opened a school in our area, and heard that he was a former US Olympic team member, and a “real-deal, no nonsense coach”
At that time our 7-year old was training to compete in the National Scholastics, and we were desperately seeking a place for him to get some extra work. Our son was training with his Sensei 3-days a week, and working out with random Jiujitsu schools in the Tampa area, in an effort to find that little edge, but we were frequently disappointed. I found Dr. Ferguson’s class details, on www.tampafloridajudo.net, and called regarding some extra Randori. Dr. Ferguson, despite not knowing our son, welcomed him to his school. Dr. Ferguson asked us where we were training and stated, “I would love to have you come in, but I have to do it the right way.” Dr. Ferguson contacted our Sensei, and sought his consent, before having us in. This was a courtesy that we had never observed, as most other instructors simply started speaking of mat fees, and put efforts into getting us to trade out our current school.
We spent 2-days with Dr. Ferguson prior to the National Scholastics, and really enjoyed the training he offered our son. Dr. Ferguson presented us with several points regarding our son’s Judo, which we had never heard in 3-years of cultivation. Dr. Ferguson told us a simple thing that proved to be the foundation for the next 3-months of our son’s training, as he said “your son is fighting right handed, there are some hidden benefits to him standing as a lefty with his seionage game.” This was bewildering to us, since our son had been training for so long, but Dr. Ferguson took the extra time to effectively explain his observation to us.
Dr. Ferguson has continued to invite us back to his school, and the training has proven to be crucial as our son now trains for the Junior US Open. Dr. Ferguson began by teaching our son to fight left handed, but that was only the beginning. Dr. Ferguson consistently reveals the difference between showing a Judoka a throw, and coaching a national competitor. Dr. Ferguson does not administer training sessions with a blanket-approach; rather Dr. Ferguson examines each fighter’s individual stature, strengths, and weaknesses for the development of individualized action planning, which he explains thoroughly prior to implementing. This action planning is far more complex than many would imagine. It is the detail in this plan that is so impressive. The plan includes fight stance, gripping, entry techniques, primary throws, secondary throws, and a heavy emphasis on ground work. This means that the Judoka are not left to figure out how, when, and where to use the techniques. These details are provided to them; therefore nothing is left for the fighters to learn “the hard-way.”
Since we have committed to Dr. Ferguson our son has improved tremendously. His confidence is high, and his Judo is developing leaps and bounds. Our son has a plan of attack now, as he walks onto the mat. We are thrilled with the organized individual training that our son has received from Dr. Ferguson, and extremely grateful for the thoughtful course our son has been set upon.”
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Nisy
– TNT Judo Academy
members of the Tampa Florida Judo Family
“When you are taking a difficult class, no matter how great the teacher is, going to a tutor is always a wise idea. I have been incredibly fortunate to have an excellent coach in Jimmy Pedro, the 2012 US Olympic Coach. As part of his program I have improved greatly as an athlete. That said, I was also fortunate to work directly, also with the 2009 World Team Coach and 2009 Cadet World Championship coach for the Bahamas, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson. Dr. Ferguson’s coaching has been incredibly beneficial. During one of our weekend intensives, I got approximately 16 hours of one on one training time with Dr. Rhadi Ferguson. He fixed several problems with my groundwork as well as my grip fighting. His methodical, scientific approach of analyzing and implementation can greatly increase your game. Judo, Grappling and Jiujitsu are all games based off of who has more information. You can be the best athlete in the world, but if you do not understand the ins and outs of the game, you won’t go far. I highly recommend Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, Tampa Florida Judo and Dr. Ferguson’s teaching and coaching methods.”
2011 Collegiate National Silver Medalist
2011 World University Games Team Alternate