One of my most memorable fights in the United States happened against Ato Hand.  Now, I can tell you that my best series of fights was with a gentleman by the name of Michael Barnes but one of my most memorable fights was against Ato Hand.  This judo match happened at the New York Athletic Club’s annual tournament.  To this day, the NYAC tournament is still the toughest tournament on US soil.

This match was so memorable for a plethora of reasons.  Some of the main ones are:

  1. I was just coming into my own as a ground fighter. I had recently just been promoted to purple belt in Brazilian Jiujjitsu and was feeling that I could submit most Judoka on the ground
  2. This match was an Olympian vs. Olympian match. Ato Hand is a 2000 Olympian and I was an up and coming future (2004) Olympian.  We had fought 2 times before and I won on and Ato won one.  So this was the rubber match.
  3. And lastly this match signified the passing of the torch from Ato to myself as the new holder of the 100kg weight class. And although Ato lost the match, he was the true winner.  He had already been to the Olympics the year before and he kind of needed to know where he was so that he could retire.  We all get there. We get to a point when we just don’t want to train “like that” anymore.  And Ato got some closure for his career on this day.
  4. There’s nothing like competing against somebody that you love and respect.


Sometimes when you are training you just get so tired and fatigued that you don’t think that you can’t do anymore.  When this happens, you have to find a way to push a little bit more. You have to remember why you started. You have to remember why you are HERE.  You have to remember what you decided to fight for in the first place.

And  THEN you have to fight.

You can’t just fight when things are good. That’s not fighting. The true measure of a person is how they respond when all hope is lost, when you don’t feel like doing another rep, or when you are just thinking that you hurt too bad to keep going.  It is here when the actually training really begins.  This what made Muhammad Ali the greatest boxer of all time. It was that he was “up against the ropes” and under some perceptively insurmountable odds but he came to fight. And he was willing to die fighting.

You have to want to be so good or be so great at a thing that you are willing to give up everything for it. This is the key to life. And this is why few succeed and many fail.




If this is you and if you have a zeal for excellence then I have something completely awesome for you.

I am once again offering training under and in the most effective, developed and researched practice and training method – Deliberate Practice.

Deliberate practice is the training of a skill with much repetition and immediate expert  coaching and feedback with feedback being the main component.

Just think how good you can get at a move, a sequence or a set of movements if you did the moves, videotaped them and had someone on provide you with a critique and analysis on how you can fix the move?

Pretty darn good, huh?

Now just think if that person was in the room while you were doing the move and fixing it on the spot. IMMEDIATELY your rate of improvement would increase due to the immediate feedback.

See, this is not about short cutting anything. This is about putting in the work. And the fact of the matter is this….. Deliberate practice allows you to get good….. and good at an ACCELERATED RATE!

On the 29th of April in Tampa, Florida at Tampa Florida Judo, I am hosting a Deliberate Practice Armbar Seminar.

For the details please click HERE


When I started my career as a judo coach, I was a great polisher. This is not at all abnormal for a world class athlete with good communication skills and the desire to coach. It’s usual for them to be thrown into the top end of the developmental cycle to coach and not into the grassroots coaching realm. I was no different. I could take somebody who already had the raw materials in place, who already had some sort of development, and shine them up and polish them; help them become a champion, help them become an Olympian, help them win worlds, help them win national championships, and I was able to do this because I was a great polisher.

But, when I became a grassroots level coach and started coaching with the Bahamas Judo Federation in 2009, coaching inside schools, putting together school programs, putting together dojo programs around the country, and doing the same thing for myself in Tampa, I had to learn how to become a manufacturer – and more so when I had my son and my daughter. I had to learn about total athletic development with respect to human development and early childhood education. I had to learn how to develop someone from the initial stages of nothingness and help them become something.

Now, granted, these are all things I knew in theory. The hard part about the grassroots coaching process is that while we are so focused on the students we still need someone to focus on us, and that’s my reason for producing this book. I know that as you continue to pour out into your students every day, you still need someone to pour into you, someone to encourage you, someone to help you grow, and someone to push you forward to higher levels of excellence.  I hope you will allow me to pour into you and to continue to share with you. If you are looking to grow and to know more, be more and do more but understand that you just need a good push, the right words at the right time, or a small piece of knowledge that you may be missing, then do yourself a favor and get your hands on my book  The Ultimate Judo Success Secret today.

Thank you so much for reading and following. I hope that you got a lot from today’s issuance.

Blessings from here to there,

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson

P.S. If  you are interested in making huge gains on and/or off the mat please take the time to visit Dr. Ferguson Coaching Program page today

P.P.S. Make sure you get the FREE VIDEO Course available at