Nina demonstrating a counter

Guest Instructor: Nina Cutro-Kelly

We LOVE having guest instructors!

We are extremely fortunate here at Gompers Judo program to have guest instructors visit, some from far away, like Flavio Canto from Brazil, and others more local, like Olympian Nina Cutro-Kelly who dropped by a month ago.

One big advantage, no pun intended, is having people of different sizes. For example, Camilla is probably over 6 feet tall and only two other students are similar on weight. Our instructor (me) is about a foot shorter.

Of course, there is nothing saying an instructor can’t teach anyone of any size, and we all do, but still, it’s nice to have someone your own size to work out with.

Another benefit of different instructors is that they teach different techniques. Again, most instructors can teach most judo techniques but I’ve never believed that everyone is equally skilled at every technique. Usually when someone stops by, I ask them to teach whatever is their favorite technique. We had been working on counters lately, so, when Nina dropped by, she was asked to teach her favorite counter.

Years ago, I was at a seminar watching a couple of members of the world judo team demonstrate uchi mata (inner thigh throw). A coach from Puerto Rico was sitting next to me, he turned to me and said,

It’s not that I don’t know how to do this throw, because, of course, I do. Maybe, though, one of them will have a way of explaining it that will work to get through to that student who is having trouble understanding the way I show it.

-Angelo Ruiz, 1976 and 1988 Olympian

I couldn’t have said it better and that’s why I love having guest instructors.

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