Koji Komuro is a well decorated 6th degree black belt in Judo who had the distinct honor of training under Kosen Judo master Kanae Hirata. Komuro also got his BJJ black belt from Japanese MMA legend Yuki Nakai.
Komuro has released 4 excellent instructional DVDs (which are in English) and a fantastic book specializing in groundwork titles "Judo Newaza of Koji Komuro Komlock" (also in English). This book is available in paperback and ebook.
Budo Jake: Judo prides itself on character development. This is something that the founder, Jigoro Kano, always stressed. How do you feel Judo training has changed you as a person?
Koji Komuro: I learned a lot through judo. My most important lessons were to never give up and that hard work will pay off. There have been some difficulties so far, but I was able to overcome them. It was because of the support of my friends, teachers, and family. The bond of Judo made me stronger.
BJ: Of course Brazilian Jiu Jitsu came from Judo but technically, how do you define the difference between Judo and BJJ?
KK:The simplest answer is that Judo is a standing sport and BJJ is a ground sport. Of course, there are places where they link to each other, but their strengths are different.
BJ: BJJ has had tremendous worldwide growth in the past couple decades. As a Judo practitioner how do you feel about that? Do you feel like they stole the spotlight away from Judo?
KK: I don't think Judo has been robbed of the spotlight from BJJ. BJJ is popular all over the world and is familiar to many people. I think it's worth mentioning that it's been a commercial success. Jigoro Kano, the creator of judo, did not seek its commercialization. Instead, he worked to have it adopted as an Olympic sport. I think it is important that two good points influence each other and prosper.
BJ: You've been teaching Judo for a long time. What is the most common advice you give to your students?
KK: Morally, I teach that we should not forget gratitude and courtesy. I think judo emphasizes more than just the physical. Technically speaking, I'm always coaching my students that if you throw, you need to hold your opponent down on the ground.
BJ: That's great advice Sensei. Well, after achieving so much success in Judo, BJJ, and MMA, I'm curious, what are you excited about these days?
KK: In the past, I traveled to various countries to promote judo techniques. I published a book and posted videos on Youtube. This is to spread the judo techniques that I have learned and pass them on to future generations. Technology comes and goes. I feel that I have a responsibility to pass on these ancient arts so that it does not disappear.
But I moved on to the next stage. I am now a high school teacher. Now I am interested in human resource development.
BJ: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat today Komuro Sensei. You are a great role model in the grappling world. I encourage anyone who hasn't, to look into your DVDs and book to learn a bit of your broad knowledge of Judo and grappling!