Manon Durbach- The Luxembourgeoise Soldier

Manon was proverbially born into judo by her mother who practiced when she was young. Manon was brought with her younger sister and brother to the training sessions and after a month Manon was also training. Her brother and sister have both given up Judo but obviously Manon continued the family trend. The greatest challenge in Manon’s opinion is that in judo you have to combine every aspect of one’s abilities. “ You need strength, technique and you have to be mentally strong”. These assets are extremely invaluable and make a big difference to a judoka. Before the competition Manon...

Getting Tougher by Recovering

When I started to learn about how to become more mentally tough by self-talk I found out that I am able to push my body to limits I didn’t know existed. Eventually and unfortunately, I discovered the negative symptoms of pushing yourself that I didn’t even know existed. Looking back, I must have been crazy to push myself to the limits that I did. I neglected my body for months at a time and as a result, it had failed on me. My  mind wanted to push more but my body pulled the handbrake. Injuries were the least of my...

Nina Cutro Kelly: A Special Warrior

Nina started Judo in 1992 as a hyperactive child with parents quibbling as to what to do with her. Her parents turned towards Judo as a potential solution. Nina was a self proclaimed “muscle head” when she started judo and just used her raw strength, however once she met her current coach Jim Hrbek, technique started to kick in. Nina is a unique judoka because she has 50 % bilateral hearing loss. This is highly unusual and yet she has hearing aids to help her during her day to day life. However she cannot wear them on the mat to...

Ecaterina Guica: A fight to the top

Ecaterina Guica was baptized into judo by her judo coach father at the age of five years old, she was fortunate to have a father that also opened a judo club. She has since gone on to compete for Canada at the international level and her goal is to make it to the Olympic stage representing Canada in Rio de Janeiro. One can assume that her father’s local judo club most of been a second home for her. A great challenge for Ecaterina is maintaining a good level of confidence which is necessary to succeed in high level tournaments especially...