женскихsingle combat



Lori Pierce

Lori Pierce

Photo from "US Judo"

Interview with Lori Pierce with comments of her mentor, Ron Peck - the Co-Founder of the Blind Judo Foundation

Русская версия

Lori Pierce with Ron Peck (left) and Willy Cahill
Photo from the site USA Paralympic Judo Team 2004

Lori Pierce, Willy Cahill and Ron Peck

Lori Pierce, USA, 21. Outstanding blind Judo wrestler (5’7”, 146lbs). World IBSA (International Blind Sports Federation) champion (2002), silver medalist of Paralympic Games (2004). Active participant in the Blind Judo Foundation and child trainer. Holder of United States Marine Corps Warrior Award and Terry Dodson Inspirational Award.

(The Paralympic Games are an official equivalent of the Olympics for athletes with physical disabilities; they take part at the same city as the regular Olympics just after them.)

Please tell us about yourself.

I am the youngest of eight kids. I was born 3 months prematurely and only weighed 2 pounds. I was adopted by Sandy and Lou Pierce when I was 4 months right from the hospital. I went to Anchor Center for the blind until I was 5 and then main streamed at public schools and graduated in 2003 from Arvada West high school. Some of my hobbies are being with friends, listening to music, computers, singing, and anything outdoors.

Are you able to use computer on your own?

Yes I have a screen reader that reads to me everything on the screen.

Can your computer screen facility distinguish an important text on the screen from advertisements, menu or service information?

My computer will have the pop ups come up but I can navigate around them.

What are your siblings doing?

My brothers and sisters are electrician, paper delivery person, cop, day care, nurse, and teacher respectively.

What kinds of music do you like to listen and sing?

I like all kinds of music, I like to sing karaoke with my brother sometimes.

Besides Judo, what other sports did you practice?

In high school, I ran cross country and track.

Who have been your best coaches and mentors?

I have learned something unique and important from all of my coaches, so deciding on a favorite would be impossible. I would have to thank Scott Moore for getting me interested in judo and for teaching me a lot. I truly appreciate my Northglenn judo coaches for working me hard in every practice and helping me improve on my techniques. I think my paralympic coaches Willy Cahill and Raul Tamayo have really built up my confidence and made this a sport that I not only like but I love. I must also thank Warren Agena from Northglenn school as well as Ron Peck and the Blind Judo Foundation for their funding and support, without which, my teammates and I would not have been able to get to where we are at today.

Have your coaches been specially trained to teach visually impaired people?

Yes, my coaches have been taught how to coach blind athletes. My Paralympic coaches and other coaches are very good at how they coach.

Could you please describe particular features of promotion, rules and terms in Judo competitions for visually impaired players?

The Blind Judo Foundation and the Association of Blind Athletes really helps get kids and adults involved in judo and other adaptive sports. The rules of judo are not much different then sighted judo. The only big differences are the blind players get to start with a standard grip.

Ron: Basically the same rules are followed for the sighted as well as the blind / visually impaired. The main difference is they can start off grabbing the judo gi before starting the competition. Even if a sight impaired person competes with a sighted person, they will initiate the game from grabbing each others gi.

Why Judo turned out to be a right sport for visually impaired people?

Judo is good for blind and visually impaired players because you are in constant contact with your opponent. It builds up self-confidence, you get to meet new people, you are doing something that is active.

Ron: I believe Judo is so fascinating for the visually impaired is that they can compete locally and at the Olympic Level (in this case the Paralympic level) and feel a sense of accomplishment. There are many individuals who try various sports and Judo is very difficult but at the same time rewarding. Being visually impaired and good at Judo helps to build confidence, character, citizenship and feelings of worth.

What are your personal reasons why you fell in love with Judo?

I saw judo at a United States Association of blind athlete's sports day. It looked interesting and something new to try.

How did you see it?

They had all different clinics that we could try and I tried judo and liked it a lot.

I would guess that competition without eye contact is quite different from a match with the visual contact. However, I think that blind people have the great sense of touch and perfect ability to concentrate on imperceptible opponent's moves. Could this advantage compensate lack of visual observation? Would you be able to compete with a sighted person?

I compete against sighted judo players. You don't have to be able to see to do well in judo because you are able to feel what your opponent is doing. It is different because your opponent can watch what you are doing and you had to just have someone else tell you what they like to throw or their techniques.

Ron: Not only do visually impaired have a heightened sense of touch they are also intent listeners to the coaches and trainer. Remember, not being able to see the moves and instructions, they need to visualize what is being communicated. Here there is an advantage in that the visually impaired does not get distracted with other visual stimulus around them. Visually Impaired individuals do compete with sighted judokas. However, at the Paralympic Level it is visually impaired vs. visually impaired.

Do your colleagues and trainers loudly comment what's going on during your competitions?

They coach me while I am fighting but they watch my opponents' matches and then quietly tell me what they are doing.

If the difference in the starting position not considered, is it possible for blind judoists compete against sighted ones in real competitions?

Yes, because you are fighting for the better grip and sighted players are doing the same.

I guess, there are quite few visually impaired female Judo players in your category. Do you compete also with men? Do you consider that appropriate?

I do practice with men. I don't think that this is a problem because you can get stronger since men are fighting a different style.

Ron: Lori and other females can compete with men of the same ranking and class but that is mainly in practice. It gives the female opponent generally someone that is stronger to train against and compete. However, in standard competition whether locally or internationally it is female vs. female.

What are the differences in the Judo styles between men and women?

There is not a difference on how they compete. I just mean men can be stronger, so if you are fighting against a man you have to sometimes use more technique and use their leverage more.

When you compete, what helps you perceive your opponent's intentions and anticipate her next move?

You can sometimes feel what they are going to do with their body movements.

Ron:Having a strategy and master of 3 moves and knowing how to implement them helps one to perceive the movement of their opponent's intentions and anticipated moves. Doesn't always work but at least there was a plan.

What are your favorite Judo techniques? Are there any special preferences for visually impaired players?

One of my favorite judo techniques is "Ippon Seoi Nage" and that translate to one arm shoulder throw. I don't think you can say that visual impaired athletes have a certain favorite techniques because they are visually impaired. You are going to find your favorite techniques on what you can do well or what makes sense to you, not what is good for you because you are blind.

When you compete, are not you scary to be thrown down, choked or gripped?

At first, it was a little different but I think that you just have to not care and just fight the matches.

Have you gotten serious traumas? Isn't it kind of dangerous, especially for visually impaired athletes?

No, I haven't gotten any huge injuries and it isn't any more dangerous then any other sport.

Do you know why men consider women's wrestling to be erotic?


What were the most exciting moments in your life?

I would have to say the exciting things in my life are when I got my guide dog, and going to Athens Greece to represent the US in the 2004 Paralympic games.

What are your best victories in the sport?

Receiving the gold medal in Rome at the Judo Worlds in 2002, receiving the silver medal in Greece.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to take classes that will allow me to go into a field working with kids. I also want to get more blind people into judo or other sports. I am hoping to be on the US Paralympic team for the 2008 Paralympic games.

How would you comment the following opinions expressed by our correspondents and authors?

Marina Kinyakina, Russian freestyle wrestler and kids' trainer: "In case of equal (or even greater) weight and skills, a woman doesn't have any real chance to defeat a man. Almost all men are inborn wrestlers whereas women have to overcome barriers. Also, our bodies are different."

I think that yes, women and men's bodies are different but a woman in judo could beat a man.

Shannon Logan, American Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestler: "I believe that women are ruthless competitors and cunning beyond belief... Women should not only do what any man can do, but more!"

I don't think that women need to prove that they are better then men. Women are good at some things whereas men aren't good at those things. I think that whether you are a man or woman you should just try to do your best.

Julia Merkulova, Russian wrestler and armwrestler: "Superiority of men is a must. I wouldn't accept mixed wrestling on an equal footing. A man must be stronger and smarter!!!"

I don't think you can say that men aren't smarter than women because there are some women that are stronger then men.

Colette Dowling, an author: "Women and men should compete together in groups of persons having about equal weight and height."

I think that would be fine if the participants were okay with it.

A lot of thanks for your time. All of us admire your strength of mind and purposefulness. Your life serves as a perfect example to people having vital difficulties and obstacles in their lives. Real personality and true character can perfect him/herself under any circumstances (especially if the society helps). Dear Lori, we wish you a successful athletic and professional career and happy fortunate personal life! We rate highly the efforts by your teachers and trainers: Scott Moore, Raul Tamayo, Willy Cahill, Ron Peck and others.
Happy New Year!

Thanks! Your website looks really great and I appreciate that you are promoting women's combative sports.

December 20, 2005

Exclusive of the Female Single Combat Club

Photographs are reprinted from the WEB sites "USA Paralympic Judo team", "Paralympic Academy" and "San Francisco Chronicle"

Lori Pierce in Judo action
Photo from Paralympic Academy

Lori in Judo

Lori Pierce training with Mike Alperin
Photos by Chris Hardy
Reprint from the San Francisco Gate

Lori Pierce and Mike Alperin

Lori Pierce and Mike Alperin

Lori Pierce in gym
Photos from the USA Paralympic Judo Team 2004

Lori in gym

Lori in gym

Lori in gym

Lori in gym

Lori in gym

"Ippon Seoi-Nage", favorite Lori's technique
Animation from site Judo Gradering

Lori and Willy

Lori's coaches, mentors and inspirators

Scott Moore and his family
Great Judo family
Scott Moore, first American to win a Gold medal in Olympic or Paralympic competition in the history of judo; his wife Heidi Moore, famous heavyweight judoist; future Judo champion Jordan, their son
Photo from Denver Judo

Warren Agena
Warren Agena, Judo instructor
Photo from Northglenn Judo Club

Raul Tamayo
Raul Tamayo, Paralympic coach
Photo from USA Paralympic Judo Team 2004

Willy Cahill
Professor Willy Cahill, Paralympic coach, Judo Guru
Photo from USA Paralympic Judo Team 2004

Ron Peck
Ron Peck - the Co-Founder of "Blind Judo Foundation"

Ron Peck's announcement.

The Blind Judo Foundation, a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) was formed to introduce Judo to the whole blind and visually impaired community across America and the World starting right here in the San Francisco area of California. To be able to reach these visually impaired individuals, we need funding to continue to carry out our programs.

We would appreciate any thoughts or ideas that could lend itself to help fund The Blind Judo Foundation and continue our mission. We do have limited resources and it is now time to escalate the mission of increasing the confidence, character and help to overcome the challenges of the visually impaired through Judo. Our Goal is to be able to introduce Judo to this community of all ages. Over 66% of visually impaired individuals get no exercise whatsoever. We all know where that leads.

Lori Pierce is just one example of what training, attitude, tenacity and time along with appropriate funding can do.

Your thoughts would be most appreciated, please contact us by e-mail.

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