Monday, January 20, 2014

Judoka Babe Hannah Martin Returns to Competition this Weekend

Judoka babe Hannah Martin heads overseas to Europe this week to kick off her 2014 competition schedule. From the little town of Burnt Hills, New York this 25 year old Olympic hopeful is ranked #1 in the USA and currently ranked #10 in the world at 63kg (138.8lbs). Hannah started Judo “on accident” in 1996 after her father took her to her younger brothers match and the rest is history as they say. Now a Sandan (third degree black belt) she has gone on to compete at the highest level in 26 different countries, is a two time national champion, a multiple international medalist and 2008 Olympic alternate now chasing her dreams to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We recently caught up with the 2016 Olympic hopeful for the interview below to learn a little more about Hannah.

How did you get involved in Judo and how long have you been training?

-My dad wanted my younger brother to do judo, I begged him to let me go watch one night and the instructor convinced my dad to let me put a gi on. Once I stepped foot on the tatami I instantly fell in love with everything about the sport. I was 8 years old, so I have been doing this sport for 17 years!

Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?

-I am currently training at the Jason Morris Judo Center located in Glenville, New York. My coach, Jason Morris is 4 time Olympian and won the silver medal at the ’92 Olympics.

-My typical training week consists of 6 days of Judo; each session is 2 hours long. Sometimes I practice twice a day, depending on what competitions I have coming up. I also strength train and do cardio circuits 3 to 4 times a week. I always make sure that I try to get two work-outs in a day, sometimes three.

Tell us about your upcoming competition tour, the format and where it takes place?

-My first competitive tour of the 2014 season is going to be in Europe. I am going to spend three weeks in Europe, competing and training. The first tournament is in Paris, France. The tournament is a one day event, and it is set up like a wrestling tournament. There is a draw, and they seed the top 8 athletes in each weight division. After Paris I will be going to Rome, Italy and then Dusseldorf, Germany.

What has been your best experience as a Judoka?

-My best experience would have to be winning a bronze medal in Abu Dhabi this past November. I injured my back really badly the week before I was supposed to leave, it was so bad I could barely walk and I could not train. I was going to pull out of the tournament because of the injury but I already spent the money to compete and it was going to be my last tournament of 2013 so I thought, just show up and maybe you can come home with a few wins. I came home with a bronze medal and it was one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in Judo?

-Out of all the martial arts I think Judo is a great sport for women. Judo is all about technique and finesse and using another person’s body weight against themselves. It is great for self- defense, it’s a good workout and you also get the chance to kick someone’s ass either by throwing them, choking or arm bar submission!

Any plans to cross over to MMA in the future?


Who are your favorite Judoka's and MMA fighters?

-My favorite Judoka’s are Jason Morris and Karoi Matsumoto (JPN). My favorite MMA fighters are BJ Penn, Anderson Silva and of course Ronda Rousey.

How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?

-I try to spend most of my time outdoors (in the summer) and in the wintertime you will find me snuggled under a blanket drinking hot coffee watching my favorite shows. I also like reading and writing.

For those who will inquire we have a couple questions for the male readership as well.

What do you look for in a guy?

-Personality, you need to be funny, smart, and have specific goals and motivation to work towards them. And of course a nice smile, pretty eyes and a sexy six pack.

What are your turn-ons?

-Muscular back and shoulders, humor, and someone that can hold a conversation.

What are your turnoffs?

-Bad hygiene.

What would you say is your best feature?

-My eyes and legs.

Lastly before we let you go we would love to hear about your future plans and let you send some shout outs.

Any future plans or dreams?

-To be world champion and Olympic medalist.

Any shout outs you would like to make?

-Huge Shout out to the Jason Morris Judo Center (JMJC).

Thank you very much for your time Hannah and good luck on the upcoming tour. Also, thank you to Hannah and Lou Digesare of for sharing the great pictures with us. We will definitely be watching your journey to the 2016 Olympic Games and your future in MMA. For more on Hannah Martin please visit her FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages.

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