Olympians hit the mat with Iolani judo team - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Olympians hit the mat with Iolani judo team

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -


 Imagine if you could get throwing lessons from Peyton Manning or if Kevin Durant tweaked your jump shot.

Dozens of athletes at Iolani got the judo equivalent of that type of training and the team's dojo was temporarily transformed into a stand-in for the Olympic Training Center.

Jimmy Pedro and Kayla Harrison, two of America's most decorated judo Olympians recently spent a week with the squad imparting technique for the body and mind.

"What I try to convey to the kids is that anything is possible," said Pedro, a two-time Olympic medalist. "It's to inspire the youth to do great things, but more importantly, to teach them life lessons that'll carry on outside of sport and it's the discipline, the hard work, the perseverance. They're gonna have many challenges in life, but they're gonna come across and I think judo teaches them how to deal with those obstacles."

No better person to talk about adversity than Pedro's student.
Harrison is the country's first gold medalist in the sport, but now she's going through rehab for reconstructive knee surgery.
"There's always going to be something," Harrison said. "There's always going to be a road block. There's always going to be something that gets in your way. For me right now, it's my knee. For them, it may be they are struggling to learn a throw or whatever it is, but you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it."

In addition to the character lessons, the masters gave the 101 on throws counters, and sweeps.
Now the pupils are eager to put it to use and feel they got a jump on the competition.
"It's really inspiring because theirs is a top level that you want to aspire to and ours is just states, so the fact they can reach it there, we can follow what they did, follow what they teach us to win states hopefully." said team captain Alexandra Fautanu. "I think it's going to pay off quite a bit because we are the only team that has them for a full week to ourselves, so hopefully that'll rub off for us."

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