In episode 17, I talk “a little judo” (for 90 minutes) with my comrade and judo mastermind Niko Dax. Our conversation is always full of opinions, disagreements, and Russian accents. We talk about Teddy Riner, Ilias Iliadis visit to the United States, judo in Kansas, AAU freestyle judo, being a big fish in a small pond, Nick Delpopolo, Travis Stevens, Kayla Harrison, Ole Bischof, financial support of American judoka, and much more.
Niko on one of the many reasons Ilias Iliadis is already judo legend at the young age of 26.
“Iliadis is amazing because he has major wins in four different weight classes: at 73kg, 81kg, 90kg, and 100kg.”
Niko on the challenge of training without a nation-wide system that supports judo:
“If Travis Steven or Nick Delpopolo win a bronze medal in the next Olympic games, that medal will have much more value than a gold medal by any Russian player, because that bronze medal will be won despite (the lack of financial support).”
Niko on money and happiness:
“Money won’t buy you happiness… unless you don’t have money.”