The 60th Anniversary 2016 National Judo Championships was held this month at the Auckland Netball Centre.
Local man Kyle Leggott from Big Judo won the Super Heavyweight Division which should give him entry into the 2017 Oceania Championship. Kyle stands 190cm (6’3″ feet) tall and weighed in at 132 kg’s.

Kiwi judoka practitioners have achieved a gold medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games held in Auckland (to date our only CG champion), and a 5th place at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games (to date the highest ever placing by an NZL athlete).

Speaking with Big Judo boss Ben Stallworthy he said, “Internationally the super heavyweights are a weak division.  In most countries massive guys get picked up in professional sport so don’t do Judo.  Maybe if we can get few doing it in NZ we could start to achieve some success on the international stage”.

Myself personally, after captaining the Pukekohe High School 3rd XV and Pukekohe Rugby Under 19’s withdrew from the game all together because of injury would have probably continued into some form of martial arts like Judo if I knew it was an option.

With the rise in popularity of MMA (mixed martial arts) and the UFC, the option for ex rugby players to join an outfit like Big Judo and to train and achieve not only national but international success would be the perfect option.

The type of role models martial artists have always been to their younger students is to the highest level. I have witness this myself when on a visit to the Puni School to watch a class of children take place.

If you or your children would like to know more about classes being held by Big Judo, you can contact Ben call Ben on 021 688 289 or 09 238 1215 or email Ben at

Click here to see an article about ‘Kids love Big Judo’.