Success Stories

Sensei Montenegro’s reputation is illustrated by testimonials provided by judoka of all levels:

“I have known Juan Montenegro for twenty years, as a training partner, instructor and friend. I was a member of the Czechoslovakia National Team, and competed internationally. I have very high standards and expectations of instructors. When it was time for my son to learn judo, the only instructor I considered for him was Juan Montenegro. I recommend him to everyone looking to learn the sport of judo.”

–Eugene Miskela
International Judo Competitor

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“I competed for the Panamanian Judo Team before I moved to the United States. I retired for several years, but recently returned to my training. I live in Los Angeles, but I make the drive to train with Juan Montenegro at Orange County Judo Training Center. His coaching is outstanding, and he really cares about his students.”

-Christian Aguilar
Judo Student

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“Dear Juan,

It’s been a year since I have become a student athlete with San Jose State Universitys varsity judo, and I am truly grateful to have been granted this opportunity. Being relatively green to the intense world of competitive judo, it has been a difficult road training among some of the world’s greatest judokas. I have made drastic improvements in my abilities to compete in judo since I started training with the SJSU judo team, however I fully recognize that I would have never been capable of doing that without all those years of foundational training under you. There have been many instances in the past 12 months where I just wanted to just curl up in a ball and give up, but the foremost lessons I have gained from you have taught me how to mentally and physically persevere in the midst of difficult situations. I know that before I started nationally competing with the SJSU judo team, you were there by my side, dedicating 100’s of hours of expertise that have now enabled me to pursue the path that I have excelled in.

I wish you well in your new venture in both teaching and coaching in Costa Mesa . You are a most dedicated teacher and continue to be a constant positive influence not only in my skill as a judoka but also as student and a person.

Best Wishes and Warmest Regards.”

-Allison Clifford
2007 National Collegiate Champion

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“I would like to thank Juan Montenegro for all his dedication and hard work in assisting my daughter in Judo. Since Juan has taken her under his wing she has accomplished phenomenal things in Judo. Christina has won the state championships, Jr. Nationals, Middle School Nationals and Voted Best female competitor at Jr. Nationals. Without Juan’s assistance and expertise in judo we do not believe these dreams could have become reality. We are looking forward to training with Juan Montenegro for years to come.”

–Robert Z.
Parent

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“Juan Montenegro has become more then my daughters’ Judo Sensei, he has become someone she admires and looks up to as a mentor. Christina started training with Juan when she was 11 years old, now at the age of 15; she has become a top competitor in Judo. Training with Juan has made Christina number one in the following competitions; Middle School Nationals; Jr. Nationals; State Championships, and has been voted best female competitor at Nationals last year in Florida . All of which could not be possible without Juan’s persistence and patience teaching her his Judo techniques.”

–CC Z.
Parent

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I started training with Juan Montenegro when I was 13, and continued my studies with Juan while I was attending university in San Diego. As an attorney, my schedule is pretty hectic, but I still try to find the time to train with Juan, even though I live in West Los Angeles. Juan is a great instructor and role model, and I appreciate everything he has done for me. I highly recommend Juan to anyone looking to study judo.

–Erwin Benedicto
Judo Student

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“Juan Montenegro is my Judo Sensei, mentor and good friend. I was a high school wrestler and had always been interested in Judo. After graduating college in 1992, I decided to act on my interest and began training with Sensei Juan. I sought Sensei Juan since he had a great reputation as an instructor. My only goal was to get in shape after not working out for four years. However, Sensei Juan took me under his wing and mainstreamed me as a white belt into the adult class with all levels of competitors. His patience and efficient teaching methods taught me quickly, and within a few months, I was in shape and began competing. Sensei Juan came to every one of my contests, and his dedication to take weekend time to help students is critical to student success. Years later, I earned my black belt under Sensei Juan, and this was one of the most significant moments in my life. Sensei Juan was able to keep my interest in Judo with quality training without the need to give belts away quickly. A student earns their belt in Sensei Juan’s class and has complete satisfaction by learning something new at every workout. The learning does not end with a black belt. Over 14 years later, I no longer compete but still learn something new from Sensei Juan at each class. I cannot express how grateful I am to Sensei Juan Montenegro for dedicating his life to teaching Judo.’

–Scott Gelb
Judo Student