Mike Swain on Judo, Afghanistan's Education and Economy
Mike Swain, Judoka and 4-time Olympian, is interviewed by Fereshteh Forough of the Afghan Development Project about Judo, the philosophy behind his company and Afghanistan and Central and South Asia.
Mike Swain starts by explaining Judo's philosophy and how it is part of his life. He talks about his company, Swain Sports, which sells martial arts mats. His specialty, as a Judoka and world champion, is his knowledge about mats. He uses this thought leadership to connect and communicate with his customers, mainly via social media. He also shares his thoughts on Afghanistan and Central and South Asia's education and economy.
More about Mike Swain:
Michael ("Mike") Lee Swain (born December 21, 1960 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) is one of the most successful American judokas. He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1984.
Swain became the first American male to win the Judo World Championships when he took the gold medal in 1987. He was a member of four US Olympic Judo teams (1980*, 1984, 1988, 1992) Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1988.
In addition to these well-known competitions, he participated in a number of tournaments that are less-known outside of the judo world, but very prestigious within it, such as the Kano Cup in 1986. Just in major international competitions, his record includes six gold medals, eleven silver medals, and nine bronze medals. As a competitor, Swain was known for his elegant classic Japanese style, having traveled to Japan as a young man to study. Later in his career, he coached the US men's team in the 1996 Olympics.
He is an alumnus of the San José State University judo program, training under Yosh Uchida. He is currently a coach for the Spartans, and handles much of the head coaching duties for the semi-retired Uchida. In 2005, Swain and the SJSU Judo Executive Committee established The Swain Scholarship, the first judo athletic scholarship at a major American university.
Swain is the owner of Swain Sports in Campbell, California.