The answer is “yes.”  From a practical standpoint, good judo, jujitsu and sambo are pretty much the same.  Athletes from Welcome Mat have competed in a variety of combat sports since the club’s inception.  As Kenney Brink once told me; “Let me know if we’re going to a judo or sambo tournament this weekend so I know what gear to pack in my bag.”  Of course, there are distinct differences in each discipline, but our approach at Welcome Mat has been to develop athletes who are successful in a variety of combat sports.  Judo has been a primary sport for many years, but our Shingitai approach to jujitsu, as well as the training we offer in sambo all combine to develop a well-rounded and well-prepared athlete.  
    Welcome Mat respects the basic tenets of Kodokan Judo and recognizes Prof. Jigoro Kano as the genius and innovator he was.  Prof. Kano’s judo has been the basis for a variety of grappling sports, including the sambo of the Soviet Union and John Saylor’s Shingitai jujitsu.  We sincerely respect the traditions of the martial arts, but it’s our belief that function dictates form. Our approach is that an effective technique is an effective technique, whether it’s done in a judo match, a sambo match or in a sport jujitsu match or in a self-defense jujitsu situation.
    Welcome Mat issues belt rank promotions in both Shingitai Jujitsu and Kodokan Judo.  Our approach to issuing belt ranks is not to promote someone based on the minimum standards, but on a standard of excellence.  Your skill level is more important than the color of your belt.  Belt rank is not issued in sambo, in keeping with the tradition of that sport.  There are some places and organizations that issue belt ranks in sambo, but it’s not a common practice (and has not been a common practice) in Russian sambo so we don’t use belt ranks in sambo at Welcome Mat.
     The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is the largest amateur sports organization in the world representing over 35 different sports including judo.  All the Welcome Mat member clubs are AAU members and our coaches are accredited AAU Judo coaches. For more information on AAU Judo, contact www.AAUJudo.org.
Welcome Mat is honored to be a member of the Shingitai Jujitsu Association, one of the most respected jujitsu organizations in the United States.  
Steve Scott, Welcome Mat's Head Coach and Founder
Steve Scott started the Welcome Mat Judo and Jujitsu Club on Sept. 3, 1969.
Steve is a Hachidan (8th Grade Black Belt) in Kodokan Judo and Shichidan (7th Dan) in Shingitai Jujitsu.
"I started Welcome Mat in 1969 with the idea that everyone is welcome to train with us.  Perfection may not be possible, but excellence is, and if you want to achieve excellence, please join us at Welcome Mat."

 Our approach is to develop well-rounded, skilled and confident athletes in both sport and self-defense.  

     All areas of skill are emphasized. Skill training in many techniques used in judo, sambo, sport jujitsu and submission grappling such as throws, takedowns, armlocks, chokes and strangles, hold-downs and leglocks are emphasized.  Self-defense skills such as wrist and armlocks, striking techniques, and specialized personal safety skills are emphasized in our self-defense classes.  
     Welcome Mat offers a wide range of training opportunities in grappling and self-defense for anyone who is interested in studying Shingitai Jujitsu, Kodokan Judo or Russian Sambo. We introduced Russian Sambo to the Kansas City area in 1977 and have been a national leader in that sport since.  Welcome Mat is one of the leading training centers in the United States for Shingitai Jujitsu and has been instrumental in the development and growth of Kodokan Judo in this area since 1969.  Our approach is to offer the best quality coaching possible in an antmosphere where everyone is welcome.  Our group of coaches, headed by Steve Scott, are some of the best technicians and teachers in the United States.  We believe that if you are successful, we are successful.  

"Welcome Mat is one of the leading technical clubs in the United States.  If you want to learn skilled, realistic jujitsu, judo, sambo and grappling, train at Welcome Mat." 
John Saylor, Director, Shingitai Jujitsu Association 
"Steve Scott's been there, done that and knows what he's talking about." 
AnnMaria (Burns) DeMars, 1984 World Judo Champion 

     Steve Scott holds advanced black belt rank in both Kodokan Judo and Shingitai Jujitsu and is a member of the U.S. Sombo Association’s Hall of Fame.  He first stepped onto a mat in 1965 as a 12-year-old boy and has been training, competing and coaching since that time.  He is the head coach and founder of the Welcome Mat Judo, Jujitsu and Sambo Club in Kansas City, Missouri where he has coached hundreds of national and international champions and medal winners in judo, sambo, sport jujitsu and submission grappling.  Steve served as a national coach for USA Judo, Inc., the national governing body for the sport of judo as well as the U.S. Sombo Association and the Amateur Athletic Union in the sport of sambo. He also served as the coach education program director for many years with USA Judo, Inc.  He has personally coached 3 World Sambo Champions, several pan American Games Champions and a member of the U.S. Olympic Team.  He served as the national team coach and director of development for the under-21 national judo team and coached U.S. teams at several World Championships in both judo and sambo.  He was the U.S. women’s team head coach for the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela where his team won 4 golds and 6 silvers and the team championship. He also coached numerous U.S. teams at many international judo and sambo events. Steve conducted numerous national training camps in judo at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Marquette, Michigan and Lakes Placid, New York. He has also served as a television commentator for a local MMA production.  As an athlete, he competed in judo and sambo, winning 2 gold medals and a bronze medal in the National AAU Sambo Championships, as well as several other medals in smaller national sambo events and has won numerous state and regional medals in that sport.  He was a state and regional champion in judo and competed in numerous national judo championships as well.  He has trained, competed and coached in North America, South America, Europe and Japan and has the opportunity to train with some of the top judo and sambo athletes and coaches in the world. 

     Steve is active in the Shingitai Jujitsu Association with his friend John Saylor (www.JohnSaylor-SJA.com) and has a strong Shingitai program at his Welcome Mat Judo, Jujitsu and Sambo Club.  He has authored several other books published by Turtle Press including TAP OUT TEXTBOOK, CONDITINING FOR COMBAT SPORTS (along with John Saylor), ARMLOCK ENCYCLOPEDIA, GRAPPLER’S BOOK OF STRANGLES AND CHOKES, VITAL LEGLOCKS, GROUNDFIGHTING PINS AND BREAKDOWNS, DRILLS FOR GRAPPLERS and CHAMPIONSHIP SAMBO, THROWS AND TAKEDOWNS, as well as the DVD, CHAMPIONSHIP SAMBO.  He has also authored COACHING ON THE MAT, SECRETS OF THE CROSS-BODY ARMLOCK (along with Bill West), THE JUJI GATAME HANDBOOK (along with Bill West), PRINCIPLES OF SHINGITAI JUJITSU (along with John Saylor), INSIDE JUJI GATAME and THE MARTIAL ARTS TERMINOLOGY HANDBOOK, as well as the DVD, SECRETS OF THE CROSS-BODY ARMLOCK.  Steve is also active in training law enforcement professionals with Law Enforcement and Security Trainers, Inc. (www.lesttrainers.com) and is a member of ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association).

     Steve is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and teaches jujitsu, judo, submission grappling and sambo full-time as well as CPR and First-aid.  For over thirty years, he worked as a community center director and coached judo, jujitsu and sambo in various community centers in the Kansas City area. He has conducted over 300 clinics and seminars across the United States.  For many years, he was active as an athlete in the sport of Scottish Highland Games and was a national master’s champion in that sport. He is married to Becky Scott, the first American woman to win a World Sambo Championship.  Naturally, they met at a judo tournament in 1973 and have been together ever since. 

     Steve’s first coach, Jerry Swett, told him as a teen-ager that he had a God-given gift for teaching and this impelled Steve to become a coach, and eventually, an author. Steve’s second coach, Ken Regennitter, helped him start his judo club and loaned him the mat first mat ever used at the Welcome Mat Judo, Jujitsu and Sambo Club. Steve owes much to these kind men. His life’s work and most satisfying accomplishment has been his effort as a coach to be a positive influence in the lives of many people.

WELCOME MAT POLICY ON BELT RANK If you are a visitor and wish to work out at Welcome Mat or a person who has practiced jujitsu or judo previously and want to train at Welcome Mat, please observe our policy on belt rank as presented here. This policy is not in place to exclude people or to imply that jujitsu or judo rank issued by Welcome Mat is superior to other organizations, groups, clubs, instructors or styles. Since our club's founding in 1969, we have had many visitors, some more skilled than others, and we have learned the hard way that not all people who purport to be a particular belt rank are what they claim to be. This rank policy is in place so that everyone who practices at a Welcome Mat club can, and will, expect a certain level of skill and expertise from everyone wearing a specific colored belt. For everyone's safety, we have adopted this policy on belt rank. Jujitsu Rank PolicyWelcome Mat Judo-Jujitsu Club issues belt rank in Shingitai Jujitsu through the Shingitai Jujitsu Association. Since there are many different jujitsu organizations and systems of jujitsu that issue belt rank, our policy is that only belt rank issued by the Shingitai Jujitsu Association is worn at any and all Welcome Mat club locations. While we respect all other styles of jujitsu, including BJJ, any of the "traditional" Japanese styles or any of the modern hybrid styles of jujitsu, please respect the fact that we are a Shingitai Jujitsu club and not affiliated with any other style or organization. Visitors are welcome to practice with us but we ask that you wear a white belt if you do not have rank in Shingitai Jujitsu.  However, we do have reciprocal agreements with some jujitsu organizations, so if you are in doubt if your jujitsu organization has a reciprocal belt agreement with Welcome Mat, please e-mail Steve Scott atstevescottjudo@yahoo.com. Judo Rank Policy Welcome Mat recognizes judo rank issued by any and all of the national judo organizations. Visitors  who wish to practice judo or anyone wishing to join our judo program at Welcome Mat who have judo rank will be required to present a rank certificate or rank card from a national judo organization. In the event no rank verification can be presented or produced, we reserve the right to designate the appropriate judo rank level for the person when he or she is training at Welcome Mat.  Other Martial ArtsEach martial art is different. Belt rank in one martial art does not transfer to another martial art. A person may be a black belt in karate but that does not mean he is a black belt in judo.  Likewise a person may be a black belt or brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but he is not a black belt or brown belt in judo or Shingitai Jujitsu. Welcome Mat does not issue belt ranks in sambo.  As a result of this policy, when practicing sambo (sombo) at any Welcome Mat club location, please wear the colored belt corresponding to the color of the sambo jacket worn. If a person visits Welcome Mat or joins Welcome Mat and has prior experience in submission grappling, MMA or a jujitsu or grappling style that does not issue belt rank, but wishes to obtain belt rank, he or she will be evaluated by a member of our coaching staff and, with the approval of the Head Coach, be assigned a belt rank corresponding to his or her skill level. 
All jujitsu ranks awarded at Welcome Mat are issued exclusively through the Shingitai Jujitsu Association. For information on the Shingitai Jujitsu Association, visit the Shingitai Jujitsu page on this web site or go to

All judo ranks awarded at Welcome Mat are issued through the Judo Black Belt Association. This is the official yudanshakai of the Welcome Mat Judo Club. Welcome Mat judo athletes and coaches may also have rank issued by other national or regional judo organizations.