GEORGE A. STEIN HAS MADE a name for himself defending clients charged with drunk driving and vehicular homicide. He calls himself "The DUI Lawyer" and even claimed the title for his Web site. What many clients and colleagues may not know is that Stein's other passion is judo, a sport he has been competing in since he was 6.
In June, Stein took home the bronze medal in the Judo World Masters Championship in the 81-kilogram division for men's 55-59 years. The medal was earned at Stein's first international competition. He is a fourth-degree black belt who has earned two other medals in national competition over the last three years. Another Atlanta lawyer, Stein's friend Dennis R. Scheib, earned gold in his division in the 2009 World Championships.
"A lot of people say, 'I never would have guessed,'" says Stein of his commitment to judo. "I was just in court and I was talking to one of the judges, and he said he was surprised to hear about it. That's quite often the reaction."
While he's preparing for major competitions, Stein trains six days a week, three at the Waka Mu Sha Judo Club in Grant Park, where he's also an instructor, and three with Russian kettlebells.
"It's an intensive, nonstop workout," Stein said. "We do squats, swings and combination exercises, because you have to have really good endurance for judo."
Stein recently talked to the Daily Report about competition and training.
What do you enjoy so much about judo?
If you have a love for the sport you do, it's fun. It's a great confidence booster, and it teaches you a lot of lessons about life. I've found that it's made me a better lawyer, to be calm and remain patient. At a trial, you have to have a full view of what's going on so you don't get distracted. You have to be disciplined and have that inner calmness to see the whole picture. [Judo] is like a physical game of chess, and being a lawyer is a big chess game.
How did you move into such high-level competition?
I had a burning desire to take it to the next level and see if I could do it. Being a lawyer and owning your own firm takes a lot of work. And often I'd find I was working 12 hours a day. But I made a conscious decision in '06 to start working out and trying to increase my proficiency as a distraction to practicing law.
What kind of a workout does judo offer?
It's a huge cardiovascular activity and a very multifaceted sport. It involves grappling and trying to gain an advantage by gripping an opponent. If you throw somebody forcefully onto their back, you win the match. Another way you win is by pinning somebody in a recognized hold down, or using choking techniques where you choke your opponent until they pass out or they tap out [signal surrender by tapping their finger on the mat].
What's your diet like?
I get by on about 1,500 to 1,600 calories a day. I eat a lot of high protein meals. A typical breakfast is four or five eggs whites. For lunch, I have a salad with seafood or chicken. My evening meal is sometimes some soup with a little bit of meat, or a halfsized meal.
Are you as disciplined with your diet as you are with your workouts?
I never overeat. I took off 10 to 12 pounds and decided to stay there. It lends itself to being fast, because speed is an important component of judo.
GEORGE A. STEIN
Owner, Stein & Ward
Fitness Passion: Judo
Every morning—150 push-ups and 150 sit-ups
Three times a week—judo training and one-hour kettlebell workouts
"Lessons from JUDO." Fulton County Daily Report (2009). General OneFile. Web. 16 Nov. 2009.
Gale Document Number:A209691367
United States Judo Association - USJA
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