Dr. Rhadi Ferguson aka The Carnival Doctor


Dr. Rhadi Ferguson is a Bahamian-American, a 2004 Olympian in the sport of Judo, an author, speaker, former mixed martial arts professional fighter and an award winning judo coach. He is professionally called “The Intellectual Warrior” due to his academic approach as a strategist and tactician. He further staples down this moniker by having served as an Adjunct Professor in the sports science department of the University of Central Florida and also as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. Currently Dr. Ferguson serves as an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research as well as the Theories and Applications International Edition Journal.

Dr. Ferguson has been featured on major networks such as Yahoo!, NBC, ESPN and in print media such as UFC Fit Magazine, Ultimate Grappling Magazine and he is a writer for the professional blog ProMMANow.com which is syndicated by the USA Today. Dr. Ferguson has also been published in peer reviewed journals and his motivational speaking and coaching advice can be easily found on his internet show “Coffee With Rhadi” which is a spinoff from his book “Coffee with Rhadi: Herculean Conversations with an Olympian (and some other things that you think about from time to time...)” which can be found with the rest of his publications on www.Amazon.com

After growing up in Miami, Florida and experiencing the Goombay Festivals in Coconut Grove during his youth, Dr. Ferguson got bit by the "Carnival" bug in 2011 at Miami Carnival and has been hooked ever since. Since then he has been a regular at Carnival in Trinidad & Tobago and many other carnivals such as Miami, Tampa, Palm Beach, and Orlando. Dr. Ferguson believes in attending the "big" carnival as well as the small ones, as the small ones provide a great training ground for the newbies and neophytes to carnival.

In 2014, Dr. Ferguson wrote one of the best selling books on preparing for carnival called "The Ultimate Road Ready Guide: PACE! What Every Carnival Veteran And Carnival Virgins Must." Dr. Ferguson today has been heralded as "The Carnival Doctor" by TriniJungleJuice and by many others around the world by his ability to prepare for carnival and create the best experience possible for masqueraders and revelers.

In 2013 Dr. Ferguson was selected as 1 of the top 100 Mixed Martial Arts trainers in the world by UFC Fit Magazine. In 2006 he was awarded the USA Judo Coach of the Year Award and that same year he was nominated for the top sports science award issued by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the Doc Councilman Award. Dr. Ferguson also served as the Athlete Advisory Council representative for USA Judo and the USOC.

Dr. Ferguson has also served as the Head Coach for the Bahamas Judo Federation where he has coached at the World Judo Championships, the Cadet World Championships and had the privilege of developing the first Olympian in the sport of Judo in the Bahamas during his time as Head Coach.

Professionally, Dr. Ferguson holds a black belt in Judo. He also holds a 2nd Degree black belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu which is a background that very few martial artists can proclaim. Dr. Ferguson also holds a doctorate and masters degree in area of education and currently runs, teaches and operates his own dojo in Tampa, Florida where he coaches, teaches and mentors practitioners at the grassroots level of the art and sport who have been successful on the state and national levels.

At the end of the day, Dr. Ferguson likes to say that he is “…just a coach and a mentor – nothing more, nothing less.” But the truth is, he is a highly sought out and recognized High Performance Enhancement Specialist centered in education, business, carnival and sport. Utilizing his proven background as an Olympian and lecturing motivator to course corrects systems, create, modify and engineer curriculum initiatives and construct strategic framework toward improving performance and elevating desired outcomes.

Dr. Ferguson resides in Tampa, Florida with his wife of 12 years, Traci Ferguson, MD and their two children. Their son Rufus (8) and daughter Rhadi Isabelle (4).
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Go Or No Go?

This fete is a 100% "Go!"   

If you do Orlando Carnival,  ILAN All Inclusive and the Flag Fete are musts.  Those fetes should be on your itinerary and you should work everything else around that. Real talk. But the ILAN fete not missing me.  It was a well presented fete from top to bottom. After going to Carnival in Jamaica, I am real critical of all-inclusive fetes. The ILAN fete hit the mark for sure.

On the 22nd of April of 2017, I attended my favorite fete during Carnival in Jamaica, the Bazodee fete.

This fete was my favorite because of the ambience, the food, the vibes and the coffee.

Let me start my story from my most favorite part first.

Admittedly, I went to Carnival in Jamaica for one reason only. Because my friend Winston Williams told me to go in order to experience the Sunrise Breakfast Party. He informed me that this breakfast fete was one of the best service and fetting experiences on the planet. So quite honestly, I booked my trip to Jamaica on the strength of that urging, alone.

After getting off of my flight and through customs on Friday, quite honestly all I wanted to see was the back of my eyelids.


As I made my way through customs and then outside, I saw the driver holding up the sign "Ferg."

I hailed him up and said, "I'm Ferg." And then he summoned my ride and to my surprise my friend, Chauncie who had arrived an hour before me, was in the car. Instead of going to the hotel and resting, she decided to stay in the taxi and stop by a jerk chicken spot. So when I got in the taxi she handed me that wrapped up aluminum foil with that chicken inside and it gave me life.

Just so that you know, Carnival in Jamaica was a wonderful experience and I cannot recommend it enough. And although I can most certainly recommend it, recommending it without providing the appropriate direction and advice is pretty nonsensical.

Any carnival goer knows how difficult it is to plan for a carnival that they've never been to. The first thing that we do is get on Google and start searching for the dates and then we look to our carnival veteran network and find out who has been to the particular carnival that we want to go to and then we piece things together from there.

After missing TNT 2017, I am looking forward to Jamaica Carnival this weekend for more than a few reasons. One of them being.... I just really want to be inna fete during carnival when that song "Full Extreme" drops so I cyan "hold dem and wuk dem."

What Is Soca Brainwash?

Soca Brainwash is a fete where fun and fete expectations are meant to deliver an experience in harmony with the theme.

It’s a fete where fetting becomes an ideal of social consciousness. Where the necessary medicine to cure today's social ailments are prescribed through and within the fete. 

It’s is very difficult to bring the vibes of carnival into a fete.  More often than not the fetes are provided as a means to the “finish” to the emotional "roadgasm" that is reached through the road experience.  What most fetes never accomplish is how to integrate and interstice that “roadgasm” feeling into the fete experience.  J’Ouvert themed parties and paint parties can somewhat do it as they blend the dutty mas and the Old mas thema into the fetting experience but few have been able to integrate the pretty mas experience inside of a fete.

We have all seen fetes that have had models and participants walk around in costumes in an attempt to bring that feeling into the fete. And while all of these efforts are great, they still somewhat miss the mark. Like two beautiful people who just can’t seem to click on a personal and sexual level. I mean, they look great together but there is just something missing with the chemistry.
Now, I don’t really believe in good fetes or bad fetes. I truly believe that the people that you are with and the attitude that you bring to the fete determines the time that you had. With that being said, I had a great time.  I was with my friends and we were all together to attend a fete and not a funeral so I count that as a TREMENDOUS blessing. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my job is to critique fetes in total, not just from my personal experience.

We’ve all missed flights, arrived at rental car counters when there are no more cars, and have had housing arrangements cancelled. The hard part was not about missing a fete or two or about not being able to get some of that vacation time from work reinstated. The hard part was knowing that the same storm that we were trying to “dodge” in order to have fun just brought destruction and havoc to our friends and families in the Caribbean.  The tough part was seeing that person in the fete with a flag from Haiti or the Bahamas…... And while throwing a lil’ wine, you lean in and ask them… “How’s your family? Is everyone okay?”  And then they respond, “We haven’t heard from them since the storm, so we are just praying.” All while the soca music is blaring and the bass is beating off your chest. All you could do is lean in and give the person a hug while understanding that carnival is a celebration of life and you still must celebrate because time waits on no one.  And there was a balance of unadulterated madness and passion mixed with understanding and compassion which we all tried to maintain. As the time went on we were able to remove ourselves from the reality of the day and connect with the life mirage that carnival provides. And that is what made this carnival so different. It made it sad, great, and emotionally overwhelming all at the same damn time. 
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