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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Any movement’s ability to shape, change and transform communities and persons is based upon touch. It’s based upon the experiential effect of the experience.  When you do not move around the community on the road you miss and important part of the movement and the culture.  You actually stifle the culture and kill it at is roots.  If you speak to any anthropologist they will tell you that there is something incorrect about taking mas off the road and putting it into a park like setting. Or removing mas and just fetting with no road experience.  You will literally over time kill the carnival experience as it should be and turn it into a series of fetes culminating with a big party in a park with trucks that have music. That is not mas and that is not affecting the masses and the surrounding communities.  Even the gospel had to spread through travel and through touch.
Because I live in the United States in South Florida, I can actually arrive on Friday and do the amazing Friday night concert and then do J’Ouvert and the Parade of Bands on Saturday and leave on Sunday.  With two small children and a wife who knows that I am a carnival junkie this is absolutely appealing to me.  It allows me to experience the things which I love the most and do them in a timely fashion and return home. Granted, there are some events in Bermuda for which Bermuda is KNOWN for, like the Raft Up. The Raft Up is an event that Bermuda has perfected over time during their Bermuda Cup Match Weekend celebration where there are a number of festivities including a Soca Vs. Reggae party, various fetes and, of course, the Raft Up party.  I have NEVER attended a Raft Up party and for me to try to explain it would do it a severe injustice so I will just provide you with the best illustration  possible:

The Carnival Ref describes it as, “A barge with a sound system with boats all around….”

One of the most difficult challenges about the middle of the year carnival season for those of us who "peak" for Trinidad is that we get caught in that window where we need a break.

Just so that you understand, for those of you that do not understand. 

Many of us carnival junkies use the 10 to 12 week period between Miami Carnival (the last carnival on the carnival circuit) and Trinidad Carnival (the first carnival on the carnival circuit) as the time to get our cardio and nutrition on point.  In Miami we get into what we call "good enough to go"  shape. Which is really the foundation that we need to have so that we don't have so far to go between Miami and Trinidad in order to reach our goal.

If Opening night on Friday in Bermuda on the 17th of June is anything like opening night was in 2015, then ONCE AGAIN I am going to have the time of my life!!

The artist line up is potent and one of my favorite artists is performing -- KES -- so I cannot wait. 

And along with Kes are the following:

Teddyson John
Ricardo Drue
King Bubba

and a host of other DJs and guests. 

Yesterday I communicated with many of you about the struggle of the carnival junkie.  If you did not read that dynamic article, then I would highly suggest that you do.  Check it out here!

Today, I would like to communicate with you about something that I do not struggle with at all.

And that thing is going to Bermuda for their carnival which is called Bermuda Heroes Weekend.

If you attend carnivals like many of us do, then you understand the struggle. 

The struggle of trying to catch that lightning in a bottle on more time -- that feeling on the road, that feeling in the fete or that feeling when that soca song comes on. You are constantly running it down and trying to get it or something close to it. It is what makes us and defines many of us as soca junkies and carnival junkies.

The true struggle lies in the many variables which have to fall into place for you to catch that feeling.  There are so many ingredients. You have to be at the right place, with the right crew in some comfortable shoes, with a great DJ, with great things happening around you while sometimes dealing with a past or recent emotional traumatizing experience that is in diametrical opposition with what you are currently feeling so that the moment is even more heightened.  Then there's the weather, the ambience, etc.,. 

There are few things that can beat being in the Caribbean and being on, in or close to the water. And SUITS Breakfast Cooler Fete provided one of those experiences.  On a Saturday morning hundreds of people dressed in white, off white, and cream colored attire lined up outside Harbor Master in anticipation for one of the hottest fete tickets during Trinidad Carnival.  The Suits Breakfast Cooler fete sells out every year and this year was no different.  

The boat was packed with beautiful people who had a wonderful time listening to the the music from the DJs, enjoying the breeze coming off of the water and it was a wonderful start to one of the most exciting fete lineups of carnival.

Now let’s talk particulars……..

And, I'm going to take my time in telling you why.  :-)
I most certainly hope that you had a wonderful carnival and will continue to experience carnival again and again.  Throughout my experiences at carnival I can tell you two of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen people make which are so basic.

As a world class martial arts instructor who has coached Olympians, World Champions and served as the Head Judo Coach for the Bahamas Judo Federation, I can tell  you this.

Mastering THE BASICS trumps anything else when it comes to preparation. You can do the fancy stuff but mastering the basics is key.

In the book, The Ultimate Road Ready Guide, I speak about the importance of many things, but the 2 basic things that I want to address today are communication and hydration.

I Paid The $9.99

Although Machel Monday was free years prior, this year it was streaming for $9.99   I could not believe that people actually complained about paying 10 dollars. I mean, what is Machel supposed to do?  Entertain the world for free? Set up the live stream, video hosting and audio machinery, all for FREE?  That's not a sustainable model. And I, along with many people, was happy to pay the $9.99.  
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