ARENA Training Center specializes in Japanese Judo Martial Arts founded in 2011 by Steve Papadakis.
Steve Papadakis, Founder
Steve holds a First Degree Black Belt and is a certified Judo coach. He has been actively training in Judo for over 12 years. He has trained numerous world-class level competitors, including his daughter Nefeli.
- 1st degree Black Belt
- Coaching staff for 2013-2014 Pan-American Infantile Team
- Coaching staff for 2015-2016 Cadet and Junior World Team
- National boxing High School Champion (Greece)
- Steve also volunteers his free time to non-profit charitable organizations
Nefeli Papadakis, Lead Instructor
Nefeli has been training in Judo since she was 4 years old. She is actively working towards her goal to reach the 2020 Olympics. Her work ethic drives her desire to pass her knowledge and skill to her students.
- 1st Degree Blank Belt
- Ranked #1 in US and #17 in World for weight class
- GOLD at 2017 Senior National Championships
- GOLD at 2017 Iliadis Junior European Championships
- 5th at 2015 Cadet World Championships
- 2015 Cadet World Team (Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
- 2015 Junior World Team (Abu Dhabi, AUE)
- Repeat Illinois State Champion
- Repeat National Champion
- European Cup Gold Medalist (Greece: 1st place)
- Cadet World Team Member (BOSNIA: 5th place)
- 5X World Team Member (2013-2017)
- Team USA - Junior Development (Tokyo Olympics 2020)
George Papadakis, Instructor
George has been training in Judo since he was eight yeas old. He wishes to share his knowledge and pride of being a Judo instructed competitor. He creates an atmosphere that focuses on fun development of the body and mind.
1st Degree Black Belt
Repeat Illinois State Champion
2011 National Champion
Alex - 1st Degree Black Belt
Ernie - 1st Degree Black Belt