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Thread: Judo

  1. #136
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    ttt 4 2017

    All Japan Judo Federation drops requirement that women’s black belts have white stripe
    Casey Baseel 18 hours ago



    Policy shift aligns Japan with international standard.

    Just as a judo match involves two competitors, there are two governing bodies for the sport. The International Judo Federation, based in Switzerland, is the controlling body for competitions in the global judo community, while Japan’s All Japan Judo Federation holds dominion over all things judo in the martial art’s native nation.

    The two organizations each lay out their own sets of rules on how contests are to be carried out and decided, with even uniform regulations for judoka (judo practitioners) differing between the two. In 1999, for example, the International Judo Federation put an end to the practice of female judoka having to wear black belts with a white stripe running lengthwise along the fabric, as opposed to the pure-black belts used by male competitors, on the grounds that the discrepancy was discriminatory.

    However, the All Japan Judo Federation decided to stick with the established norm and continued with the use of the white-striped black belt, which can be seen in the above photo.

    On March 13, though, the All Japan Judo Federation’s board of directors announced that it would be abolishing the use of the white-striped belts, and that once the change goes into effect, male and female judoka alike will be using the entirely black belts.

    No official reason has been given for the organization’s change in stance. A likely explanation, though, is the continued success of the Japanese women’s Olympic judo team, whose medal count since the 1992 Games (when women’s judo became a medal event) currently sits at 32, two better than the 30 medals claimed by Japanese male judoka in that time frame. Women’s athletics and athletes have also been receiving increasingly prominent media coverage in Japan since the turn of the millennium, and in light of such developments, it seems the All Japan Judo Federation took a moment to reexamine why it had two sets of uniform regulations, and decided that the discrepancy was a relic of a bygone era.

    Source: Yahoo! News Japan/Asahi Shimbun Digital via Hachima Kiko
    Images: All Japan Judo Federation
    I didn't even know this was a thing and Judo was my first martial art. Plus MAM sells solid black belts, belts with white stripes, and belts with colored stripes.
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  2. #137
    Great. Based on the photo. Now it will be hard to tell who is a man and who is a women. Liberals defeated the Kodokan. Holy-----.

  3. #138
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    They look like Sumotori (Sumo wrestlers) to me. Especially the one on the lower right. I suppose the extra weight makes for a lower center of gravity and thus more difficulty in throwing them.

  4. #139
    It is bulls---. The Kodokan is a private dojo. They can decide what is allowed and what is not. But I guess they gave in. Just sh-t. Its not a huge deal but what is next ?

    PRIVATE means you ain't allowed or you don't get to bring your bull**** inside. Want to be a member ? Here the rules, regulations and policy book. Don't like it . There is the door. Or better yet. You pay all the expenses and we will bend some things for you. That works too. Yeah, you don't want to pay anything. Just demand.

  5. #140
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    Good that Israel took 5 medals

    So tacky. If you're going to host an international games, you can't do this sort of thing.

    UAE Apologizes to Israeli Judo Team, But Is it Too Little, Too Late?
    By JNS October 30, 2017 , 9:30 am
    “I constantly spread out My hands To a disloyal people, Who walk the way that is not good, Following their own designs.” Isaiah 65:2 (The Israel Bible™)


    From left to right, Israeli judo official Moshe Ponte, International Judo Federation President Marius Vizer and UAE judo officials meet on Oct. 28 in Abu Dhabi. (International Judo Federation via Twitter)
    By: Adam Abrams/JNS.org

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially apologized to Israel on Saturday following a handshake snub during last week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament. The Arab country did not, however, apologize for the tournament’s ban on Israeli symbols.

    In what the International Judo Federation (IJF) referred to as a “historic meeting” on the tournament’s final day, Mohammad Bin Thaloub Al-Darei, president of the UAE’s Judo Federation, along with senior UAE sports official Aref Al-Awani, formally apologized to Israeli Judo Association leader Moshe Ponte “because of the UAE athletes not shaking hands” with Israel’s competitors and congratulated the Israeli team on its success.

    According to the IJF, Ponte “thanked his UAE counterpart for the hospitality that was shown” to Israel’s team in Abu Dhabi.

    The Arab apology followed an incident in which UAE athlete Rashad Almashjari refused to shake the hand of Israeli athlete Tohar Butbul’s after losing to him in the tournament’s first round. Butbul went on to win a bronze medal in the men’s lightweight category.


    Ori Sasson being snubbed by Egyptian Judoka after Olympic match (YouTube)

    The snub mirrored an incident that occurred during the Rio Olympics in 2016, when Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was booed by spectators for refusing to shake the hand of Israeli judoka Ori Sasson, after losing to Sasson in the first round of the men’s over-100 kilograms competition.

    Ahead of the Abu Dhabi tournament, organizers banned Israel’s team from donning national symbols and playing the Jewish state’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.” The 12 Israeli athletes competing in Abu Dhabi were also forbidden from including the letters “ISR” on their uniforms to identify their nationality.

    “This is not the first time that Israeli teams playing in Gulf have been uniquely forced to give up their national symbols and anthems,” Prof. Joshua Teitelbaum, a senior research fellow at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told JNS.org. “This apology by the UAE is too little and too late. It was an apology for not shaking hands, but not for snubbing Israel by not allowing Israeli flags and ‘Hatikvah.’”

    Defying the Arab slights, the Israeli athletes took home a total of five medals.

    Israeli team member Tal Flicker won a gold medal in the under-66 kilograms category last Thursday. During the medal ceremony, Flicker sang Hatikvah to himself as the IJF flag and anthem played in the background.

    “Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli,” Flicker told reporters. “The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise. I was singing Hatikvah from my heart.”


    Israeli judoka Tal Flicker in Abu Dhabi. (Twitter)

    “I’m glad we’re here, with or without the flag. As far as we’re concerned, what’s important is having [Israeli] athletes compete on such levels and proving to everyone that there’s no stopping Israel,” said the coach of Israel’s team, Oren Smadja.

    Teitelbaum said, “I’m sure Abu Dhabi pays a lot of money to the International Judo Federation, which apparently did not have a strong enough backbone to insist on sportsmanship in sports. It is up to the various international sports federations that there be no discrimination by the host nation. If a nation discriminates, it should be barred from hosting future competitions.”

    The UAE “plays a double game” by publicly insulting Israeli athletes, yet maintaining “extensive business and defense relations with Israel, according to foreign sources, but all under the table,” he said.

    The Arab nation’s behavior “is kind of a ‘cover’ for its well-developed relations with the Jewish state,” added Teitelbaum.

    Leading up to the tournament, Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev wrote a letter in mid-October to the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, protesting the Arab demand for the Israeli team to appear without national symbols.

    “It is the obligation of any country which has the privilege of hosting an international competition to allow the competing athletes to represent the country honorably while ensuring their security,” she wrote.

    During the Grand Slam competition hosted in Abu Dhabi in 2015, Israeli judo competitors accepted similar conditions to participate, wearing uniforms in the colors of the International Judo Federation rather than the Israeli flag or anything suggesting their nationality.
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  6. #141
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    martial arts & world diplomacy

    WORLD NEWS AUGUST 7, 2019 / 5:33 PM / UPDATED 11 HOURS AGO
    Judo helps Japan get to grips with China's expansion in Pacific
    Jonathan Barrett
    4 MIN READ

    APIA, Samoa (Reuters) - In a large church hall near the Samoan parliament, 175-kg (386-lb) judo practitioner Derek Sua is being thrown to the mat by his Japanese coach, a black-belt who is just a third his size.

    Sua welcomes the training, usually difficult for athletes in Pacific Ocean islands to secure, but now offered free by Japan’s development assistance agency, to help him qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    “It’s not easy, because here in the Pacific for us, especially Pacific islanders, we have limited competition,” Sua said. “Because we need to find funding to travel overseas and compete.”

    Sua added that he would train in Japan in August with several other Samoans, following an invitation he described as fostering goodwill between the two nations.

    But the offer is also part of a wider diplomatic effort in the Pacific by the United States and its allies, including Japan, to counter the growing influence of China, which has ramped up its sports programs in the region.

    Sometimes called “soft” or “cultural” diplomacy, such programs can extend beyond sports to language exchanges and the arts, with the aim of advancing foreign policy goals.


    FILE PHOTO: Samoan judoka Derek Sua attends a practice session with his Japanese coach Kohei Kamibayashi at a training facility inside a church hall in Apia, Samoa, July 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Barrett

    Although tiny, the Pacific islands control vast swaths of resource-rich ocean and strategic infrastructure, such as airstrips and ports, provoking interest from China and a counter response from the United States.

    Last week, Samoan sports minister Loau Keneti Sio said China had extended an invitation to train a “large contingent” of young athletes in sports, from athletics to badminton and volleyball, later this year.

    China had already hosted Samoan athletes ahead of the Olympic-styled Pacific Games, held in Samoa in July, while training chefs and performers for the opening and closing ceremonies, he added.

    China has soft power initiatives elsewhere in the Pacific, which include exposing regional table tennis players to the country’s world-class coaches and training regimes.

    The judo diplomacy complements similar initiatives from regional allies Australia and New Zealand, which actively use rugby union and league to forge strong ties with Pacific islands, where the football codes are dominant.

    Originating in Japan, judo makes use of grip fighting and throws that have proved to be effective techniques for mixed martial art competitions.

    On the mats in Samoa, Sua’s coach, Kohei Kamibayashi, said judo was a sport whose most powerful practitioners did not always win the battle.

    The Japanese coach said his star Samoan pupil, who competed at the last Olympics in Brazil, must prepare to face bigger opponents in his 100-kg (221-lb) -plus category, where there are no weight limits.

    Kamibayashi said he was helping Sua perfect his use of a technique called “seoi-nage”, effective for throwing bigger opponents.

    While Samoans were naturally built for a sport like judo, it was a very demanding martial art that was still struggling to win converts on the island, Sua added.

    “It can be another dominant sport here in Samoa if a lot of people get interested,” he said.

    Reporting by Jonathan Barrett in APIA, Samoa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
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  7. #142
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    I hate it when politics interferes with athletics...

    ...but such is part of the intrinsic drama of international games...

    NINE MONTHS BEFORE TOKYO OLYMPICS
    Iran barred indefinitely from world judo over refusal to face Israelis
    Official suspension handed down by International Judo Federation comes after Iranian judoka said he was ordered to throw match to avoid facing Israeli competitor
    By AFP and TOI STAFF
    22 October 2019, 7:14 pm 3


    Iran's judoka Saeid Mollaei reacts after losing to Belgium's Matthias Casse in the semifinal fight in the men's under-81 kilogram category during the 2019 Judo World Championships in Tokyo on August 28, 2019. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

    The International Judo Federation (IJF) said Tuesday it had banned Iran from competition indefinitely over the country’s refusal to face Israeli competitors.
    The federation issued a provisional ban last month while investigating a report that Iran had ordered a judoka to lose deliberately at the world championships to avoid facing Israeli competitor Sagi Muki in the subsequent round.

    “Following the events, which occurred during the last World Judo Championships Tokyo 2019, the final suspension of the Iran Judo Federation from all competitions… has been pronounced,” the IJF said in a statement.

    The IJF said the suspension will remain in place until the Iran Judo Federation “gives strong guarantees and proves that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes.”

    Iranian fighter Saeid Mollaei, defending his title at the Tokyo World Championships in August, had said he was ordered to throw his semifinal rather than risk facing an Israeli in the final of the under 81kg class.

    The Iranian, 27, lost the semifinal and then went on to lose his third-place fight.


    In this photo taken Sept. 12, 2019, Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei poses for a portrait photo at an undisclosed southern city of Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Mollaei said he had been instructed to withdraw from the competition by the presidents of the Iran Judo Federation and the Iran Olympic committee.

    Rejecting the charges, the Iranian federation denied that pressure had been applied to force Mollaei to withdraw from the championships.

    However the IJF disciplinary commission examining the case found that Iran’s actions “constitute a serious breach and gross violation of the Statutes of the IJF, its legitimate interests, its principles and objectives.”

    Judo is one of Iran’s sporting strong points and the ban comes as a blow just nine months ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

    Tehran is expected to appeal against the IJF decision at the Swiss-based Court for Arbitration of Sport. They have 21 days to do so.

    Meanwhile, Culture Minister Miri Regev lauded the IJF’s ban, but said in a statement that she regretted “the heavy price Iranian athletes will have to pay because of their regime’s decisions.”

    The IJF said Mollaei had been pressured to lose by Iranian deputy sports minister Davar Zani. Mollaei was also reportedly pressured to bow out by Iranian Olympic Committee president Reza Salehi Amiri, who told him minutes before his semifinal match that Iranian security services were at his parents’ house in Tehran.


    Belgium’s Matthias Casse (in blue) celebrates winning the semifinal fight against Iran’s Saeid Mollaei in the men’s under-81 kilogram category during the 2019 Judo World Championships in Tokyo on August 28, 2019. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

    The IJF said an official from the Iranian embassy in Tokyo pretending to be a coach gained access to a restricted area to coerce the 27-year-old Tehran native to lose the match as he warmed up on the sidelines.

    Mollaei fled to Berlin after the championships, where he was hoping to secure a place at the 2020 Olympic games.

    Iran does not recognize Israel as a country, and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis. Iranian passports remind holders in bold red they are “not entitled to travel to occupied Palestine.”

    One of the most famous cases was that of Arash Miresmaeili, a two-time judo world champion who showed up overweight for his bout against an Israeli at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and was disqualified.

    He was praised by Iran’s then-president Mohammad Khatami and the ultraconservative media and eventually made his way to become the current chief of Iran’s judo federation’s chief.

    Miresmaeili told Iranian media at the time he would refuse to fight an Israeli as a gesture of support for Palestine.

    According to him, the current ban on the federation is “outside the usual procedure” as the disciplinary committee reviewing the case should have temporarily suspended Iran until reviews were complete and Iran had time to present its defense.


    Sagi Muki of Israel, top, competes against Matthias Casse of Belgium during a men’s under-81 kilogram final of the World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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  8. #143
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    Yosh Uchida Sensei

    I earned my BS at SJSU but never trained with their Judo team (I was on the SJSU fencing team). However, I did work for Uchida Sensei as a driver for Laboratory Services, which was a medical sample testing lab. I met with him a few times under that capacity, but not much. The longest meeting was my entrance interview. He liked that Judo had been my first martial art and invited me to train with the team, but respected that I was already dedicated to fencing. He struck me as very cordial, a true gentleman, and a decent boss.

    Uchida Legacy Gala

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    March 21, 2020

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  9. #144
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    RIP Kano Yukimitsu

    Grandson of the Founder of Judo passed away
    By Nicolas Messner on 09. Mar 2020

    It is with deep sorrow we inform you that Honorary President of the Kodokan Judo Institute and All Japan Judo Federation (AJJF), KANO Yukimitsu, passed away on 8th March 2020 at a hospital in Tokyo due to pneumonia. He was 87. Kano Yukimitsu was much more than his titles; he was the grandson of Kano Jigoro, the founder of judo.



    Who does not know that name, Kano, especially in the judo world? Without Master Jigoro Kano, the sport simply would not exist. In 1882 he created judo, when he was only 22 years old. 135 years later, judo became a major Olympic sport and Paralympic sport and an educational tool for the youth of the world. While constantly evolving, it has remained committed to the values that Kano has defined.

    During the summer of 2017, the International Judo Federation had the privilege of meeting Kano Yukimitsu. In that exclusive interview he recalled memories of his grandfather and explained his own vision of judo, as Mr. Kano Yukimitsu has also played an important role in judo in Japan as well as in the rest of the world.

    Mr. Kano explained that when he said in front of his grandfather that he wanted to find a role model and become like that person later, the founder of judo replied: “You should not try to be like somebody else. You are who you are.“ This is a perfect illustration of how judo can help to build better citizens, to grow a better society. Kano Jigoro was not only teaching the theory, he made sure all could understand the fundamentals and he wanted his students to put his teachings into practice in society.



    The whole judo family and the IJF express their deepest condolences to Mr. Kano's family, relatives and friends, to the Kodokan Institute and to the All Japan Judo Federation. Only Mr. Kano's close relatives and Kodokan employees will attend his funeral services with KANO Akashi, his eldest daughter, serving as the chief mourner. Later, a joint funeral will be held by the Kodokan and AJJF. Words of condolence should be addressed to intl@kodokan.org (Kodokan Judo Institute).

    Kano Yukimitsu profil

    April 1980 – March 2009: Fourth President of Kodokan, Second President of AJJF

    September 1980 – October 1995: President of Judo Union of Asia

    April 2009 -: Honorary President of Kodokan and AJJF
    Condolences to all judoka. Judo was my first martial art and I still hold its lessons in high regard.
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  10. #145
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    score another for judo

    CRIME
    International judo competitor uses martial arts to disarm suspect in Kansas City

    BY ANNA SPOERRE
    OCTOBER 27, 2020 01:04 PM, UPDATED OCTOBER 27, 2020 02:01 PM

    Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast. BY MARK HOFFER

    A Kansas City man used his professional martial arts training to disarm a man attempting to rob him Monday night, police said.

    Josh Henges, of Kansas City, was walking home Monday evening when he felt someone grab his shoulder and press a gun against his back, according to a news release from the Kansas City Police Department.

    Henges used to be a member of the USA Judo team. He told police he was heading back from a convenience store around 8:15 p.m. in the 4100 block of Warwick Boulevard when a 20-year-old man came up behind him.

    As Henges turned around, the young man held the gun up to Henges’ forehead and told him to hand over his possessions, according to the news release.

    The judo competitor and Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor then grabbed the suspect’s shoulder and disarmed him.

    “Henges said he was able to use his training to take the suspect to the ground and restrain him,” the release read.

    He called 911 while holding the attempted robber down.

    “He was in grabbing range of me,” Henges told police, according to the release. “You don’t have to hurt him. You just hold him in place, and there’s no permanent injury.”

    Officers arriving at the scene found the young man pinned beneath Henges. The suspect was taken into custody.

    Police later said the weapon was a BB gun. They are expecting charges to be filed soon, according to the Tuesday afternoon release.

    “Henges said he has compassion for the suspect and hope he gets the help he needs,” the release read.
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  11. #146
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    Huang - brain dead at 10 years old

    Boy 'brain dead' after being relentlessly thrown by judo coach in central Taiwan
    Boy thrown 27 times, family of injured boy could sue judo coach for negligent homicide
    1926
    By Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
    2021/04/26 11:09

    Ho throwing Huang (left), Ho holding certificate (right). (Huang Family photo, Facebook photo)
    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A young boy is fighting for his life and could remain in a vegetative state even if he survives, after he was was thrown nearly 30 times in a judo class last week.

    The seven-year-old student from Nanyang Elementary School in Taichung City's Fengyuan District, surnamed Huang (黃), attended his second week of judo classes in the basement of a gymnasium operated by Ruisui Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (April 21). During class, the 67-year old coach, surnamed Ho (何,) ordered a 10-year-old student to perform a shoulder throw on Huang multiple times.

    After several throws, Huang began to complain of pain in his feet and head, and pleaded with the coach not to be thrown any further, even vomiting at one point. Unmoved, Ho ordered the child to be thrown 20 times.


    Huang being thrown by older student. (Huang family photo)

    In a video of the incident Huang can be seen crying and begging on his knees for the punishment to end. However, Ho then personally throws the child another seven times.

    At around 9 p.m., Huang reportedly passed out, turned pale, and became unresponsive. Ho then called for an ambulance that rushed him to Feng Yuan Hospital for emergency treatment, reported Liberty Times.

    Doctors found that Huang's injuries resembled those from a car crash and including a severe intracranial hemorrhage, which prompted them to perform an emergency craniotomy. After the operation, doctors declared that Huang was in a "brain dead state," and if he survives, he will likely remain in a vegetative state.


    Huang being thrown again as Ho steps into frame (left). (Huang family photo)

    When visiting the hospital after the child underwent surgery, Ho initially claimed the child had fallen on his own. It was only after learning about the serious nature of his injuries did Ho admit that he and a student had thrown him many times.

    When police took Ho in for questioning on April 23, he claimed the boy had cried when being thrown in previous classes and presumed he was complaining without good reason. Ho was then investigated for negligent bodily harm (過失傷害), before being released without bail.

    Cho Chun-chung (卓俊忠), head prosecutor of the Taichung District Prosecutor's Office, said that Huang's parents pressed charges against Ho for negligent bodily harm and that they are not ruling out pressing charges for negligent homicide (過失重傷害) if their son dies, reported UDN. Huang's father said it would take a miracle for him to regain consciousness and he demanded an apology and explanation from Ho.


    Ho ordering Huang to stand up as he cries in pain. (Huang family photo)


    Huang lying on mat after another throw as Ho walks towards him. (Huang family photo)
    Makes me sick.

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  12. #147
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    Streaming schedules on NBC

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  13. #148
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    Yosh Uchida

    I've mentioned this before but I used to work for Uchida sensei at Laboratory Services. Never trained under him though.
    TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPICS
    At 101, judo coaching great Yosh Uchida still isn’t done helping Olympians

    Prolific judo coach Yosh Uchida still heads San Jose State’s storied program 70 years after assuming the post.(San Jose State Athletics Archives)
    BY JORGE CASTILLO STAFF WRITER
    JULY 25, 2021 5 AM PT
    TOKYO — Yosh Uchida made a promise to Colton Brown in 2016, right after Brown competed in judo for the United States at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics: Qualify for the 2020 Games in Tokyo and I’ll be there.
    Attending the Tokyo Olympics would have closed a circle for Uchida. The son of Japanese immigrants and raised in Orange County, he was the U.S. judo team’s coach at the Games in 1964, when the sport made its Olympic debut in its birthplace. The city, the country, the martial art supplied him more than a lifetime’s worth of memories.

    Uchida was 96 years old in 2016. He would be a centenarian by the next opening ceremony. People his age usually don’t make plans four years in advance. But Uchida reached his 100th birthday in April 2020 and bought his ticket to the Nippon Budokan to fulfill his pledge.

    The COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Games a year. Still, Uchida, at 101, was ready to make the long journey to watch Brown — until spectators were banned from most Olympic venues.

    The gut punch precluded what would have been a fitting conclusion to Uchida’s international judo life.

    Over decades, through tireless advocacy, he became the godfather of judo in the United States, and he still heads San Jose State’s storied program 70 years after assuming the post.

    He pushed for the implementation of weight classes in the sport, a necessary step for inclusion in the Olympics, and helped bring about its breakthrough on the international scene. He’s received both the Order of the Sacred Treasure and the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government for his work.

    But five years after his Rio de Janeiro promise, Uchida will be stuck thousands of miles away at home in Northern California while Brown, the 17th of his San Jose State pupils to reach the sport’s top competition, takes the mat Wednesday in the men’s 90-kilogram weight class. Uchida hopes to watch the match on television.

    “I’m going to be glued to it,” Uchida said, “unless it’s late.”

    ::

    Uchida wore a blue San Jose State Spartans jacket over a black sweater in his living room for a recent video call. With the help of his assistant, he keenly relayed his thoughts and experiences. After spending a year inside his home, he was a seasoned Zoomer — more than 120 people joined him on a Zoom call to celebrate his 100th birthday, and he held classes on judo history during the pandemic. Finally, COVID-19 vaccinations have slowly expanded his bubble.

    He had 15 people visit him for a backyard barbecue for his 101st birthday. His daughter traveled from Hawaii recently for the first time since the pandemic began, and he enjoyed his first meal at a restaurant in more than a year while she was in town. Japanese, of course.


    Yosh Uchida founded the National Collegiate Judo Assn. in 1962 and coached the first U.S. Olympic judo team at the 1964 Tokyo Games.(San Jose State Athletics Archives)

    “This man will not die of COVID,” said Jan Cougill, his assistant since 2008 and a family friend for 56 years. “He will die from boredom if we don’t get socialization.”

    Uchida was born in Calexico in 1920, two years after the deadliest pandemic in modern history ravaged the country, and raised in Garden Grove. His father grew strawberries and tomatoes. His mother pushed him into judo when he was 10 years old.

    “I was a Nisei, born in the United States,” Uchida said, “and she wanted me to know something about Japanese culture.”

    He attended San Jose State before he was drafted for World War II and sent to segregated military camps in the Midwest while his family was split among Japanese incarceration camps. He served for four years and married his late wife, Mae, at the Poston prison camp in Arizona in 1943.

    “My parents were in concentration camps because they were suspected of being spies,” Uchida said. “If you know my parents, they had very little education. They knew nothing about spying.”

    He returned to San Jose State in 1946, finished his degree in biological science the next year and stayed at the school to coach the judo team.

    ::

    Japanese educator Kano Jigoro created judo, a system of unarmed combat, in 1882. Its origins can be traced to jujitsu. The participants — judoka — are taught to use an opponent’s force against them. The goal is to cleanly throw, pin or master the opponent. Strikes of any kind are not allowed. It is intended to train the mind and body.

    Uchida was a small judoka, topping out at 5 feet 2, 135 pounds, but his presence off the mat stretched internationally. While establishing himself as a prominent businessman in the Japanese American community — he opened 41 medical laboratories in the Bay Area — he championed the sport he credits for cementing his identity.
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  14. #149
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    Continued from previous post

    I walked into San Jose State and I thought that I knew everything. He taught me that I really don’t know much.

    COLTON BROWN, YOSH UCHIDA’S PUPIL AND U.S. OLYMPIAN
    He started the San Jose Buddhist Judo Club and another in Palo Alto. He was the director of the first national Amateur Athletic Union championships in 1953. He founded the National Collegiate Judo Assn. in 1962. A year later, he helped initiate the first nationwide high school interscholastic judo championships. A year after that, he coached the four-man U.S. team in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

    “He had a wonderful ability to organize things, and I don’t think that judo would’ve become a national collegiate sport, a national high school sport, a national open sport, if it didn’t have somebody with Yosh’s organizational skills,” said Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a San Jose State graduate and one of the four American judoka at the 1964 Games. “It wouldn’t have grown that fast in the 1950s and ’60s.”

    Campbell, who would become a U.S. senator from Colorado, was forced to withdraw from the open weight class in 1964 after tearing the ACL in his knee in his second match. James Bregman emerged from the middleweight division with a bronze medal, the first of 16 Olympic medals won by Americans in judo.


    Yosh Uchida, center, coached the four-man U.S. judo entry in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics: from left, George Harris, James Bregman, Paul Maruyama and Ben Nighthorse Campbell.(San Jose State Athletics Archives)
    Knowing that Mr. Uchida is not here but he’s still going to be watching, in a sense, that means that he’s with me.

    COLTON BROWN
    Mike Swain took bronze at the 1988 Seoul Games after becoming the first American man to win the judo world championships in 1987. A New Jersey native, he enrolled at San Jose State upon qualifying for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which the United States boycotted after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. By that time, Uchida’s program was an unparalleled powerhouse. Swain didn’t think twice.

    “He was very demanding,” said Swain, who became a coach with the program after qualifying to compete in four Olympics. “Wherever we were going, you had to travel with a suit and tie, and you always got there really early. He was all about discipline. He was the coach of the San Jose State judo team, but he was more of a mentor.”

    ::

    Brown, also a New Jersey native, met Uchida in 2009 when he arrived at San Jose State as a teenager. Uchida was approaching 90, but the two connected.

    “I walked into San Jose State and I thought that I knew everything,” Brown said. “He taught me that I really don’t know much.”

    Brown visited Uchida’s office nearly every day. They regularly ate meals together. Their talks focused not on the sport but on life. On education, on preparing Brown for the day when judo would be in the rearview mirror.

    On the mat, Brown helped extend San Jose State’s national judo dominance. The school has won 48 of the 59 men’s National Collegiate Judo Assn. team championships and 24 women’s team championships since women’s competition began in 1975 — the most titles for a school in any American collegiate sport ever.

    Brown was a three-time national champion. He rose to team captain — chosen by Uchida — and graduated in 2015. He reported to Brazil the next summer representing the United States, with Uchida in the crowd. He won his first match but lost his second and was eliminated.

    Six American judoka competed that year. Travis Stevens won the country’s one medal — a silver in the half-middleweight division. This time, Brown, 29, is one of four Americans and the only man. He’s scheduled to fight at the Nippon Budokan on Wednesday against Liechtenstein’s Raphael Schwendinger. Brown, ranked 28th in the world, is the favorite over the 117th-ranked Schwendinger.

    Competitors are guaranteed a medal with four wins by the end of the day. Five victories and Brown would become the second American to earn an Olympic judo gold medal.

    “Knowing that Mr. Uchida is not here but he’s still going to be watching, in a sense, that means that he’s with me,” Brown said. “Him being on this earth for this long and being coherent enough to still take interest in me and know that and support me, it means the world to me.”

    Brown hasn’t seen Uchida since before the pandemic. He was supposed to attend Uchida’s 100th birthday celebration in April 2020 before it was canceled, and he plans on visiting sometime after the Olympics.

    Uchida might be coaching again by then. He wants to return to San Jose State’s dojo — named after him in 1997 — if it reopens this fall.


    Yosh Uchida plans to coach again in the fall if San Jose State’s dojo reopens.(San Jose State Athletics Archives)
    Uchida’s checklist isn’t complete. He’s worked with San Jose State President Mary Papazian in recent years to create an exchange program between the school — one of six official U.S. judo Olympic training centers — and Japanese universities. The timeline is unknown, but he’d like to see his efforts come to fruition before he turns 110. Brown isn’t betting against him.

    “I didn’t know if he was still going to be here after 2016, and here he is,” Brown said. “He’s still kicking. He’s lived a spectacular life and he’s still going. He’s still going strong.”



    Jorge Castillo

    Jorge Castillo covers the Dodgers for the Los Angeles Times.

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    Gene Ching
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  15. #150
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    Olympic Karate: A New Martial Art Enters the Ring

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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