Pioneers of Judo

"Never Give Up

Judo is a combative sport. It is a martial art aimed at defeating your opponent. Other purposes of judo involve developing physical strength and mental spirit. But when you are up against an opponent, you must never forget the combative aspect of the sport. You fight against your opponent, throwing him down to the mat to achieve victory. At the same time, you fight against yourself. If you think your opponent is stronger than you and get the jitters, or if you are in a difficult position and feel that you must give up, then it will be impossible for you to win. You must not give up the bout until the last second, no matter how strong your opponent may be. You must have a fighting spirit which will urge you on to attack and attack again to the very end. Fighting spirit, to put it simply, is the first thing a judoist needs.

Of course, I cannot deny that you may feel anxiety or uneasiness before a fight. Feelings like "I don't want to be beaten," "I just want to run away," or "I'm frightened" are always felt to a certain degree. Also there is loneliness. But what is important during these times is not to be afraid of loneliness, anxiety, or weakness of the will but to overwhelm these feelings with a fierce fighting spirit and confront your opponent with your intention to defeat him."


(Inokuma - Sato BEST JUDO, 229. p)

                          Pioneers of Judo


For Reading

Harrison, E.J. (1946, July), Famous judo masters I have known. Budokwai Quarterly Bulletin (p. 16)



Abe Ichiro(1923–)         KODOKAN 10th Dan

Promoted to KODOKAN 10th dan on 8 January 2006, at age 83. Abe was international chairperson of the All Nippon JUDO Federation and has strong links internationally through the coaching he has done in Europe.  



ABE KENSHIRO (1915-1985)

Japanese JUDO champion and pioneer. A 5th DAN in JUDO by 16, Abe also studied aikido, kendo and jukendo. He taught at the JUDO College within the Butokukai in Kyoto in the late 1930s and by 1945 was a 7th DAN. He became chief instructor at Doshisa University as well as instructor to the kyoto Police Department.

Abe went to England in 1955 at the invitation of the London JUDO society and opened his own club ane year later. A leader of the British JUDO Council he became a highly sought after instructor; however, because he believed that competition victory  was not the ultimate goal of JUDO, he encountered opposition at a time when JUDO was gaining popularity as a sport. In 1970, he sufferd serious injuries in an automobile accidnet from which he had not fully recovered four year later when he returned to Japan.


 CAMPBELL, BEN  (1933 -) American JUDO instructor and champion.

He graduated from San Jose State University where he trained under SENSEI UCHIDA. He started JUDO in 1952. He was three times National JUDO Champion; 1961, 1962 and 1963. He also won  at the Pan-American Games in 1963. A pioneer in introducing JUDO in California high schools. He has written several articles for Black Belt Magazine and American Judoman. After moving to Colorado in 1977, he won his first Congressional campaign in 1986 and would go on to become a Colorado Senator from 1992-2004. (See BOOKS on JUDO)  



CH’EN, YUAN PIN (1587-1672?) /better known in Japanese records as            Gempin/

Chinese martial artist and pottery master. According to lengend, in 1638, during the Tokugawa period, a Chinese pottery master named Yuan-pin Ch’en arrived from China to serve as a ceramics instructor for the daimyo of Owari, Japan. Among his other dutie, Ch’en instructed ronin in the art of seizing a man without the use of weapons. Some sources credit Ch’en with the introduction of ch’uan-fa and jujutsu to Japan, a theory that is disputed on the grounds that a weaponless technique called yawara was in existence long before Ch’en came to Japan. Ch’en probably introduced the Okinawan sai, later adopted and modified by the Japanese police into the jitte. Ch’en is also referred to as Chin Gempin, Chen Yuan Ping, Ch’en Yuan Pin, and Ching-Ping.


CHOCHOSHVILI, SHOTA (1950- 2009)     Olympic Champion


-93 kg (205 lbs )




Shota Chochosivili was the first Judoka to win gold for former Soviet Union. In 1972 Olympics, nearly everyone believed that Fumio SASAHARA would bring gold for Japan in 93 kg division.


. In the final match of 1972 Olympics  Chochosivili defeated Starbrook by decision and won the gold medal for USSR.




Best Contest Techniques






Best Competition Results


Olympic Games


gold Munich 1972


bronze Montreal 1976




World Championships


bronze Vienna 1975 (Open)




European Championships


bronze Ludwigshafen  1977 (Open)



COURTINE, HENRY (1930- )    Non Kodokan 10th Dan (FFDJA 10th Dan; 2007)

Henri Courtine at his promotion to tenth degree black belt December 2007 

French JUDO champion. He is three times individual European champion (1952, 1958 /+80kg/, 1959 /4th Dan/ and four times with the French team (1952, 1954, 1955, and 1956.

At the 1956 WORLD JUDO CHAMPIONSHIP in Tokyo he received a bronze medal. At the INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION he served as sports director from 1979 to 1987. From 1982 to 1986 he was the Director of the French National Sporting and Olympic Committee (CNOSF).



DAIGO TOSHIRO (1926 -)        KODOKAN10th Dan

Japanese JUDO fighter and instructor who in 1950 was promoted to 6th DAN, the youngest JUDOKA to be awarded this grade at the time. His powerful build and fine technique, particularly a neat KOUCHI-GARI brought him success in the early 1950’s. He won the ALL JAPAN JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS twice /1951, 1954/ and the Tokyo Championship in 1950 and 1951. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Education, and later became the chief instructor at the KODOKAN for many years, and was the manager of the Japanese JUDO team at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, and at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In 1992, he received the rank of KODOKAN 10th  DAN. He has published several textbooks on JUDO.( See BOOKS on JUDO)  


DRAEGER, DONN F. (1922-1985)

Martial arts author, historian, and pioneer Draeger is regarded as the foremost Western scholar of the Japanese classical disciplines, in which he holds numerous black belt ranks and teaching licenses Draeger has lived in Japan, China Mongolia, Korea, Malaysia, and Indoesia. His works include: Practical Karate (six volumes), JUDO for Young Man, Pentjak-Silat, Weapons & Fighting Art of the Indonesian Archipelago, Classical Bujutsu, Classical Budo, Modern Budo & Bujutsu, and with Robert W. Smith, Asian fighing Arts. Scientific weight training were introduce to the Japanese by Donn DRAEGER, who studying JUDO and training at the KODOKAN. He collaborated with Ishikawa Takahiko, one of KIMURA Mashiko’s great adversaries, on a book called ‘Judo Training Methods’.A number of high-level Japanese competitors came to DRAEGER for advice, among the first of them INOKUMA Isao.  DRAEGER taught him to train with them in a planned and systematic progression. In 1967 Draeger doubled for actor Sean Connery and was a stunt choreographer for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice. He has for some time been engaged in research for his doctoral dissertation in hoplology, the science of weapons.


For Reading

Draeger, Donn F.  : Smith, Robert William, " Asian fighting arts ", London, United Kingdom, Ward Lock, 1969, 207p, 27 cm, BLC, ISBN 0706317998.
Draeger, Donn F. " Classical Bujutsu : Martial Arts And Ways Of Japan, Volume 1 ", New York, Tokyo, United States, Weatherhill, 1990, 109p, 23 cm, LIB, ISBN 0834802333.
Draeger, Donn F. : Otaki, Tadao, " Judo for Young Men ", Palo Alto, CA, United States, Kodansha Amer Inc, 1965 1966, 336p, LIB.
Draeger, Donn F. , " Modern Bujutsu & Budo ", New York, Tokyo, United States, Weatherhill, 1974, 190p, 27 cm, KS, ISBN 0834800993.
Draeger, Donn F. : Tremayne, Ken, " The joke's on Judo ", Rutland, Vermont, United States, Charles E. Tuttle, 1966, 72p, 19 cm, BJ.
Draeger, Donn F.  : Inokuma, Isao, " Weight training for championship judo ", Tokyo, Japan, Kodansha, 1966, 280p, 28 cm, KS.



ENDO, SUMIO (1950-  )

Japanese heavyweight JUDO champion, winner of the 1975 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. Winner of the 1974 and 1976 All Japan JUDO Championships, he was also a bronze medalist at the 1976 Montreal Olympics A former All Japan College Champion as well, Endo is famous for his seolnage, but is also respected for such moves as KOSOTOGARI, OSOTOGARI, and UCHIMATA.



He was a chiropractor and a JU JUTSU master. He was over six feet tall. He began his study of JU JUTSU in the school of Okuyama-Nen ryu. Later he studied Kiraku Ryu and ás a young mán he moved to Edo (Tokyo) and became a student of Masamoto ISO, the master of TENSHIN-SHINYO RYU: It was said that no one could beat him. Fukuda became a SENSEI in a while and was the first teacher of Jigoro KANO. Fukuda was better át the techniques than át the formai exercises (KATA).

In May 1879 former United States president U. S. Grant visited Japán. Eiichi Shibusawa, a noted politician of the Meiji éra, thought the visiting former president would enjoy a martial árts performance. The demonstration was favorably received by General Grant and his party, and widely reported in the American press. Just nine days after performing Master Fukuda died. He was 52 years old. KANO attempted tó keep the DOJO in operation by himself, bút soon realized that he needed more training. KANO continued hi study of the TENSHIN SHINYO RYU with Masamoto ISO, són of the school' s founder.


FUKUDA KEIKO (福田 敬子  (1913- 2013)  Kodokan 9th Dan


She is the highest-ranking female practitioner of JUDO  in the world. She was born in Tokyo, and began the practice of judo in 1935 at the age of 21. She was invited to study judo by Jigoro KANO, the founder of the KODOKAN JUDO, because of his relationship with her grandfather, FUKUDA  Hachinosuke, who had taught TENSHIN-SHIN’YO  JU-JUTSU to Kano a number of years prior. FUKUDA is the last living pupil of KANO. In 1973, Fukuda published Born for the Mat, an instructional book intended for women about the KATA of  KODOKAN JUDO. Fukuda currently holds a 9th degree black belt (9th DAN) in JUDO. She was awarded a rare red belt in judo by the UNITED STATES JUDO FEDERATION in 2001 for her lifelong contribution to KODOKAN JUDO In January 2006, at its annual Kagami Biraki New Years celebration, the KODOKAN JUDO  Institute also awarded her the 9th degree black belt (9th DAN). She is the only woman to ever hold this high a rank from any recognized JUDO  organization. In 2005, Fukuda published Ju-No-Kata: A Kodokan textbook, Revised and Expanded from Born for the Mat (Publisher: North Atlantic Books): A pictorial textbook for performing Ju no KATA, one of the seven KODOKAN KATA. She teaches at the Soko Joshi JUDO Club in the Noe valley district of San Francisco, California.

Fukuda also teaches at the annual Joshi Judo Camp, a camp she founded in 1974 to give women judoka an opportunity to train together. .


For Reading

Fukuda, Keiko " Born for the mat : a Kodokan kata textbook for women ", San Francisco, United States, K. Fukuda, 1973, 139p, 3439.
Fukuda, Keiko " Ju-No-Kata : a Kodokan textbook ", Berkeley, CA, United States, North Atlantic Books, 2004, 176p, 25 cm, SK, ISBN 1556435045.


GEESINK, ANTON (1934-2010) Olympic and two-time World Champion

+80 kg (176 lbs ) / Open division                                                                                                

He is a 10th dan judoka. He is a three-time World Judo Champion (1961, 1964 and 1965) and Olympic Gold Medalist (1964). He is 6'6" (1.98m) tall and at one time weighted 320 pounds (145 kg). Geesink first participated in the European Championships in 1951, and placed second in his category. The following year, he won his first European title. Through to 1967, twenty more European titles followed. At the 1961 World Championships, Geesink became World Champion in the open category, defeating the Japanese, who had won all World Championship titles up to that point. Judo debuted as an official sport at the 1964 Summer Olympics, which were held in the sport's home country, Japan. Although Japan dominated three of the four weight divisions (light, middle and heavy), Anton Geesink won the final of the open weight division, defeating Akio Kaminaga in front of his home crowd. After winning the 1965 World Championships and a last European title in 1967, Geesink quit competitive judo. Anton Geesink is the only living 10th dan grade kodansha recognized by the International Judo federation (IJF) but not by Kodokan. Geesink was among the IOC members suspected of accepting bribes during the scandal surrounding the election of Salt Lake City as the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The IOC considered the situation not serious enough for expulsion, and issued a warning to Geesink.


 Best Contest Techniques:


Best Competition Results:

 Olympic Games gold Tokyo 1964 (Open)

World Championships bronze Tokyo 1956 (Open) gold Paris 1961 (Open) gold Rio de Janeiro 1965 (+80kg)

European Championships gold 21 times (1952-1964 and 1967)


For Reading

 Geesink, Anton J. " Based on social aspects and biomechanical principles, divided in two parts : judo as an olympic sport, traditional judo ", Tokyo, Japan, Kokushikan University, 2000, 217p, 22 cm, OL.
Geesink, Anton J. " Gokyo : principles of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham, 1967, 96p, 24 cm, BJ, ISBN 0572004516.
Geesink, Anton J. ), " Judo principles : Newaza ", New York, United States, Arco Publishing, 1967, 95p, 27 cm, LoC, ISBN 0668018518.
Geesink, Anton J. " Judo principles : Newaza ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1969, 95p, 26 cm, BLC, ISBN 0572005970.
Geesink, Anton J. " My championship Judo ", New York, United States, Arco Publishing, 1966, 135p, KS.
Geesink, Anton J. " With complements Anton Geesink ", UL, UP, 1988, 17p, JBN.


  KLAHN, KLAUS (1942-)

West German JUDO heavyweight category at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. At the 1972 Olympics he captured a silver medal, losing the world champion Wilhelm Ruska. Glahn has been European JUDO Champion in 1963, 1968, and 1970, and has won silver medals at 1967 and 1969 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. Glahn is noted for his devastating tai-otoshi and superiror matwork.



British JUDO instructor and coach of British National JUDO Team. He was the first non-Oriental to became a special research student at the KODOKAN, studying there from 1952 to 1955. In 1955, he was appointing chief instructor of the BUDOKWAI, and two years later, captained a British team that won the European JUDO Championships. He is the author of JUDO for the West, The Anatomy of JUDO, and Better JUDO.


For Reading

Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert " All about judo (EP sport series) ", Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, EP Publishing, 1975, 143p, 24 cm, 3007, ISBN 0951845527 ISBN 0715805908 (pbk).
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Anatomy of judo : Analysis of judo skills in dynamic situations ", London, United Kingdom, Kaye & Ward, 1969, 176p, 23 cm, 3048, ISBN 0718207890.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Anatomy of judo : Analysis of judo skills in dynamic situations ", New York, United States, A. S. Barnes, 1969, 176p, JBN, ISBN13 9780498074950.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Better Judo : The key to improved performance ", London, United Kingdom, Kaye & Ward, 1972 1977, 96p, 23 cm, LoC, ISBN 0718204859.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " How to play judo ", London, United Kingdom, Kaye & Ward, 1970, 94p, 19 cm, 3043, ISBN 0718209028.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo ", London, United Kingdom, A&C Black, 1988 1990, 96p, 23 cm, JBN, ISBN 0713655895.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo (know the game) ", London, United Kingdom, A&C Black, 1990[2], 32p, 13 cm, KS, ISBN 0713656964.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo (know the game) ", London, United Kingdom, A&C Black, 1995[3], 48p, 21 cm, BLC, ISBN 0713638206.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo (know the game) ", London, United Kingdom, A&C Black, 2004[4], 48p, 21 cm, BLC, ISBN 0713666838.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo for the west ", London, United Kingdom, Kaye & Ward, 1967, 207p, 23 cm, 3004.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo games ", London, United Kingdom, A&C Black, 1989, 72p, 31 cm, KS, ISBN 071365709X.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " Judo inside out : a cultural reconciliation ", Wakefield, United Kingdom, Lepus Book, 1983, 155p, 25 cm, LoC, ISBN 0860191001 (cased) ISBN 0860191087 (pbk).
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " The Budokwai basic training manual ", London, United Kingdom, The Budokwai, 1957, 20p, 3273.
Gleeson, Geoffrey Robert (1927 - 1994), " The complete book of Judo ", Toronto, Canada, Coles Publishing, 1976, 143p, 20 cm, BJ.






British journalist, author, diplomat, linguist, and martial artist. In 1919, Harrison joined London’s BUDOKWAI, England’s JUDO mecca, and remained an active member until his death at age 88. He was the first Caucasian to become a 3rd-degree black belt in JUDO, during the mid-1900s. The first Westerner to write prolifically about  the martial arts, Harrison wrote his classic, The Fighting Spirit of Japan, in 1912. The book examines the esoteric principles of the Japanese martial arts.



Harrison, E. J., " Coaching Succesfully Judo ", New Delhi, India, Sports Publication, 2002, 194p, 22 cm, LIB, ISBN 8178790432.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo ", London, United Kingdom, Frederick Muller, 1952, 104p, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. G. Foyle, 1950[1] 1963[2], 104p, UoB.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961) : Law, Donald . Gregory, Malcolm J. : Hardie, B. H., " Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. G. Foyle, 1974[3], 119p, 19 cm, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961) : Law, Donald, " Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. G. Foyle, 1974[rev.ed], 119p, 19cm, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo : At-a-glance ", Baltimore, Maryland, United States, I. & M. Ottenheimer, 1953[1] 1956[2], 91p, BJ.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo : the Art of Ju-Jitsu ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1960 1968, 95 p, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo for beginners ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham, 1953 1958, 63 p, 27 cm, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo for girls ", New York, United States, Sterling Pub., 1962, 110p, 20 cm, LoC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo for Women ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1957, 92 p, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo for young girls ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham - New Sports Library, 1957, 110p, LIB.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Judo for Young Girls ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1961, 95 p, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961) : Oda, Tsunetani, " Judo on the ground : Katamewaza - the Oda method ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1954, 199p, 23 cm, LoC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Junior Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1957, 61 p, BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Junior Judo ", New York, United States, Sterling Publishing, 1965[1] 1966[2] 1972[3] 1976[4], 127p, 17 cm, BLC.
Harrison, J. L., " Teaching and coaching Judo ", Delhi, India, Lokeshi tani, 1998, 91p, 21 cm, LIB, ISBN 818619052X.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " The art of ju-jitsu : Scientific defence for everybody ", Philadelphia, PA, United States, David McKay, 1932, 91p, 16 cm, RS.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " The art of ju-jitsu : the practice of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1932, 91p, 16 cm, RS.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " The fighting spirit of Japan ", London, United Kingdom, T.Fisher Unwin, 1913, 351p, 3140.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " The manual of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1952[1], 159p[1], BLC.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " The manual of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, Foulsham, 1964 [2], 172p, 22 cm, MBR.
Harrison, Ernest John (1873 - 1961), " Theory & practice of judo ", Reading, United Kingdom, UP, 1928, 3293.



West German middleweight JUDO champion. Many times a winner of the German JUDO Championships, he became an international star when he won silver medal at 1964 Olympics Games, losing only to All Japan Champion ISAO OKANO. At the 1965 Europan Games, he was a member of the winner West German Team, defeating Anatoly Bondarenbo, a strong Soviet competitor. Hoffman favors uchimata and seoinage, and is especially strong on the mat.



KANO Jigoro ‘s second teacher of JU JUSU, ISO Masatomo took ill in 1881 and died. Later KANO met Iikubo, the master of KITO RYU JU JUTSU. Iikubo awarded KANO a licence of full transmission (menkyo kaiden) in 1883. In KANO’s time the KITO RYU focused primarily on throwing techniques (NAGE WAZA). Iikubo was already over fifty, he continued to train full time, and he was the most skilled martial artist under whom KANO ever trained. (In his memoirs KANO stated, ‘From Master FUKUDA, I learned what my life’s work would be: from Master MASAMOTO, I learned the subtle nature of KATA: and from Master Iikubo, I learned varied techniques and the importance of timing.


IIZUKA KUNISABURO (1875-1958)  Kodokan 10th Dan

Entered the KODOKAN in 1891 and was graded 10th DAN on April 5, 1946. As a young man he was very keen to go abroad but in 1906 was asked to become JUDO instructor at Keio (the oldest private University in Japan) and he remained there for more than fifty years, devoting his whole life to the work. He was a member of both the KODOKAN Council and the DOJO Consultative Group



INMAN,ROY (1945-1915)

British JUDO coach
Roy Inman hold the grade of 8th Dan, and was the High Performance Judo Coach at the University between 1999 and 2006, before moving to the role of Judo Technical Director.

He was the British Judo Association National Coach for over 15 years, has coached at 3 Olympic Games, and his players have won 6 Olympic medals and 13 World Championships.

He is a director of the British Judo Association, was awarded the U.K. coach of the year in 1991, the O.B.E. from H.M. the Queen in 1992 and a Full Blue from the University of Bath in 2001.


For Reading

Inman, Roy : Soames, Nicholas, " Contest judo ", Marlborough, United Kingdom, Crowood, 1987, 201p, 26 cm, KS, ISBN 1852230762.
Inman, Roy, " Judo : the skills of the game ", Marlborough, United Kingdom, Crowood, 1995[1] 1997 [2], 128p, 24 cm, UoB, ISBN 1861260695.
Inman, Roy : Soames, Nicolas, " Judo for women ", Ramsbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, The Crowood Press, 1987, 237p, 23 cm, LoC, ISBN 1852230401.
Inman, Roy : Soames, Nicholas, " Practical women's judo (rev.ed. Judo for women) ", Marlborough, United Kingdom, Crowood, 1989, 176p, 26 cm, BLC, ISBN 1852232366.
Inman, Roy, " The Ju jitsu handbook ", Leicester, United Kingdom, Silverdale Books, 2004, 256p, 21 cm, LIB, ISBN 184509042X.
Inman, Roy, " The Judo handbook ", Leicester, United Kingdom, Silverdale Books, 2004, 256p, 21 cm, UoB, ISBN 1845090411.




INOKUMA ISAO (1938-2001)                             Olympic and World Champion

  +80 kg (176 lbs)/ Open divisions


In 1959 as a youngest JUDOKA  to win the ALL JAPAN JUDO CHJAMPIONSHIPS at the age of 21. He uses SEOI-NAGE and TAI-OTOSHI upset KAMINAGA in 1959 but in the following two years finals he lost to KAMINAGA on both occasions. He regained the title in 1963 and at the 1964 Olympic Games he won the heavyweight gold medal, beating the Canadian, Rogers, in the final. In the 1965 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS he defeated the Russian Kibrotsashvili, for the open gold medal and his last major title. He

was a professor of physical education at Tokai University and an international referee.



Best competition Results

Olympic Games


gold Tokyo 1964 (+80 kg)


World Championships

gold Rio de Janeiro 1965


All Japan Championships

gold 1959

silver 1960

silver 1961

gold 1963



Inokuma, Isao : Sato, Nobuyuki, " Best Judo ", Tokyo, Japan, Kodansha International, 1979,

255p, 26 cm, 3539, ISBN 0870117866



ISO MASAMOTO (1818-1881)

He was a master of the TENSHIN SHIN’YO RYU JU JUTSU school, and son of the school’s founder (Iso Mataemon d. 1862). Iso ran a training hall in Kanda, Tokyo. He was a small man only 5 feet tall but his arms and legs were as strong as steel. In 1879 KANO Jigoro entered the Masamoto Iso JUJUTSU school. Masamoto was 62 years old at the time, he no longer engaged in RANDORI but he was still a grand master of KATA. KANO later told his own students that Masamoto’s KATA were ‘the most beautiful I ever saw executed’. When Masamoto died (1881) KANO went to train with IIKUBO Tsunetoshi (1835 -89) of the KITO RYU.


ISOGAI, HAJIME (1871-1947)   Kodokan 10th Dan

Entered the KODOKAN in 1891 and practised assiduously under Jigoro KANO. In 1899, he was selected to go to the Butokukai in Kyoto where he worked for many years spreading JUDO and training new teachers. On December 22, 1937, he was awarded the grade of 10th DAN directly by Jigoro KANO (only a few months before Jigoro KANO died). At the age of 66, he was the fourth youngest person to attain 10th DAN. He is considered to be one of the great figures in Kansai JUDO (Kansai is the mid-western portion of Honshu, the main island of the Japanese group.) Isogai died on April 19, 1947. 


JACKS,BRIAN (  1945-)

He is a British JUDOKA who won Britain's first medal at a world championship, taking a bronze in Salt Lake City in 1967, and gained a second bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He later achieved national fame for his outstanding "Gym Test" performances on the BBC programme Superstars.His victories in the British and European Superstars lead to the creation of the branded computer games: Brian Jacks Superstar Challenge and Brian Jacks UCHI-MATA... After retiring from judo he opened a fitness and martial arts club, and in 1990 he started a company hiring bouncy castles. (See BOOKS ON JUDO)


JIRO, NANGO (1876-1951)

Japanese JUDO administrator; past presidnet of the KODOKAN. He began studying JUDO with founder Jigoro KANO in JUDO’s embryonic era and received his black belt in 1884 while continuing a career in the navy, from which he retired as a rear admiral.

In 1938, when Prof. KANO died, the KODOKAN board of trustees unanimously chose Jiro his successor, a post he held until September, 1946, when he retired due to bad health. While president he established a system of JUDO for juveniles, fixed the KATA and self-defense for women, and founded the institute for the training of teachers of JUDO. He was one of the few juDANs, 10th-degree black belts.




KAMINAGA, AKIO (1936-1993)

Japanese JUDO champion. Kaminaga won the All Japan JUDO Championships three times, in 1960, 1961 and 1964 but lost the Olympics openweight finals in Tokyo to Anton Geesink. Altough extremely shortsighted, he was particulady  proficient at the TAI OTOSHI (body drop) and UCHIMATA (inner-thigh trow) Kaminaga was an Olympics silver medalist in the open class at Tokyo in 1964.




KANOKOGI, RENA (“Rusty”) /1935-2009/

She  was a Jewish-American JUDOKA  from Brooklyn, New York. Born as Rena Glickman, she became the first woman to practise judo in the Kodokan dojo in Tokyo, Japan.  In 1959 Rena competed at the YMCA championship in Utica, N.Y. disguised as a man. To maintain her disguise she changed in a broom closet, cut her hair short, and taped down her breasts. She was an alternate on the team and had to step in when a male member was injured and unable to compete. She won the match against her male opponent and her team won the contest. She was then pulled aside and asked if she was a female. She told the truth and was stripped of her gold medal. 50 years later in August 2009 the New York State YMCA awarded Rena Kanokogi a gold medal to honor her lifetime's work. She sponsored the first women's judo competition and was the driving force behind the introduction of women's judo in the Olympics. Kanokogi met her husband, Ryohei Kanokogi, while in Japan in the 1960s. In 1988, Kanokogi was Coach of the first United States Olympic Women's Judo Team. In 2008, she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japan's highest civilian honors.[






Japanese JUDO chAmpion whose crisp throwing techniques won him the world lightweight titles in 1971. He was an Olympic gold medallist  in 1972 and a silver medallist in the 1973 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.




(1899-1969) Non-Kodokan 10th Dan (FFDJA 10th Dan)

Japanese-born French JUDO pioneer. He studied JU-JUTSU in Kyoto. It is not known exactly what style of JU-JUTSU he learnt. In England he continues to teach this form refer to his teaching as Kawaishi Ryu JU-JUTSU. In the mid 1920’s he left Japan and toured the United States. In 1928, he arrived in the United Kingdom and established a JU-JUTSU club in Liverpool. In 1931, he moved to London, founding the Anglo-Japanese JUDO Club and teaching JUDO at Oxford University. Around this time he was awarded his third DAN by JIgoro KANO. It was common at this time for JU-JUTSU instructors to teach, or call what they taught, JUDO. In 1936, then a fourth DAN, Kawaishi moved to Paris where he taught JU-JUTSU and JUDO. During World War II, he returned to Japan. After the war he returned to Paris to continue teaching. He introduced various coloured belts in Europe. He developed an intuitive style of instruction and a numerical ordering of the techniques that he felt was more suitable for the occidental. This seemed to catch on in France and there was a rapid growth of interest in JUDO. He placed special emphasis on KATA training. He promulgated KYUZO MIFUNE’s Gonosen No KATA (The KATA of Counters) in Europe and possibly his own version of Go No KATA. He also wrote the book “Seven KATAs of JUDO”.


For Reading

Kawaishi, Mikonosuke (1899 - 1970), " My Method of Self-Defence ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1957, 127p, 30 cm, LIB.
Kawaishi, Mikonosuke (1899 - 1970) : Gailhat, Jean : Harrison, E. J., " My Methof of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1955, 246p, 24 cm, UoB.
Kawaishi, Mikonosuke (1899 - 1970) : Gailhat, Jean, " Standing Judo : The combinations and counter - attacks ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1963, 136p, UoB.
Kawaishi, Mikonosuke (1899 - 1970) : Harrison, E. J., " The Complete 7 Katas of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1957[1], 203p, 22 cm, KS.
Kawaishi, Mikonosuke (1899 - 1970) : Harrison, E. J., " The Complete 7 Katas of Judo ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1982[2], 203p, 22 cm, LIB, ISBN 0879511567.


KERR, GEORGE (1937-)

Scottish JUDO champion. Kerr won three Europan silver and two bronze medals during the 1960s. A member of the British team, in the middleweight category and open events. His excellent range of ground work techniques, superb UCHI-MATA(innerthigh throw) and knowledge of amateur wrestling (he represented Britain in the 1965 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS) contributed to his succes. Kerr won the 1966 and 1968 British Open middleweight titles before retiring.

He was one of the first athletes to go to Japan, study there and brought the skills of physical training and the philosophy of judo to Britain and to Europe. He trained with Anton GEESINK, one of the seven 10th Dan graduates, and still a friend of KERR.

After his judo career where he won European individual medals and with the British Team in the late fifties and early sixties, Kerr developed himself as an international referee. He refereed at two Olympic Games (1972 and 1976) and at three World Championships between 1969 and 1975. He retired as international referee in 1976.

Later Kerr was a coach of many many fighters. At the Edinburgh Judo Club he had an exchange program with the Tokai University where champion came to Scotland to learn English and to train at Kerr’s club. Yoshi Nakamura, Hidetoshi Nakanishi, both world champions were trained by Kerr.

Later Kerr was a coach of many many fighters. At the Edinburgh Judo Club he had an exchange program with the Tokai University where champion came to Scotland to learn English and to train at Kerr’s club. Yoshi Nakamura, Hidetoshi Nakanishi, both world champions were trained by Kerr.

In 2010 he was awarded the grade 10th DAN for international services to JUDO  He is one of only five non-Japanese out of 19 people ever to be awarded this honour. He is the second Briton after Charles PALMER and the youngest person ever to have gained the rank of 10th DAN in JUDO.



Russian judo champion. Kiknadze won eight European gold medals, four individually and four as a member of the Soviet contingent that won consecutive team titles from 1963-67 .He won a gronze medal at both the 1964 OLYMPIC GAMES and the 1965 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, and a silver medal in the 1968 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS before retiring.





KIMURA MASHIKO (1917-1993)

He was the greatest JUDO champion of all time, he won his first DAN at 15. He was second DAN at 16 and third DAN a year later. At the age of 20, he won the ALL-JAPAN JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS for the first time. He was only 5’7”, but his favourite technique was OSOTO-GARI with combination of OUCHI-GARI, and strong NEWAZA. He also used IPPON-SEOI-NAGE and UCHIMATA. He won the ALL –JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIPS in 1937, 1938 and 1939. His training methods were extreme. Before he went to sleep that night he did 500 press-ups, 1 km of bunny hops, and 500 makiwara strikes. He learned Shotokan and Goju-ryu karate. In 1949, he reached the final of the ALL-JAPAN JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS. He faced Takahiko Ishikawa and fought one of the hardest matches of his life. It was declared a draw after two periods of extra time. At the age of 40, he was still fighting professionally and remained outside the central JUDO environment, because professional JUDO was against KANO’s ethics.  He won all his fights – but faded, and he started another professional fighting career abroad.



Chen, Jim. (1997). Mashahiko Kimura, the man who defeated Helio Gracie, http://



KOIZUMI GUNJI (1885-1965)

Japanese JUDO master (8th DAN) who was the father of European JUDO, founding the BUDOKWAI in 1918. He was first proficient in JUJUTSU but switched to JUDO. A dedicated instructor, he founded clubs all over Europe, leading to the establishment of both the British JUDO Association and the EUROPEAN JUDO UNION. He was an Oriental art expert, practiced calligraphy, and helped to introduce Buddism into Britain. He taught at the BUDOKWAI until the day before he died. (See Sec. BOOKS on JUDO)



1.Koizumi Gunji. (1947, April), Judo and the Olympic games. Budokwai Quarterly Bulletin (pp.7-8).

2.Bowen, Richard. (2002b) Koizumi Gunji, 1885-1965: Judo master. In Hugh Cortazzi (Ed.),

Britain and Japan: Biographical portraits 4 (pp. 312-322). London: Japan Society.

3. Bowen, Richard. (in press). Gunji Koizumi. In Oxford dictionary of national biography. Oxford:  Oxford University Press.





KOTANI, SUMIYUKI (1903-1991) Kodokan 10th Dan

He received the rank of 10th DAN in April 1984, the oldest person to be awarded this rank (until 2006 when Ichiro Abe was promoted at age 83). Graduated from Tokyo College of Education. He was one of Jigoro KANO's direct students, and only the 7th man to receive a 10th Degree Black Belt while he was still alive. He was very active in promoting JUDO all around the world and was the head instructor of the International Division of the KODOKAN for many years, and a professor of Tokai University. He was the KODOKAN's top ranked official and Vice President of the All Japan JUDO Federation. During his student days, he would practice with every powerful and skillful JUDOKA he could lay his hands on, rather than avoid the "beating" he knew would be coming. To be thrown, immobilized, or strangled, was nothing but delight for him. The thing that really counted was practice. He died on October 19, 1991.


KURIHARA TAMIO (1896-1979)  Kodokan 10th Dan

Kurihara was born in May, 1896. He became the 11th person to be promoted to 10th Degree Black Belt after his death October 8, 1979. He graduated from the Kyoto Budo Senmon-Gako (Martial Art College) and became "shihan" (Master Instructor of JUDO) at Kyoto 3rd higher school. One of his impressive competitions was the May 1926 Emperor's Cup final facing one of the young upcoming strong players, Ushijima Tatsukuma, a 26 year old 5th DAN. He won a decision here after a hard competition to take the title.



British JUDO instructor. For many years the highest-graded non-Japanese JUDOKA and the first Englishman to go to Japan specifically to study JUDO. In 1932, he joined the BUDOKWAI and studied under Yukio TANI. He studied law at the University of London graduating in 1934. He was a 3rd DAN and captain of the British team when he went to Japan in 1938; In 1946, he was appointed head of the Japanese section of the B.B. C. and during the following 15 years trained almost every leading JUDO fighter in Britain at the BUDOKWAI. He is a prolific writer on poetry, Buddhism He published 30 books. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure by the Japanese Government in 1984.


For Reading

Leggett, Trevor P : Watanabe, Kisaburo, " Championship Judo : Tai-Otoshi and O-Uchi-Gari attacks ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1964[1], 64p, BLC.
Leggett, Trevor P. : Watanabe, Kisaburo, " Championship Judo : tai-otoshi and o-uchi-gari attacks ", London, United Kingdom, Ippon, 1994[2], 64p, 21 cm, BLC, ISBN 0874572550.
Leggett, Trevor P. , " Kata judo ", London, United Kingdom, Foulsham, 1964[1], 179p, 22 cm, UoB.
Leggett, Trevor P. , " Kata judo ", London, United Kingdom, Foulsham, 1982[2], 179p, 22 cm, LIB, ISBN 057201175X.
Leggett, Trevor P. , " The Demonstration of Gentleness : Ju-no-kata (Renshuden judo library) ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1964, 62p, 3217.
Leggett, Trevor P. , " The Demonstration of Holds : Katame-no-kata (Renshuden judo library) ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1964, 60p, UoB.
Leggett, Trevor P.  " The Demonstration of Throws : Nage-no-Kata (Renshuden judo library) ", London, United Kingdom, W. Foulsham & Co., 1960 1964, 70p, BLC.
Leggett, Trevor P. , " The Dragon Mask and Other Judo Stories in the Zen Tradition ", London, United Kingdom, Ippon Books, 1995, 128p, LIB, ISBN13 9781874572169.


Lorenz, Dietmar (1950-)      Olympic Champion

Open division / -93kg (205 lbs) / -95kg (209 lbs)

Lorenz won medals at international competitions. He won as the first German the Olympics and the Jigoro Kano Cup. Today, he s trainer a the SC Berlin for children nanadan seventh degree black belt (also, shichidan), a component of the Dan rank. Lorenz won medals at international competitions. He won as the first German the Olympics and the Jigoro Kano Cup. Today, he s trainer a the SC Berlin for children.


Best Competition Results

Olympic Games

gold Moscow 1980 (Open)


World Championships

bronze Lausanne 1973 (-93 kg)


European Championships

bronze Madrid 1973 (Open)

gold Lyon 1975  (-93kg)

gold Ludwigshafen 1977 (-95 kg)

gold Helsinki 1978 (-95kg)


Kano Cup

gold Tokyo 1978



MAEDA MITSUYO (1878-1941)

He joined the KODOKAN in 1897. An extraordinary learner, by 1903, Maeda advanced to fourth DAN, winning several leading JUDO tournaments in the process. He went to USA with TOMITA in 1904. Maeda and Tomita soon opened a JUDO club in New York City.

Maeda turned to American professional wrestling in 1906. The 5’5”, 154-pound Maeda was said, some 1,000 challenge matches against all-comers, never once losing a JUDO-style competition. He settled in Brazil in 1915 and he was feted as Conte Comte (Count Combat) and now his system of fighting, now called “Gracie JUJUTSU”. In 1929, the KODOKAN promoted Maeda to sixth DAN in JUDO. He died in 1941, at the age of 63. His promotion to seventh DAN in JUDO was dated in 1941, so the certificate arrived after his death. The KODOKAN did not forget his contributions to the growth of JUDO to Brazil. Japan dedicated a stone memorial to him in Hirosaki City.



Gorsuch, Mark. (2002). Mitsuyo Maeda (Count Coma) biography, http: //


MIFUNE, KYUZO (1883-1965)  Kodokan 10th Dan

He joined the KODOKAN in 1903 and remained a member until his death. When he came to Tokyo to attend Waseda University, and became the close disciple of Jigoro KANO, the father of JUDO. After 15 months, he achieved ShoDAN (1st Degree) in KODOKAN JUDO, and after the remarkably short time of four more months, NiDAN (2nd Degree). Though timing and speed, Mifune quickly gained a reputation, and was never defeated. By 1912, he was a RokyuDAN (6th Degree) and an instructor at a number of universities, high schools, and junior high schools. In 1945, he was elevated to JuDAN (10th), the fourth of seven men to ever be so honored. After developing many new JUDO techniques and variations, he came to be known as the “God of JUDO”. In 1956, he wrote his classic book, Canon of JUDO, still a remarkable exposition of JUDO history, philosophy, and technical description. His influence on post-war JUDO cannot be underestimated. His skill was perhaps the most elegant ever seen at the KODOKAN. He passed away in 1965 at the age of eighty-two. At his hometown, Kuji, a Memorial Gymnasium was erected in his honor, called the MifunejuDAN.


For Reading ???????



MUNAKATA ITSURO (1866-1941) 7th DAN

Itsuro Munakata came to Tokyo in 1883, and entered Kodokan in 1884. At the same time, he also entered the Kano Juku Tutoring School and the Kobunkan.
In September of 1886, he became superintendent of the Kano Juku Juvenile School. He later taught at the Kyoto Nishi-hongan-ji Temple's Daigakurin's literary dormitory in Kyoto, followed by posts as a KODOKAN supervisor in September of 1891, headmaster at Omura Junior High School in Nagasaki Prefecture (1893), teacher at the Advanced Teachers Training School (Sept., 1896), headmaster at the Unebi Junior High School (May, 1900), teacher at the Tokyo Advanced Teachers Training School (July, 1907).
He later served at headmaster at the Shonai Junior High School and the Sendai First Junior High School where he actively promoted both education and Judo. In April of 1920, he returned to KODOKAN  as a supervisor and dedicated himself to teaching JUDO  and handling KODOKAN affairs.
Mr. Munakata died in 1941 at the age of 76.



NAGAOKA HIDEKAZU (1876-1952)  Kodokan 10th Dan

Came to Tokyo from his birth place, Okayama at the age of 16 to seek out the Shihan. Entered the KODOKAN in 1893 and practised so hard it was said of him, "The technique is Sutemi, the man is Nagaoka." Many of his contests are still the subject of countless reminiscences. All his efforts were poured into the training of young teachers and he was of the greatest assistance to the President of the KODOKAN. He did much to gain for the KODOKAN the secure position it enjoys today and was promoted 10th DAN on December 27, 1937 by Jigoro KANO, just a few months before Jigoro KANO died. He is one of only three 10th DANs promoted to that rank by the founder of JUDO. He and Isogai were the first students of KANO to be promoted to 10th DAN while alive, and he was the youngest man ever to be promoted to 10th DAN. He passed away on November 22, 1952.




NAKANO SHOZO (1888-1977)  Kodokan 10th Dan

He  was born in January 1888. He was promoted to 10th Degree Black Belt after his death on December 22, 1977. He became master instructor at Tokyo Ikashika University (Medical School). He energetically promoted KODOKAN JUDO to the world. His uchimata throw was very famous. He said „My strategy is to let my opponent get his favorite satisfactory grip and then I find my own way of chance to throw my opponent.”


NEVZEROV, VLADIMIR(1952-)   Olympic and World Champion


-70kg (154 lbs)




He was the first Russian (Soviet) to win a world title. It was an extraordinary result, given  the fact that Soviets were always regarded as among the toughest of opponents, and that they usually figured in the medals of major events. He was a hard-training man was good in classical JUDO techniques.




Best ContestTechniques






Best Competition  Results


Olympic Games


gold Montreal 1976




World Championships


gold Vienna 1975




European Championships


gold Lyons 1975


gold  Ludwigshafen  1977





He is a pioneer of US JUDO. He was United States Division JUDO champion three times, in 1965, 1966 1970. In 1965 he retired as the National AAU (Amateur Athletic Union)  Grand Champion. A member of four United States international teams, he won a gold medal in the Pan-American Games in 1967.NISHIOKA was also the British-Colombian Champion in1966, and placed 5th in the WORLD JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS in 1965 and 1967. He is also a black belt in Shotokan KARATE. After retiring from competition, he became a physical education instructor at Los Angeles City College in California, heading its martial arts program. He has authored several books on JUDO.


For Reading

Nishioka, Hayward , " Foot throws : Karate Judo and self-defence ", Santa Clarita, California, United States, Ohara Publications, 1972, 95p, 28 cm, BJ, ISBN 0897500253.
Nishioka, Hayward , " Judo : heart & soul ", Santa Clarita, California, United States, Ohara Publications, 2000, 255p, 22 cm, LoC, ISBN 0897501373.
Nishioka, Hayward  : West, James, " The Judo textbook : In practical application ", Santa Clarita, California, United States, Ohara Publications, 1979, 192p, 22 cm, BJ, ISBN 0897500636.



OKANO ISAO (1944-)          Olympic and World Champion


-80 kg (176 lbs)




He entered the 1964 Summer Olympics while studying at Chuo University's law school, and won the gold medal in the middleweight division. He won another gold medal at the World Judo Championships in 1965, becoming the champion of his division at only 21 years of age. He also won the Open weight class division of the All-Japan Judo Championships in 1967 and 1969, and placed second in the competition in 1968. He remains the lightest ever competitor to win the Open weight class of the All-Japan Championships, as he weighed around 80 kg throughout his career. He suddenly retired from competitive judo at only 25 years of age, and founded the Shoki Juku (currently the Ryutsu Keizai University's judo team) in 1970, where he instructed future Olympic gold medalist Kazuhiro Ninomiya. He also served as a coach for the Japanese Olympic judo team during the 1976 Summer Olympics. He later worked as a judo instructor at Keio University from 1989-1998, and the University of Tokyo from 1989-2000. He is currently an instructor and professor at Ryutsu Keizai University.


He was just around 80 kg, his exceptional natural talent brought him gold medals in all the major national and international championships. He was very fast and precise in throwing (SEOI-NAGE, KOUCHI-GARI) He founded Seiki Juku, a school which attracted a strong international contingent. One of the best JUDO book of the world was written (with Tetsuya Sato) by him.




Best ContestTechniques




Okano style OKURI-ERI-JIME




Best Competition Results


Olympic Games


gold Tokyo 1964 (-80kg)




World Championships


gold Rio de Janeiro 1965 (-80kg)




All Japan Championships


gold 1967


silver 1968


gold 1969






Okano, Isao " Vital judo : Grappling techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publications, 1976-1982, 191p, 26 cm, MBR, ISBN 0870405179.


Okano, Isao  : Sato, Tetsuya, " Vital judo : Throwing techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publications, 1973, 191p, 26 cm, MBR, ISBN 0870401734.






OKANO KOTARO (1885-1967)  Kodokan 10th Dan

OKANO was born April 1885. He became the 9th man to be promoted to 10th Degree Black Belt after his death on June 2, 1967. He was the first graduated student from the Budo Senmon-Gakko (martial art school) and he became "shihan" (master of martial art) in 6th Okayama Higher School and Okayama Police. His mat technique was one of the best among the JUDO world at that time.



Osawa Yoshimi (1927–) Kodokan 10th DAN

Promoted to Kodokan 10th dan on 8 January 2006, at age 79. Osawa is also still coaching at the Kodokan, and is recognised for his support of women’s JUDO. Osawa was known by the nickname Current Ushiwakamaru (Ushiwakamaru was the childhood name of a legendary twelfth-century samurai who was small but quick.)


OTAKI TADAO ( 1908-1998)

High-ranking KODOKAN instructor, is one of the Japan’ s foremost JUDOists. He has instructed many Japanese national, world, and Olympic champions: he is also a popular teacher among non-Japanese JUDOists both in Japan and abroad. As a professor of physical education at Tokyo Education University, he is engaged in historical and technical research concerning the role of JUDO in education. His long experience in teaching JUDO to everyone from beginners to Olympic champions – and his contributions to its teaching methods brought him worldwide acclaim.


OSAKO, JOHN (1921-)

Japanese-born American judo instructor, champion, and referee. In 1939 Osako was Kagoshima State Champion.After moving to the U.S. .he won the heavyweight and grand championships at the 1956 AAU Nationals, in 1955 and 1958 he was the 180-lb. champion. He was also grand champion at the first two Pan-American championships, held in Havana, Cuba, in 1952 and 1954. The first certified referee of the IJF, he has since chaired several officiating committees. Osako wrote several handbooks on officiating. Member of Who’s Who in the Martial Arts.See also U.S: history of JUDO in.





OTANI, NAGASAKI  (1898- 1977)

Japanese-born JUDO  pioneer. He England in 1919 and practiced  at the BUDOKWAI. In 1927 he began teaching JUDO  at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and in 1932 he became instructor at the Anglo-Japanese Club.After the war he taught the military and police forces. In 1958, Otani joined the British Judo Council under Kenshiro ABE becoming its leader in the mid-196s when ABE returned toJapan. He continued teaching in England until his deaath. 






PALMER, CHARLES STUART (1930 – 2001)  Non-Kodokan 10th Dan; IJF 10th Dan

British JUDO instructor. The President of INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION (1965-1979). He started JUDO when he was 15. The founder of British JUDO. Gunji KOIZUMI and 8th DAN Trevor LEGGETT, were his teachers. He won a black belt in 1948 and went to Japan in 1951 to work at the British Embassy and study at the KODOKAN. During his four years in Japan, he studied under Kyoshi Kobayashi and the late 10th DAN Kyuzo MIFUNE. In 1957, he was a member of the British team which won the European title for the first time and the following two years he captained the British JUDO team. As president of the INTERNATIONAL JUDO FEDERATION, he was chiefly responsible for the reintroduction of JUDO to the Olympic programme and for the standardization of the international contest rules which he carried out in collaboration with the KODOKAN





PORTER, PHILIP (1925-2011)

American JUDO author, administrator, and referee. Porter did not begin studying the sport until he was 27, yet he competed regularly until age 41. In 1975 he won the 50-55 class competition at the National Masters Tournamnet. A graduate of West Point, Porter began his JUDO career while in the military and wrote the constitution of the United States Air Force JUDO association in 1959. He has founded clubs on Air Force bases all over the world, in 1973, he organized the All American JUDO Club in Sacramento. He presently seves as chairman of the U.S. JUDO Association National Coaching Staff. Porter refereed the historic world heavyweight match between Anton Geesink and Mitsua Matsunage in 1965. As technical director of the Pan-American JUDO Union, Porter rewrote the first international rules. In 1967 he trained referees for the Pan-American Games in Canada. Founder and editor of the American JUDOman Magazin (1960), he is author of the first two JUDO handbooks ever published in the U.S. He also published two instrutional books: JUDO from the Beginning, which he wrote, and Championships JUDO Drill Training, which he edited for author Ben Campbell. A member of the Who’s Who in the Martial Arts, he chaired the National AAU JUDO Committee and the U.S: Olympics JUDO Committee.


ROGERS, DOUG (1941- )

+95 Kg (209 lbs)

He  was a Canadian Olympic competitor.  His best-known achievements are a silver medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and gold medals at two Pan American Games, in 1965 and 1967. He was a student of Masahiko KIMURA, perhaps one of the greatest JUDO  competitors ever. As a member of the Takushoku University team coached by KIMURA, Doug Rogers won the team pennant at the 1965 All Japan University Championships. He was selected as Best Fighter at the same tournament. He is an honoured member in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.


Best Competition Results

Olympic Games

silver Tokyo 1964 ( +95kg)


World Championships

Bronze 1965 Rio de Janeiro   +80 kg


Pan American Games

Gold  –1967 Winnipeg          Open class

Silver   1967 Winnipeg           Heavyweight


ROSS DR, ARTHUR JOHN (1893-1971)

Founder of Australian JUDO. Dr. ROSS brought JUDO to Australia in 1927. He founded the first JUDO club in Australia. He was born in London, England, but he moved to Japan when he was eight years old. In Tokyo he practiced JIU-JITSU and JUDO under Jigoro KANO. He wrote the first JUDO book in Australia (Textbook of Judo, Sydney, 1949). He was awarded 8th DAN in 1968.


For Reading


Ross, Dr. A. J., " Text book of Judo (Jiu-jitsu) vol. 1 ", Sydney, Australia, The Australian Council of Judo, 1949, 71p, 21 cm, UoB.




RUSKA, WILLEM(1940-)   two-time Olympic, and two-time World  Champion


+93kg  (205 lbs) / Open division




He was the first man to win two Olympic gold medals. He developed a strong double-lapel grip, and had three main techniques – OSOTO-GARI, TAI-OTOSHI, and HARAI-GOSHI. He was also dangerous on the ground. Later he followed GEESINK, he became a professional wrestler in Japan.




Best Contest Techniques






Best Competition Results


Olympic Games


gold Munich 1972 (+93kg)


gold Munich 1972 (Open)




World Championships


gold Salt Lake City 1967 (+93kg)


silver Mexiko City 1969 (+93kg)


gold Ludwigshafen 1971 (+93kg)




European Championships


bronze Berlin 1965 (+95kg-Amateur)/


silver (Open)


gold Luxemburg 1966 (+93kg)


gold Milan 1967 (+93kg)


gold Ostende 1969 (+93kg)/gold (Open)


silver Berlin 1970 (+93kg)/silver (Open)


gold Gothenbourg 1971 (+93kg)


gold The Hague 1972  (+93kg),gold (Open)





SAIGO SHIRO (1866 – 1922)

Shiro was adopted son of Aikmijutsu master Saigo Tanomo. He was known for his great ability and strength at a young age. He was particularly well known for his powerful YAMA ARASHI (“mountain storm”) technique (this not the same technique we know today as “YAMA ARASHI”). He was recruited by KANO Jigoro to be his “showman” for the KODOKAN system. He earned the rank of SHODAN in JUDO in 1883, but he was a GODAN (5th degree ) by the age of 23. KANO Jigoro returned to Japan in January 1891. He had been abroad for sixteen months. Unfortunately, Saigo had gotten into trouble in the meantime. When KANO was informed of the incident he had no choice but to banish his most talented student. Saigo fled to distant Nagasaki. He took up KYUDO (Japanese archery, and mastered that discipline just as thoroughly as he had JUJUTSU. In a gesture of forgiveness, upon Saigo’s death KANO posthumously awarded his former student the rank of “KODOKAN JUDO Sixth DAN”. He is also is known to have been the model for the main chracter in Tomita Tsuneo’s 1942 novel Sugata Sanshiro. (The great movie director Kurosawa Akira /1920-1998/ began his career with  Sugata Sanshiro /1943/, a film on JUDO.)Saigo died in 1922 at the age of 57.



SAMURA, KAICHIRO (1880-1964)  Kodokan 10th Dan

One of the two longest living 10th DANs, he joined the KODOKAN in 1898 and received the grade of 10th DAN on April 5, 1948. In 1899, he became the head of the JUDO Section of the Butokukai and later traveled extensively teaching at schools and police establishments. In 1931, he began teaching at the KODOKAN and was a member of the DOJO Consultative Group



SHORIKI, MATSUTARO (1885-1969) Kodokan 10th Dan

Born April 11, 1885 in Toyama Prefecture, educated at Takaoka Middle School, Fourth National Higher School, and Tokyo Imperial University. Director of the Police Affairs Section of the Metropolitan Police Board, President of the Yomiuri Shimbunsha (Japanese newspaper) and later its owner. Appointed Member of the House of Peers and elected Member of the House of Representatives. Served as State Minister. Established Japan's first commercial television station Nippon Television Network Corporation. Started professional baseball in Japan and contributed to its development. President of the Franco-Japanese University JUDO Association, Chairman of Nippon Budokan, and President of National Dietman's JUDO Federation. He is the only non-professional in the history of the KODOKAN to hold the 10th DAN. He was promoted after his death on October 9, 1969.


SMITH, ROBERT W. (1926-2011)

American martial arts instructor, writer and author. He received his first judo instruction while in the Marine Corps (1944-46), then joined the Chicago JUDO Club under John  Osako in 1946. By 1960 Smith held a third-degree black belt from the KODOKAN . As a rersult of his studies in Taiwan (1959-62) he became a leading authority on Chinese fighting forms and techniques. Among his books are A Complete Guide to Judo (1958), Asian Fighting Arts (with Donn Draeger, 1969), Pa-kua: Chinese Boxing (1967), Chinese Boxing, Masters and Methods (1974), Hsing-I, Chinese Mind-Body Boxing, Secrets of Shao-lin Temple Boxing (1964), and under the pseudonym John F. Gilbey, Secret Fighting Arts of the World (1964). He is one of the faremost Western authorities of the Eastern fighting arts-.


For Reading


Smith, Robert W., "A bibliography of judo and other self-defense systems including cognate works and articles", Rutland, Vermont, United States, Charles E. Tuttle, 1959 1961, 249p, 20 cm, HIS, BJ.  


Smith, Robert W., "A complete guide to Judo : It's story and practice", Rutland, Vermont, United States, Charles E. Tuttle, 1958[1] 1959[1] 1960[1], 249p, 223 x 156 x 30, HB, HIS, BJ.  


Smith, Robert W., "Martial musings", Erie, United States, Via Media Publishing, 1999, 390p, 237 x 160 x 27, HB, BF, BJ, ISBN 1893765008. 




In the Netherlands, Dutch judo pioneer Jan Snijders passed away at the age of 93 yrs. This is a different "Jan Snijders" than the one who is currently heading the EJU Refereeing Committee. The late Jan Snijders was born on April 23, 1921 (the other Jan Snijders is 22 years his junior and was born in 1943).

The late Jan Snijders was a former student of Jean de Herdt, Haku Michigami and Mikinosuke Kawaishi. He was also the first Dutch black belt back in 1948 (promoted by Kawaishi), and was a colleague of Dutch 10th dan-holder Jaap Nauwelaerts de Agé.



SONE, TAIZO (-1972)

American JUDO instructor. Sone began judo in 1914 at KODOKAN .Sone’s work for a trading company brought him to the U.S. in the 1930s, wherever he went he instructed in JUDO. In 1958 Sone founded the Florida Yudanshakai. At the time of his death he was Florida AAU  JUDO Chairman, as well as charman of the board of examiners of the Florida Black Belt JUDO Association. Sone was named Sensei of the Year and inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 1972.




SONODA, ISAMU  (1946- )

Japanese JUDO champion.. He attended the Fukuoka Institute of Technology, and won a gold medal at the 1969 World Judo Championships along with his older brother, Yoshio, who won the gold medal in the lightweight (-63 kg) division. He joined the Fukuoka prefectural police force in July, 1972, at the invitation of the police force's judo instructor. Sonoda had competed in the ALL-JAPAN JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS  10 times from age 19, but Shozo FUJI  had won the competition for three consecutive years prior to 1976, when the championship served as the qualifier for the 1976 OLYMPIC GAMES, and was seen as a lock for Japan's Olympic judo team. However, Sonoda defeated FUJI by a very close decision, gained his first appearance at the Olympics at age 29.. He defeated Valeriy Dvoinikov of the Soviet Union.  Sonoda retired after competing in the 1978Jigoro Kano Cup along with Kazuhiro Ninomiya. He and Ninomiya were rivals and friends for over 30 years, having been born on the same year, entered the same police force, competed in the same World Championships and Olympics, and having retired at the same time.  He worked as a judo instructor for the Fukuoka prefectural police, and one of his pupils, Kie Kusakabe, appeared in the 2000 and 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES.







British JUDO champion. In 1971, he was a member of the British team that captured the European title, and he won the bronze medal  at 1971 World JUDO Championships. In      1972 he captured the silver medal in the light- heavyweight division of the Munich Olympics and also the European title. The following year, he won a silver medal at EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS and a bronze in the WORLD  CHAMPIONSHIPS In 1976 he won a bronze in the Montreal Olympics. Now retired. He currently lives in France where he is a judo instructor and is a credited cliff jumper. His son, Leon, is also a  JUDOKA.  In November 2007 at the Judo World Cup in Birmingham he was awarded his 9th DAN by Densign White, chairman of the British Judo Association.


For Reading

Starbrook, Dave : Wilson, Neil  " Judo - Starbrook style ", London, United Kingdom, Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Limited, 1978, 128p, 29 cm, BJ, ISBN 0354085204.





TABATA SHOTARO (1884-1950) Kodokan 10th Dan

Entered the KODOKAN in 1900 and was promoted to 10th DAN on April 5, 1948. He was the third youngest person to receive a 10th DAN. From 1905, he taught at the Butokukai in Kyoto where he trained many new instructors and contributed greatly to the development and diffusion of JUDO. Together with Isogai, 10th DAN, he occupies a special place in Kansai JUDO. He died on May 25, 1950.


TANI YUKIO (1881-1950)

Japanese JUDO pioneer. With Gunji Koizumi, Tani introduced JUDO to England and Europe. He studied  the shin-no-shindo style of jujutsu and went to England in 1989, where he gained fame by defeating all comers in wrestling  matches. When in 1918 Koizumi founded the BUDOKWAI he appointed Tani Chief instructor. Tani remained at the BUDOKWAI until his retirement in 1937 following a stroke. Toni and Taro Miyake wrote one of the first English-language books on jujutsu, The Game of Jujutsu, published in 1906.


Noble, Graham. (2000b). The odyssey of Yukio Tani. InYo, http: // Noble_1000.htm.


TUKU SANBO (1887-1945)

After being discovered by Jigoro KANO, Sanbo Toku came to Tokyo in 1906, and entered KODOKAN in May of that year.
In 1909, Mr. Toku entered the Tokyo Advanced Teachers Training School (literature and physical education fields, specializing in Japanese and Chinese classics) while continuing his keiko (training) at KODOKAN. He withdrew from school in 1911 in order to devote all his time to Kodokan.
He was known for arriving earliest at the dojo for keiko despite the fact that trains were not yet running at that hour, forcing him to walk 10 kilometers from Komatsugawa (Edogawa Ward). In addition to being the first in the dojo, Mr. Toku achieved a perfect attendance record.
He later became a JUDO  instructor at Waseda University, Nippon University, and Takushoku University. Although he founded his own facility for training apprentices, he was killed in a Tokyo air raid on March 10, 1945 at the age of 59.



TOMIKI KENJI (1900-1979)

Japanese aikido pioneer and JUDO instructor. Tomiki studied JUDO under its found, Jugor KANO, and after achieving a high level of competence, was asked in 1926 by KANO to learn aikido under founder Morihei Ueshiba. After extensive study he formulated a self-defense system called goshin-jutsu-KATA. Tomiki had delved into the possibilities of aikido as a form of physical exercise, while still respesting Ueshiba’s spiritual principles. Already a recognized authority of aikido instruction existed. Tomiki formulated a series of extended his system (originally of 15 basic techniques), adding two more techniques to the KATA and slightly altering some of the others; he called in the randori-no-KATA, or techniques suitable for freestyle fighting. He later devised a series in freestyle situations, thereby introducing a sport element into aikido. Tomiki further extended the formal side of aikido, modifying several koryus, or ancient forms, techniques against various weapons used in other martial arts. Tomiki was teaching at Waseda University between 1950-1979 where he was professor of Physical Education. He authored JUDO with Aikido in 1956, which was the first English text explaining the principles of aikido.


For Reading

Tomiki, Kenji (1900 - 1979), " Judo (Tourist library series, 22) ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Travel Bureau, 1956, xii,176p, 21 cm, 3021.
Tomiki, Kenji (1900 - 1979), " Judo and Aikido (Tourist library 22) ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Travel Bureau, 1960 1963[6] 1967[8], 184p, BLC.



Tokio Hirano (1922-1993)

Tokio Hirano (5’5”, 75 kg), obtained Godan (5th dan) at age 19, is perhaps the greatest JUDO technician of all time. He is probably the best known Japanese JUDOKA in Europe. In 1952, Hirano went to teach JUDO in Europe. Within six years, he had accumulated over 4,300 wins.

Hirano revolutionized the order to tsukuru, kumu, kakeru and nageru. This is the current European style JUDO. This is a proven method to defeat bigger opponents, as demonstrated by Hirano's stunning success. Wilhelm Ruska (Holland) 192 cm, 115 kg, was his most accomplished student. Ruska was the world heavyweight champion in 1967 and 1971 and runner up in 1969 (open weight). Wilhelm was the dual gold medallist in heavy and open weight class at the 1972 Munich Olympics.



KANO Jigoro ‘s second teacher of JU JUSU, ISO Masatomo took ill in 1881 and died. Later KANO met Iikubo, the master of KITO RYU JU JUTSU. Iikubo awarded KANO a licence of full transmission (menkyo kaiden) in 1883. In KANO’s time the KITO RYU focused primarily on throwing techniques (NAGE WAZA). Iikubo was already over fifty, he continued to train full time, and he was the most skilled martial artist under whom KANO ever trained. (In his memoirs KANO stated, ‘From Master FUKUDA, I learned what my life’s work would be: from Master MASAMOTO, I learned the subtle nature of KATA: and from Master Iikubo, I learned varied techniques and the importance of timing.




He graduated from San Jose State University in 1947, he has remained a fixture in the both the San Jose and international JUDO communities for more than 60 years. After graduation, he continued to coach at San Jose and organized the first Collegiate JUDO National Championships in 1962 – two years before being named as the head coach of the first U.S. Olympic JUDO Team in 1964. Most recently, he was the president of USA JUDO from 1996-2000 and remains the head coach of the USA JUDO National Training Site at  San Jose State University. In 1986, he receiv ed in Japan – the highest honors – the Order of the Sacred Treasure with Golden Rays by Emperor of Japan.


YAMASHITA YOSHIAKI (1865-1935) Kodokan 10th Dan

The son of a minor samurai he received some martial art training as a youth. In 1884, he became the nineteenth member of JIGORO KANO’s KODOKAN. After three months he earned his first DAN ranking at KANO’s school. After two years he received his fourth DAN. In 1898, he received sixth DAN. He was a member of the KODOKAN teams that wrestled the Tokyo Police JUJUTSU club in 1883 and 1884. He was an excellent instructor. He spoke very good English and wrote beautiful Japanese.  In 1903, he went to the USA where he taught JUDO to President T. Roosevelt. Three years later he left the USA for Japan, he attended an important JUDO conference held in Kyoto. JIGORO KANO awarded him the first 10th DAN after his death on October 26, 1935, although he dated the certificate two days before the death.


For Reading

Yamashita, Yoshiaki. (1903, August 26). Letter to Sam Hill in Maryhill Museum of Art collection.



After studying the TENSHIN SHINYO RYU style under Keitaro Inoue of Yushima Tenjin, Mr. Sakujiro Yokoyama entered KODOKAN in April of 1886.
Naturally adept at Jujutsu, Mr. Yokoyama had both a powerful physique and a diligent attitude toward training, and he quickly became a skillful JUDO  practitioner. In 1887, he became a zealous JUDO instructor, taking positions as supporter of the JU-JUTSU department for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and as a KODOKAN supervisor.
He also trained instructors by teaching Judo at the Tokyo Advanced Teacher Training School, etc.
Mr. Yokoyama died in 1912 at the age of 49. (See BOOKS ON JUDO)


YOSHIDA GEORGE (1897- 1984)

Japanese-American JUDO pioneer. He came to the USA. In 1917 from Japan, settled in New York City, and joined the Nippon Athletic Club, where he began his JUDO training. In 1923, he had attained his first Black Belt rank and his second in 1934. In 1939 the month before World War II began in Europe, he was made Third DAN. When the Honorable Risei Kano, President of the KODOKAN (1952-1965) Institute, visited the New York DOJO in 1952, he personally promoted Mr. Yoshida to Fourth Degree, and on his return in 1961 promoted him to Fifth Degree.




Japanese JUDO fighter who won three ALL JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (1952, 1953, and 1955) and was second in the first WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in 1956. He was second to DAIGO Toshiro in the 1951 ALL-JAPAN CHAMPIONSHIPS.






KAZUZO KUDO (1898-1970) Kodokan 9th dan

Born in 1898 in Aomori Prefecture, graduated, in 1935, from the physical education department of the Tokyo Education University, the president of which at that time was judo founder, Jigoro Kano. Although Kudo begun judo training the year before he entered the university, after he came under Kano's tutelage, he immediately displayed great talent that in only a year he was third dan and Kano's most outstanding pupil.

from 1938 to 1939, Kudo, then fifth dan, lived through his golden years. In addition to winning all of the major judo contests in the country, he also established the yet unbeaten record of three successive championship crowns in the annual Great Kodokan Red and White Meets. To top all of this, the Japanese government sent him to do special study for two years at the University of Berlin (1927). When he returned to Japan, he was selected extra-ordinary champion at a special judo meet before His Majesty, the Emperor. Kudo continued his study and his brilliant judo career throughout the duration of the War.

When the fighting was over, Kudo became an instructor at the National Police College, where he personally trained many of the world's most outstanding judo champions. In 1958, he advance to ninth dan, and in 1963, he made a tour of Europe and America. He was a judge for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and the following year, he received the Order of the Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government for his long service to the martial arts.

For Reading

Kudo, Kazuzo , " Dynamic Judo : Grappling techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1967 1970[3], 224p, 30 cm, BJ.
Kudo, Kazuzo , " Dynamic Judo : Throwing techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1967, 224p, 30 cm, BJ.
Kudo, Kazuzo , " Judo in action : grappling techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1967, 128p, 27 cm, KS.
Kudo, Kazuzo, " Judo in action : grappling techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1971[5] 1974[8] 1977 1978 1984[15], 128p, 27 cm, LIB, ISBN 0870400738.
Kudo, Kazuzo, " Judo in action : throwing techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1967 1968, 127p, 27 cm, KS.
Kudo, Kazuzo, " Judo in action : throwing techniques ", Tokyo, Japan, Japan Publication Trading, 1971 1972 1973 1974 1976[11] 1978 1989, 127p, 27 cm, LIB, ISBN 0870400746.