Unites States







For Reading

1 Michel Brousse, David Matsumoto, „Judo in the United States”, Berkeley, CA, United States, North Atlantic Books, 2005, ISBN 1556435630.

Cosneck, Bernard J., " American combat judo ", New York, United States, Sentinel Book Publishers, 1944[1] 1959[2], 123p, 24 cm, RS.

Svinth, Joseph R. (2003). Getting a grip: Judo in the Nikkei communities of the Pacific Northwest, 1900-1950.




The Seattle Judo Club, established, was reportedly the very first judo dojo to open on US soil.  Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) called at this dojo twice, once in 1936 and again in 1938. This DOJO is still operating today. Samuel Hill  (1857-1931) invited Yamashita Yoshiaki to teach his children judo.





Yoshiaki YAMASHITA was the first dispatch from Japan to demonstrate JUDO in USA.

Yoshiaki YAMASHITA (1865-1935)




The first Hawaiian – it excists today JUDO club was founded by Teshima Shigemi and Kaneshige Naomatsu.



Jigoro KANO visited New York and San Francisco



New York Judo Club was opened. Later its instructors were George Gensuke Yoshida and Mikinosuke KAWAISHI.



Jigoro KANO visited New York and San Francisco



Some members of the Seattle DOJO formed the Tentokukan DOJO.



10th Olympiad in Los Angeles was held. Jigoro KANO visited this event and Vancouver

Seattle, Hawaii.



Jigoro KANO visited Seattle, Vancouver and New York.



Emilio Bruno introduced JUDO as a sport to San Jose State College (currently the California State University.



Jigoro KANO visited New York and Seattle.



Emilio Bruno and Henry Stone conducted the first intercollegiate JUDO tournament in the U.S.



Henry Stone devises weight divisions for JUDO competition in California, Berkeley.



Ruth Gardner from Chicago became the first non-Japanese female student at the KODOKAN in Tokyo. JUDO recognized as an official sport by the Amateur Athletic Union.




Denver DOJO was formed., The first JUDO club in Salt Lake City, Utah was formed.



The first Pan-American JUDO championships were held in Havana, Cuba.

Ameteur JUDO Association, the first national governing body for JUDO founded.



The First National JUDO Championships were held with AAU (Amateur Athletic Union).

First collegiate JUDO tournament (Pacific Coast Intercollegiate JUDO Championships,

conducted in Berkeley, California.



The first JUDO tournament in the armed forces was held in Omaha, Nebraska.



Judo Black Belt Federation founded, replacing the Ameteur Judo Association.



First International Japan-US of America JUDO meet in Tokyo.



U.S. Judo Federation replaces the Judo Black Belt Federation.

’American Judoman’ Magazine founded by Philip PORTER.



The first national collegiate JUDO tournament was held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.



James BREGMAN Olympic bronze medalist (-80 kg)



James BREGMAN bronze medalist  (-80 kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Rio De Janeiro.



The JBBF (Judo Black Belt Federation) was renamed the USJF (UNITED STATES JUDO FEDERATION).



Allen COAGE won the second Olympic bronze at the Montreal OLYMPIC GAMES for America.



First WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS for women. Marie Lewis bronze medalist (-48 kg)

Christine Penick bronze medalist (-66 kg); Barbara Fest bronze medalist (Open)



Second WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS for women. Eve Aronoff bronze medalist (-56 Kg);

Margaret Castro-Gomez silver medalist (+72 kg).



Robert BERLAND bronze medalist (-86 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.



OLYMPIC GAMES in Los Angeles. Eddie LIDDIE bronze medalist (-60 Kg); Robert

BERLAND silver medalist (-86 kg). Third WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS for women.

Darlen Anaya bronze medalist (-48 Kg). Ann Marie Burns World Champion (-56 Kg).

She was first Women’s Champion of US.



Mike SWAIN silver medalist (-71 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Seoul, Korea



Lynn ROETHKE silver medalist (-61 Kg); Mike SWAIN gold medalist (-71 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Essen, Germany. SWAIN was America’s first male World




Women’s JUDO first appeared as an exhibition sport at the OLYMPIC GAMES.

Kevin ASANO Olympic silver medalist (-60 Kg). Lynn ROETHKE silver medalist (-61 Kg).

Mike SWAIN Olympic bronze medalist (-71 Kg). Margaret CASTRO Olympic bronze medalist (+72 Kg).



Mike SWAIN silver medalist (-71 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Belgrade,




James PEDRO bronze medalist (-65 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Barcelona, Spain. Joey Wanag silver medalist (-86 Kg).




Jason MORRIS Olympic silver medalist (-78 kg) in Barcelona.

USJF (United States Judo Federation) became the first JUDO organization in the U.S. Its

National office was formed with paid staff under the supervision of the Executive Director.





Jason MORRIS bronze medalist (-78 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Hamilton, Canada. Liliko OGASAWARA silver medalist (-66 Kg).




Jimmy PEDRO bronze medalist (-71 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Makuhari, Japan. Liliko OGASAWARA bronze medalist (-66 Kg).



Jimmy PEDRO Olympic bronze medalist (-71 Kg).



Brian OLSON bronze medalist (-86 Kg) at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Paris, France.



Jimmy PEDRO second World Champion (-73 Kg) of America.



Jimmy PEDRO Olympic bronze medalist (-73 Kg) in Athen.



Ronda ROUSEY Olympic bronze medalist (-70 Kg) in Beijing, China



Kayla Harrison won the gold medal (-78 kg) at World Championship in Tokyo





Kayla Harrison becomes the first American (-78 kg) to win Olympic gold in judo, defeating Great Britain’s Gemma Gibbons who surprised the home crowd after stunning the reigning world champion with a golden score in her semifinal. Martilou "Marti" Malloy won bronze (-57 kg) at the Olympic Games in London.
2013Marti Malloy won a silver medal at the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro and a silver medal at the 2013 Tokyo Grand Slam


Kayla Harrison won the  gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics,

Travis Stevens became the third American male judoka (-81 kg) to win a silver medal in the Olympics.

US Athlets


ASANO, Kevin (1963- )

The first judo player from Hawaii to compete at the OLYMPIC GAMES, He  won a silver medal in the 60kg division at the 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES  following his bronze at the 1987 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.  A graduate of San Jose State University, He  remains involved in the sport as the president of Hawaii Judo.


BERLAND, Bob  ( 1961 -)

The first U.S. judo player ever to advance to the finals of the Olympic Games, Berland won a silver medal in the 86kg division in 1984 after winning bronze at the 1983 World Championships.  A two-time Olympian who also competed in 1988, Berland currently works with the Chicago 2016 committee to help bring the Olympic Games to his hometown of Chicago.


BREGMAN, JAMES (1941 - )  9th degree Red Belt

 American  JUDO champion and administrator.

He started his JUDO career when he was 12, and quickly became very interested in JUDO. After high school he went to college in Japan, at Sophia University of Tokyo, in order to study JUDO. He returned to the United States just before the 1964 AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Championships, where he defeated the Brazilian Pan-American champion. He won a bronze medal for U.S. in the 1964 Olympic Games. In 1965 he won a bronze medal in Rio de Janeiro at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS . He is a founder and director of Camp Olympus, a two-week summer prctice and seminar in JUDO. In 2009 James Bregman was promoted to the rank of KUDAN (9th DAN) by the United States JUDO Association. He is one of the founders of the UNITED STATES JUDO ASSOCIATION.


BURRIS, Patrick Mitsugi (1950 - )

He  is a retired competitive JUDOKA  from the United States, who represented his native country at two consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1972 in Munich. He  won the bronze medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in the men's lightweight division (– 70 kg). He owns a Dojo in Moore,OK named USA Stars which also has a branch in St. Louis. Multiple Olympians and United States National Champions have been successful under Sensei Pat's tutelage


CASTRO-GOMEZ, Margaret (

An 11-time National Champion, Castro-Gomez had won three World medals by the time she competed on her first Olympic Team in 1988.  As a member of the first U.S. women’s team to compete at the Olympic Games when women’s judo was introduced as a demonstration event, Castro-Gomez won a bronze medal in the +72kg division.


COAGE, Allen  (1943 – 2007)

At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Coage shared the bronze medal in the over-205-pound category with Sumio ENDO  of Japan. He remains the only American to win an Olympic medal in JUDO 's heavyweight division. A six-time national champion and two-time Pan American Games champion, he  was born in New York City in 1943 and trained with Sensei Yoshisada Yonezuka, who later coached the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic judo teams. After competing in the 1976 Olympics, Coage moved to Japan and wrestled professionally. He also wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation and Canada's Stampede Wrestling. He moved to Calgary in 1983 and worked as a judo instructor and security guard in addition to performing in pro wrestling..” 


HARRISON, KAYLA (1990 - )She is a World &  two-time  Olympic Champion in the sport of Judo. Kayla made history at the 2012 Olympic Games when she became the first athlete in the history of American Judo to win an Olympic Gold Medal.

She changed weight classes in 2008, from the −63 kg division to the 78 kg division.

Along with her Olympic Gold, Kayla has won two World Titles and three World Medals. Kayla’s judo career has been undeniably impressive.
She earned a second Olympic gold medal in the same weight class in 2016 in Rio defeating Audrey Tcheuméo of France.



LIDDIE, Ed  (1959 -)

He is a retired JUDOKA from the United States, who represented his native country at the 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES in Los Angeles, California. There he won the bronze medal in the men's extra-lightweight division (– 60 kg), alongside Great Britain's Neil Eckersley. That performance made Liddie only the third American to ever earn an Olympic medal in the sport. During his career as a competitor, he  was a member of both Olympic and World teams and medaled in numerous international competitions. Upon retiring he wasn’t ready to leave JUDO  entirely. Since 1995,he  has coached more than a dozen international teams, including three Olympic squads. he  became the head coach of the Olympic Training Center Judo Club and has served as the personal coach for World and Pan American Games medalists as well as placing five athletes from the OTC Judo Club on both the 2000 and 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES Teams. In 2005, Liddie was named USA Judo’s Director of Coaching and Athlete Development


MARUYAMA, Paul Kuniaki (1941 -)

He was a member of the first Americanteam to compete in JUDO  in the Summer Olympics. Judo was first in included in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Maruyama is a graduate of San José State University  He was the United States national champion in the 154 pound weight class in 1966, 1970 and 1975, and placed second in the open weight class in 1966. [1] At the 1964 Summer Olympics he was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the lightweig competition after losing his fight to the upcoming gold medalist Takehide Nakatani. He was the coach of the United States judo team for the 1980 Summer Olympics, which the United States boycotted, and for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Maruyama went on to teach martial arts and Japanese language at the United States Air Force Academy, and serves as president of the Japan-America Society of Southern Colorado. He now teaches Japanese language and Asian Studies at Colorado College. He is lifelong friends with former teammate, politician Ben Nighthorse CAMPBELL.



MORRIS, Jason (1967 - )

One of only four U.S. judo players to compete on four Olympic Teams, he  won a silver medal in the 78kg division during his second OLYMPIC GAMES in 1992 which he followed with a bronze medal at the 1993 World CHAMPIONSHIPS .  After his retirement in 1996, Morris made an impressive comeback to qualify for his fourth Olympic Team in 2000 at the age of 33.  After the Sydney Games, Morris turned his focus to coaching full-time, leading both his home program at the USA Judo National Training Site at the Jason Morris Judo Center in Glenville, N.Y. as well as serving as a coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.


PEDRO, JAMES (1970 -)   World Champion (1999)

He is one of the most successful American JUDO  competitors, having won two bronze medals in the Olympics.He was the World Champion at 73 kg in 1999. He won bronze medals in the 1991 and 1995 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. He represented the United States in the 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES, winning bronze in 1996 and 2004. The United States has not traditionally been strong in JUDO, and a bronze medal in Olympic judo is an enormous accomplishment for an American athlete. His entry in the "Legends" section of a major JUDO magazine's web site lists 29 gold medals in international competition alone.He  retired from competitive judo after the 2004 Olympics. In recent years he has worked for Monster.com.


For Reading Pedro, Jimmy  : Durbin, Willam (1959 - ), " Judo techniques & tactics ", Champaign, IL, United States, Human Kinetics, 2001, 192p, 23 cm, KS, ISBN 0736003436.



ROETHKE, Lynn (1961 - )

In 1988 Roethke competed on the first women’s U.S. Olympic Team for Judo, winning a silver medal in the demonstration event as a 61kg player after winning a World silver medal the previous year.  Roethke, who also competed at the 1992 Games, is still the only U.S. woman to advance to the finals of an Olympic Games.  Roethke currently serves as a coach at Club Olympia Judo in Wisconsin. 


ROUSEY, Ronda Rousey (1987 - )

She became the first American to win an Olympic medal in women's judo since its inception as an Olympic sport in 1992.  She trains in the Olympic Training Center in Wakefield, Massachusetts under guidance of Jimmy PEDRO At just 17, Rousey qualified for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, becoming the youngest judo player in the entire Games. Also in 2004, Rousey won a gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Judo Championships in Budapest,  Hungary. In April 2006, she became the first U.S. female athlete in nearly 10 years to win an A-Level tournament as she went 5-0 to claim gold at the Birmingham World Cup in Great Britain. Later that year, the 19-year-old won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, becoming the first U.S. athlete ever to win two Junior World medals.           In February 2007, Rousey moved up to 70kg where she is currently ranked as one of the top three women in the world. She won the silver medal at the 2007 World Judo Championships in the middleweight division and the bronze medal at the 2007 Pan Am Games                      In August 2008, Rousey competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She lost her quarterfinal to the Dutch ex-world champion Edith Bosch but she qualified for a Bronze medal match through the repechage bracket, and defeated Annett Boehm by YUKO  to win a bronze medal (Judo offers two bronze medals per weight class).


SWAIN, Mike  (1960 -)         World Champion (1987)

He  is one of the most successful American JUDO contestants. He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1984. He  became the first American male to win the JUDO  World Championships when he took the gold medal in 1987. He competed in four Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1988, and a number of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. In addition to these well-known competitions, he participated in a number of tournaments that are less-known outside of the judo world, but very prestigious within it, such as the Kano Cup in 1986. Just in major international competitions, his record includes six gold medals, eleven silver medals, and nine bronze medals. As a competitor, Swain was known for his elegant classic Japanese style, having travelled to Japan as a young man to study. Later in his career, he coached the US men's team in the 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES. He is an alumnus of the San José State University JUDO  program, training under Yosh UCHIDA. He is currently a coach for the Spartans, and handles much of the head coaching duties for the semi-retired Uchida. In 2005, Swain and the SJSU Judo Executive Committee established The Swain Scholarship, the first judo athletic scholarship at a major American university

For Reading

Swain, Michael , " Ashiwaza 2 : ouchi-gari, kouchi-gari, kosuto-gari, hiza-guruma (judo masterclass techniques) ", London, United Kingdom, Ippon Books, 1994, 111p, 24 cm, BLC, ISBN 1874572658.
Swain, Michael , " Championship judo ", Los Angeles, Calif., United States, Empire Books, 2006, 250p, 25 cm x 18 cm, LoC, ISBN 1933901179.
Swain, Michael  : Jefferson, Chuck (1976 - ), " Clinch Fighting for Mixed Martial Arts ", Los Angeles, CA, United States, Empire Books, 2006, 163p, 15 cm x 18 cm, LIB, ISBN13 9781933901071.

Pioneers of American Judo

BRUNO, EMILIO (1914-2003)


Mel Bruno




Mel Bruno received his first degree black belt from Jigaro Kano in 1935. In 1954, he was recommended by Dr. Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodonkan Judo to receive his 5th degree black belt. and he was the first non-Oriental inUnited States to receive that rank. When he retired as a 6th degree balck belt nine years later, he was one of only three non-Japanese people in the world to hold this rank at the time.

Mel Bruno later became known as Mr. Judo both in the California State Department of Corrections and the U.S. Air Force.


Mel Bruno was the foster child of Roy “Pop” H. Moore Sr., a school teacher and wrestling coach at a high school in Inglewood, California. In the 1910’s Moore was a professional heavyweight wrestling champion. It was sometime during the mid to late 1920’s, that Pop Moore and his wife Gracie took Mel Bruno into their home becoming his foster parents. Pop taught judo and wrestling to both Mel, and his much younger son, Roy Jr., in the very early 1930’s. Mel eventually became the National AAU Wrestling Champion.


During the 1920’s, Pop Moore had became friends with Dr. Jigoro Kano. and in 1932 Dr. Kano asked Pop Moore to be the 1932 Olympic Wrestling Coach for Japan. During the same time period Pop Moore was contacted to train some of the top Japanese judoka in wrestling. This included Professor Kotani of the Kodokan. Mel Bruno was one his foster dad’s top wrestlers at the high school, and Kotani and Bruno began training together and it was natural for a friendship to develop between Bruno and Kotani. This life-long association lasted over four decades.


From 1938-1941, Mel Bruno taught judo at San Jose State University. In 1937 he introduced Judo into the San Jose State College Police Science Curriculum. During the next few years Mel Bruno was able to form San Jose’s first competitive judo team and he would actively promote California intercollegiate judo competition.

Mel Bruno is credited with teaching judo to police and military personnel.

In 1940 Mel Bruno accepted a job with the California Department of Corrections as the judo instructor for prison guards. He then worked for Kenyon J. Scudder, the foremost U.S. penologist concerned with modern prison rehabilitation concepts, hired to train the first correctional employees for a newly established honor-type penal institution known as the California Institute for Men in Chino, California.

The II World War forced Bruno to take a hiatus from the Department of Corrections when he was recruited by Gene Tunney, Commander of the U.S. Navy Physical Fitness Program, to work for the Physical Instructor Training School Staff in charge of combatives. Judo became part of the Navy Instructor Training School curriculum because of Mel Bruno efforts. He also introduced and developed judo at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.


Shortly after the war, in 1946, Mel Bruno returned to California and the Department of Corrections where he was appointed to direct physical training and judo. He trained correctional officers in 10 different institutions throughout the state and he also introduced judo to the Department of Mental Hygiene.

In 1950, Mel Bruno was selected as one of the coaches for the U.S. Wrestling Team to tour Japan and he used this opportunity to liason with Kodokan and he acted as a representative of U.S. judo, which was called the Judo Black Belt Federation or JBBF, at that time. He was then able to present judo to the National AAU Wrestling Committee for the purpose of getting judo recognized under the Amateur Athletic Union and later he was asked to begin the organizational steps necessary to build wrestling on a national level in Japan.

Later in 1951 Bruno was appointed supervisor of Judo and Combative Measures at Strategic Air Command headquarters. During his four years there he trained General LeMay and General Thomas S.Power and other key personnel. He also opened the way for Air Force classes and teams to participate in training at the Kodokan Judo Institute. The Japanese recipricated and sent a Kodokan judo theam to visit U.S. Air force bases in 1953. /during this time Mel Bruno was helping to development the Midwestern Yudanshakai.


In the middle 1950’s Bruno was selected as Coach of the AAU and Air Force Team and he intoduced Judo to the USAF Academy. General Curtis Emerson LeMay then hired Mel Bruno to organize and head up United States Air Force Strategic Air Command’s Judo and Physical Conditioning unit and the SAC Judo program was born at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In 1955 Mel Bruno initiated the first U.S.-Japan international judo meet.


Mel Bruno was as the coach of the U.S. Judo team and they participated in the 1958 Tokyo and the 1961 Paris World Judo Championships. He also introduced and guided implementation of Judo at Stead, AFB and got judo incorporated within the University Physical Training Program. His help and guidance allowed the Air Force to put together a winning team that took national competitive prominence. He prepared the USAF judo team in preparation for the 1964 Olympics tryouts and two USAF competitors made the Olympic Judo Team

Emilio Mel Bruno passed away on September 20, 2003 at the age of 89. He was thought to have suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for two decades.

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.

For Reading

Campbell, Ben, " Championship judo : Drill training ", UL, Zenbei, 1974, 128p, 20 cm, BJ.


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 jokes 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.

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 lifetimes work. She sponsored the first womens judo competition and was the driving force behind the introduction of womens 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 Womens Judo Team. In 2008, she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japans highest civilian honors.



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.


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.


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.

His Judo Ranks

  • Judo - 10th dan, from USMA. 2004.
  • Judo - 9th dan, from USJA. 1994


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 ", Rutland, Vermont, United States, Charles E. Tuttle, 1959, 249p, 20 cm, BJ.
Smith, Robert W. , " A complete guide to Judo : Its story and practice ", Rutland, Vermont, United States, Charles E. Tuttle, 1958[1] 1959[1] 1960[1], 249p, 24 cm, BJ.


SONE, TAIZO (1901-1972)

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.



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.