Let’s set your goals high and prepare for the Winter Nationals, our year-end, grand tournament of the year. After a three-year hiatus, the Winter Nationals returns for Saturday/Sunday 2-3 December event format at Felix Center on the campus of Azusa Pacific University. In past years, in an one-day event format, upwards of 745 competitors fought on eight mats representing France, Tahiti, Japan and other countries, plus across our Nation. There are more Black Belts, Veterans, Masters, and Women divisions than in any other tournaments in the country. The Winter Nationals draws the best in the Southern California, plus some of the best in the US,

It’s seven months away. So, in the meantime, plan on being competing in every tournament that you possibly can, show up for practice and give your best 100% as often as possible, and work on a specific technique each evening to improve and perfecting your Judo skills. After each workout, write down what you have learned, study videos, practice your shadow uchikomi/tandoku renshu, or solo Judo exercises. Stay healthy, be prepared, and plan for success. Write it down. Don’t wing it because your competitor will show you.

Last time in 2019, we brought a small army of 40 competitors and over thirty volunteers to participate and support this year-end event, This is your big stage to show off and test your skills.

“You will never get any more out of life than you expect.”

-Bruce Lee-

By far, it is our largest local tournament aside from the Golden State Open. With the two-day expanded format and outstanding tournament attendance this year, we could expect well over 1,000 competitors, breaking all records, This year celebrates this grassroots event’s 17th anniversary founded by Gary Goltz, head instructor of Goltz Judo Club, Claremont, CA. Back then, a couple hundred competitors turned out at Damien High School.

At Orange Terrace Park Center, the Riverside Youth Judo Club will host its 2022 U.S. Adaptive Judo Championships.      Bobby Holtz along with a cadre of other volunteers will return once again to participate in this event. Tournament is specifically for developmentally disabled special needs athletes. The referees and coaches are certified to work with special needs individuals. Many of the other volunteers at this event are BCBA’s and RBT’s. Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Registered Behavior Technician, respectively. This is a very special event for its participants and its volunteers.

Moving on, June brings two scrimmages mainly for our Juniors to participate in.

Sensei Gary’s Birthday Scrimmage, Saturday 18 June, Claremont, CA

Hollywood Juniors’ Scrimmage, Saturday 25 June, 1:00-3:30 pm, Hollywood Judo Dojo, CA

The Sensei Gary’s Birthday Scrimmage, named after their head instructor Gary Goltz, is a small scrimmage with three competition mats at the Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont, CA. Registration is very limited. So, register now so you will not miss out. Go to this link and open the online registration page by scanning the QR on this page. For the Showman that he is, here is Sensei Gary Goltz’ scrimmage promotional video. Well done!

As the Judo community returns and resurrects itself, local tournament activity is slowly coming back with the Taishi Judo tournament in March, and the recent Golden State Open Judo Championships just two weeks ago. The Barstow Judo Tournament is canceled this year. The Barstow Judo Club is still reeling from the effects of the two-year COVID shutdown and is still rebuilding its membership. Some other Nanka Judo Dojos are just opening now, too.

Gardena Judo Club

Venice Judo Club

West Covina Judo Dojo

Team One Judo Club-Anaheim, CA

There is another USA Judo points tournament later in June.

USA Judo Junior Olympics, 24-26 June, San Jose, CA

A highly aspiring Maurice Cruz-Morales plans on competing at this tournament hungry for victory after a six-year absence from Judo competition.

But as July rolls around, it marks Judo’s peak season for national Judo tournaments across the Nation with three large events at the end of the month.

USJF-USJA Summer Nationals, 21-24 July, Fort Lauderdale, FL

USA Judo Open Championships, 24 July, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

US Open Judo Championships, 28-31 July, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This year, they are collocated and fall within one week of each other. These tournaments are elite events bringing together some of the best Judokas from the US as well as few international competitors from Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

The next local tournament will be in San Diego called the Cal State Games will be on Sunday 17 July at Montgomery High School in San Diego, CA. The tournament will be hosted by Unidos Judo Club, San Diego, CA/Tijuana, MX. Recommend that everyone compete at this tournament.

Our Seniors will have another opportunity for tournament practice at the Hollywood Judo Dojo Scrimmage IV in August.

Later in the fall, there are these tournaments already on the calendar.

Fresno Judo Club Judo Tournament, Sunday 2 October, Fresno, CA (sanction pending)

Dr. Z Memorial Scrimmage, Saturday 8 October, Claremont, CA

Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Judo Tournament, TBD, Riverside, CA

Unscheduled tournaments, clinics, and seminars

In a typical Nanka Judo Yudanshakai (Southern California Black Belt Association) tournament calendar, you could expect the following events interspersed with a few special clinics and seminars, by month.


San Fernando Valley Judo Club Tournament, Pacoima, CA

USJF Teachers’ Course, Pacoima, CA


Sensei Memorial/San Jose Buddhist Judo Tournament,

West Coast Invitational Judo Tournament, Westminster, CA

USJA Referees’ Clinic, Hollywood, CA

USA Judo Referees’ Clinic, Baldwin Park, CA

Pacific International Judo Tournament, British Columbia, Canada


Taishi Judo Club Invitational Judo Tournament, Westminster, CA

CHP 11-99 Foundation Scrimmage, Claremont, CA

Clovis Judo Tournament, Clovis, CA

USJF Referees’ Clinic, Gardena, CA

USA Judo National Scholastics Championships, Lansing, MI (venues change annually)

Obukan Judo Tournament, Portland, OR

Kosen Shoshinkan Judo Tournament, Las Vegas, NV


Mojica Judo Club Spring Tournament, Baldwin Park, CA

Nanka Judo Spring Tournament, Westminster, CA

Nanka Awards Luncheon, Long Beach, CA

CJI State Championships, San Francisco, CA

USA Judo Youth Nationals, Salt Lake City, UT (venues change annually)

Tucson Developmental Scramble, Tucson, AZ


Golden State Open Judo Championships, Covina, CA


Barstow Judo Tournament, Barstow, CA

U.S. Adaptive Judo Championships, Riverside, CA

Sensei Gary’s Birthday Scrimmage, Claremont, CA

U.S. Senior Nationals, Irving, TX

USA Judo Junior Olympics, San Jose, CA. (venues change annually)


USJF-USJA Summer Nationals, Fort Lauderdale, FL (venues change annually)

USA Judo Open Championships, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (venues change annually)

US Open Judo Championships, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (venues change annually)

Cal States Judo Championships, San Diego, CA

Southwest Open, Mesa, AZ


Nikkei Games Judo Tournament, Long Beach, CA

Bojuka Judo Tournament, Seaside, CA


Nanka Judo Fall Tournament, Westminster, CA

West Covina Novice Tournament, West Covina, CA

East Bay Institute Judo Tournament, El Cerrito, CA


Nanka Judo Team Championships, Westminster, CA

Fresno Judo Club Tournament, Fresno, CA

Dr. Z Memorial Scrimmage, Claremont, CA

Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Judo Tournament, Riverside, CA

Capitol State Open Judo Tournament, Sacramento, CA

Fukuda Kata Championships, San Francisco, CA


City College of San Francisco Judo Tournament, San Francisco, CA

Lil’ Judoka Championships, La Puente, CA

Nevada State Open, Las Vegas, NV

Quebec Open Judo Tournament, Montreal, Canada

Ontario Open Judo Tournament, Ontario, Canada

USA Judo Presidents’ Cup, Irving, TX


Winter Nationals, Azusa, CA

We last hosted our very successful, efficiently run, and well-praised tournament back in November 2017, the 90th Anniversary Sawtelle Judo Dojo Open Tournament at Westminster High School. We will definitely have to host another tournament before our 100th anniversary in 2027.