Hot summers

By George, his Shodan promotion

California State Games Judo Tournament

IJF International Tour

New tournaments on the calendar for next month

Kata practice

Juniors’ In-House Tournament

US Open

and more…

“Mens sana in corpore sano”

Latin for “Strong Mind, Strong Body

Maxims of Judo

Jita Kyoei 自他共榮

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Seiryoku Zenyo 精力善用

Maximum efficient use of energy


Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, said “the man who has failed and one who is at the peak of success are in the same position. Each must decide what he will do next, choose the course that will lead him to the future.”

“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”

-Lou Holtz, famed Notre Dame college football coach-

Hot summers

It’s hot and humid today. Stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid cramping, feeling lightheaded/nausea or passing out during Judo practice, especially during hot weather. Clip your finger and toenails. Skin cuts or peeled nails are not necessary.

By George, his Shodan promotion

Last Friday night, many celebrated and witnessed a rare occasion in our Dojo. Osugi Sensei proudly presented George Ishii with his Black Belt, promoting George to Shodan, 1st degree Black Belt. Eight years in the making, all homegrown in the same Dojo, consistently coming to practice almost every night to lead the warmups. He now joins the ranks of the Yudansha, Black Belts, reaching a challenging and most coveted milestone, only to realize there is so much more to learn and practice.

Still nursing a broken toe from the Hollywood Scrimmage III back in May, George came in to accept his promotion. He will be back on the mat in August.

He is also a Sandan in Aikido at the Aikido Institute of America as a practitioner and instructor.
George exemplifies persistent, consistency, and grit. We look forward to seeing how George’s Judo journey unfolds.

Congratulations George!! We look forward to having you back on the mat soon.

California State Games Judo Tournament

Six of our members competed at yesterday’s tournament at Montgomery High School in San Diego.


Jonas Akhavan, Boys 5-6 Bronze

Maurice Chagar, Boys 7-8 fought four matches

Felipe Millan Boys, 5-6 Silver

Brandon Monzon, Boys 5-6 Silver


Miska Kajanus, Novice Male Gold

Sensei Michael Sarchet, Brown/Black fought two matches

Sensei Michael Sarchet, Masters Male) Silver

For the Juniors, with exception of Brandon, it was their first outside tournament. They showed poise and courage getting out there. They did their best and showed progress and promise. Little Felipe squirted out of some hold downs a few times and got back up. He does listen and he always asked, “how do you get out of that pin?” Maurice fought four times and got back out there each time doing his best. Jonas did his best as well. Brandon fought his long matches as best as he could getting up each time, not missing a heartbeat. It is a learning experience for all, one of many.

For our Seniors, Miska and Sensei Michael, both who have not competed in a while, were breaking off the rust and displaying their skill and athletic prowess. In the Novice Men’s heavyweight division, Miska faired very well doing away with his three opponents in short order with his left-handed Uchimata. The Green Belt, Miska, is now close to his Sankyu, Brown Belt, promotion after this performance. Sensei Michael took up the challenge in fighting in two division, which eventually ended fighting in two divisions on two different mats simultaneously. He ended up fighting four matches and taking home a Silver medal for his efforts.

We congratulate our members for their efforts to do their best. We thank their parents, relatives, and friends for their support. We also are grateful for the support to our coaches, Senseis Yazmin Bojaca-Bott, and Jerry Hazemoto, for supporting and taking care of our athletes.

New tournaments on the calendar for next month

Two tournaments have been announced for August.

Nikkei Games Judo Tournament-Sunday 21 August @ Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA

32nd Annual Bojuka Judo Tournament-Sunday 28 August @ Seaside High School Gymnasium, Seaside, CA

More details will follow in upcoming newsletters. Mark your calendars.

IJF International Tour

At the Zagreb Grand Prix this past weekend, 477 athletes representing 67 countries competed at this tournament vying for Olympic qualifying points for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Here is a rundown of the winners of each weight division.


<48 kg.

Catarina Costa-Portugal

<52 kg.

Gefen Primo-Israel

<57 kg.

Nelson-Levy Timna-Israel

<63 kg.

Anriquelis Barrios-Venezuela

<70 kg.

Barbara Matic-Croatia

<78 kg.

Inbar Lanir-Israel

+78 kg.

Raz Hershko-Israel


<60 kg.

Francisco Garrigos-Spain

<66 kg.

Denis Vieru-Moldavo

<73 kg.

Lasha Shavdatuashvili-Georgia

<81 kg.

Tato Grigalashvili-Georgia

<90 kg.

Mammadali Mehdiyev-Azerbaijan

<100 kg.

Jorge Fonseca-Portugal

+100 kg.

Jur Spijkers-Netherlands

You may watch this tournament on YouTube.

The next stop for the world’s elite Judokas is Tashkent, Uzbekistan for the Tashkent World Senior Championship 6-13 October 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 6-12 October followed by three more Grand Slams in Abu Dhabi, Baku, and Tokyo.

Kata practice

This month, Osugi Sensei will host another kata practice at Anaconda Academy in Gardena from 9:30 am-12:00 noon on Saturday 6 August. Bring your kata partner and work on your kata.

Nage no Kata

Katame no Kata

Ju no Kata

Kime no Kata

Goshin Jutsu

Itsutsu no Kata

Koshiki no Kata

Please note that these videos are dated and there are small changes to some these katas. To proper learn these katas, you will need to practice these movements with kata instruction and supervision correcting your movements, posture, execution with constant feedback and learning the subtleties that you will never be able to read in a book or see in a video. As in our Judo class, Osugi Sensei will be able to spot a correction from the other side of the mat.

Plan on attending Osugi Sensei’s Nage no Kata next month, especially for our Brown Belts.

There is also a Kata for Juniors created by the Kodokan recently called, “Kodomo no Kata,” (Children’s Form). This video shows a series of exercises that demonstrate basic techniques.

how to wear their Judogi

tie their belt

lining up their shoes/slippers

Ritsurei-standing bow

Zarei-sitting bow

Ukemi-breakfalls in multiple directions

Tai-Sabaki-body movement

Basic throwing techniques

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready. The teacher will Disappear.” ― Tao Te Ching-

Juniors’ In-House Tournament

Although many are on holiday, we will still host our July Juniors’ In-House Tournament on Friday 29 July starting @ 6:00 pm.

US Open

Maurice Cruz-Morales, Nikyu (2nd rank Brown Belt), prepares for this national debut at the US Open in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at the end of the month.

Old news and Reminders

Beach workout

We will have our next Beach workout on Sunday 31 July at Tower 24, south of the Santa Monica Beach.

Beach workouts are from 10:00 am-12:00 noon.

Beach workout dates

Sunday 31 July

Sunday 7 August

Sunday 14 August

Saturday 20 August

Sunday 28 August

Sunday 4 September

Saturday 11 September

Sunday 18 September

Saturday 24 September

Dates are subject to change if tournaments or other events are scheduled. Mark your calendars. We start at 10:00 am. Be on time.

The location

Lifeguard Tower 24 is located south of the Santa Monica Pier, off Ocean Ave. and Hollister Ave. Take Ocean Ave. to enter the parking lot at Hollister Ave. Hollister Ave. runs one-way east away from the beach. So, you can only enter the parking lot from Ocean Ave. As you enter the parking lot, park in the right-side lot, which is hourly parking, $1.00/hour, two-hour maximum. There are ticket machines on the far side of the lot. Remember your lot # and pay by cash or with credit card. The other side is daily parking, $16.00. There is a Perry’s Beach Cafe right in front of the parking entrance along the bike path and Tower 24 in the far distance. Google Map “Perry’s Cafe and Beach Rentals-2400” for the location.

If you’re up for a 15-minute walk down to the beach, another option is to park above Main St. in the residential area. I would park in the neighborhood around Bicknell Ave. around 3rd & 4th St. Parking is free.

This is a fun, high-intensity, gut-busting conditioning workout for all. By the end of summer, you will be glad that you did these workouts.

We meet at Tower 24 and begin our workout by warming up with a jog down the beach to the 

Santa Monica Pier and back. We will stretch and perform calisthenics. Then, we will do a series of wind sprints in the soft sand between the lifeguard towers, shortening the intervals and distance as we increase the number of repetitions. We will have everyone perform band uchikomi exercises. We finish the workout with games, team relays and/or tug o’ war.

Afterwards-Make a day out of it

You can make a day at the beach by bringing your swimwear and take a plunge in the cool Pacific waters after a heart racing workout or just take a quick cooling plunge before you leave.

Bring a volleyball, boogie board, umbrella, more sunscreen, picnic basket

Please let me know if you are interested in joining us. It is for all ages. There is no extra charge. It is just your time and energy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

For Juniors (PARENTS please read)-USJF Academic Scholastic Awards (NEW)

With the school out for summer, the USJF (United States Judo Federation) promotes academic excellence by recognizing students at the elementary & grade school level who are excelling at their studies and citizenship. Consequently, the Academic Honor Society program has been extended to the elementary and grade school level students. Qualified applicants are current Judo students who maintain high quality class work, good attendance, and display respectful and courteous relations with teachers, faculty, staff, and fellow students. These applications must be submitted by October to be recognized for the academic year prior. For more information, here are links to this academic program.

I would recommend completing the following paperwork before your summer vacation begins.

USJF Academic Honor Society – Project A Elementary & Grade School Students

Application For USJF Academic Honor Society Membership Middle School, Junior, & Senior High School Students.

Nage no Kata clinic planned

Osugi Sensei plans on a Nage no Kata clinic in August. Nage no Kata is required for your Shodan, 1st degree Black Belt, promotion requirements. After participating in this fundamental clinic, you will better understand the importance of proper kuzushi, movement, and positioning in executing throwing techniques, both left- and right-handed.

Katame no Kata is required for your Nidan, 2nd degree Black Belt, promotion requirements. Ju no Kata is required for your Sandan, 3rd degree Black Belt, promotion requirements.

Plan on being there. You will never learn the techniques properly, their nuances, history, and receive feedback from videos.

Darcel Yandzi Judo Clinic

Registration into this clinic is now closed with over 125 registrants. This clinic, hosted by Darcel Yandzi, French European Champion, and former Olympian, popular on Instagram, will be held at the Esther Snyder Community Center in Baldwin Park, CA on 3-5 September.

Hollywood Judo Dojo Scrimmage IV

After a four-month break, Hollywood Judo Dojo will host its Hollywood Judo Scrimmage IV at Hollywood Judo Dojo for Sunday 25 September from 12:00-4:00 pm.  Mark your calendars. The Juniors will also have another scrimmage at Hollywood as everyone returns from holiday and goes back to school.

For our new referees, well Junior referees especially

Kokakids has a referees’ poster showing the different hand signals and gestures given during a Judo match. Download your poster with this link  Remember these basic signals for tournaments.  Please note that “Yuko” is no longer used in Judo scoring.

KokaKids also offers free e-book with “Judo terminology, 85 Japanese words.” Simply enter your email address to receive your e-book.

Reminder to all members

Please confirm that your Judo federation membership is valid. USJF, USJA, and/or USA Judo.

RENEW your federation membership before it expires. You may simply renew your federation membership online, USJF, USJA, and/or USA Judo..

COVID exposure or tested positive reminder guidelines

In consideration of others and to prevent a COVID outbreak, for those of you who have been close exposure to COVID from a family, friends, colleagues, etc., please follow the CDC guidelines as follows.

If you have tested positive for COVID recently, please follow these CDC guidelines.

Before you return after your quarantine period, you will need to show proof of your negative COVID test result.

With that said, in general, if you are sick, have a fever, or have other flu-like symptoms, please stay home until you are well.

If you have updated your COVID vaccinations by receiving another booster shot since you first joined our Dojo, please report it by texting or emailing an image of your COVID vaccination status.

Mask up again

In accordance with CDC and LA County Health Dept. guidelines, we will resume wearing well-fitting masks during Judo practice for the time being.

We are closely monitoring this situation as COVID cases continues to rise and the change in COVID level designation to HIGH, now.

Reminder to all instructors, referees, and coaches

Please confirm that all your certifications and background checks are up to date to continue to instruct, referee, and/or coach.

CDC Concussion (valid for three (3) years only)

By the end of the training, you will be prepared to:

Safesport (valid for one (1) year only)

A comprehensive 90-minute overview of facts, principles, and strategies to help you provide safe and positive sport environments. Units include:

Background check (valid for two (2) years only)

First Aid/Red Cross (optional, valid for two (2) years)

Check your USJF membership portal

You may access and track your relevant USJF information on the USJF membership portal. Please login and confirm your information. Use your email address and create a password to register onto the USJF membership portal highlighted in BOLD letters in the center of the page.

Find your status on the following.

Personal information

USJF membership

Rank promotions

Valid certificates

Dojo/Yudanshakai affiliation

Entering our Dojo

For the time being, we ask for your cooperation as we have our Dojo protocols to insure the health and well-being of our membership.

Since LA County is now designated as HIGH COVID infection rate, we will continue to wear masks during our workouts.

Following the latest LA Public Health Dept. guidelines, and since we have a vaccinated membership, beginning today Monday 28 February, masks are optional during workouts, in all of our Adaptive, and Seniors’ classes. You may continue to wear your masks if you would like. For our Juniors’ class, we will continue to wear masks until further notice following latest LA Public Health Dept. guidelines and LAUSD school/COVID protocols.

As members and visitors enter our Dojo, as protocol, they will ask the following questions.

Did you read yesterday’s newsletter? If not, they will receive a copy of the following text.

Have you been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID in the last two weeks?

Have you been COVID vaccinated & boosted? When did you receive your booster? Has it been more than five months since you received your initial vaccination shots? If so, get your booster shot, now.

Here is a list of reminders for our members as they return to practice.

As before, we will still follow our standard protocol for our memberships. To enter our Dojo and to either watch, or practice with everyone else, you must be fully vaccinated if they are eligible to be vaccinated. It is for the health and safety of each other.

We want to ensure the safest practice environment as possible for our membership to prevent COVID infections. We are also looking into other preventative measures against COVID-19 infections as well. Wash your Judogi clean, cut and file your finger and toenails smooth and short, and look the part when you return. We will continue to follow the LA County mask mandate until further notice. Everyone entering our Dojo must be fully vaccinated and boosted, when eligible. No exceptions. If you have been with someone that has tested positive for COVID in the last two weeks, please show proof of a negative test. We are on the honor system.

Planning to join our Dojo

If you plan to register and join our Dojo for Judo practice, complete your online USJF membership and monthly subscription. Bring in your complete and signed Judogi. Arrive 30 minutes before class starts to provide enough time to review your enrollment form and fit you into your new Judogi if you do not already have one. For more information or assistance in enrollment, please contact us at or 310 463-4962. You are always welcome to visit.

Please show proof of vaccination as all members and visitors must be vaccinated and boosted when eligible. This is not only for your safety but everyone else’s safety as well. Vaccination does work. Our doctors have recommended it. You must wear a mask.

Kodokan Judo YouTube Channel videos

For your reference, here is the link for the Kodokan Judo YouTube Channel with a large assortment of Judo demonstration videos. Learn to associate the names of each technique with the actual execution of each technique.

“Walk a single path, become either cocky with victory nor broken with defeat.”

-Jigoro Kano-

What to look forward to-Scrimmages, Tournaments, and more…

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.

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

-Bruce Lee-

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.

By far, the Winter Nationals 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.

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

USA Judo Open Championships

US Open Judo Championships

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

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

USA Judo Open Championships

US Open Judo Championships

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.

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Please watch this video about Sawtelle Judo Documentary and listen to Osugi Sensei’s commitment to his students along with his late father’s, Ed Osugi.

We practice at the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle.

Japanese Institute of Sawtelle

2110 Corinth Ave.

Los Angeles, CA  90025

Our mailing address is the following.

Sawtelle Judo Dojo

11247 Rudman Drive

Culver City, CA  90230


310 463-4962

Email address

Class hours

Juniors’ (6-12 years old)-Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 6:00-7:00 pm

Seniors’ (13 years old and older) Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 7:30-9:30 pm

 For more information, please visit our website, Sawtelle Judo Dojo

ソーテル柔道道場 (So-teru Judo Dojo)