January 9, 2023


Here is an interesting, tattered artifact lost in history that was removed from our community board as we vacated the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle. This frail piece of paper documents the By Laws of Sawtelle Judo Dojo written back in the day, probably in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s considering some of the written language used in this document is very old and not used now. We first occupied the original community center building in 1929. 

It outlines the Board membership structure with one President, four Vice-Presidents, two accountants, six supervisors, one Secretary and a number of other roles. A 2/3 majority vote was required for any motion to be approved.

It shows the membership tuition structure as follows.
Initiation membership fee-$15Single membership-$5/monthSecond family membership-$8/monthThree family membership-$10/month
It seems like a very small amount.

However, if this document was posted in 1929, those amounts adjusted in today’s dollars (2023) would be the following.

Initiation membership fee-$261

Single membership-$87/month

Second family membership-$139/month

Three family membership-$174/month

However, if this document was posted in 1950 after Kikuchi Sensei & company resurrected our Dojo after World War II, these amounts adjusted in today’s dollars (2023) would be the following.

Initiation membership fee-$185

Single membership-$61/month

Second family membership-$99/month

Three family membership-$122/month

There’s our history lesson of the day.

#judo #sawtelle #losangeles #legacy #nonprofit #communitybased #volunteer #backintheday #lostintime

January 2, 2023

Quo Vadis-Judo?

When I first got into Judo, it was considered a true martial art from Japan and was not even thought of as a sport. At this time, and in the area that I grew up, the Sensei’s who taught Judo were all from Japan and therefore the language that they used to convey techniques (was) in Japanese. Consequently, the devotees, students or Judokas, however that you would like to call them, were predominantly of Japanese extraction. It was also a common practice among the Japanese families who lived in the rural farming areas that the boys would learn some form of martial art and the girls would learn the classical Japanese art form for girls such as flower arrangement or Japanese Dance or Tea Ceremony, etc.

It was thus that I had to sacrifice some of my precious playtime to enter into this strange world of Japanese martial arts. As I progressed, I slowly came to realize that judo is not just learning to fall, throw, and get thrown or whatever else that can be seen. This is the simple part of Judo. Judo has taught me that one is not alone in this world, and in order to survive, one must give as well as take.

You learn from your predecessors, from your peers, and yes, even from your subordinates. One must not only be grateful for the learning experience, which really is a never-ending process, but be ready to pass on his expertise to others, willingly, to the benefit of others who ask for it. “JITA KYO-EI” is one of the two most important mottoes that we, in Judo, follow. It means, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back and we’ll both be happy for it.” The experienced will teach the inexperienced and in this way, both will benefit and improve themselves.

In 1964, Judo was accepted by the Olympic Committee on a trial basis, and has since then received permanent status as an Olympic sport. This, I believe, was the turning point for Judo. This is when it turned a form of martial art into a sport. This is when “To win” became the most important priority in Judo. When Judo was still a martial art, to win in competition was important, but it was not the most important commodity. It was how one achieved victory. It was victory with honor. It was a victory achieved through superior execution of techniques or physical endurance.

Today, this has changed. Today, victory is achieved through one-upmanship. The need for superior execution of techniques and physical endurance has not changed, but what has changed is the attitude or thinking of what superior techniques mean. It seems that today, this means that is okay to put your opponent’s body in jeopardy in order to achieve success, because a lot of the techniques I see used today can cause injuries. The prevalent use of arm-bar techniques are not only encouraged, but are used indiscriminately. Before Judo became a sport, arm-bars could not be used by a black belt against a brown belt, and rarely would he use the choke hold against a brown belt, because of the disparity in rank and expertise. Today, it is winning at all cost, without a thought given to the well-being or future or your opponent.

“Quo Vadis” is Latin for “Whither goest thou?” or “Where are you going?”(Article reproduced from Sawtelle Judo News, April, 1996, p.1-2) by the late Ed Osugi, Rokudan

December 21, 2022

Our Move and Judo in 2023

When you change the way, you look at things, the things you look at change.

-Albert Einstein-

Our move from the JIS

For those of you who attended our holiday party, we also celebrated our last evening in the auditorium of the Japanese Institute of Sawtelle (JIS). Our lease is up at the end of year at a location that we have been at since 1929 when the JIS was just a small square building on the lot. We will be displaced. In February 2023, the JIS will undergo renovating the aging facility by the first four classrooms by modernizing and upgrading its use of future use. Phase I construction will last 4-6 months. In that time, access to the auditorium will be blocked by construction equipment, scaffolding, and other construction materials. Phase II covers the renovation of the auditorium. The scope of Phase II will decrease the auditorium floor space by 1/3, remove our storage and changing rooms for a school office and HVAC equipment.

Given this situation, we have moved out our entire inventory, our mats and other equipment and supplies, into storage until we secure a new location to practice. We have looked into local parks, churches, and community centers. However, due to impacted programs, limited space, and lack of storage, it has been very challenging to find a suitable location to fit our needs. We have also been investigating securing a commercial lease, a venture into a new realm for our Dojo would transform our Dojo and the way we conduct our organization. We have realtors assisting us in activity and also consulting with local city organizations to the possibility of being a city-contracted service.

There is a lot of history in the place. It is a poignant moment. The place vitally needs the improvements. For us, it is time to move on. Thank you very much to those helped out moving everything out of the JIS last weekend in incredibly fast 2-1/2 hours.

Judo in 2023

In the meantime, when we return to Judo practice next year, January 2023, we will be part of the Grand Opening of Flip1stGymnastics, owned by Dan Levi, a good friend of mine. He and his teenage daughter are former members of Sawtelle Judo Dojo. Flip1stGymnastics will open a brand new, spacious 6,800 sq. ft. facility in Santa Monica. Currently, the facility is undergoing final buildout and city inspection. Dan plans to have movers move and install his large gymnastics equipment next week. Included in this move will be their main gymnastics sprung floor, a bouncy 40’x40’. 4” springs are mounted onto the back of plywood sheets, assembled together into a 40’x40’ pattern. This plywood surface is then covered with a solid 2” foam layer with carpet over that. That is where we will hold Judo practice in January.

Your ukemis will definitely have a bounce to them. We will have more space to practice since the mat area is 10% larger, 1,600 sq. ft., and square in shape. As guests, let’s keep this gymnasium clean, don’t use the gymnastics equipment at all and honor the privilege of using this location.

Dan Levi has graciously opened his new gym to our Dojo on a temporary basis until we can secure a new location for ourselves. At our holiday party, we thanked him with a standing ovation for his generosity. So, we look forward to some exciting times ahead. Grand opening is slated for Monday 9 January, pending final buildout and city inspections. If you are willing assist Dan move and installed equipment, come on down for an early preview in late December/early January. Details will be posted in upcoming newsletters.


1908-C Lincoln Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA. 90405

It is on the southwest corner of Lincoln and Pico Blvd., about 3-1/2 miles west of old location at the JIS. Flip1stGymnastics is located in the back corner of the strip mall where a Starbucks Coffee sits on the street corner. Flip1stGymnastics is just blocks away from Santa Monica High School and about a mile from Santa Monica Beach and Pier.

The cerebral corner

Here is a YouTube video that resonates throughout the Judo community, “Education for Life | Judoka, Shintaro Nakano,” on why people practice and teach Judo. Nakano Sensei is the head instructor of the Nakano Judo Academy in San Jose, CA.

November 21, 2022

Thanksgiving Week

“It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.”

-Miyamoto Musashi, famed 17th century Samurai-

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Colin Powell, former US Army Chief of Staff, & US Defense Secretary-

“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, football coach Notre Dame University-

Hollywood Juniors’ Scrimmage II

After their in-house tournament, our Juniors traveled for a pre-Thanksgiving scrimmage at Hollywood Judo Dojo this afternoon. The kids had more competitive practice and went onto their natural way of being, mayhem, after the scrimmage and energized with some popsicles. Thank you, our parents, for their support. Thank you to Senseis Erick Mendez and Philippe Morotti of Hollywood Judo Dojo for hosting and organizing our second scrimmage together. Thank you to Sensei Yazmin Bojaca-Bott for coaching and supporting our Juniors.

Thanksgiving Week

We will be open for Judo practice on Monday.

We will be closed for Judo practice on Wednesday and Friday this week, 23 & 25 November.

Day-After Thanksgiving Hike

On the day after Thanksgiving, 26 Saturday 26 November, we will hike Los Liones Canyon to Parker Mesa Overlook. Meet at the end of Los Liones Dr., off Sunset Blvd., at the beginning of the trailhead.

Enjoy this 7.1-mile out-and-back trail near Pacific Palisades, California. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 45 min to complete. This is a very popular area for birding, hiking, and walking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. You’ll need to leave pups at home — dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.

October 24, 2022

Our Year’s Crescendo looms

An interesting article about trends in Japanese Judo

“Kosei Inoue: World Championships, Children and the Significance of Judo”

Whether they win or lose, participation in matches instills children with confidence that serves them well as a source of strength in daily life.

Read more on…..

An Overemphasis on Winning

Benefits of Competition

Judo Exchange Activity with Ukrainian Youngsters

Kosei Inoue , now serving in leadership roles at the All-Japan Judo Federation, is the former national coach of

Japan’s men’s judo team and former Olympic and World judo champion and president of NPO Judos

Upcoming events

Hands-on Police Judo Workshop

Here’s a reminder for the Nanka Hands-on Police Judo Workshop on 27-28 October. Share this with your law enforcement friends and relatives. Registration closes on this Wednesday 12 October. For more information and registration process, please contact Robert Draper, 661 505-0663 or

Day before Halloween Hike Sunday 30 October

Closed for Halloween Monday 31 October

Mojica Judo Tournament, Sunday 6 November, Esther Snyder Community Center, Baldwin Park, CA

This will be the last local tournament before our grand finale event of the year, the 17th edition of the Winter Nationals on 3-4 December. If you are planning to compete at the Winter Nationals, plan on competing at the 27th Annual Mojica Judo Tournament. Here is their registration form. $40 early registration postmarked by 1 November.

Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course, Saturday 12 November, from 10:00 am-12:30 pm, Gardena Judo Club (now open for registration. Email for registration form.)

Spaces are filling fast. Be advised online study and testing required before hands-on class. Online access will be granted once registered.

USJF Teachers’ certification course, Sunday 13 November, from 9:30 am-1:30 pm, Gardena Judo Club (sanction approved, now open for registration. Email for registration form.)

Spaces are filling fast for this course. Be advised online study and testing recommended before in-class evaluation. Online access will be granted once registered.

Dojo & tournament schedule

For links to major regional and national tournaments, clinics, and seminars, please visit the Nanka Judo Yudanshakai (Southern California Black Belt Association) website @

Hands-On Police Judo Workshop, 27-28 October, Santa Clarita, CA

Juniors’ In-House Tournament 28 October

USJF Kata Clinic, 28-30 October, St. Louis, MO

Kata practice, Saturday 29 October, 9:30 am-12:00 pm @ Anaconda Academy, Gardena, CA

Day before Halloween Hike Sunday 30 October

Closed for Halloween Monday 31 October

Kata practice, Saturday 5 November, 9:30 am-12:00 pm @ Anaconda Academy, Gardena, CA

Mojica Judo Tournament, Sunday 6 November, Esther Snyder Community Center, Baldwin Park, CA (new)

Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course, Saturday 12 November, from 10:00 am-12:30 pm, Gardena Judo Club (now open for registration. Email for registration form.)

USJF Teachers’ certification course, Sunday 13 November, from 9:30 am-1:30 pm, Gardena Judo Club (sanction approved, now open for registration. Email for registration form.)

Last Juniors’ In-House tournament 2022, Friday 18 November, starts with warmups @ 6:00 pm

Kata practice, Saturday 19 November, 9:30 am-12:00 pm @ Anaconda Academy, Gardena, CA

Closed Thanksgiving Weekend, Thursday 24 November-Sunday 27 November

Hollywood Judo Juniors’ Scrimmage II, Sunday 20 November, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm

17th Annual Judo Winter Nationals, Saturday/Sunday 3-4 December, Azusa, CA

(online registration is NOW OPENED through Smoothcomp)

Annual Holiday Awards & Potluck Party, Friday 9 December

Gary Takemoto’s Referees’, Coaches’, and Parents’ Tournament Rules Clinic, (TBD date after Winter Nationals), Harbor Judo Dojo, Harbor City

Winter Holiday Shutdown, Saturday 10 December-Thursday 5 January 2023

Dojo 2023 Re-opening, Friday 6 January 2023

The cerebral Judo corner

For Juniors’ book reading

For your child, KokaKids offers a variety of books tailored to your child’s understanding of Judo. The books have pictograms naming and showing each teaching. You can order these books online through their website or on Amazon. Please note, since KokaKids is based in London, England, shipping may take a few weeks.

Boys and Girls Judo & Self-Defense: Road to Black Belt by Hal Sharp, 10th Dan

This is a complete judo instruction manual for kids and instructors. The book makes judo fun for kids by incorporating games, drills and by using technical drawings with cartoons. For the older students there are excellent technical descriptions of fundamental skills needed in free practice and competition. The book references 31 YouTube videos that are specially designed to supplement the written text thereby making this a living manual. Emphasis has been placed on the “Circle of Skills” needed to successfully make your techniques effectively work such as chance/opportunity, body movement, controlling the opponent, gripping, breaking opponents balance, positioning your body, effective throwing action, defense, countering, combinations, and the use of special drills. Self-defense is taught to keep you out of trouble and how to use judo techniques if attacked. Included is a practical description of the IJF contest rules. Also, there is a dictionary of useful judo terms in Japanese and English. This book truly provides a “Road to Blackbelt” for both Junior and senior novices.

Kodokan list of Judo techniques

Here is comprehensive list of Judo techniques, brief description, and demonstration video linked to each technique. There are 100 techniques in total, 68 Tachi-waza (standing throwing techniques) and 32 Katame-waza (grappling techniques. Bookmark this link for your useful reference.


Judo teaching is learning, studying, teaching, listening, observing, analyzing, thinking, stimulating, inspiring, and working very hard.

1) The very important characteristics that cannot be missed are AMBITION, EFFORT, OBSTACLES, RESULT, and the period after getting results.

2) In the beginning, many people are ignorant of their AMBITIONS and ABILITIES.

3) Without ambition, it is difficult to FIGHT AND OVERCOME OBSTACLES.

4) Follow a model, AN EXAMPLE OF WHICH YOU IDENTIFY can drive ambition.

5) BEING WILLING TO BE INSTRUCTED can be a good trait.

6) Having PATIENCE is important; patience is trusting time.

7) Develop a personal ethics, therefore RESPECTING VALUES AND STANDARDS (instinct balance, honesty, and dreams)

8) MAKE DECISIONS, accept the consequences and be demanding, especially with yourself.

9) DONT THINK ABOUT CONSEQUENCES once the decision to act is made.

10) INTERNAL and EXTERNAL aspects must be BALANCED with each other.

-Willem Visser, strategy consultant, international speaker, and Judo 8th Dan, IJF-

September 28, 2022

Naoki Murata on Jigoro Kano

Naoki Murata (1949-2020), a great authority on judo, said this of Jigoro Kano: “Professor Kano’s educational policies reflected his deep-rooted deference for his country and its traditions. Judo was developed by him as a vehicle for people to consolidate both their minds and bodies, thereby becoming ‘robust citizens’ able to play a positive role in the improvement of society. Kano was a forward-thinking educator of the highest caliber. Judo is practiced around the world as a popular sport, but the higher educational principles promoted by Kano should not be ignored in the pursuit of winning medals.” Judging from Murata’s comments here, it seems clear that Kano wished judoka to become ‘literate’ beings as well as skilled in the execution of judo techniques.

Professor Naoki Murata, a Kodokan 8th dan, was born in Saitama Prefecture in 1949. He graduated from Tokyo Kyoiku University in 1973. A prolific writer of essays and several well-researched books on judo, he served as Curator of the Kodokan Judo Institute Museum. He was also highly active as an administrator and served on several committees dealing with Budo affairs.

It was in the year 1999 that I first met Murata-sensei when working on my first book on Jigoro Kano: The Father of Judo. I was fortunate to have had interesting discussions with Murata in the intervening years, often over lunch following my visits to the Kodokan Library.

Murata had this to say of Professor Jigoro Kano: “Kano’s educational policies reflected his deep-rooted deference for his country and its traditions. Judo was developed by him as a vehicle for people to consolidate their minds and bodies, thereby becoming ‘robust citizens’ able to play a positive role in the improvement of society. Kano was a forward-thinking educator of the highest caliber. Judo is practiced around the world as a popular sport, but the higher educational principles promoted by Kano should not be ignored in the pursuit of winning medals.”

Brian N. Watson


27 October 2020

September 27, 2022

Kata/Winter Nationals and more

Nanka Judo Grassroots Winter Nationals

Online registration for this year’s Grassroots Winter Nationals opens as soon as next week on Smoothcomp.

For the first time this year, the Winter Nationals will be held on two days, Saturday & Sunday 3-4 December at the Felix Center on the campus of Azusa Pacific University. The granddaddy of all Judo tournaments in Southern California, the attendance over

IJF World Championships Veterans

Here is Lee Pasteris’ & Fred Dagdagan’s exquisite Ju no Kata performance at last week’s IJF World Championships Veterans in Krakow, Poland. It is about nine minutes long.

Here is an article reviewing this championships.

Nanka Fall Labor Day Clinic

Here is a video collage produced by Luchia Torro about the Darcel Yandzi training camp that Nanka hosted over Labor Day weekend, 3-5 September. 

Mark your calendars and plan for these events

Kata Practice

Osugi Sensei will host kata practice at Anaconda Academy from 9:30-12:00 pm.

Saturday 1 October

Saturday 15 October

Saturday 29 October

Little Kids’ class resumes in October

We will re-start our Little Kids’ class beginning on Wednesday 5 October. The half-hour classes run from 5:15-5:45 pm, right before our Juniors’ class. The class is designed for 4–6-year-olds to begin their Judo journey. The classes incorporate games, tumbling, rolling, animal exercises, tug ‘o war, like the ones in our Juniors’ class. The purpose of this class is to prepare these young ones for our Juniors’ class and train them in the different exercises and follow instructions. More information will be available next week. If you are interested, please reply to this email with your child’s name, age, and the reason why you would like them to participate in this class.

For our Seniors, the Hollywood Scrimmage IV is on Sunday 16 October.

5th Annual “Fight for the Cure” All Women’s Charity Judo Tournament, 23 October, Norco, CA

Hands-on Police Judo Workshop

Here’s a reminder for the Nanka Hands-on Police Judo Workshop on 27-28 October. Share this with your law enforcement friends and relatives.

Day before Halloween Hike Sunday 30 October

Special Clinics from Flavio Canto & Daria Bilodid

In collaboration with CJ Judo in San Jose, CA, Orange County Judo Training Center in Garden Grove, and Shimeru Judo in Lake Elsinore, CA, they have planned special clinics with elite Judokas conducting kids and adults clinics in late October and in January 2023.

Flavio Canto-Saturday 29 October @ 10:00 am (kids, $50) & 1:00 pm (adults, $75)

Daria Bilodid-Saturday 21 January @ 10:00 am (kids, $50) & 1:00 pm (adults, $75)

Flavio Canto was the 2004 Olympic Brazilian Bronze medalist at 81 kg, He is known for his Newaza prowess, and his Canto strangle.

Daria Bilodid was the 2020 Olympic Ukrainian Bronze medalist at 48 kg, She was also a two-time World Champion in 2018 & 2019.
We will see more of her on the international circuit as she will be only 22 next month.

It is an inspirational opportunity moment to meet some of the world’s best.

Shimeru Judo

17600 Collier Ave., Unit D129

Lake Elsinore, CA 92530


After a long hiatus, here’s the Fall 2022 Shorai Practice Schedule!  These sessions are focusing on preparing for the Quebec Open, Infantile Pan Am, and Nanka Winter Nationals.   If you are planning on competing in any of these tournaments at the end of the year, come on out and get some extra training in!  All the host dojos have top-of-the-line Senseis, so it’s well worth attending!  The next Shorai practice is scheduled for SUNDAY (10/15) @ San Gabriel Judo Dojo.  

Oct. 15 (Saturday) – San Gabriel Judo Dojo, 11 am to 2 pm

Club Address: 5019 Encinita Ave, Temple City, CA 91780

Oct. 29 (Saturday) – Guerreros Judo Club (PENDING)

             Club Address:  501 Glendora Ave, La Puente CA 91744

Nov. 12 (Saturday) – San Fernando Valley Judo Club, 2 pm to 5 pm

Club Address: 12953 Branford St., Pacoima, CA  61331

Nov. 29 (FRIDAY) – Special “TURKEY BUSTER” Shorai @ Norwalk Judo Dojo, 5 pm to 8 pm

              Club Address: 14615 S. Gridley Rd. Norwalk, CA 90651

The Shorai Program offers more competitive training and workouts for our more competitive and elite athletes within Nanka. Shorai means “Future” in Japanese.

IJF World Championships 2022

Watch the global elite vie for the title of World Champion held on 6-13 October in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. You may watch the competition live from Tashkent or watch YouTube highlights later.

Since we have been working on Tsuri Komi Goshi, Uchimata/Harai Goshi, here is a Kodokan video demonstrating Uchimata by Kosei Inoue, 2000 Olympian Gold medalist and two-time World Champion.

August 11, 2022

New tournament formats

This year, organizations are creating some innovative competitive brackets including a wider community. Below are two recent developments for the Nanka Judo Fall Tournament, and 5th Annual “Fight for the Cure” All Women’s Charity Judo Tournament.

Nanka Judo Fall Tournament-11 September, Westminster High School, Westminster, CA

The Nanka Judo Fall Tournament will be held on Sunday 11 September. Like the Golden State Open held in May of this year. Nanka Judo will be using for its registration, pooling, and scoring. You can only pre-register for this event. There will be no day of registration. Competitors must declare their weights at time of registration. However, on the day of competition, failure to make weight in your respective category will result in your immediate disqualification. This year, a new format available for Novice competitors where they fight for the entire period, regardless of the number of Ippons, Waza-Aris, Shidos given, unless it is a complete rout. More details on this as registration opens later this month.

5th Annual “Fight for the Cure” All Women’s Charity Judo Tournament-23 October, Norte Vista High School, Riverside, CA

For this year’s “Fight for the Cure” All Women’s Charity Judo Tournament, Riverside Youth Judo Club will be bringing back one of our most favorite divisions: Mom’s Judo! Here is a video on the Mom’s Judo adaptive rules. Anyone interested?

July 29, 2022

Nikkei Games Judo Tournament

Our next local tournament, the Nikkei Games, will be at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA on Sunday 21 August. It is part of the Nisei Week celebration by the Japanese American community and its cultural legacy.

This event has a very different format as three different Budo arts are happening simultaneously in the same venue, Judo, Karate, and Kendo. The event opens with hosted exciting demonstrations of each discipline, following by tournaments for each sport going on at the same time.  If you have not seen Karate or Kendo before, you are in for a treat.

The Judo tournament format is on the attached flyer. More registration information to come in the following weeks.

July 29, 2022

Katame no Waza Training Session

The Pacific Southwest Judo Association will be hosting a one-day Katame no Waza training session led by Senseis Pamela Moye and Mary Wakabayashi, current National Champions in Katame no Kata.

Hosted by Art of Takedowns in Escondido, CA

Saturday August 20, 2022 – 10:00 a.m. to noon. – Osaekomi-waza

Saturday August 20, 2022 – 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM– Shime-waza and Kansetsu-waza 

Saturday August 20, 2022 – 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM attendee demonstrations

Event fee $20 for both sessions for each person.

RSVP by July 30, 2022

Scholarships available for PSJA members.

Art of Takedowns

125 W. Mission Ave., #204

Escondido, CA

Eligibility: These activities are open to all current members of United States Judo Federation, USA Judo, and United States Judo Association (Participants must show proof of Membership). Students 12 and over. Others will be admitted with the mutual agreement of the student’s instructor and the event organizer. This is a practical study session of effective mat work basics.

For additional information please contact Bruce Knight via email at or Phone (619) 368-9812.