1961 National Judo team Champions - eleven man. Air Force team wins team championship for the first time at the 9th National. Top: Yamashita is kneeling at third from right. Bottom: Sitting, L2R: Jim Jarvis, mas Yamashita, sam boone. 1961 National Judo team Champions (March 1961) - eleven man. Judo Championships: Standing (left to right) Major Swift,. Air Force Special Services Officer, A1c ronald Hubbard of MacDill.
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Of course, we met and practiced with many other American gi's from different military services and some would become life long friends. Also, this was one of the for dojos that sponsored a variety of different types of shiai (contests from regular championships, rank promotion batsugan and kohaku shiai. There were no regular Judo classes, per say, but one could just drop in any time and receive training and instruction. Former "Butoku-den" was built in 1939 as martial arts stadium of okinawa. In 1989, it was dismantled due to aging. Photo of the naha police dojo or ryukyu police Academy (Butokuden) in the late 1950s or early 1960s. . Not sure when this photo was taken; Police headquarters was in a nearby modern office building in the late 1950s. IIn 1961 my best friend and sensei, masato yamashita, and I were at Naha ab, okinawa and had won our places in the 313th Air division, 5th Air Force and pacaf judo championships, then to the All Air Force championships and then 1961 aau championships. At the time mas was a couple of pounds heavier than me, so he had to fight in the next division. Later he lost the 2-lb for the All Air Force championships and went into the 140-lb class. Unfortunately for me jim Jarvis and I got stuck in those awful rubber mats and my left knee was injured, so i was out from then.
After a while we established the essay naha ab judo Club with around 20 members and had a patch made featured in the image above. Some members had Judo experience and led us down to naha where we began to workout at several Judo dojos, including the naha police dojo that had some high ranking Judo sensei to help us out. In those days we considered the okinawa judo as very good and wondered why they did not participate in tournaments in Japan or other countries in the far East. The only answer we got was that they were not interested in sport Judo as they practiced Judo as more of a martial Art. Left: Naha ab gym in 1961. Right: me in standing outside the gym back door in Judogi. Since we would drop in to work out at the naha police dojo occasionally i continued to go there to practice and learn from the black belts.
Mas and I first had to help move some equipment from Ashiya ab, japan to okinawa, so we stayed there for a couple months and then flew to naha ab, okinawa. After returning okinawa we were accidently bused to the kadena afb transient barracks. We spent several hours downtown in koza drinking and having fun, but upon returning to the barracks a red-faced Master Sergeant was waiting of us, not happy either, to take us to naha air Base. We made friends on the way down and found out he was leaving for the States soon, so was not too mad. Left: Naha air Base judo club patch. Right: Barracks Bed with Motorcycle helmet, guitar and Judogi. Right after we arrived at Naha ab we began practicing Judo at the base gym where they had a stack of tatami in a corner, but no judo people to be found. Masato and I would workout every afternoon after work and as time passed airmen would drop in and join the judo activities.
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Mas bought me my first Judogi! They were like 2 back then. After several weeks of training we were transferred to attend technical school at Chanute afb, illinois. The Chanute judo Club was great; with 20 or 30 students there and we had plenty of Judo activity for off duty times. Mas promoted me to sankyu (3rd brown belt) there. Once a short, wide judoka came to visit our Judo class and was introduced as SSgt.
Rick mertens (deceased, 03/1999). Rick was active in the air Force judo Association so recruited club members in the organization. We joined the air Force judo Association (afja) then I would remain a regular member until 1969 when I became a life member. The early membership fee was only 2 a year and the first life membership was only 100. Simulator maintenance School Chanute afb,. Yamashita standing second from left, me kneeling third from left. After more than six months of school we were called upon for overseas duty on Naha air Base, okinawa; a small island 600 miles resume south of tokyo, japan.
After graduating from high school I worked at various jobs and began the process of joining the. Air Force in late 1959. During the late 1950's a deep recession was going on and jobs were hard to find, especially for a high school graduate without fulfilling his draft obligation (military duty). So, i opted to join the. Air Force and while boot camp early in 1960 I met a nisei (second generation Japanese-American) Judo competitor by the name of Masato.
Masato and I practiced together for over two years at Lackland afb, texas, Chanute afb, illinois, and finally naha ab, okinawa. His abilities in Judo were very well known both in the. And the far East. He later became one of the youngest men in the usa to obtain Godan (5th degree). One of our drill instructors at Lackland afb, texas was ssgt linan, was one of the black belt Judo instructors who had obtained his rank at the kodokan in the early 1950's. After the few weeks of basic training (boot camp) we could begin to talk to the drill instructor (TI) without shaking in our boots and he would let us workout with the judo club he ran. We still had to be military!
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Because a few of us rowdy school report guys got into some trouble we were required to join the boy's Club and take part in the activities. One of the trainers there was a black belt. Judo and took me under his wings. He was one of the air Force people who had been sent to japan for training at the. Kodokan in the early 1950's and after he was discharged came home to find no jobs available, so he took over activities at the boy's Club. Judo practice was in those days when ever we showed up or a couple times per week. In between football, wrestling, girls, hot rod cars and everything else i managed to be promoted to yonkyu (4th class white belt). I used an oversized levi blue-jean jacket without buttons as my judo uniform.
coaches was a judo player as well. I continued with sports. High and played a little league baseball, a little league football, school wrestling team, did a lot of yard work for people for money (2 to cut a yard) - and Martial Arts at the methodist Church we attended. It was Judo this time, but, not as it is seen today. The judo instructor was also the boy scout master at the church. Judo practice was only two or three times a month during that period; however, that ended when we moved to tennessee where i began high school. While i was far from mastering Judo in those first years I did learn some fundamentals that lasted over my career. In 1955 we moved to Knoxville, tennessee.
There were a few other kids my age there, so the man asked if I would like to join them. It was my first knowledge of the little known and unappreciated art of Jujitsu and/or Judo; rarely seen in many regions of these United States. My first lessons in the martial. Arts began at 11 years of age. So, my grade school years consisted of afternoon swims, jujitsu or Judo, movies. Saturdays (9 essay cents to get in school and laying out in the yard gazing up at the stars. A full life of a boy! This was a time never to forget - may 1952 through April 1953 - my life in the.
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Bicycle repairer, greg Mackenzies job is as much about helping customers as it is about fixing bikes. Resume of Judo qualifications, resume of the martial Arts for Jeffrey. Beish thesis (revised August 01, 2017 what a difference four decades make. Getting Older is no fun! My love for sports goes back to my grade school years in Charlotte, north Carolina during the 1940's. One of my fondest memories of those years was when taking my younger brother to the swimming pool at the local ymca and also being a cub Scout. While at the ymca pool during a late spring weekend I had to stop swimming and find a rest room in the main building. I found myself lost and then accidentally wondered into a room and watched a small oriental man demonstrate what seemed to me then as some kind of magic. He would throw others down and disarm them - with little or no apparent effort.