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Judo is an art and a sport; it is a modern adaptation of jujitsu, one of Japan’s martial arts of old and a precious legacy of the samurai. Judo, or more specifically, Kodokan Judo, was founded in 1882 by Dr Jigoro Kano as a physical and mental training experience. He took the best of Jujitsu’s self-defense techniques and cut out those that were harmful. He modified other techniques so that they could be practiced safely. Today it has become an international Olympic sport and is practiced according to the same rules everywhere. In addition to its homeland of Japan, judo is extremely popular on every continent and is practiced by all ages, both men and women equally.


Judo, known as the gentle way, uses skill and flexibility for attack and defense. Strength is of course applied, but it is even more important to know how to use it. In emergencies, Judo can be an excellent form of self-defense; however, judo is so much more than merely fighting. Judo is a way of life.


People who see judo contests in a gymnasium or on television marvel at the grace and the fluidity of judo techniques or at the speed and energy of the throws. What they don’t see is the hard training and sometimes repetitive workouts that judoka undertake over many years to bring their techniques to perfection. Judo techniques don’t just happen. They are carefully worked out, practiced combinations of basic movements, postures, and holds. However long you practice judo, if you continue for the rest of your life, you will never finish studying it.

Goldman, John. Judo: The Complete Course: A Step-by-step Guide from First Move to First Competition. Enfield: Guinness, 1986. Print.

Inokuma, Isao, and Nobuyuki Satō. Best Judo. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1979. Print.

Parulski, George R. The Complete Book of Judo. Chicago: Contemporary, 1984. Print.

Ten Things You Should Know About Your Judo Teacher

By Neil Ohlenkamp

  1. Your sensei loves Judo. This is the reason he or she wants to practice and teach.

  2. Your sensei wants to share Judo with everyone. It is a valuable gift that should be shared.

  3. Your sensei knows that Judo is not easy to learn. It takes hard work and a considerable amount of time. Your sensei has been through this training and understands the commitment needed. Your sensei wants you to endeavor to be, and eventually be, better than him or her.

  4. Your sensei wants the training to be safe. Because there are inherent risks in Judo practice, all students must put safety above all other short-term goals.

  5. You are important to the sensei. There would be no Judo without students of all levels, and every student is important. This is part of the Judo principle of mutual welfare and benefit.

  6. Your sensei can be trusted to guide your instruction. Your sensei carefully prepares lessons and will make adjustments for individual and class performance levels. However, in the beginning everything may not be clear to you, so patience is required.

  7. Since your sensei wants to improve, he or she benefits from having the opportunity to practice Judo with you. One of the goals of Judo is to continuously strive to perfect yourself so that you can contribute something of value to the world. If you are having difficulty in class, or thinking of quitting, discuss it with your sensei so that he or she can learn from your point of view.

  8. Your sensei wants you to study Judo outside of class. The more you read, practice, and learn on your own, the more valuable your class time will be. Keep yourself physically fit with additional conditioning outside of class.

  9. Your sensei needs your help. Your class will benefit from helping other students along, caring for the mats, assisting with tournaments, etc.

  10. For your sensei, Judo is a way of life.


My name is Jack, and I started in Judo when I was eleven years old at the South Texas School of Judo in Houston, Texas. My sensei was William Cooke III, who was a student of Karl Geis Sensei, one of the original founders of the USJA. It was the 1980s, and Judo, while still growing, was huge in Texas. From Odessa to Dallas, to Austin, to Houston, I can remember competing in tournaments almost every month, year-round. It was not long and I received my first promotion to yellow belt, and my first tournament soon followed. I lost all my matches in that tournament, and I went home empty-handed. Oddly enough, it did not matter, because by that point I was already hooked on Judo. As time passed, I continued training twice weekly, I continued to earn my promotions, and I continued to compete in tournaments as often as possible. By the time I graduated high school, I was a first-degree brown belt, or Ikkyu.

During my first two years in college, my training slowed to about one weekend every month and I only competed in a couple of tournaments each year. Eventually, I moved to Denton, where I attended the University of North Texas. While in Denton, I trained with the Woodson family at the Denton Junior Optimist Club, and for two semesters, I led an intramural judo club on the UNT campus. Eventually, life got in the way, and my judo training tapered off and stopped.

In the summer of 2010, I moved from Texas to the Colorado Springs area, and one year later, I moved to Mancos, Colorado. In 2012, I started teaching full-time at Mancos High School. The principal informed me that I was responsible for teaching an elective class in addition to my core classes, and she presented me with a list of options. I cannot tell you how many items were on that list, nor do I remember the first item. Almost immediately, my eyes focused on the second item, self-defense, and as they say, the rest is history. Mancos High School Judo began, and from January 2013, through May 2016, thirty-eight students started learning judo. At the end of the 2016 school year, I resigned from public education, but I promised my students that I would do my best to continue teaching judo here in Mancos.

Today, I hold the rank of Nidan, second-degree black belt, and I am a Gold Life Member with the USJA. Also, I am certified as a National Level Coach, and I am a Life Member with the USJF. I am eager and excited to start my own judo club, and I am looking forward to at least a few more decades in the sport of Judo. I hope that you will join me.


I designed the original HachiSakura name and logo during the summer of 2016. I started with the traditional Kodokan Judo symbol: an eight-petal, white, cherry blossom with a central red core.

The eight petals of the blossom represent the eight directional points of balance which are the foundation for turning, pivoting, attacking, and defending. I should include that the number eight also happens to be my favorite number, and when turned sideways, it becomes the symbol for infinity.

The white cherry blossom symbolizes a gentle, cool, soft exterior, and the central red core, like the Japanese rising sun flag, symbolizes a hard, focused, fiery interior.

I then included the Judo Kanji – Ju for gentleness, and Do for the way – and I added an image depicting my tokui-waza or favorite technique, O Soto Gari.

Finally, the lower background shows a single, fully blossomed cherry tree growing on a rock surrounded by flowing lava.

After I put the images all together, I chose the name HachiSakura because, in Japanese, hachi means eight, and sakura means cherry blossom.


According to Dr Jigoro Kano, the ultimate goal of judo is The harmonious development and eventual perfection of human character. The mission of HachiSakura Judo Inc is to improve and strengthen our community by teaching and promoting the study of judo, while developing better people within the community by emphasizing the discipline, physical conditioning, focus, and ethical values learned in judo.

  • To foster and develop the study, practice, and spirit of judo along traditional Japanese lines

  • To promote and encourage judo to every individual and to stimulate, motivate, and enable them to participate in all that judo has to offer

  • To progress through a structured program towards judo excellence

  • To encourage a healthy mental and spiritual attitude, as well as good physical well-being

Judo is not merely a series of techniques designed to overcome or subdue an opponent. Judo embraces many universal laws of motion which are understood while the student progresses. The true Judo mind will avoid arrogance and false pride, never taking advantage of those who are weaker or less skillful. The lesser pupils will respect their teachers and will always observe and ask for advice. Modesty and humility are not to be ignored. Through Judo one will discover true values and learn to enjoy a harmonious relationship with one's fellow man.

Judo Training & Development
Transparency & Accountability

By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finances, and governance publicly available, HachiSakura Judo Club Inc, a nonprofit recreational judo club, practices and encourages transparency and accountability to the general public.

The following documents and announcements are available to the public for free download and are also available in printed form by request.

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