New Presidents Message Online


The USJF is a national non-profit corporation dedicated to the development of judo. The USJF regularly forms
committees and events at the local, regional and national level for these purposes. Check the pages here for more

At the last USJF Board of Directors meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, the Board approved a change
in the term of president from 2 years to 4 years. This change was considered necessary so
that the president would be able to create and implement long-term strategic plans. I have
been elected, again, to be President of USJF, and I will be your president for the next 4 years.
We also elected other officers of the corporation, and they are Vaughn Imada (1st V.P.), Julie
Koyama (2nd V.P.), Vicki Trent (Secretary), Michael Matsumoto (Treasurer). These are all for a
2-year term. Additionally, I appointed Mr. Richard Muller as USJF Corporate Counsel and Mr. Robert
Brink as Senior Adviser to the President. Mr. Yoshisada Yonezuka was reelected as Chairman of
the Board of Examiners. The entire Executive Committee will put forth our best efforts to make
USJF an active, open-minded, and accountable organization.

At the Cleveland meeting, the new Executive Committee participated in Strategic Planning Sessions,
where we revisited the USJF Vision and Mission Statements. Following are the newly adopted USJF
Vision and Mission Statements, with Strategy and Guiding Principles included.

Judo in every American community and school.

MISSION (Purpose):
To serve and support its members in the America judo community while upholding the principles of
mutual welfare and benefit.

Create and maintain a customer service orientation.
Cultivate leadership at all levels of the organization.
Create a positive image of judo.


  • Open communications
  • Clarifying before speaking (making sure you understand what the person is saying and where they are coming from)
  • Deal with facts (data) (Fact-based decision making)
  • Cooperation – all working toward the same outcome
  • Decision-making in the best interest of grass roots judo in the US through Yudanshakais and USJF Committees – Mutual welfare and benefit
  • Balanced Budget
  • Collaboration of activities – helping each other out
  • Inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness
  • Integrity – doing what you say you are going to do

With the above plan, all of the USJF Committees and Yudanshakais will conduct their own Strategic
Planning Sessions to incorporate the USJF Vision and Mission. These processes will strengthen our
organization at every level – from individual members, clubs, yudanshakais and up to the national
level. The President and Executive Committee will conduct a “check-up” to assess our progress once
a year, and I will present you with the progress report once a year.

One more significant thing happened. Our registered membership climbed to 11,100 members this past
March. This is the first time that our active membership number has surpassed 11,000. Our membership
has been growing at a rate of over 5% for the last few years, and I am trying to maintain at least a
5% growth annually. Our life memberships are up, and for the 2000-2001 FY, 62 new life members have
registered. This FY is still going strong; so far 46 new life members have registered, and we are
getting closer to our target of 65 new life members. Again, I would like to see a 5% growth in this
area. The endowment fund is growing, thanks to your support, and this is a great way to keep the
legacy going and to lay the foundation for our younger generation.

As mentioned in the last issue of the USJF News, my close friend, Mr. George Balch passed away this
past March. I put in a request for his 7th dan promotion to the National Promotion Board as soon
as I found out that his cancer was terminal. Our Board acted very swiftly in approving his promotion
within a week, and his certificate was delivered within 10 days of the request. I was very pleased
that all of them acted so kindly, and the fact that every effort was made to recognize George, I felt
was so neat and great. I will never forget George’s expression of surprise, pleasure, and honor to
receive his USJF 7th dan. And I feel that this is a great example of USJF spirit right now.

The USJF Board of Directors also approved the creation of the USJF George Balch Scholarship Fund and
Committee at this last meeting. The fund now totals just over $18,000, including pledges. This scholarship
will be given annually to a judo student majoring in education. The details of the scholarship will be
available at and also at Mr. Balch’s student and longtime
friend Mr. James Cornforth heads the scholarship committee, and according to him, that committee is planning
to award the scholarship starting in August 2003.

I thank you very much for your support and encouragement for the last 2 years. I promise you that all of
the national level officers will serve you to the best of their ability, and we will strive to make judo a
highly recognized sport as well as a highly respected educational tool in the United States.

The mission of the United States Judo Federation is to serve and support its members in the America judo community while
upholding the principles of mutual welfare and benefit.