The 2002 USJF National Teachers Institute was held 6-8 June 2002 at the Seven Hills
Conference Center at San Francisco State University in San Francisco. This was the
first conference for judo teachers held by any national judo organization in recent
history of American judo, and signified the commitment of the USJF to stimulate growth
across the country by providing meaningful educational activities for judo teachers, who
are the backbone of judo in the country. Forty five participants from all around the U.S.
came to the three-day event, and all left very satisfied and excited about the teaching of
The conference opened on Thursday 6 June 2002 with an opening address by David Matsumoto,
Chair of the Development Committee of the USJF. He discussed the new and exciting changes
that have occurred in the USJF in recent years, and its renewed commitment to teacher
development around the country. In particular, he described the difference between judo
teaching and coaching, the former being responsible for the overall development of judo
students, the latter being related specifically to the development of skills related to
competition judo. The emphasis in this conference was on the imparting of judo culture
and values through the teaching of judo. Competition is important, but is important only
within a larger scheme of overall moral and character development of the individual.
After the conference opening, the first content session was the “Successful Dojo Symposium,”
where instructors from four of the most successful dojos in the country were invited to
tell participants about their dojos. The instructors in attendance were Warren Agena from
Northglenn Judo Club in Colorado, Vaughn Imada from the San Jose Buddhist Judo Club, Mickey
Matsumoto from Gardena Judo Club in Los Angeles, and Ed Shiosaki from South Bay Judo Club
in Los Angeles. Collectively these dojos typically register well over 600 members a year,
and they shared the wisdom and insights with the participants.
The next presentation was by Beth Kelley, faculty in the Department of Kinesiology at
San Francisco State University. Her presentation focused on ethics and risk management. She
gave any practical suggestions on how to minimize risk and liability in our dojos from a sport
science point of view.
The afternoon session on the 6th started off with the presenters from the successful dojo
symposium showing participants the first techniques they teach in their dojos and how. The
session was moderated by Hayward Nishioka, Chairman of the National Teachers Institute Subcommittee
of the USJF. Of interesting note was the variety of first throws these dojo instructors taught
their students, from seoinage to ogoshi to tsurikomigoshi. Nishioka also taught a simple way of
teaching mae mawari ukemi, which was useful for all participants.
The second mat session on the 6th was a rare treat for the participants. The session was led
by Takenari Asanuma, a licensed judo seifuku therapist, who introduced participants to the
techniques and history of judo seifuku therapy. These involve the techniques of resuscitation
that were originally developed in jujutsu, and handed down from one generation to the next.
After Kano Jigoro created judo, the name of these techniques was changed to judo seifuku,
showing the close connection between the techniques of resuscitation and judo. Participants
not only heard a presentation about the history of this aspect of judo, but also had practical
training in kappo and kinesio taping techniques.
The evening of the 6th saw a welcome reception hosted by the USJF for the conference
participants at the Seven Hills Conference Center. Food and drink, which all judo people
love, were abundant, and a good time was had by all. The networking possibilities and new
friendships forged were one of the major pluses of the conference that many participants
told us later.