7th Annual USJF National Kata Clinic

The 7th Annual USJF National Kata Clinic

Report by Eiko Saito Shepherd, USJF Kata Chairperson

August 25, 2007

The 2007 Annual USJF National Kata Clinic held in Boise, Idaho, was sponsored by the Treasure Valley Judo Club of the Intermountain Yudanshakai. I would like to express deep appreciation to Mr. Rocky Lima, head instructor at the Treasure Valley Judo Club and all of the club members who were such gracious hosts and excellent organizers of this event.

The clinicians, Eiko Shepherd (7th Dan), Noboru Saito (7th Dan), and Frances Glaze (5th Dan), all arrived in Boise about noon on Thursday, August 16, 2007. We were met by Mr. Keoni Lima who took us to our hotel. After settling in we were taken to a special reception at the city hall where we were introduced to the Mayor of Boise. Treasure Valley Judo Club had arranged this honor for us. We were all dressed in our USJF logo polo shirts and this gave us an opportunity to raise awareness about judo with city officials.

In the evening Treasure Valley hosted a wonderful Japanese dinner at a local restaurant for us and club members. While I was there, I felt Treasure Valley Judo Club was doing their very best to welcome us.

They did an excellent job promoting the clinic. Over 50 participants arrived on the opening day making this the largest national kata clinic in our history. Enthusiastic participants arrived from several states.

The success of a major event like this depends largely on careful planning and attention to details. Treasure Valley Judo Club did a fabulous job in this regard. They had selected a fine facility for our use. For the convenience of participants they arranged for lunches to be brought to the clinic site. Water and sports drink were always available.

On Saturday, a chiropractor from Treasure Valley Judo Club even offered free adjustments. Of course, people were making long lines waiting for this ! The doctor was so pleasant and we were all talking and enjoying our time together.

I noticed that several older, Judo Senseis came and stayed with us every day.

These gentlemen, who started Judo clubs in Boise years ago, were seeing the result of their years of devotion. I was very touched by a kind note and gift given to me by Mrs. Midori Koyama, wife of one of the pioneer judo instructors, Sensei Koyama.

Before leaving, participants came and expressed the wonderful time they had and how much they had learned. The gracious hospitality of Treasure Valley Judo Club members and the local Judo community combined with their excellent team work made USJF national kata clinic history and precious memories for judoka.