Sensei Robert Bonner passed away on 11 October.
Robert Bonner established the Yomeikan Judo Club in Defiance, OH during the early 1990s.
Dr. Sachio Ashida named Sensei Bonner’s club Yomeikan Judo. Yomeikan is translated as meaning “The Hall of Enlightenment.” Sensei Bonner has taught judo in Buffalo, New York, the YMCA and Bowles Karate Academy in Defiance, Ohio, and the Bushido Martial Arts Dojo in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He transferred the club’s association with the Niagara Yudanshakai to the Konan Yudanshakai in 2011 due to location and the passing of his Sensei Dr. Sachio Ashida. The Yomeikan Judo Club’s current locations are at 6125 Cross Creek Blvd. in Fort Wayne and 1623 Evan Drive, Defiance, Ohio.
Sensei Bonner began practicing Judo in Akron, OH in 1952. He joined the United States Air Force in 1955 and became a member of the All Armed Forces Judo Team. As a member of the team, he competed in Judo events held in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He was promoted to 1st degree black belt in 1958.
After completing his service in the Air Force, Sensei Bonner practiced and taught Judo from 1959 – 1984 in Buffalo, NY at several YMCAs and at the University of Buffalo.
Sensei Bonner first met Dr. Sachio Ashida at the Senior National Judo Tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. Dr. Ashida became his teacher, coach, and close friend. Sensei Bonner was promoted to his 2nd and 3rd degree black belts in 1967 and 1971. He participated in the Olympic Judo Trials in 1968 in Sacramento, California and in 1972 in Pennsylvania when Dr. Ashida was the US Judo Team’s coach. Sensei Bonner was promoted to 4th degree black belt in 1977 and certified by the United States Judo Federation as a National Referee and Judo lnstructor in the 1980s. He was promoted to 5th and 6th degree black belts in 1984 and 1996 and to 7th degree black belt in 2011. ln 2005, he was also promoted to 2nd degree black belt in Heike Ryu Jiu Jitsu.