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U.S. Judo Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Gallery

The U.S. Judo Hall of Fame was established by action of the Board of Directors of USJF in 1989 to acknowledge outstanding judoka who have made major significant contributions to the sport of judo and/or achieved the highest level of success.

 The U.S. Judo Hall of Fame Committee criteria and procedures:

    1. The formal name shall be “US Judo Hall of Fame.” (hereinafter “HOF”)
    2. Candidacy for selection and induction into the HOF is open to any person regardless of membership affiliation.
    3. In addition, non-U.S. citizens may be nominated and are eligible for induction to the HOF on the basis of significant contributions to Judo in the United States.
    4. A nominee should be a person who has made major contributions and/or achieved the highest level of success in any one or more of the areas as set forth in the Criterion Chart below:
    5. The number of participants annually accepted for nomination into the above categories to the Hall of Fame shall be weighted as follows:
        • No more than 2 athlete/year (unless other categories are not nominated)
        • Up to 4 nominations for the remaining categories/year.
    6. Nominations to the HOF Committee may be made by any of the following persons:
        • The president or designee of USJF, USA Judo and USJA
        • Any yudanshakai president or his or her designee
        • Any HOF Committee member
    7. The HOF Committee shall meet once each year at the annual USJF Corporate meeting preceding the USJF Annual Board of Directors meeting. Committee members may participate in any committee meeting telephonically.
      1. The Committee shall select from the pool of nominees as many as six candidates it deems appropriate for consideration for induction into the HOF by the USJF Board of Directors.
      2. The Hall of Fame voting members, when voting, shall either vote to accept the proposed or table the candidate.
      3. Tabling can occur for any candidate for up to 3 years in a row. After that time period the individual will be removed from the table as a candidate from the selection pool.
      4. The Board of Directors, at its Annual Board meeting, shall vote to approve or reject the HOF candidates recommended by the HOF Committee.
      5. A minimum of two-thirds vote of HOF Committee quorum is required for BOD Final approval and induction into the HOF.
    8. The USJF President shall present a suitable award to each inductee at a time and location as recommended from time to time by the USJF President or Committee Ex Officio member.

Instructions for nominations to the US Judo Hall of Fame

Nomination Form to the US Judo Hall of Fame

Category – Definition/Examples – Criteria

Successful Worlds and/or Olympic Athlete

Medalist and/or multiple US international teams member see e.g., current US international athlete HOF inductee’s records

  • USJF Member with at least ten years continuous membership.
  • International competitor who been on two or more world/0lympic or four or more Pan-American teams.
  • International US team competitor who has at a minimum placed in major international events.


Producing many national/ international judo athletes

  • USJF Member with at least ten years continuous membership
  • National or International coach who has worked with his/her students producing ten or more senior national division champions or substantially more junior national champions who have achieved USJF national championships


Official of highest level of both skill and performance

  • USJF Member with at least ten years continuous membership
  • International A level referee who has achieved Olympic, World or Para-Olympic status

Program Administrator

Many years and at many levels including as an officer, director, etc.

  • Elected or volunteer member USJF Member with at least 30 years continuous membership and service (at least 20 years of national level service) and
  • Individual who has played a significant administrative role at the National and/or Yudanshakai level, and
  • Their efforts lead to significant administrative process improvements to National and/or Yudanshakai judo systems//programs

Other Major Contributions

American Judo, especially the USJF, including some combination of major booster, major supporter, at various levels, major organization development efforts at various levels, technical writings, audio-video, etc. tangible contributions

  • USJF Member with at least ten years continuous membership or significant booster or contributor status
  • Good will ambassador for domestic and/or international USJF judo
  • Significant contributor who has create five or more significant mass media or written books or ten or more significant published articles

Judo Pioneer

An individual who has innovated and pioneered USJF Judo (e.g., Keiko Fukuda, Yoshihiro “Yosh” Uchida, Frank Fullerton, Rusty Konokogi, Henry Stone)

  • A USJF member with at least 30 years continuous USJF membership
  • Has broken new ground that benefited USJF judo
  • Has significantly modernized and/or improved USJF judo

    Exceptions to current USJF membership

    The following are exceptions to the rule requiring USJF Required Membership.

    1. Deceased candidates
    2. Olympic and/or Senior World Championship medalists living and working in judo in the USA over several years
    3. Persons at least 70 years of age who have served the U. S. judo community for at least thirty years including, in the opinion of the committee, making notable contributions at all levels of judo administration and program operations
    4. Life member of USJF (at any level)

    Historical Note

    The US Judo Hall of Fame was established by action of the Board of Directors of USJF in 1989. Prior to its first meeting, the US Judo Hall of Fame Committee membership by classification was approved by the Executive Committee and consists of all active and past USJF Presidents, the current USJF President (ex-officio member) and the President of USJI, if such person is also a USJF life member.

    The initial committee meeting was held on October 27,1992, and immediate past USJF President Yonezuka was selected Chairman of the Committee. 

    Every US Judo Hall of Fame Committee member has served (or is serving) the USJF as a corporate officer including eight former presidents.

    1989  US Judo Hall of Fame established by USJF. The Committee was established in 1993.

    1993-1994 HOF Committee

    • Yoshisada Yonezuka, Chrm.
    • Yosh Uchida, Vice Chrm.
    • Eichi Koiwai, MD, Vice Chrm.
    • Frank Fullerton, Vice Chrm.
    • Robert Brink, Vice Chrm. & Secretary

    1995-1996 HOF Committee: Inactive

    1996-2000 HOF Committee:

    • Yoshisada Yonezuka, Chrm.
    • Albert Aoki, Vice Chrm.
    • Robert Brink, Secretary
    • Mitchell Palacio, Ex Officio

    2000-2006 HOF Committee

    • Yoshisada Yonezuka, Chrm.
    • Albert Aoki, Vice Chrm.
    • Robert Brink, Secretary
    • Mitchell Palacio
    • Noboru Saito, Ex Officio

    2006-2012 HOF Committee

    • Yoshisada Yonezuka, Chrm.
    • Albert Aoki, Vice Chrm.
    • Robert Brink, Secretary
    • Mitchell Palacio
    • Noboru Saito
    • Neil Simon, Ex Officio

    2012-2018 HOF Committee

    • Yoshisada Yonezuka, Chrm (1993-2014)
    • Albert Aoki, Acting Chrm.
    • Robert Brink, Vice Chrm.
    • Vaughn Imada, Secretary
    • Mitchell Palacio
    • Noboru Saito
    • Neil Simon
    • Kevin Asano, Ex Officio

    2018-2020 HOF Committee

    • Robert Brink, Chrm.
    • Mitchel Palacio, Vice Chrm.
    • Neil Simon, Secretary
    • Noboru Saito
    • Kevin Asano
    • Vaughn Imada
    • Mark Muranaka, Ex officio

    2020-2022 HOF Committee

      • Neil Simon, Chairperson and Secretary

      • Robert Brink

      • Mitchel Palacio

      • Noboru Saito

      • Kevin Asano

      • Mark Muranaka