Maureen Braziel

 

Maureen Braziel

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Maureen Braziel

Proposed by Boris Muñoz, President of Hudson Yudanshakai,
Inducted 2021

Sensei Maureen began studying judo in 1964, at age 19. She trained under Sensei Kiyoshi Shiina in Brooklyn, NY until he closed his dojo. She also trained in Japan for six weeks.

In 1984, Sensei Maureen Braziel, Sensei Rena (Rusty) Kanokogi, and three other female judoka successfully sued the US Olympic Committee for discriminatory practices against female judoka. This historic New York State Division of Human Rights verdict resulted in the inclusion of Women’s Judo in the 1988 Olympics.

Maureen Braziel and others with Rusty after a tournament

Maureen Braziel and others with Rusty after a tournament

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Competitive Achievements

Rusty Kanokogi coaching Maureen Braziel at first Women's Pan American Games

Rusty Kanokogi coaching Maureen Braziel at first Women’s Pan American Games

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First Women’s Pan American Judo Championships
1977 Open Gold

Maureen Braziel with Sensei George Hamlin - First Place - 1974 trials for first Women's Judo National Championships

Maureen Braziel with Sensei George Hamlin – First Place – 1974 trials for first Women’s Judo National Championships

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Rusty Kanokogi Keiko Fukuda and Maureen Braziel 1st Women's Nationals in Phoenix, AZ 1974

Rusty Kanokogi, Keiko Fukuda and Maureen Braziel at 1st Women’s Nationals in Phoenix, AZ 1974

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Maureen Braziel 1977 British Open choke

Maureen Braziel 1977 British Open choke

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Maureen Braziel British Open pamphlet 1977 for 1976 winners

Maureen Braziel British Open pamphlet 1977 for 1976 winners

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Maureen Braziel Escape from Seoinage, applied choke

Maureen Braziel Escape from Seoinage, applied choke

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Maureen Braziel Open Division champion 1976 British Open

Maureen Braziel Open Division champion 1976 British Open

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Maureen Braziel Overall win by New York. Risei Kano flag. Her contribution was her 1st place plus points for Grand Championship 1976

Maureen Braziel Overall win by New York. Risei Kano flag. Her contribution was her 1st place plus points for Grand Championship 1976

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British Open Judo Championships
1972 +72 kg Silver
Open Bronze
1976 +72 kg Silver
Open Gold
This was the first time a non-British woman won gold in the Open division.

Maureen Braziel Team picture 1976 British Open

Maureen Braziel Team picture 1976 British Open

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Maureen Braziel Uchimata 1976 British Open

Maureen Braziel Uchimata 1976 British Open

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Maureen Braziel 1976 Nationals hold down

Maureen Braziel 1976 Nationals hold down

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1977 +72 kg Bronze

1979 +72 kg Silver

Swiss Open Judo Championships
1975 Open Gold

Maureen Braziel and Sensei Shiina with first place trophy from the Swiss Open (Coupe Tet) 1975

Maureen Braziel and Sensei Shiina with first place trophy from the Swiss Open (Coupe Tet) 1975

United States National Sports Festival
1981 -72 kg Silver Open Silver
1982 -72 kg Gold
1983 -72 kg Bronze

US Open Judo Championships:

1977 +72 kg Silver
Open Gold
1982 Open Bronze

Maureen Braziel Team picture 1977 US Open

Maureen Braziel Team picture 1977 US Open

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A.A.U. Judo Championships (Former name for USA Judo) National Championships:

1974–1977 Open Gold
1974, 1976–1977 Grand Champion
The First Women’s AAU Judo Championships were held in 1974, in Phoenix,
Arizona.

Maureen Braziel Uchimata 1976 Nationals

Maureen Braziel Uchimata 1976 Nationals

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Maureen Braziel 1976 Nationals

Maureen Braziel 1976 Nationals

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Maureen Braziel in three photos 1974 Nationals First Grand Championship vs. Diane Pierce

Maureen Braziel in three photos 1974 Nationals First Grand Championship vs. Diane Pierce

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East Coast Championship

1967–1977 Heavy Gold

Empire State Games

1978–1982 Open Gold

Awards

Yudanshakai: N.Y. Judo Association (former name of Hudson Judo Yudanshakai) – Outstanding Performance at 1974 A.A.U. Judo Championships

A.A.U: Metropolitan A.A.U. – Outstanding Athlete 1975 (This was for an athlete in any sport.)

Nanka Judo Yudanshakai: 2013 Outstanding Judo Award

National: 1977 Black Belt Inspirational Award (first time given to a woman)

Maureen Braziel Black Belt Inspirational Award. Perennial. First woman to have her name on it.

Maureen Braziel Black Belt Inspirational Award. Perennial. First woman to have her name on it.

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Coaching History

USA Judo certified International Coach

1982–2012 Head Instructor and Coach – Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Sensei Maureen built and coached a collegiate Judo team for 30 years.

1984 USA Women’s Judo Team Coach – Canada Cup

1985 United States Sports Festival Women’s Coach

Maureen Braziel with a group of alumni and students

Maureen Braziel with a group of alumni and students

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Maureen Braziel with a group of alumni and students

Maureen Braziel with a group of alumni and students

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A match at an alumni game

A match at an alumni game

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Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

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Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

© 2021, USJF, all rights reserved

Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

Maureen Braziel with one of the teams whom she coached

© 2021, USJF, all rights reserved

Tournament Referee

1974–1989 East Coast Championships

1985–1990 Eastern Judo Association Collegiate Championships

1997–2005 New York State Championships

1987–2000 Hudson Promotional Shiai

2000–2005 Tech Invitational

2000–2005 Cranford Invitational

Program Administrator

1986–1989 President, Metropolitan Collegiate Judo Association

1987–1989 Secretary, Eastern Collegiate Judo Association

1987–2012 Member, Hudson Judo Yudanshakai Board of Examiners

1996–2012 Hudson Judo Yudanshakai Promotion Secretary

2001–2005 New York State Judo, Inc. Public Relations

2009–2012 New York State Judo, Inc. Secretary

Sensei Maureen moved to Nevada in 2012. Now a member of Nanka Yudanshakai, she continues to teach and develop Judo as a sensei at the Las Vegas Martial Arts Academy. This Judo pioneer also became President of USA Judo Class “B” member Nevada Judo Association in 2019, and she continues to revitalize that organization as she grows Judo in her capacity as a retired educator and sports administrator.

From Hudson Judo Yudanshakai

We attract and serve a diverse population

Sensei Maureen advises us that we must work with our students to train each in accordance with their individual preferences. “You have to work with the student’s abilities. You can’t make them do something that they can’t do or aren’t capable of.” Some want to compete, so she will prepare them for shiai. But many want to enjoy Judo for recreational or health purposes, and she offers a proper training experience for those students, too.

We at Hudson Judo Yudanshakai believe that Sensei Maureen Braziel has helped to advance Women’s Judo, while growing Judo programs that men and women of diverse backgrounds and goals benefit from on many levels.

On behalf of the Hudson Judo Yudanshakai, we wish to nominate Sensei Maureen Braziel, 6th Dan, for inclusion in the USJF Hall of Fame. Sensei Maureen is a Judo pioneer who fought for inclusion of Women’s Judo in the Olympics. A role model who started Judo when most opportunities in the sport were for males only, she helped pave a path for women and girls to follow in her footsteps competing, coaching, officiating, and promoting Judo.

Boris Muñoz, President of Hudson Yudanshakai