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Harold Yamada’s introduction into teaching Judo was only partially by choice. After years of training with his father, Yamada earned his own black belt and when he did, immediately understood the responsibility that comes with such a distinction.

“When you get a black belt, it is your turn to come back and give back,” Yamada said.

So for more than a decade, that is exactly what he has done.

The elder Yamada began teaching Judo at the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club more than 50 years ago and continued doing so until health forced his retirement in 2005. With his father out of commission, Harold knew it was his time to take on a larger role and carry on the traditions of the martial art in the community.

While the physical benefits of Judo are one of the reasons Yamada enjoys teaching the sport to youngsters, he said it is growing their confidence and self-esteem that keeps him coming back.

Find the full article originally published on October 3, 2012 by Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer.