It is with great regret to inform you of the passing of our head instructor Sam S. Imoto Sensei, who established the Visalia Judo Club in 1965.
A revised statement of practice has been issued. The full text is here and it includes the USOPC statement. The major addition to the document is below.
Dr. Kuniko Takeuchi, who resides within the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco’s jurisdiction will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays. Here is the letter of commendation, English and Japanese.
On April 10, 2020, Kinya Sakamoto, Sensei, 8th dan, passed away at the age of 96. Sensei retired as a successful landscaper. He is survived by two sons, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Sensei Sakamoto started judo at the age of 13 at the Bakersfield Buddhist Church. Under the guidance of Senseis Abe and Tamanaha, he was promoted to the rank of Shodan at the age of 17. Along with Dr. Jerry Young, Sensei Sakamoto helped start the Bakersfield Judo Club in 1958 and joining the Chuka Yudanshakai the same year. He held the position of Chairman of the Board of Examiners in the yudanshakai organization for many years. He remained active with the Bakersfield Judo Club as Head Instructor and advisor for over 60 years, still attending practice as recently as last month.
Sensei Sakamoto left a lasting impression on all his students, not only for his judo knowledge but for his calm demeanor and clear instructions. He had a profound influence to promote the art of judo. Our organization has lost another of our founding members but mostly we will miss the leadership he provided us. One of his proudest achievements was the passing of his knowledge to his family, his two sons and four nephews all achieved the rank of black belt.
On March 14, Covid 19 Guidance was issued for United States Judo Federation. At that time an update was anticipated which has now appeared.
Thank you very much to Dr. Ricardo Joseph and Dr. Eric Chen of the USJF Medical Committee for their time and expertise in helping to put together this information along with recommendations for our community. This will be helpful for everyone as we all work through the trying & difficult times ahead.
Everyone Must Be Responsible & Diligent
Everyone involved (including coaches, parents, and spectators) will have to closely monitor their health and truly strive to remain healthy. We all have to realize and accept the fact that if anyone in our group gets sick/infected, with the COVID-19 virus, we will have to assume that we are ALL INFECTED until proven otherwise.
Some of the changes in the document …
Stay At Home/Shelter In Place
The federal government is recommending that the general public stay at home. Many state and municipal governments are recommending/mandating that the general public stay at home and shelter in place. We encourage you to support these recommendations and mandates. Avoid exposure to COVID-19 and stay home as much as possible. Be mindful of “social distancing” and put distance between yourself and other people, six (6) feet or more whenever possible to avoid contact with respirator droplets when an infected person talks, sneezes, or coughs. Try to avoid contact with people who are sick and people who have been exposed to COVID-19. Studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people when they appear to be asymptomatic.
USJF Sanctioned Events
We are cancelling all previously USJF approved sanctions for events scheduled to occur on or before May 15, 2020. We will not accept sanction applications for any event to be scheduled to occur on or before May 15, 2020. We encourage event planners, organizers, and sponsors to wait until the current pandemic has subsided and the government restrictions and recommendations are lifted.
USJF National Office Update
In compliance with government recommendations and mandates, the USJF National Office will continue to operate with the staff generally working remotely from home as much as possible. We are observing social distancing by having only one (1) person in the office at any time. Much of our communication comes through the USPS mail. We will pick up and process our USPS mail as normal. As much as possible, work will be distributed and handled remotely. Though we will continue to answer the telephone, we strongly encourage you to communicate with us via email during these times.
It has become necessary to move up the deadline for HOF nominations. We originally announced May 23 as the deadline and then our national meeting schedules necessarily changed.
We’ll be holding our HOF Committee telephonic meeting on either May 16 or 17. The new deadline for required materials for any further candidates being nominated by yudanshakais is now Saturday, May 9. Respondents need to refer to the original notice for details on making a nomination.
ALL nomination materials should be .
It is with great sadness that I make this announcement. On April 9, 2020 Kodokan master instructor, Sensei Murata, 8th Dan, passed away from complications with his heart. He was living in Japan.
Many of us in the United States were fortunate to receive his very knowledgeable instruction. From July 24-28, 2017 Sensei Murata together with Sensei Utsugi 8th Dan were our Kodokan clinicians at the USJF National Kata Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri.
The USJF Kata Development Committee was able to invite these master instructors from the Kodokan. We spent 5 amazing days with Sensei Murata and Sensei Utsugi. Conference participants expressed their appreciation for their teaching style and kind and cordial manner.
Certainly it is heart breaking news to learn of Sensei Murata’s passing. He is a great loss. He left us with the gift of his teaching. Through our own practice we will continue his legacy.
If anyone would like to send a card of sympathy to his family please address it to to Sensei Murata’s Family at the Kodokan International Office, 1-16-30 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0003, Japan.
USJF Kata Committee Chair
What do the judo values mean to you? Show your favorite value in action and win fantastic prizes!
Talk about the values with your friends, parents, teammates and send us an illustration of how you “see” the judo values in everyday life.
For decades, judo has been teaching us several of these important life values. These values are present in each judo lesson all around the world, where we learn and teach our judo community about Courage, Respect, Modesty, Friendship, Honour, Sincerity, Self-control and Politeness.
If you are less than 14 years old, this contest is for you!
Let the values of our sport inspire you to stay strong and positive!
The judges are Clarisse Agbegnenou, Varlam Liparteliani, Christa Deguchi and Rafael Silva.
A joint letter from the Presidents of the American Judo Alliance with regard to financial resources that may be available to individuals and dojos due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Please distribute to any interested parties.
Thank you very much.
Take care, be careful and mindful.