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Open letter from a USJF Athlete/Scholar Award Recipient

Dear constituents of United States Judo Federation,

As one of the first three recipients of the USJF Athlete/Scholar Award it is a great honor for me to be asked to give a brief update of my life.

I have been a member of the USJF and Sacramento Judo Club as an instructor and student for the last 25 years; which has allowed me to maintain my efforts to participate and educate judoka in my surrounding community. Early on in my judo career I was very focused on and dedicated to judo competition. However, the complications of multiple injuries have given me the opportunity to focus my energy towards assisting others in competition as their instructor and coach. In the process of assisting in the development of other judoka, I was made more aware personally of the true meaning of Jigoro Kano’s lessons in “Mutual Welfare and Benefit.” In addition, I have been very fortunate to be given the opportunities to succeed not only in judo, but also in other aspects of my life.

Through the contributions and dedications of the many judoka involved in this scholarship and the art of judo, I have been able to incorporate many of the lessons that I have learned from the philosophies and training of judo into many avenues I chose to pursue. I was given the opportunity to earn my BS in Exercise Science from UC Davis and my Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of the Pacific. In addition, I was selected last year to speak at one of my graduation events and as a recipient of the Gregory Bard Physical Therapy Endowed Scholarship by the recommendation of the faculty and fellow classmates. I currently reside in Sacramento working for Mercy General Hospital as a physical therapist for patients with orthopedic, cardiac, neuro, and pulmonary issues. I hope that as I develop as a judoka and a physical therapist, I may continue to contribute my skills to develop a better awareness of physiotherapy to aid in the development of the athletes and the sport of judo.

Therefore, I’ve been greatly humbled by and most appreciative of the valuable lessons and assistance the scholarships and judo have given me. They have allowed new avenues of opportunities to be accessible for others as well as myself.

Thank you for your investment in students like me to assist us in achieving our dreams and promoting the basic ideology of judo, “Mutual Welfare and Benefit.”

Yours sincerely,

Harvey Takeda

December 29, 2009