Copyright 2020 Charles Medani. All rights reserved.
Richard (Dick) Hugh
In 1953, while serving in the U.S. Air Force, during a tour of duty with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Puerto Rico Ramey Air Force Base, Richard Hugh enrolled in a sport judo class started by a sergeant who had just come back from training at the Kodokan. Within less than a year, Kotani Sensei, then a Hachidan, promoted Mr. Hugh to Sankyu during a tour of SAC bases, and gave him membership to the Kodokan.
Mr. Hugh sought out the author of one of the few books on Judo available in English and was invited to work out with his group at the Flushing YMCA in New York City. He learned of the New York Dojo headed by George Yoshida. Later, he learned of the Washington Judo Club at the Pentagon where Donn Draeger and Jimmy Takemori were instructors.
After his discharge in 1954, Mr. Hugh started school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He founded a judo club there and started his membership with Shufu Judo Yudanshakai and the USJF.
After graduation in 1957, Mr. Hugh moved to Elizabeth, NJ, to work and began practicing judo at the Elizabeth YMCA Judo Club and at the New Brunswick YMCA Judo Club with Tim Dalton.
In 1958, Mr. Hugh changed jobs and moved to Delaware. He started the Wilmington YMCA Judo Club. During this period, he also traveled almost every weekend to the Baltimore Judo Club for workouts on Saturdays and received lessons from Kenzo Uyeno and Lanny Miyamoto. On Sundays, Mr. Hugh and Kenzo Uyeno traveled to the Washington Judo Club.
During the early 1960s, two-time All-Japan Champion Takahiko Ishikawa moved to the United States and settled in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Hugh became an assistant instructor at the Ishikawa Judo Club. With the encouragement of Dr. E.K. Koiwai, he started attending AAU meetings, first locally and later nationally.
Because of the presence of Mr. Ishikawa, many high-ranking senseis visited his club, among them: Mr. Kudo, Mr. Ishikawa’s teacher; Mr. Daigo, an All-Japan Champion (now Judan and head instructor at the Kodokan); Mr. Hosokawa, a well-known expert in unarmed defense; and Mr. Murata, a police champion.
Shufu Judo Yudanshakai encouraged competitors to become teachers and referees even during their shiai career. Hugh Sensei became an IJF-referee in 1976.
Even today, at age 91, Hugh Sensei guides referees and teaches at the Delaware Judo & Ju-Jitsu Association.
Current judo positions
Hachidan, United States Judo Federation
Member, Board of Directors, Shufu Judo Yudanshakai
Member, Board of Examiners, Shufu Judo Yudanshakai
Technical Advisor, Delaware Judo and Ju-Jitsu Association
Instructor, Delaware Judo Club
Class A International Referee, International Judo Federation
Class A Teacher, USA Judo
Began judo in 1953 while with USAF in Puerto Rico
Founder and instructor of VPI Judo Club in Blacksburg, VA
Founder and instructor of Wilmington YMCA Judo Club in Wilmington, DE
Assistant instructor of Ishikawa Judo Club in Philadelphia, PA
Tournament director for the Wilmington Invitation Tournaments for more than 15 years
Tournament director for the 1972 Senior Nationals in Philadelphia, PA
AAU Judo Chairman for Virginia district
AAU Judo Chairman for Middle Atlantic district
Chairman of USJF Referee Development and Certification Committee
Chairman of USA Judo Referees Commission
Chairman of USA Judo Rules Sub-Committee
Certified Kata Judge for nage-no-kata, katame-no-kata, and ju-no-kata