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Robert Brink

Class of 2020

Robert Brink







Robert Brink

    • 58 years in the trenches as young competitor and as 100% volunteer teacher, coach of many medalists, referee, club founder and administrator such activities including:

      Robert Brink and friends

      • U.S. Navy-Marine Judo Team, Yokosuka, Japan: 1963-1965
      • Watanabe Dojo, Yokosuka, Japan: 1963-1965: Riichiro Watanabe, Sensei (Teammate & mentor Isao Inokuma ’64 Olympic Gold and 1965 World Gold, etc., and Ed Alseika, Larry Fryar, Gunny Hank Lemar, Wayne Beck, Jerry Hayes, etc.)
      • Elmira Judo Club, Elmira, NY: 1966-1970
      • Founder University of Nebraska Intramural Judo Club in Lincoln and Scottsbluff, NB: 1966-1969 primarily for undergraduate students
      • Anchorage School of Judo, Anchorage, AK: 1970-1972
      • Ft. Richardson Judo Club, Anchorage, AK: 1972-1976 Head Sensei
      • Founder Valdez Judo Club, Valdez, AK: 1975-1976 (during construction of Trans-Alaska Pipeline); Head Sensei
      • Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA: 1977-1979 while J. D. law student, Judo PE credit courses for undergraduate students (Judo 101 and 102)
      • Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL: 1979-1980 intramural judo while a LL.M. law student
      • Founder Olympic Judo Club of Alaska: 1980-1983 Organizer and head sensei
      • Judo Cup ’84: May 1984 Organizer and Tournament Director of international judo competition in Anchorage, AK with teams from around the world
      • Founder Anchorage Dojo aka Anchorage Judo Center, Inc., Anchorage, AK: head sensei 1983 – until 2012 retirement and relocation
      • Founder Sterling Judo Club, Sterling, AK aka 49th State Judo and Self-Defense, Inc.: 2012 to present. Head sensei.
        Sterling Judo Club 2018 Alaska State Team Champions and 2018 Athlete-Scholar Recipient
    1. Support State, Regional and National Judo Organizations as Officer, Director or
    2. OrganizerRobert Brink
      • State AAU Alaska Judo Association, Anchorage, AK delegate 1970-1979
      • State Governing Body Alaska Judo, Inc., Anchorage, AK: 1980~1992. Organizer, incorporator, 1st president and delegate to national governing body (US Judo, Inc.)
      • U.S. Judo, Inc. (aka U.S.A. Judo) 1980-1998 member of board of directors (representing Alaska’s SGB or USJF for 38 consecutive semiannual national meetings over 19 years), Law and Legislation Committee, Finance Committee, Sports Festival official 1987, Seattle Goodwill Games official ~1995, etc. Mentored over 20 years by Frank Fullerton. Some original ideas/initiatives including establishment of national office, paid executive director and professional fundraiser, cash awards to U.S. Olympic and World medalists, presidential term limits, 1996 dual national registration, and 1984 case for admission of judo women to the Olympics (see photo from 8/1984 ACLU news conference).
      • Regional black belt association
      • Northwest Yudanshakai (regional black belt assn.): 1972~2009 represented Alaska clubs as an officer and director and examiner
      • 50th State Judo Assn. (yudanshakai): 2010 to present as director and examiner
      • U.S. Judo Federation: ~1972 to present representing N.W. Judo Yudanshakai or 50th State Judo Association Yudanshakai as director and/or Board of Examiners, Promotion Committee delegate; corporate counsel (1986-1992); USJF 1st VP ~1988-1992; President Yonezuka’s hand-picked successor as USJF President (~1992-1996) and as Chairman USJF Board of Examiners (2006-2016); USJF Parliamentarian 1986~2010; Organized USJF Hall of Fame and served on selection committee from its 1989 creation; served on numerous other committees including legal, finance, kata, Executive Committee (most years 1988-2016), talent inventory; USJF Magazine Executive Editor (1992-1996); USJF Judo Ambassador (~1992-1996 and 2000~2006) including travel and presentations to Presidents Putin and Shevardnadze, et al (Russia and Georgia); USJF Photo-journalist to several Sr. Worlds including Makuhari, Munich, Paris, Birmingham, Osaka (see photos), membership for U.S. judo in Nat. Sportscaster and Sportswriters Assn.; Draftsman of USJF (1987) Bylaws and USJF Endowment Trust (1991) & Addendum 2001, etc. Lots of original ideas and new initiatives including Hall of Fame, Athlete Scholar Award, Endowment Trust, Most service, contributions, etc. were the result of having a hard working and dedicated team of volunteers much more concerned with how we could serve the USJF membership rather than who got the credit (including during the period of 1988-1996 – the Yonezuka-Brink Administrations with D. Mastumoto and R. Fukuda when the membership of USJF increased from ~4,000 to ~10,000).
          • U.S. Kodokan Committee Chairman Yonezuka’s legal counsel ~1997-2015
          • Women’s judo advocacy: LA ACLU News Conference During 8/84 LA Olympics

        LA ACLU News Conference

        LA ACLU News Conference

        Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi and Robert Brink with others
        copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

        • Four USJF Consecutive Presidencies

Robert Brink with three other USJF presidents
Noboru Saito, Mitchell Palacio, Robert Brink and Yoshisada Yonezuka
copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

    1. Judo Program Certification

      • USJF Certified 2015 and 2020 Master Teacher Instructor
      • USJF Certified Master Instructor Level Teacher
      • USJF Certified 2015 Master Teacher Instructor
      • USJF Certified Self-Defense Trainer
      • USJF National Coach
      • PACE (Michigan State Univ. program for volunteer coaches): National Certified PACE Instructor
      • USJF and Kodokan Judo Shichidan

Robert Brink and Kodansha Colleagues
50th State Judo Association Kodansha Colleagues (2018)
Photo credit: Steven Nohara

Personal BackgroundBorn Elmira, NY December 1944 and Vietnam Navy veteran

    • University of Nebraska Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude 1966-1969, Lincoln and Scottsbluff, NB)
    • Gonzaga University Law School, Spokane, WA.: Doctor of Jurisprudence, May 1979
    • University of Miami School of Law, Miami, Florida: Master of Laws (LL.M. Taxation), May 1980
    • Brink is a retired tax attorney, still enjoying fly fishing, wood turning, snake wrangling and continuing in “the trenches” since 1963 while traveling around the world for judo and fun.
  1. Special Honors

    • USJF’s 1st Kano Outstanding Leadership Statute ~2006 (Pres. Saito)
    • USJF’s Jeremy Glick Award, July 4, 2004: Jeremy was a collegiate judo champion who lost his life during the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001. The plane he was a passenger on the fourth of four passenger airliners taken over by terrorists was headed for the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Due to the heroic actions of Jeremy and two or three other passengers attempting to re-take control of their plane (none with any flying experience) they were in the process of broaching the cockpit door when the terrorist mission was aborted and the plane was then deliberately crashed in Pennsylvania. It was later reported that due to the heroic actions of Jeremy and his “team”, many lives in the Capital Building were probably spared. This is a very special award. (Saito Administration)
    • U.S. Judo Hall of Fame Class of 2020 May 2020
    • U.S.J.F. Presidential VIP Life Member

Robert Brink Photo Journalist

Robert Brink and friends
copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

Munich World Medal Match

Robert Brink and friends
copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

Special People, Special Occasion – Fukuda Sensei Judan Ceremony

Robert Brink at Fukuda Sensei Judan Ceremony
copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

Robert Brink at Fukuda Sensei Judan Ceremony
copyright 2020 USJF. All rights reserved.

Frank Fullerton, friend, mentor, brother, America’s judo pioneer

Law Offices of
1525 East Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99507-1035
June 18, 2002

Frank P. Fullerton, Esq.
3120 Gold Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79930

Re: Anzor Martkopishvili, Georgia Judo Federation

Dear Frank:

I recently met an old friend of yours and had to write and share with you the great enthusiasm and affection he continues to demonstrate towards you as a result of an experience he had when his Geogia Judo Federation team visited the United States (1991?). His name is Anzor Martkopishvili. Anzor is about 61 years old now and was European Champion in 1968 and again medaled in 1981.

When I met Anzor last week during a visit to Tbilisi, Georgia we had a chance to visit judo clubs in Tbilisi and in Gori as well as having an opportunity to observe the Georgia national team workout. The team had just returned from winning the European Championships the weekend before. Everyone was in very high spirits.

After we became a little better acquainted during the incredible Georgian feasts (Supras) and the innumerable toasts, Anzor was eager to share with me the experience he had when he traveled with his team to the U.S. as a result of your invitation for Georgia Judo Federation to participate in the U.S. International Invitational competition in Colorado, Springs. He mentioned that the team arrived in New York City, that they had not made further transportation arrangements to get from New York to Colorado Springs. Perhaps they assumed as one might from Georgia that once you got to NYC, as with Tbilisi, you might access any other part of the country very simply by land transportation and in a short time. He went on to explain how they eventually worked their way to Chicago, Denver and then finally were able to make the drive from Denver to Colorado Springs arriving too late for the first day of competition.

Without funds for transportation from New York to Colorado Springs or funds for food or lodging at Colorado Springs, the Georgia Judo Team and Coach Anzor without money and lacking a translator were in dire need of a new friend and some critical financial support. Here’s where their new found friend, USJI President Fullerton came in to make the trip to and from New York possible for the team and to see that they were adequately provided for during their visit.

I don’t know how many similar stories there are involving foreign delegations traveling to the OTC for competition in the USII but I know Anzor’s story is not an isolated example of your unheralded and unspoken generosity. I know you worked hard for nearly sixteen years (starting in 1981?) to build up the USII at the OTC so that it would become a premier international event for U.S. Judo.

I found it quite extraordinary as I listened to Anzor’s recalling their difficulties and your solutions, the obvious warm feelings of friendship and appreciation he still feels many years after the fact; as well as the fact, that both he and the Georgia Judo Federation view your act of kindness as something typical of both American judoka and American public in general whenever in travels they or we cross on another’s path.

The Georgian judo community and especially its leadership demonstrated their very warm hospitality to me during this visit. In fact, after hearing Anzor’s story, I couldn’t help but wonder if somehow or other they thought I might be your brother – certainly I’ve often felt this way.

I wanted to share with you my first hand impressions and expectation that your friend Anzor (now our friend) will probably continue to tell about your generosity towards the Georgian Judo Team for the rest of his life and I wanted to say THANKS TO FRANK FULLERTON both for being my mentor these many years and for your many acts of kindness and generosity both to countless American judoka as well as the Georgia team and who knows how many other foreign athletes and teams visiting the United States.

Thanks again and kindest regards.

Your friend,
Robert C. Brink

cc: Anzor Martkopishvili, Vice President, Georgian Judo Federation and European Champion
Noboru Saito, President, United States Judo Federation
Dr. Ron Tripp, President, United States Judo, Inc.