History of judo

1938-1939 First judo practices were held at N. Okumoto shed in Nampa with eight members.

1939 Dojo was moved to Nampa packing shed. “Tatami” was purchased from Seattle Dojo. Hiromu Nishitani, brother to George and Tom, was very instrumental in starting our dojo; also, Mr. Kumagai, Mats Skagami, J. Nishitani, and Dick Yamasaki.

1939-1941 Drove to Ontario from Nampa to hold judo classes at Ontario community hall once a week. In 1940 had our formal opening of Idaho-Oregon judo dojo at Nampa growers packing co. shed. Competition was held regularly at the dojo until war broke out. Actually, we were at practice when we received the news by radio.

1941-1945 We were inactive as a dojo; however, instructions were given at Nampa high school PE gym classes working with Jerry Dellinger. After end of war judo was resumed at Caldwell labor camp, Caldwell armory, Van Buren gym locations. Tom Arima, JACL chapter president, worked hard locating practice halls. It was difficult to rent gyms for any length of time. Ray Link, school administrator, helped us obtain Van Buren School.

1946-1950 Recollect about the beginning-the Okumotos, Roy Abe-on the mat with us-George Doi, always so helpful-the Koyamas-father and sons, and Ben Yamamoto. At Ontario-Mr. Saito, Mr. Watanabe, Mr. Uriu, and Mr. Sigeta-were all so helpful. The Saitos and Hashitanis who were kind to put us up for the night if we got late or road conditions were bad.

1956 At Van Buren school a Northwest dedication tournament was held. Dr. Kenji Yaguchi, Mr. Frank Uriu and Mr. Marumoto were speakers. “Nage No Kata” were demonstrated by George Nishimura (3rd Dan) and Joe Kino (shodan). Referees were Kenji Yaguchi and George Mizuta. Officers of the Boise Valley Judo club were Mas Yamashita, president, George Nagasaki, vice-president, James Oyama, secretary -treasurer.

1963 First Keio University tour to U.S. We were asked to host some of the fellows-Tomoda, Uyemura, Kodaka, and Tsukada. We wanted Tomoda to come to the College of Idaho as an exchange (postgraduate) student. As a result of this exhibition tour, Shirley Kroeger (Chrm. Of PR Dept.), Don Parmelee (Ath. Dir.) and Jeanne DeLurme (Registrar) were instrumental in getting Judo included in the curriculum. Richard Winder (Dir. Of Admissions) and Midori Furushiro (secretary) helped each Keio graduate who came to teach Judo in exchange for post-graduate courses with admissions procedures and orientation to the campus. Jim Furushiro, Jr., (shodan) freshman student, spurred the C of I Judo Club and assisted Mas Yamashita with judo classes.

1964-1966 Tomoda enrolled and helped with Judo program at both the C of I and Boise Valley Judo dojo. “Gus” won the National 180# championship and nearly won the Grand Championship in San Francisco. “Kangeiko” was held for a week during the winter holidays. Final session, “oshi-ru-ko” was enjoyed by all. Stenciled ballpoint pens were given for perfect attendance.

1965 Summer camp was held for ten days at Silver Creek Plunge. “Gus” Tomoda and George Koyama were instructor and camp director. Twin Falls and Ore-Ida judoists joined us for the session. Mrs. Eva Dowling was camp-kitchen supervisor assisted by mothers of campers. “Kangeiko” was again held in the winter over the holidays and billfolds were given for perfect attendance.

1967-1968 Next came Koichi Nakayama from Keio University, also a special post-graduate student to the C of I.

1970-1972 Sakae Kenmizaki, another Keio graduate, came to the C of I under the same arrangement. During the summer of 1971 a one-week summer clinic was held on the campus managed by “Ken.” Ontario club sent us some trainees. The cinder track, weight room, and the wrestling room were used for training; bodybuilding, endurance; all phases of Judo were covered during the week. Thank to the C of I for use of its facilities, we had a successful training session.

1973-1975 Judo classes at both the C of I and Boise Valley Club continued under Mas Yamashita and George Koyama.

1976 Masaji Watanabe, our fourth Keio graduate, arrived to assist with our Judo programs.

Honored visitors to our dojo have been Professors Kudo (9th Dan), Ichinoe (8th Dan), Kimura (7th Dan), and Nakamura (6th Dan).




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