2013 Shufu Takemori Open

October 6, 2013

Sensei Jim Takemori and

Sensei Jim Takemori and Students

By Kevin Tamai


Shufu Judo Yudanshakai held the 2013 Takemori Open Judo Championships at DeMatha Catholic High School on October 5th in Hyattsville, Maryland.


This tournament is named in honor of the Takemori Family, which has been a key part of Shufu Judo Yudanshakai since it was founded in 1953. Senseis Jimmy and Edwin Takemori were both incredible competitive judoka in their early days and have been instrumental in the growth of judo in the US. As their competitive time came to end, they grew into international referees and have continued to lead their clubs and Shufu Judo Yudanshakai for over 60 years now. Jimmy, 85 and a ninth degree black belt, first began practicing judo in 1937 in Fresno, California, and has been an instructor in the D.C. area for over 60 years. He has coached both the men’s and women’s U.S. national teams.  The next generation of Takemoris were all skilled judoka on the junior and senior level.  Senseis Miki and Terri continue the tradition of developing Junior and Senior elite judokas. We thank all the Takemori family members for their outstanding devotion and service to judo.


The event was jointly hosted by Hui-O-Judo Beltsville and the College Park Judo Club. There were 157 junior and 101 senior competitors participating. The junior divisions included judoka from 5 through 16 years old, and senior competitors 14 to 60. There were 35 junior female competitors in 10 divisions, 122 junior male competitors in 19 divisions, 91 senior and master males in 13 divisions, and 10 senior females in 3 women’s divisions competing for honors.


The Outstanding Junior Competitor was Isaac Hegg from Sport Judo and the Outstanding Junior Team was Sport Judo. The Outstanding Senior Competitor was Jude Okpalannak from College Park Judo and the Outstanding Senior Team was the Washington Judo Club.


In addition to the shiai competition, junior and senior judoka competed in the kata divisions.  In the Novice Nage No Kata, James Campbell from Hui-O Judo Beltsville and Noah Hoopengardner from Rankin Judo took top honors. In the Advanced Ju No kata, Kevin Hobbs from AMRA Jukai and Bill Brownlowe from Fairview took top honors. In the Advanced Goshin Jutsu, John Waite and Louis Fattizzo from Aldan Judo took top honors. Two teams from the DC Veterans Medical Center competed in the Katame No Kata, with Thomas Huff and Claudia Perry taking top honors.


Diane Jackson, Shufu’s kata development chair person, has been working to continually expand the development and growth of kata within Shufu Yudanshakai. She stated “ I am very happy to see the kata in our area continue to develop. I was very pleased to have two teams from the DC Veterans Administration  Medical Center Adaptive Judo program competing in the kata, and it is also wonderful to see young judoka working alongside our world class competitors.”


It takes lots of staff to make any event happen. We want to say special thank you to all of the volunteers who make our events possible. All of officials who volunteer their time to help make our event successful by being a referee, technical official, or other tournament official. We would like to thank all of our competitors, since without you we would not have an event. Thank you to the parents for bringing their kids to the events, and to all of the judo supporters who come to cheer on our judoka. We also thank Mr Ed King, the Athletic Director, and DeMatha Catholic High School for allowing us to use the incredible venue for this event.


Participating at the 2013 Shufu Yuanshakai Takemori Open Judo Championships were judo clubs from the regional area including Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Attending clubs included Akari (??), Aldan (PA), Arlington (VA), Baltimore (MD), Budokan (MD), Bushikai (MD), Charlottesville (VA), Chester County Judo (?), College Park (MD), Dale City (VA), DC Judo (DC), DC Recreation Judo (DC), DC Veterans Medical Center Adaptive Judo Program (DC), Forged Fitness (?), Hui-O (MD), Kuma (?), Lancaster (PA), Liberty Bell (PA), Maryland Judo Team (MD), Mountain Kim Martial Arts (VA), Pure Performance (MD), Rankin (WVA), Seigneury (MD), Southern Maryland Jujitsu (MD), Sport (VA), SSJ (VA), U.S.A. Stars East (VA), U.S. Naval Academy (MD), Villa Nova University Judo (?) and  Washington Judo Club (DC).


Please note upcoming events will include: The Faye Allen Memorial Kata Championships and Ju No Kata clinic on October 26 in Washington DC., the Shufu Yudanshakai Promotionals on November 2 at the College Park Community Center (a one-day event, for both juniors and seniors, with a Yudansha (black belt) meeting at 8am. All Shufu Yudansha are strongly encouraged to attend), and the 2013 Shufu Open Judo Championships on November 16 in Lancaster PA. Information on all of the above events are posted in the Shufu website  – www.shufujudo.org


Kevin Tamai                                                                         Kurt Tamai

Head Sensei                                                                          Head Sensei,

Hui-O-Judo Beltsville                                                      College Park Judo

Takemori Open Tournament Co- Directors


Photos, Courtesy of Roy Nanjo



Don’t let your skills deteriorate while you’re watching old Twilight Zone reruns during the shutdown!  Check out this first list of videos that can help keep your technique sharp and your body fit.



Twilight Zone Reruns

Coach Certification

SafeSport Certification is now required for all USJF registered clubs. If you have already completed the course and submitted a copy of your certificate, you do not need to resubmit. For more information or to take the course, please visit https://athletesafety.org/

Heads Up concussion training, through the CDC’s website, is a requirement for all members of your USJF registered club who function as teachers at any time. Please advise all of your instructors and assistant instructors of this requirement. The training can be accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/