2019 Shufu Open Championships Celebrates Its Legends and Results

October 11, 2019

By Kevin Tamai


Congratulations to all of the judoka who were able to attend and participated in the Shufu Open Judo Championships on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville Maryland. This year we honored some of the past legends of Shufu who helped form Shufu Yudanshakai in the early years. We pay tribute to our forefathers like Kenzo Uyeno, Don Draeger, James Takemori, John Anderson, Dr Eichi Koiwai, Ken Tamai, Thomas Dalton and others. We also honored others who help build a support and administrative system like Elizabeth Shedd, Ken Tamai and Malcom Hodges.


The official establishment of Shufu Judo Yudanshakai Inc. was effected on 10 October 1953 in Washington DC by a general meeting of yudansha who resided in the eastern United States. Originally titled Shufu (Capital) Yudanshakai, it received its charter as a Kodokan body from the then-national judo body, the Amateur Judo Association of the United States of America.  As an authorized and recognized organ of the Amateur Judo Association of the USA, it was empowered to administer Kodokan Judo within specific geographical boundaries known as the 1st Regional area.


The greatly expanding interest in Kodokan Judo on a national scale made it necessary to disband the Amateur Judo Association of the USA and restructure the organization, which could more effectively cope with the heavy administrative burdens. This organization was titled the Judo Black Belt Federation of the United States of America and became effective in early 1955. It later changed its name to the United States Judo Federation. (USJF). Shufu Judo Yudanshakai Inc. is a recognized and chartered judo yudanshakai of the USJF and as such, is recognized by Kodokan and the International Judo Federation (IJF). It is responsible to the national judo body for the conduct and standards of US Judo with the assigned geographic region (1st Regional Area).


From its early inception, Shufu Yudanshakai has maintained outstanding national and international leaders in all phases of our sport. To name them and all of their accomplishments would fill many volumes on each one. Some of the more noteworthy individuls to helped to form Shufu Yudanshakai were Major Don Dreager,  Dr. Eichi Koiwai, Mr. Kenzo Uyeno and Mr. Takahiko Ishikawa. Some of the early members were Dr. Hashimdodo, Mr. James Takemori, Mr. Lanny Miyamoto, Mr. Noguchi and Mr. Nishiyama. Other highly noteworthy individuals who developed Shufu were Tom Dalton, Kenneth Tamai, Richard Hugh, Ken Freeman, John Anderson, Kenneth Hisaoka, Edwin Takemori, Prof. Dong Ja Dang,  John Cook, Yoshisada Yonezuka, Roger Rodolphe, and Mamoru Shimamoto. Their philosophy is plain: to strengthen and improve judo from the local through the international level.


Shufu has referees on the World tour circuit including Bobby Donaldson and Sharon Landstreet. Currently Diane Jackson and Karl Tamai along with Lisa Capriotti and Robert Gouthro are growing USA kata on the world stage, recently returning from the Pan Am Championships in Lima Peru with 4 gold medals, a silver and a bronze across multiple katas preformed.  We thank all of our judoka who participate locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for their participation in judo as well as representing us on the judo stage.


Shufu Yudanshakai President, Mr Roy Englert, presented Michele Smith and Tyler Smith with the Godan rank certificate for Mark Smith who passed last year.  Mark devoted his life to the development and spread of Judo. He was more recently known for his work with the visually impaired community of judoka. He traveled the world and open new doors for them in the world of judo.

President Roy Englert presenting Sensei Mark Smith’s Godan Certificate to Tyler and Michelle Smith


We are grateful that DeMatha Catholic High School allows us to us such a beautiful venue which holds four competition areas. Competition was held in junior and senior shiai, novice and advanced kata and masters shiai.


Our chief referee was Karl Tamai. We had 7 local referees, 4 regional referees, 6 national referees, one IJF-B, and 2 IJF-A referees. There were 5 new candidates for referee certification. Our senior kata judge was Diane Jackson from Team USA World Kata team. She was assisted by Fran Vall.

Chief Referee Karl Tamai


The tournament was attended by 300 judoka from 35 different clubs in the region covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and California. Clubs represented were Allegheny Youth Development, Arlington, Budokan, Capital MMA,  Cheungs Martial Arts, Chesapeake Judo, College Park, Dale City Judo, DC Judo, DC Recreation, Delaware Self Defense, El Idrissi, Fork Union Military Academy, Harrisburg BJJ, Hui-O Beltsville, Jason Morris Judo Center, Joseki Judo, Kodokan of NC, Judo America of California, Komorebi, Liberty Bell, Maryland Judo Team, MMA Charlottesville, National Institute of Health Judo Club, Osagame, Philadelphia Judo, Richmond Judo, Saskai, Seigneury, Shin Jo Judo, Sport Judo, Steel judo, Team Maryland BJJ, United States Naval Academy Judo, USA Stars East, Villa Nova Judo, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wall2Wall Martial Arts, Washington Judo Club, Williamsburg Judo, Yama Arashi and Yamasaki Academy.


The morning started with Kata competition, masters shiai competition and junior competition. There were kata teams competing in a variety of different katas including Advanced Katame No Kata, novice Nage No Kata, advanced Nage No kata, Advanced Kime No Kata, Advanced Ju No Kata and advanced Goshin Jutsu. Senior Kata Judge Diane Jackson stated, “ I am happy to see so many different katas being competed in. We have hosted a number of clinics on the different kata that have been well attended. We are happy to see kata competition growing in the area. We encourage all judoka to learn the katas and compete in them. It enhances their overall judo experience and refines their judo techniques. As judges, we provide feedback to all of our teams to help them continually improve their performance and constantly improve. We offer kata competition at all events.”


With both masters divisions and the kata competition in progress, the morning continued with Junior competition. There were 172 junior judoka, as young as 5 years old, competing for a chance to win one of the top three gold trophies in each divisions. Competition was excellent. The Outstanding Junior Team was Wall2Wall Judo from Fredericksburg, Virginia and the Outstanding Junior Judoka was Knox Williams from Wall2Wall Judo in Fredericksburg, Virginia.


As the juniors divisions began to wind down, senior competition continued with men’s and women’s divisions. There were 131 judoka in the shiai competition in the men’s novice, men’s advanced divisions, men’s masters and women’s divisions. The Outstanding Senior Team was the United States Naval Academy, the Outstanding Collegiate team was the United States Naval Academy, and the Outstanding Senior Judoka was Joseph Campbell from Villa Nova University/Yama Arashi Judo in Pennsylvania

US Naval Academy Judo Team

Ed King, the Athletic Director for DeMatha High School stated “It is really wonderful having the Tamai brothers host judo events here at DeMatha. The Tamai brothers are not only alumni but are wrestling legends. I am very impressed with the feeling of family that judo people have. It is amazing to watch an event. It is very well organized and run. DeMatha supports all of the positive aspects that judo provides to its players. We enjoy having judo events here.”


Roy Nanjo from Villanova University stated “ This event shows the essence of Judo – Jita Kyoei, mutual welfare and benefit for all.  Everyone benefits from the judo events like this. There would not be judo events in this Shufu area if it were not for the Tamai family. They are the heart and soul of judo in this area. They continue to not only keep judo alive but thriving in this area. We are very fortunate to have them leading our judo community”


Tim Redden from Fork Union Military Academy stated “This was the first event for my new judoka. The Tamai family has always run high quality and very well organized events. I am always amazed at how they continue to make events possible for this area. We are very grateful to them for hosting this event”


Chuck Wall from Wall2Wall Martial Arts in Fredericksburg, VA stated “I want to congratulate you and all of your volunteers for a great day yesterday.  The entire event was first class and I want to let you know that I received a lot great comments from the parents This is always one of the best run events. Kevin and Kurt run a well organized and efficient event. We are grateful to them to run so many local events for our judoka.  Thank you so much, I hope that some day I am able to match your success.”


Sensei Kevin Tamai, the tournament co-director stated “On behalf of Shufu Yudanshakai, I would like to thank all of the participants who came to honor our past legends of Shufu Judo. It is a great tribute that so many people have traveled to come here. We are very pleased with the quality judo techniques that were performed today. We are even more proud of the great judo spirit and character that so many judoka displayed. I would like to thank all of the parents for bringing their children to this event, thank all of the judoka who participated today, and to thank all of the amazing volunteers who make this event possible. Thank you to all of the referees, technical officials and all of the support staff. I would also like to thank DeMatha High school for providing us such a wonderful venue.”


We invite you to join us again next year for the 2020 Shufu Open Judo Championships at DeMatha Catholic High School.



Shufu Shinbun is BACK !

This newsletter is presented in memory of Malcolm Hodges who was a dedicated Shufu and Washington Judo Club member for many years and wrote and was the editor of the monthly Shufu Shinbun newsletter.




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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/

Hilaire Notewo Seeking Donations for Judo Programs in the Ivory Coast, Needs Gis and Equipment

Longtime Shufu Judo member Hilaire Notewo is planning to relocate to Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Africa in late November/December. He will be supporting judo programs, but equipment (esp. judo uniforms) are difficult to come by.  Hilaire is looking for gently used judo gis and other equipment.  Hilaire will also be visiting and donating goods to orphanages.  Should you have gently used shoes, clothes for teenagers, youths, and toddlers, kindly make them available to Hilaire.

If you would like to donate to this effort, you can send your donation to the following address:

Hilaire Notewo

7401 New Hampshire Ave. #1003

Takoma Park, MD  20912

Or contact him via his email address: hilson79@gmail.com 202 945 3781.