2014 Ken Tamai Memorial Judo Championships

March 17, 2014


By Kevin Tamai


Saturday, March 15, 2014


Congratulations to all of the judoka who were able to attend and participate in the Tenth Annual Ken Tamai Memorial Judo Championships at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville Maryland.


The competition, held to honor the memory of Sensei Kenneth Bunji Tamai, was conducted in a beautiful venue that held four competition areas.  200 judoka gathered from 35 different clubs in the regional area covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.


Clubs represented were Ainaw, Aldan, Arlington, Baltimore Judo, Budokan, Bushikai, Charlottesville, Chester County Judo,  College Park, Dale City Judo, DC Judo, DC Recreation, DC Veterans Administration Medical Center Adaptive Judo Program, Fairview Judokai, Harrisburg Judokai, Hui-O Beltsville, Jason Morris Judo Center, Judo Movement, Lancaster, Legros Sports,  Maryland Judo Team, Pure Performance, Rankin, RUAMA, Seigneury, Southern Maryland Jujitsu, Sport, United States Naval Academy Judo, USA Stars East, Villa Nova Judo, Wall2 Wall Martial Arts, Washington.


Special recognition was presented in two awards. The Ken Tamai Memorial Award, for the continuing service in the development of quality judo techniques and judo character while following the teachings of Jigoro Kano was presented to Tad Nalls from Washington Judo Club. The James Gosnell Inspirational Award for continuing to inspire judoka to pass along the true benefits of judo through their daily life was awareded to Peggy Whilden of Hui-O Judo Beltsville.



The morning started with Kata competition, with teams competing in a variety of different katas including novice and advanced Nage No KenTamai2014_lowres-2.jpgKata, advanced Kime No Kata and advanced Ju No Kata. Top novice honors were given to Charles “Chip” Jost and Harvey Guary from the DC Veterans Administration Medical Center Adaptive Judo Program (DCVAMCAJP). The top advanced Nage No Kata honors went to Mark Smith and Laurel Faust from Hui-O Judo Beltsville.  Lou Fattizzo and Bill Brownlowe from Aldan Judo took top honors in Kime No Kata. Winning the advanced Ju No Kata category were Michelle Veloso and Wayne Stone from College Park Judo.


Diane Jackson, the Shufu Yudanshakai Kata Development Chairperson stated, “I am very happy to see so many different katas being competed in. Shufu Yudanshakai has hosted a number of clinics on the different katas that have been well attended. We are happy to see kata competition growing in the area. Shufu encourages 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. Shufu Yudanshakai offers kata competition at all of its events.”


KenTamai2014_lowres-45.jpgJunior competition followed kata, with judoka as young as 5 years old competing for a chance to win a first place gold trophy. Competition was excellent. The Outstanding Junior Team was College Park Judo from College Park Maryland and the Outstanding Junior Judoka was Jacob Tamai from College Park Judo.


As juniors began to wind down senior competition began with men’s Masters and women’s divisions, and then KenTamai2014_lowres-52.jpgcompetition in both the men’s novice and the men’s advanced divisions.


The Outstanding Senior Team was USA Stars East, and the Outstanding Senior Judoka was Kmirzimurod Kholov from Jason Morris Judo Center.


Ed King, the Athletic Director for DeMatha High School stated “It is really wonderful having the Tamai event 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. Mr Tamai must be very honored. DeMatha supports all of the positive aspects that judo provides to its players. We enjoy having judo events here.”


KenTamai2014_lowres-15.jpgParnel Legros from Legros Sports in Brooklyn NY added “I will always come down to support this event. It is the best run and best organized event. Ken Tamai was always very good to me. He was very giving with his time to help me and my students. I will always honor his memory.”


Chuck Wall from Wall2Wall Martial Arts in Fredericksburg, VA was also pleased. “I want to congratulate CRFM_20140315_12515327aa27177c7.jpgyou 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.”


CRFM_20140125_9852Sensei Kevin Tamai, the tournament director stated “On behalf of the Tamai family, I would like to thank all of the participants who came to honor the memory of my father. It is a great tribute to him that so many people have traveled to come here. He would have been very pleased to see the quality judo techniques that were performed today. He would have been 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 in March for the 2015 Ken Tamai Memorial Judo Championships at DeMatha Catholic High School.






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/