April 15, 2013

Ernest “Tiko” Ojito, 2013 US National Men’s Judo Champion

April 14, 2013Virginia Beach, VA.

Ernest “Tiko” Ojito won the US National Men’s Judo Championship in the 55 KG division today, after blasting through the division with four wins by ippon (instant win), including a full-point textbook foot sweep to defeat the top-ranked player in the division, Adonis Diaz.

Ojito, 27, brings the first senior men’s championship to Shufu after a drought of many years.  A third-generation black belt, he recently earned his Sandan (third-degree black belt) in November, 2012. 


Ojito with Matside Coach Eric Spears

Growing up around judo in Florida, Tiko began his judo training at the age of nine under his uncle, Ernie Ojito, who was, and is, his main inspiration. The older Ojito began giving Tiko private sessions, and he quickly progressed to training at the highly respected Budokan Judo Academy in Miami.  There he trained under Evelio Garcia, USA Judo’s Olympic coach in 2000, whom he credits with helping to find his favorite techniques, and more importantly giving him direction in his life.

Ojito vs Adonis Diaz

When Tiko moved to DC, his uncle handed him off to James Takemori and Tad Nalls, the senseis at the Washington Judo Club at Georgetown University.  Ojito says, “It has truly been an honor and a privilege to train under these accomplished masters.”  Currently a member of that club, he is also an instructor at Pure Performance Martial Arts Center in Rockville, MD.

Ojito is a market representative and organizer for the mid-Atlantic region of the Laborers International Union of North America.  When he is not working, he spends most of his time training in Judo and teaching/working with young children.

When asked about how it feels to have earned the US National Men’s Championship after years of dedication and hard work, Ojito stated that “I feel blessed and motivated. I want to be a champion, not just for me but for my country, my family, my union, my team mates, and of course all my senseis who believed in me. I am simply a humble student who stands as a testament to hard work and dedication in Judo.

“I would like to give special thanks to everyone at Washington Judo/Georgetown University, to all my friends/teachers/students at Pure Performance Martial Arts Center, and everyone at the College Park Judo Club. But especially, I would like to give a very special thank you to the Laborers International Union of North America, all my Union brothers and sisters throughout the Labor Movement, my friend and supporter Dennis Martire (LiUNA! Regional manager) and to Anthony Frederick (Local 657 Business Manager) who have supported me and inspired me to fight hard on and off the mat with commitment and dedication. Not only to fight for myself, but most importantly for those who can’t fight for themselves.”


A Champion At Last


Photos Courtesy of Chuck Medani



Senior Men and Women


Masters (still pending)

Visually Impaired

Brown Belts


2013 Nationals Photo Gallery 1


2013 Nationals Photo Gallery 2

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.