NYAC September Newsletter
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NYAC’s Kayla Harrison Takes Bronze At World Championships
August 26, 2011 – Team USA‟s Kayla Harrison today achieved a rarity, taking Bronze in Paris to medal for the second year in a row at the World Championships.
“I am so proud of Kayla's performance today,” said Jimmy Pedro, two- time Olympic Bronze Medalist and Team USA‟s coach in Paris. “It is extremely difficult in the sport of judo to repeat as World Champion, but despite the pressure she fought amazingly. There's no doubt she's emotionally and psychologically ready to win the Olympics. In fact, this Bronze will just make her hungry to prove herself as the world's best in London.”
It was a medal, but a Bronze. And it wasn‟t the Gold that Harrison won last year at the World Championships in Tokyo in the 78 kg division. So even this huge victory today came with some disappointment for the champion. ”Today was a tough day,” Harrison said. “It just wasn't my day. The French girl looked good and earned her World Title today.”
France's Audrey Tcheumeo won the semi-final match against Harrison, but only after Harrison landed what appeared to be a solid throw that would have elevated her to the finals, except that referees called the throw out-of-bounds.
Harrison‟s attention turned quickly to the Olympics. “The difference between me and the other girls on the podium,” Harrison continued, “is that I consider this a failure, and I will work harder now to become the first ever Olympic champion from America. Failure is my fuel.”
In her first win of the morning, Harrison ran the clock with a yuko to beat Canadian Catherine Roberge. Then Harrison turned up the heat, besting Mongolia‟s Lkhamdegd Purevjargal with a solid ippon. Then she beat Japan‟s Hitomi Ikeda with a wazari.
Then Harrison faced France‟s Tcheumeo in the semi-finals. Tcheumeo caught Harrison with an inner foot reap, ouchi gari, scoring a yuko that carried the match. Harrison‟s throw, meanwhile, was deemed out of bounds so Tcheumeo took the match and proceeded to beat Japan‟s Akari Ogata for the Gold.
Harrison went on to win the Bronze after defeating Markinde Verkerk of the Netherlands with a throw for yuko.
“Kayla proved once again today that she truly is world class,”.Pedro said. “Although she had to settle for the Bronze, she knows she can beat one of her biggest nemesis, Tchuemo from France."Harrison said, “I would like to thank my teammates, my coaches, the Pedros, my sponsors, NYAC (New York Athletic Club), Hatashita Sports/Mizuno and Neocell, and the USA Judo staff. Without all of them, none of this would have been possible.”
Harrison‟s Bronze adds to the 5th Place that Marti Malloy captured yesterday in the World Championships 57 kg division. Both women are considered strong fighters for Team USA at the Olympics in London next year.
For their victories at the World Championships, Harrison receives $4,000 in support from the US Olympic Committee. Malloy receives $3,000.
USA Judo Masters Ranking Roster as of 8/8/11
Rank # 1. 90kg Teimoc Johnston Ono
Rank # 1. 100kg Teimoc Johnston Ono
Rank # 2. 100kg Arthur Canario
Rank # 1. 90kg Frank Imundi
Rank # 1. 90kg Taki Theodorocopulos
+ 50 Open
Rank # 1. Arthur Canario
USA Judo Promotes Professor Keiko Fukuda To 10th Dan!!! By Kei Narimatsu
Professor Keiko Fukuda, 98 y/o, is a beautiful and petite lady, whose intensity and focus on Judo belies her independence and leadership within the largely male dominated world of this sport. She IS the last living student of the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano. On July 28, 2011, the promotion board of USA Judo conferred on Sensei Fukuda, the rank of 10th dan (Judan). This is the highest rank possible for anyone. While 19 men have achieved this rank before her, she is also the only woman to have done so in the history of Judo.
Ms Fukuda started her Judo career at the Kodokan in Tokyo Japan in 1935. Her grandfather, Hachinosuke Fukuda was Kano‟s first Jujitsu teacher. To pay respect to his teacher, he invited his granddaughter to practice Judo in the Women‟s Dojo of the Kodokan. Thus began a 76 year love affair with Judo.
Sensei Fukuda has dedicated her life to the art of Judo. Her dedication has contributed greatly to mutual understanding and cooperation between Japan and the United States. She has promoted women‟s Judo, resulting in greater interest in the forms of Judo (kata) for both men and women. Her dojo, Soko Joshi Judo Club is known around the world. She has worked to establish Judo programs in colleges and universities throughout California. She has given seminars in Norway, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Philippines, and of course the United States. She is a well-known leader of Judo Kata, but more importantly, she is a teacher of Judo in the true spirit of it founder and her first teacher.
Professor Fukuda possesses exceptional technical expertise in the principles of Judo. Her high moral and philosophical standards have made her an invaluable advisor and consultant to USA Judo, the International Judo Federation, the Pan-American Judo Confederation and the Kodokan. A documentary film about Sensei Fukuda is being made about her life. “Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful.” The title comes from Fukuda‟s philosophy of “Tsuyoku, Yasashiku, Utsukushiku.” She explains, “in judo, you need strength of body, mind and soul. I don‟t mean beauty in the external sense. A compassionate soul is inner beauty. I believe this is true beauty. The gentleness is derived from the Japanese character „ju‟ which means flexibility , softness.” However, all was not smooth sailing for Professor Fukuda. At that time, 5th dan (1953) was the highest rank for women that could be achieved under the Kodokan. It would be another 20 years before her next promotion would be awarded, 6th dan(1973). She attained her 7th dan in 1984 and her 8th in 1994. In an unprecedented move, the USJF promoted her to 9th dan in 2001 and the Kodokan in 2006. USA Judo, recognizing, not only her contribution to the sport of Judo but also to the cause of humanity and social understanding among all people of the Judo community promoted this very deserving lady to the ranks of the most elite of the Judo world.
Sensei Eiko Shepherd of Belleville Illinois was the first to tell her of this promotion. I just wanted to share this good news with the world, Shepherd said. “When I called to inform her of her promotion, she could not believe it because this was her dream. She is a living example that as long as you believe you can achieve anything.”
USA Judo and all of Judo congratulates Sensei Keiko Fukuda for this well deserved achievement. This gentle lady is a great role model for women and men, for boys and girls. Well done, Sensei and thank you.
Other honors that have been bestowed upon Professor Fukuda are : *1990 Medal of Honor – Government of Japan *The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette – Japan *Hokka Nichi Bei Kai – Hall of Fame – Japanese American Association of Northern
California *Awardee of the National Japanese American Historical Society for transforming
Japanese American cultural heritage. *Grand Marshall – Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.
Upcoming Tournaments and Special Events
Date: Sept 17, 2011
New Jersey Institute of Technology
323 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark NJ 07102
Tournament Director: Yoshisada Yonezuka
Judo Karate Center, Inc. Cranford NJ 07016
2011 Garden State Judo Classic
Date: Sunday, Oct 2, 2011
Tournament Director: Ramon Hernandez
Boys & Girls Club Of Wayne
153 Garside Avenue Wayne, NJ 07470-2414
(973) 956-0033 (201) 206-2705 (cell Ramon Hernandez) Email: email@example.com
2011 PRINCETON JUDO INVITATIONAL
Date: Sunday, October 9, 2011
Location: Princeton YWCA
59 Paul Robeson Place Princeton, NJ 08540
Princeton Judo c/o Cory Cuomo 13 W. Zoller Rd, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 (p) 732-406-3646