June 8, 2013
Yesterday marked our Head Sensei Dwight Maeda's 50th anniversary with Shobukan Judo Club. Sensei Maeda began his judo career in 1963 at 10 years of age. As an undersized boy, his parents thought he would not last. However, he enjoyed Judo and persevered, attaining his Shodan (Black Belt) at the age of 19. After his competitive days were over, he was an instrumental part of arguably the most successful period in the 105 year history of the club. During his tenure as Assistant Instructor, he helped the club produce two Olympians, along with countless Junior National, Senior National and International level gold medalists.
After a short ceremony honoring Sensei Maeda, a commemorative 50 year koa plaque was presented as a gift from the assistant instructors and senpai. After a few words of encouragement from Sensei Maeda about dedication, loyalty, perseverance and the importance of not quitting, the senior class got underway. The open mat session, however, was cancelled in lieu of a pot luck that lasted well into the night. It's not often in life that someone gets to celebrate a 50 year anniversary, and the party certainly reflected the magnitude of the accomplishment.
Congratulations to Sensei Maeda on the past 50 years. Ganbare till the next 50!
March 20, 2013
New practice times have been announced. They are as follows:
5:30 - 6:30pm beginners/juniors ages 5 - 9
6:30 - 8:00pm intermediate/seniors ages 10+
8:00 - 9:30pm advanced/open mat
These changes take effect as of April 1st and should mean more mat time for everyone. Come down and check out a class for your child as well as one for yourself!
July 24, 2012
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that today we announce the passing of Sensei Lance Iida. Sensei Lance touched the lives of so many people, as was evident in the standing-room-only Intensive Care Unit at Straub Hospital. Most of us had to wait at least 45 minutes to pay our last respects to Sensei Lance and his gracious family, and everyone stayed around long after visiting hours were over to share tears and stories.
Those who knew him best will forever remember his laugh. His memories will always be a part of us. Rest in peace.
July 6, 1970 - July 24, 2012
July 6, 1970 - July 24, 2012
May 6, 2012
The USA Judo Senior Nationals were held on April 21st and 22nd in Irving, Texas. Eight Shobukan members flew up to support the three judokas who were fighting. They were: Sensei Nate Lee, Sensei Mike Maeda and Senpai Rob Griffin. All three competitors went up well prepared both physically and mentally, and as a result weigh-ins went smoothly.
Sensei Mike was the first to fight on Saturday morning in what turned out to be the largest division of the entire tournament, with twenty eight competitors. He fought hard and was clearly winning the match, lifting his opponent off his feet with several of his attempts, until he fell into a pin. Unfortunately he wasn't pulled through in repechage, as his opponent lost his next match.
Senpai Rob's Open weight division was quite a bit smaller. He fought twice although in both matches, as is often the case in the Open division, he was outweighed by over thirty pounds. His opponents, even with a considerable weight advantage, couldn't throw him and had to rely on matwork to overpower and pin him.
Sensei Nate was up last, fighting late on Sunday afternoon. His first match lasted less than a minute, ending with him throwing his opponent for an ippon with a beautiful Osoto-gari counter. His second match was even quicker, planting his opponent flat on his back for an ippon off a foot sweep in less than thirty seconds! Sensei Nate, now a Senior National champion!
The city of Irving surpassed all of our expectations with its beauty and hospitality. Every restaurant we went to was great and all the people we met were friendly. Everyone had a great time and it brought all of us who went closer together.
This tournament was a great reminder that judo doesn't end at the junior level, which is far too often the case here in Hawaii. There were several hundred senior competitors, in both brown and black belt divisions, as well as numerous visually impaired divisions. All were, in their own ways, ambassadors for the development and perpetuation of judo as a lifestyle.
Once again, congratulations to Sensei Nate, 2012 USA Judo Senior National gold medalist!