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April 2017 – Judo Letter

NORWALK JUDO ANNOUNCEMENTS             April 30, 2017

SEJSCC Recognition Dinner

On April 8, the Center recognized Bill Matsubara for his many contributions to Norwalk Judo and the Community Center. Bill sends his best to everyone and thanks all of his friends who attended the event.

Trevor Sonoda was selected by the senseis to be the 2017 Norwalk Judo Scholarship recipient. He is scheduled to attend San Francisco State University in the fall. All of the senseis wish him the best!

Fukuma sensei, Alex Fukuma sensei, Momii sensei, Johnson sensei & wife Wendy, Morishima sensei & Kyle, Sugahara sensei & family, Wada sensei, Max Uyekawa sensei, the Kuratani family, Mike Sonoda, Larry Henderson & his grandson’s Hunter and Jacob attended the event.

I want to acknowledge Mr. & Mrs. Johnny Blas, Mr. & Mrs. Sergio Lemus, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Perrey and Mary Taketani for their Recognition Dinner food prep assistance on Friday evening.



  • April 2Clovis Tournament, Fresno, CA.

Joshua Chen            3rd Place
Conor Uyekawa        1st Place-Competition, 2nd Place-Ukemi,
Conor Uyekawa & Bryan Davis (Taishi) 1st Place Kata-Nage-no-Kata, Katame-noKata.
Weston Uyekawa     1st Place-Competition, 2nd Place-Ukemi.

  • April 9Visalia Tournament, Visalia, CA.

Weston Uyekawa     2nd Place
Joey Salazar             1st Place
Conor Uyekawa        3rd Place

  • Special thanks goes out to Don Tashima sensei and his wife Doria for supporting our members while we were visiting Central California. Breakfast, dinner, and accommodations were generously provided!

 April 23Nanka Spring Novice, Jr. & Sr. Judo Tournament, Westminster, CA.  Congratulations to the following Norwalk Judo competitors entering their first tournament: Sean Yi, Edan Yi-1st, Nathan Cho-2nd. Yonen results: Nadia Smith-2nd., Juliana Lemus-2nd., Weston Uyekawa-1st. and Ariana Lemus-2nd.  Shonen results: Joey Salazar-1st. and Kay Sugahara-1st. Seinen results: Desmond Wong-3rd. Kata Competition: Conor Uyekawa & Bryan Davis: 1st-Nage-no-Kata and 2ndKatame-no-Kata.

April 23Nanka Spring Novice, Jr. & Sr. Judo Tournament (continued).

Norwalk Judo volunteers: Bob Varela (Announcer), Alex Fukuma (pooling), Aaron

Gulewich (pooling), Sergio Lemus Sr., Josh Nam, Desmond Wong (score table), June Uyekawa (food-hospitality), Momii sensei, Kay Sugahara, Conor Uyekawa (Referees) and coaches: Uyekawa, Chang, Fukuma, Sugahara sensei.

April 8Nanka Shorai Practice, Gardena Valley Judo Club, Gardena, CA. Participants: Nadia Smith, Sergio Lemus Jr., Juliana Lemus, Ariana Lemus, Weston Uyekawa, Joey Salazar, Conor Uyekawa, Kay Sugahara. Thank You Seino sensei!

April 22Nanka Shorai Practice, Mojica Judo Club, Baldwin Park, CA.

Participants: Weston Uyekawa, Joey Salazar, Conor Uyekawa and Kay Sugahara. Thank you to Mojica sensei and his instructors.



May 13Nanka Installation and Awards Banquet, 11:00am-4:00pm, Long Beach, CA. NOTE: (Norwalk Judo is the host club). Please contact Scott Momii sensei if you are interested in attending.

May 21 (SUN.) – West Coast Invitational Judo Championships, Westminster, CA. Postmarked before Saturday, May 13, 2017 for early registration fee price.

May 27, 28, 29 (Memorial Day Weekend) Nanka Spring Elite Judo Camp. (Norwalk Judo is the host club) This is a unique clinic, presenting three accomplished competitors/senseis, Nakano, Sasaki and Takahashi. PreRegistration is required.

* JULY 22 & 23 (Sat. & Sun.) SEJSCC SUMMER FESTIVAL, Norwalk, CA.

This is Norwalk Judo’s main fundraiser of the year. Please select either Saturday, Sunday or both days. Two-hour shifts will be scheduled. We will require everyone’s help! Please mark you calendar.


Hannah Tsutsui (Fresno), the Oishi Family (Taishi), Romeo (South Bay), Jean and Ron (Irvine Judo Club) joined our practices for the month of April.


Isao Okano Visits Norwalk Judo Dojo

Okano Sensei Highlights

The dojo had the privilege to host a clinic by Judo Legend, from whom even Ronda Rousey could learn to improve her technique, Sensei Isao Okano is a Olimpic, World and All Japan champion of Judo with many decades of experience and a true legend of the sport.

We had the good fortune to be able to host Sesei Okano who demonstrated techniques that made him one of the leading judokas of all time.

Check out the pictures from our event here: Clinic Pictures

In Honor of a Selfless Man

He is forever humble and tireless. We are amazed about the vigor and strength with which he attacks instruction in the dojo and tasks at our events.

Sensei_Johnson20140413I am talking about our own Sensei Johnson. He was honored this last weekend with multiple, well deserved awards for his de

dication and help with our community and dojo fundraisers. Long-Sheng “Johnson” Chang was given a recognition award from all of us at the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center. The Mayor of Norwalk, Marcel Rodarte and the California State Representative from Norwalk each presented him with a Certificate of Recognition.

The highlight of the night was when Chris Witowitch of Norwalk Judo Dojo gave his speech, which was close to a roast, but very positive and extremely funny! Everyone was laughing at the clever jokes Chris made while giving Sensei Johnson credit for his work and help at the Dojo and the community center.

Here is the Video of the speech