Friday Fun: Fukuda Keiko Sensei

  • Fukuda Sensei is 98 years old, and teaches Judo three times a week at a San Francisco dojo she’s run for more than half a century.
  • Fukuda Sensei is the highest-ranked female Judoka in the world.
  • Fukuda Sensei is the last living student of Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo.
  • Fukuda Sensei traveled daily through Tokyo during the WWII fire bombings. To teach lessons.
  • They told Fukuda Sensei women couldn’t promote above 5th degree black belt. She made them change their minds. They tried again when she wanted 9th degree, with similar futility.
  • Fukuda Sensei refused an arranged marriage because her future husband wanted her to quit Judo. She did this in Japan. During the 1930s.
  • If Chuck Norris gets squirrelly, Fukuda Sensei tells him to cut a switch off the backyard tree. And Chuck Norris says “yes, ma’am.”
Last year, filming commenced on a documentary of her life story.
 

If you’re as inspired as I am by this project, I challenge you to donate a little to the cause of getting the film through post-production and out into the world. Find out how at www.flyingcarp.net.

So does this man

Even if you can’t contribute directly, keep an eye out for this film once it hits the world. Fukuda Sensei’s story is touching and inspiring. I can’t wait to see it told.

Thanks for listening

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Shameless Self-Promotion

It’s March, and as I come closer to publicizing this project I figure some you out there might be interested in where to find other examples of my work. In prior incarnations, I’ve done three other blog projects, all with varying degrees of success.

Learning From Captain Mal was my first blog. An attempt to enjoy the character of Malcolm Reynolds from the too-brief television show Firefly. It’s self-help and business management advice from the point of view of an outlaw spaceship captain. Nothing too terribly deep, but I do think I got his voice pretty well.

Ultimate Black Belt Blog was a requirement for one of the most challenging years of my life. The “UBBT” is a year-long ordeal for people serious about using martial arts as a vehicle for improving themselves and their communities. The blog is my personal journal of that year.

After School Karate provided information on material, self-defense, nutrition and scheduling for students in an karate program I ran at four elementary schools in my area. The project was a school fundraiser with proceeds going to the PTA or PTO for the school.

All of these blogs are several years old now, and the intervening years have been the ones where I learned the most about writing. Still, they may be interesting to some folks. I hope they at least amuse.

Thanks for listening.

 

Real Self Defense

The other thing I do is martial arts. I’ve taught for more than 12 years, including a stint coaching a Japanese high school team in Kyushu. I spent years running a full-time martial arts studio.

I’m always interested in seeing good training put to use. The video below is a perfect example of a martial arts master using what he knows. R-rated due to language, but work safe.

Let’s review what the bouncer demonstrated about real self defense:

  • He didn’t let his ego or emotions get into the confrontation.
  • He used humor in an attempt to defuse the situation.
  • He kept his body language neutral and inoffensive.
  • He refrained from using violence all the way to the point where he discovered violence wasn’t necessary.

Somebody with less training might have had to put hands on the young idiot. Instead, both walked away – and maybe the idiot walked away a little bit wiser.

Thanks for listening.