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About Seattle Dojo

Seattle Dojo, the oldest Judo dojo in the United States, was established in 1902. The club moved several times until the present dojo was built in the 1930's by first generation Japanese Americans. Professor Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, visited the dojo in 1936 and 1938. Seattle Dojo hosted its first Judo tournament in 1903, and sponsored many more tournaments from 1907 to 1941, but was forced to close its doors during World War II. Seattle Dojo reopened in 1948 and hosted its first annual post-war tournament in 1953. Seattle Dojo has continued to host this annual tournament every year to the present day.

The dojo is presently run by Kenji Yamada, an 8th Dan judoka and former US champion, and students of all ages and skill levels study under several experienced instructors. Classes are held on Monday and Thursday evenings to train a wide variety of judoka, ranging from people interested in staying fit and having fun to serious competitors that actively participate in various levels of competitions. In special classes designed specifically for kids, the fundamentals of judo are taught in a fun and organized environment in which kids can develop physical coordination as well as self confidence, discipline, and a sense of community.