Judo the Gentle Way 1: Keiko Fukuda Sensei
Ms. Keiko Fukuda
You know how they say: “ When we are ready to learn teacher will show up.”
As I am reflecting on life in 2010, I thought about several people who have influenced my life in very powerful ways.
Ms. Keiko Fukuda is one of them and she’s a martial artist. She is one of the most respected individuals I know who personally influenced my life. She has received many impressive awards for contribution in empowering people, especially women’s confidence. She is currently the highest-ranking Judo woman in the world. She holds 9th degree Red Belt which is beyond Black Belt. She’s going to be 97 years old this year, she still active in teaching Judo in San Francisco. I met her when she came to San Diego for Women’s Judo Clinic in the early 70’s. Then she was one of 2 highest-ranking women black belts from Kodokan Judo, the headquarters of Judo school in the world. Remind you, Ms. Fukuda is less than 5 feet tall and must have weighed less than 100 lbs. Men participants were welcome in this Judo clinic, it was the first time I witnessed this small ordinary looking Japanese woman gracefully and effortlessly throw a 6 ft and over 200 lbs man in the air in demonstration after which he landed loudly on the mat. She looked as if nothing happened. No grunting and no hard breathing. Ms.Fukuda is very humble and has a gentle spirit. Yet, very disciplined, demanding, and perfectionist to the max towards herself. And she does it to her students just like any other martial arts instructors. Be strong, be gentle, be beautiful is the inspirational personal motto for women’s Judo she practice. Ms. Fukuda has obediently followed this teaching for 75 years. Hard act to follow??
Isn’t she an inspiration for your New Year’s resolution?