Monday, June 16, 2008
Oldest Judo Dojo Outside Japan
Seattle Judo Dojo
This Sunday The Seattle Times ran a very nice article on "Seattle Dojo", believed to be the oldest existing Judo Dojo outside of Japan. Here's THE LINK to the article.
This dojo, run by the Yamada family for generations, hosted visits by Judo founder Jigaro Kano twice, and was the school where Bruce Lee polished his grappling skills while living in Seattle. The building was designed by Kichio Allen Arai, the first Asian American architect in Seattle. The floor is sprung on 1930's Model A Ford truck springs to give it bounce.
Among the other Dojo's mentioned is Obukan Dojo in Portland, also believed to be the oldest Dojo in Portland, and home to the Onchi brothers, who tore up high school wrestling in my day.
Reading the article made me reflect sentimentally on my time at Master Choi's Tae Kwon Do school. There is a tremendous sense of community and family involvement, and the Dojo was a place that really grounded me in a time when I could have gotten in even more trouble than I did.
Training At Seattle Dojo