Judo classes are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7pm to 9pm (during the school year, Tuesdays end 1/2 hour early) at the Venice Japanese Community Center, Los Angeles.
We welcome judokas at all skill levels and accept students from 4 and a half to 94 and a half years of age! We teach competition style and it’s a great sport to teach children as well as adults. Judo teaches self confidence, discipline, respect & focus.
If you are interested, come on by one of our classes and see why the Venice Judo Club is a place where champions are made!
Venice Judo Club History
In May, 1925, the Venice Seinin Kai (Young’s Men’s Association) was organized by a group of fifteen youths interested in judo. The group was led by Shiro Bunya. On March 1, 1926, the first Venice Dojo, a simple one room hut on a dirt lot, was constructed.
During the 1932 Olympics held in Los Angeles, judo received worldwide recognition when Professor Jigoro Kano introduced the “gentle way” as a sport to the Olympians. The Venice Dojo had the honor of hosting the celebrated judoist during his visit.
The Venice Dojo was thriving and becoming one of the strongest Dojos in the United States until the onset of World War II, which caused the Dojo to go into hiatus. In 1950, Owen Yoshikawa andSensei Kenso Kiyohiro re-opened the Dojo under the name of the Venice Judo Boy’s Club. The club prospered and flourished until the eighties, when interest began to wane.
In 1995, after brief bouts of inactivity, Sensei Trace Nishiyama re-opened the Dojo with the assistance of Sensei Tracy Kiyohiro. They changed the name of the Dojo from the Venice Judo Boy’s Club, to the Venice Judo Club. Their vision was to make Venice the home “where champions are made.”
In the 2004 Olympics, held in Athens Greece, Venice Judo Club judoka Ronda Rousey represented the USA in the 63k category. At 17 years of age, she was the youngest Olympian in the Athens Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ronda competed in judo and earned the bronze medal in her weight class.
Currently Sensei Trace is running classes twice a week at the Venice Japanese Community Center and participates in many tournaments, always adhering to the same core principles that has been established at this institution since its inception in 1925.