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About Jack Williams Judo

About Jack's brand of Judo.

Jack Williams, Sichidan (1929 - present)

Sensei Jack was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1929. He spent his early years in a farm taking care of chickens. Menial, rigorous labor! Jack came to Florida in 1943, at age 14.

Jack entered Judo late, at the age of 25 around 1955. He started out in downtown Miami and later moved to North Miami. He was a gold medallist in his weight division. Sensei Jack was victorious (He won!) and defeated all the different weight division champions to be named Overall Champion many times! The menial labor had made his spirit impervious.

Sensei Takeshita agreed to instruct Jack as a student in 1959. Jack was accepted by sensei Paul Takeshita and instructed him in the areas of Olympic Judo and self-defense. Sensei Takeshita also imparted the spirit and the code of the samurai to Sensei Jack. Sensei Takeshita gave Jack all the knowledge learned from his grandfather, the feudal lord and the four Judans (10th degrees). As a result of Paul Takeshita’s teaching and Jack Williams impervious spirit Jack has:

  • Coached US national championship teams 10 times.
  • Coached Eastern Collegiate Championship team 5 times.
  • Responsible for 138 national champions.
  • Has had players place 29 times in international competitions.
  • Since 1989 to 1997 Junior and Senior players have captured 689 gold, silver and bronze medals in local, state, national or international competitions.

Sensei Jack is now Shichidan (7th degree) red and white belt. He studied in Japan in 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972. Holds KODOKAN licenses in katame-no-kata, Kime-no-kata, Go-shin-jutsu (the most modern form of self-defense ever developed) and was personally taught during above mentioned years Tai-ho-jutsu (Police arresting techniques) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and two other police dojos.

Williams is a graduate from the University of Miami (1957) with a degree of Business Administration. He received his Masters degree in Parks and Recreation from Florida International University in 1977.

In 1997, he received his 7th Dan ranking from USA Judo and USJF.

In 1998, the Physical Education Department at Miami-Dade Community College (MDCC), now Miami-Dade College (MDC), dissolved all 1-credit enrichment courses except two Varsity team sports and two club sports. Judo was one of them. So Jack taught non-credit Judo at MDC's North Campus.

In 1999, Jack assisted Nestor Bustillo, Head Judo Coach at Florida International University, as adjunct Judo Professor at FIU's University Park Campus.

Sensei Jack has been admitted to both the Black Belt Hall of Fame (1981) and the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame (1994).

In 2006, Sensei Jack earned his 7th Dan from the Kodokan.


Paul Takeshita, Yodan (1901 - 1969)

Paul Takeshita was born in 1901. At age 12, he was sent to Tokyo, Japan to live and be tutored by his grandfather who was a Japanese feudal lord. As part of his education, Sensei Takeshita attended the Kodokan Institute. There he tutored with four of the existing tenth degree grandmasters in the world.

Japan had switched from feudal system to that of an emperor system. It was under the emperor system that Paul lived for 12 years on. The emperor system played greatly in Paul’s education. His grandfather, who had been a feudal lord, had also been in charge of the samurai. The samurai lived by the code of martial arts. Samurai yet existed under the new emperor system and Paul’s grandfather was still in charge. Hence, the code of the samurai and martial arts was imparted to Sensei Takeshita.

In 1938 Sensei Takeshita came to the US at age 39. He was incarcerated in 1941 in an American concentration camp. This was done because he was Japanese and World War II was going on.

Consequently, he did not make rank and remained a Yo-Dan.

He met Jack Williams in Miami in 1959. Jack was already a Sho-Dan.

Paul Takeshita passed away in 1969 from a heart attack while living in San Diego, California.


Isogai Hajime, Judan (1871 - 1947)

Entered the Kodokan in 1891 and practiced assiduously under Kano Jigoro.  In 1899 he was selected to go to the Butokai in Kyoto where he worked for many years spreading Judo and training new teachers. In 1937 he was awarded the grade of 10th Dan and is considered to be one of the great figures in Kansai Judo*.

*Kansai is the midwestern portion of Honshu, the main island of the Japanese group.


Nagaoka Hidekazu, Judan (1876 - 1952)

He came to Tokyo from his birthplace, Okayama at the age of 16 to seek out the Shihan (Jigoro Kano). He entered the Kodokan in 1893 and practiced so hard it was eventually said of him, "The technique is SUTEMI, the man is Nagaoka."

Many of his contests are still the subjects of countless reminiscences. All of his efforts were poured into the training of young teachers and he was of the greatest assistance to the current President of the Kodokan. He did much for the the Kodokan to secure the position it holds today and was promoted to 10th dan in 1937.


Samura Kaichiro, Judan (1880 - 1964)

He joined the Kodokan in 1898, and received his 10th dan in 1948. In 1899 he became head of the Judo Section of the Butokkai and later traveled exensively teaching at schools and police establishments. He taught in the Kodokan and was a member of the Dojo Consultative Group.


Mifune Kyuzo, Judan (1884 - 1964)

He joined the Kodokan in 1903 and remained a member until his death. Even at the age of 77 he was unbelieveably energetic and was at the head of the Kodokan's instructors. The speed at which he mastered the techniques of Judo was only matched by the rapidity of his promotion. He received his 10th dan in 1945.

He has been known never to have stopped practicing Judo, and even a few years before his death displayed clean, effective technique. He is considered the greatest Judo technician to have ever lived.