Limelight: Sensei Yoshio Senda
Sensei Yoshio Senda, the highest ranked judoka in Canada, has been made a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the development and expansion of judo in Canada, as a coach, mentor and role model for more than five decades.
Sensei Senda has the distinction of having earned the first ever kudan (9th degree black belt) awarded by the dan grading committee of Judo Canada in July of 2006.
The Head Instructor and Coach of the Lethbridge Judo Club since he founded the club in 1952, he has also been the Head Instructor and Coach of the University of Lethbridge Judo Club since the University was formed in 1967. He won the Canadian Junior Championship in 1937 and achieved his shodan (first degree black belt) in 1939 at which time he started instructing judo as an assistant to Sensei Eichi Hashizume in Mission City, BC. Sensei Senda was coach of the Canadian Olympic Judo Teams in 1980 and 1984 and Joe Meli’s personal coach in the 1988 Olympics. Among the many honours Sensei Senda has received are:
• Membership in the Lethbridge, University of Lethbridge, and Judo Canada Halls of Fame
• An honorary Doctor of Laws degree granted by the University of Lethbridge
• Decorated with `The Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Rays’ conferred by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan
• Presented with a `Key to the City’ of Lethbridge
• and, most recently, appointment as a member of the Order of Canada.
Sensei Florence Senda started into judo relatively late, and didn’t receive her shodan (first degree black belt) until 1974, after two of her sons (Ron in 1966 and Greg in 1972). Since then she has been actively involved in instructing the judoka in the Lethbridge Judo Club. She currently holds the rank of yondan (4th degree black belt) and can be found at the dojo whenever the beginners’ class or the Ladies’ Kata class are meeting. She no longer has to sew the canvas covers for the tatami (judo mats) as she once did.
Between the two of them, Mr. and Mrs. Senda represent over a century of black belt experience! http://www.lajudo.com/kyodokan/index.html