O-SENSEI PHILIP S. PORTER,
OUR FOUNDER, (1925 - 2011)
Judo Competition History
O-Sensei's Creative Work in Judo
Founding Of The National College Judo Movement
National And International Leadership
Martial Arts Rank History
Hall of Fame Honors
is safe to say that there is no other person
alive in the world today who has had so varied
and comprehensive a career of achievement in Judo and the Martial Arts
as Philip S. Porter. In every field of endeavor involved in Judo;
from coaching, teaching and national and international leadership
positions to writing, refereeing and building the theoretical
framework of Judo, he has excelled. His competitive career spanned 50
years, culminating with four US National Masters Gold medals in
winning which he never lost a match.
He may be the only person who has
refereed the finals in the world championships and fought in the world
masters championships as well. During his many years in Martial Arts
training, Porter has lived, taught and competed in Europe for four
years; and lived, studied and competed in Japan for two years, From
Thailand to Germany, from England to Brazil, he has studied, refereed,
taught, and competed for 65 years.
O-Sensei (Teacher of teachers)
Philip S. Porter began his Martial Arts career as a boxer 65 years
ago-- in 1943 at age 18. He was later a member of the West Point
Boxing Team; and in 1950, Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the
Western Area of the Air Training Command, USAF. Porter graduated from
the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1948, and served
in the U.S. Army and Air Force for 25 years, retiring as a major in
O-Sensei started Judo, JuJitsu,
and Karate training in 1951 while serving on a Strategic Air Command
(SAC) combat crew at Travis Air Force Base, California. His first
teacher was Sensei Walter Todd, 2nd Degree in Judo and the
first American to be awarded a black belt in Shotokan Karate. Todd
was later promoted to 8th Degree Black Belt in Shudokan
Karate, and is now deceased. Because Porter was 27 years old at the
time, he soon started teaching and coaching Judo as well as
competing. Now, he is called O-Sensei because he is responsible for
teaching and watching over the rank promotions of thousands of his
Black Belt students and club leaders throughout the country in over
1,500 clubs of the United States Martial Arts Association.
Competition History. O-Sensei Porter
started competing in Judo in 1951, and is still active in masters
competition, a competitive career spanning over 50 years. He was US
Air Force USAFE champion in 1957, won a Bronze Medal in the US Senior
Nationals in 1963, won the US National Masters Championship four times
(1975,1977, 1980 and 1981), and won two gold and a silver medal in the
1998 World Masterathlete Games in Ottawa, Canada in 1998.
History. Phil Porter’s coaching
achievements are legendary. He has produced over 1,000 national and
international medalists in Judo over the past 50 years, 500 of them
during the eight years he coached the National Judo Team at the NJI
(1984-1992). No other coach in America has even approached this
record. His team won six medals with six athletes in the 1991 Pan
American Games, including Kate Donahoo’s Gold Medal. Kate Donahoo
also won 5th place in the World Judo Games of 1989, 5th
place in the 1992 Olympics, and won the Bronze Medal in the 1988 World
Good Will Games.
Creative Work In Judo. Coach Porter
considers that his most important contribution to Judo and the Martial
Arts is the large number of books, magazine articles, videos and DVDs
that he has created. Many of these works outline and explain his own
original theoretical contributions to Judo. His videos alone have
sold over 130,000 copies, the most important and popular Judo videos
in English ever made in the world. Among his video masterworks are
the world standard for Judo, “The 65 Throws of Kodokan Judo” (Now
available for the first time on DVDs); as well as, “The Secrets Of
Winning In Judo,” “The Counters of Judo,” and “Judo Grappling
Techniques,” all of which will soon be available on DVDs.
In addition, an incredible ten DVD
series titled “My Life In Budo” is now in preparation by a
professional cinematographer, and O-Sensei himself is also shooting,
writing and directing the creation of a special DVD series on the bent
arm lock, ude garami.
His well-known books include “Judo
From The Beginning,” “Championship Judo Drill Training,” (with Ben
Campbell), “The Basic JuJitsu Manual,” and the Junior and Senior Rank
System Manuals for American Judo, which have been printed in hundreds
of thousands of copies over the past 40 years. He also created and
was the editor of the magazine “American Judo” for 35 years.
believes that at age 83, his theoretical, teaching and coaching work
in Judo is just beginning. He says, “My creative ability in Judo
seems to increase over the years. I am developing more new concepts,
teaching methods, and technical applications of Judo now than ever
before. The next 30 years promise to be a very rich experience!”
National College Judo Movement. In 1962
Porter hosted the first National Collegiate Judo Championships at the
US Air Force Academy, wrote the constitution and bylaws of the first
National Collegiate Judo Association (NCJA), and was elected as its
Secretary. Later he was elected for a term as President of the NCJA.
International Leadership. O-Sensei Porter
is called “The Father of American Judo” because he helped found the
USJA in 1954, and personally built it into the largest Judo group in
America, as well as the largest non-profit Martial Arts organization
in the country, over a period of 41 years. Below are listed a few of
O-Sensei Porter’s leadership achievements in American and world
Porter served three years as
National Chairman of the AAU Judo Committee (1961-1964), Chairman of
the U.S. Olympic Judo Committee (1964-1968), Secretary General of the
Pan American Judo Union (1964-1967), Technical Director of the Pan
American Judo Union (1967-1969), President, U. S. Judo Association
(1980-1995); Editor, “American Judo” (1960-1995), President and Head
Coach, National Judo Institute and National Judo Team, (1980-1995),
and Founder of the United States Martial Arts Association since 1995.
Porter founded and became
President of the U.S. Martial Arts Association in late 1995. The USMA
is the only non-profit American organization devoted to unifying the
Martial Arts in our country, and recognizing all Martial Arts.
Teachers. Porter says, “I was blessed with
the greatest teachers a man could ever have.” While in the Air Force,
his first teacher was Walter Todd (later 8th Dan). In
1953, Sumiyuki Kotani (later 10th Dan) and Tadao Otaki
(later 9th Dan) both accepted him as their student. Then
O-Sensei trained in England at the famous Budokwai in London for a
period of four years (1954 to 1958). At that time his teacher was
Trevor P. Leggett, until his death the only 9th Degree in
Judo in Europe, and one of only a few 9th Degrees in Judo
outside of Japan. O-Sensei insists that his teachers are still with
him, and that now his O-Sensei is the Lord Christ.
History. Porter was active as a national
and international referee in Judo for many years. He rewrote the IJF
contest rules in 1967. He refereed the finals in the 1965 World Judo
Championships in Brazil between Geesink and Matsunaga. He served on
the six-member Consultative Committee of Referees for the first Judo
Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, and was the referee for the team finals in
the World CISM Games of 1971 in Vienna, Austria.
Martial Arts Rank History. O-Sensei holds
the 10th Dan or higher rank in more than 15 Martial Arts.
Many of these ranks are honorary and are not listed below. The
six arts in which O-Sensei holds 10th Dan and which he
considers earned ranks are included in the rank history below,
Beikoku Mizu Ryu JuJitsu:
Judan (10th Degree), by the
Beikoku Mizu Ryu JuJitsu Association.
Judan (10th Degree), 1998 by Dr. Masaaki
Hatsumi, 34th Soke of the Togakure Ryu.
Judan (10th Degree). Shodan, 1954; Nidan, 1956, Budokwai,
England; Sandan, 1959, Yondan, 1963-Personally
presented by Sumiyuki Kotani, 9th Dan, of the Kodokan,
after O-Sensei placed third in the U.S. Judo Nationals at age 38. (Kotani
Sensei was later for many years the only living 10th
Degree in Judo in the world). Rokudan, 1973; Shichidan, 1981;
Hachidan, 1989; Kudan, 1994, Judan, January 1, 2005. Note: There
are now about 25 living Kudan (9th
Degrees) in Judo in Japan, and a few more outside Japan. There are
now (2008) five Judo 10th Degrees in the world. They
are: Abe, Osawa, and Daigo of Japan; Anton Geesink (of the
Netherlands), and O-Sensei Porter. There have been 18 Judoists of
10th in the history of Judo (15 from Japan). One of the
last four Japanese Judan was Sumiyuki Kotani Sensei, who died on
October 19, 1991, at age 89. He was O-Sensei Porter’s most revered
Judan. All degrees, 1st through 9th
(1951-1994) by USJA. Judan (10th Degree) 1997 by USMA
and Beikoku Mizu Ryu JuJutsu.
Jun Kin Shin.
Soke-10th Degree. Jun Kin Shin is the JuJitsu ryu founded
by O-Sensei from his many years experience in teaching self defense
to law enforcement and military personnel. He has awarded only a
few ranks in this system because he does not consider the system
Judan (10th Degree) 1997 by Mid-Atlantic Self Defense
9th Degree (Honorary) 1994.
Moo Hap Sul Hapkido:
9th Degree (Honorary), 1997 by House of Discipline
Martial Arts Group.
8th Degree (Honorary) 1996 by the American Shotokan
Hall Of Fame
Honors. World Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
O’Sensei has also been honored (April 1997) as a member of the World
Martial Arts Hall of Fame as the recipient of the coveted “Heritage
Award of Excellence” award. International Karate & Kickboxing Hall
of Fame. O-Sensei was inducted into the International Karate Hall
of Fame at a special ceremony conducted in Cleveland, Ohio in April,
1997. World Headfounders Council. O-Sensei was admitted as
the 18th member of the World Headfounders Council in July,
1997. He is the 18th member inducted out of 3,219
applicants. In May, 1998, O-Sensei was inducted into the Martial
Arts Masters, Pioneers and Legends Hall of Fame Council International
in the highest category, “Legend.”
In 2000, O-Sensei created the USMA International
Hall of Fame and the USMA National Junior and Senior Training Camps.
O-Sensei Porter has been granted several honorary Doctor’s degrees,
and has written many books on Judo and JuJitsu. O-Sensei travels
extensively, conducting over 100 seminars a year.
O-Sensei Porter served three years as
National Chairman of the AAU Judo Committee (1961-1964), Chairman
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