Recently, we said goodby to Ms. Mayumi Omori.  Ms. Omori is a 4th dan in Judo and was the first student sent over as part of our new exchange program with the Teikyo University of Science Judo Team.  She spent three months living and training with us and created a great energy for our students. Her specialty was newaza and she enjoyed sharing her knowledge with our students.

During her time with us, I was reminded how important it is for our young students to have positive role models on the mat.   I had many strong black belts on the mat as I was coming up through the ranks.  Each class I attended brought a mix of anticipation, anxiety, and awe.  I would wait for class to start and watch the black belts come through the door.  I had a personal and unique connection with each of them based on our interactions on the mat and their approach to practice.

Now that Ms. Omori is back in Japan, she has started her career in elementary education.  We look forward to seeing her again during our Japan Study Tour this summer.