Times Press Recorder, November 12, 2010

Judo president visits Nipomo dojo

by Mike Hodgson, Associate Editor

USJA President Gary Goltz, demonstrates to students of CEM Judo how to properly control an opponent.

A visit by the president of the U.S. Judo Association last week drew members of four other local dojos to CEM Judo in Nipomo for some friendly practice and instruction.

Sensei Gary Goltz, the association president, also promoted CEM Judo sensei Bob Rush from first-degree black belt to third-degree black belt.

Rush, who has held a first-degree black belt for about 19 years, said the promotion skipped over the second degree in recognition of his dojo’s success in the one year since it was started.

“He said our club, out of over 1,000 clubs, is in the top 20 in the nation,” Rush said. He noted his students have placed 20 to 30 times in competitions throughout the state in the past year, and the dojo has signed up 50 new judo students — not students already studying at another dojo.

“(Goltz) said that considering all we were doing for judo and our students, my rank should more closely resemble what I’ve accomplished,” Rush said.

He noted CEM Judo appears to have five or six students who will be qualified to compete in the judo winter nationals set for Dec. 3 through 5 in La Verne.

“If they win, they can carry the title of national champion, and that’s a pretty big deal,” he said. “We have a lot of competitors, I dare to say, who could have the Olympics in their sights in the future.”

The 20,000-member U.S. Judo Association oversees American judo and places competitors in the Olympics and other national and international competitions, and Goltz’s visit packed the Nipomo dojo with nearly 100 people, Rush said.

At least 60 of those were in judo uniforms — 10 of them black belts — who joined each other for practice.

“You can’t get that many judo people together without rolling around a little,” Rush said. Goltz also demonstrated the goshin-jitsu kata, one of a number of prearranged movements.

“It was a big honor to have him here,” Rush said. “He was a catalyst for bringing a bunch of schools together in a positive way. There was a lot of good camaraderie, mutual respect and affirmation.”

(This article also appeared in the Adobe Press).

Santa Maria Sun, November 16, 2010

Local Judo players lock horns and take notes during a visit from the American Judo president

by Henry Houston, Staff Writer & Photographer

Zack Harding of CEM Judo in Nipomo demonstrates a throw.

For the students at Common Era Ministries (CEM) Judo, one of the best things in life is free: judo. In fact, so many people have been attracted to the dojo that it’s been propelled into the top-20 most active clubs in America—out of about 1,000 total. And because of its great success, Gary Goltz, president of the United States Judo Association, paid a visit on Nov. 4.

“It’s kind of a big deal,” said Sensei Bob Rush, pastor and fearless leader of CEM Judo.

The president’s arrival was indeed a big deal. Rush’s dojo was packed with about 60 judo practitioners dressed in their judo wear (including a few black belts), hoping to see the president show off a few moves. Goltz also presented an award to Rush, which the pastor didn’t see coming.

Also present were members from two other prominent local dojos: Coastal Judo and Five Cities Judo. “If we would have known this would have been so packed, we would have reserved a bigger place,” Rush said to the president.

Some attendees entertained the idea of taking the event outside to the parking lot, where it would have been immensely cooler and more open. President Goltz, however, decided it was a good idea to split the crowd; the 12-and-under attendees went first, followed by the older students.

After warm-ups, Goltz wanted to see their falls. “I can tell a lot about a student by a fall, and I can tell if they are ranked right by a fall,” he said. “Every stuntman has to know how to fall right, and some dojos spend six months on falls.”

The students obliged, tumbling down. Afterward, Goltz grouped the more experienced students with the younger students for fall practice.

After 10 minutes, the president moved on to throwing, beginning with a demonstration featuring two of the dojo’s students.

Later, the black belts took on a few of the students and helped them with their throws. One student watched as Gregg Rubio, who runs the Five Cities dojo in Nipomo, demonstrated the “Dudley Butt Strike.” Before tossing his student, Rubio made a farting noise, his rear end sticking out.

The main attraction of the night came during the president’s Goshin-Jitsu demonstration. Goltz’s assistant approached him with a mock pipe, a mock knife, and a mock gun. But Goltz is a president who doesn’t need a Secret Service; he threw the “assailant,” who landed on the mat with a loud thud.

After grabbing his glasses, Goltz walked toward the middle of the dojo to present two awards to Pastor Rush. The first was a Life Membership award from the judo association; the second was something Rush had waited a while for his 3rd degree black belt.

“That took a long time,” he said, after getting his promotion. “It almost brought me to tears.”

After the ceremony, the students bombarded their teacher with group hugs, handshakes, and congratulations. The pastor was ecstatic. “They’re all the sons I never had,” he said of his students.

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