What Judo Means to Me

by Gavin Purdy

Judo translates to the Gentle Way. I try to abide by it everyday by walking away from unnecessary confrontations while keeping my mind in a tranquil and positive state. During my high school years I took a brake from judo and noticed that my temper was on a short fuse and my mind wasn't always where it should be. Now that I've been through a year of college and have been back at on the mat I feel my head in the right place now. I strive to live a simple and humble life. Academically I've never done better which I credit to my parents foremost and my Senseis at the dojo. 

Judo gives me something to excel in. I love to compete and judo fulfills that need. But most importantly judo to me means living a healthy and humble lifestyle that I enjoy everyday.

Gavin won a gold medal at the NCJA Judo Nationals, March 14, 2009 in San Jose

Gavin's promotion to 1st degree black belt following his victories

After his promotion, Liz Estupinian, (Gavin's mom) a respected LAPD Detective wrote; My family has been a part of Goltz Judo since 1996. If you have ever been involved in any other martial arts you already know that the cost can be quite prohibitive to the average person. This is how we came to find Goltz. Back in 1996, I was a newly single mother and my Gavin, who was a first grader, was briefly studying at a national franchise type dojo. After a few months, I realized that I could no longer keep him there because of finances, and I looked to my local parks and recreation program as an alternative. 

Gavin at age 6 when he began judo

At the time, I thought I would be settling for weaker instruction but something that I could afford. However, into my young son’s life walked Gary Goltz and his band of merry Senseis! (In the beginning there were more Senseis then students most of the time) These Senseis gave Gavin the male guidance he sometimes missed from his father who lived in Orange County. They profoundly impacted his shaping as an adult. Especially Gary. Gary even carted my kid around to the tournaments with his own two boys, because I had to work weekends.

If you know anything about Gary, you know that he is a self made man. As successful in business, as he is in judo. My point is that he does not head up the dojo for profit, purely for the love of the judo. This love of the judo transcends to his great staff of people and the sacrifice of his personal time for his students. The mark of a good teacher is someone who is confident enough to allow his students to grow outside of his control. We are lucky enough to have instruction from people like 6th Dan Sensei Brad Karmann, a former US Olympic Team member to name just one. The list could go on and that does not include the Grassroots clinics Gary organizes for the Dojo. Clinics with world class players like Ronda Rousey and Jimmy Pedro. 

We should never take for granted the high quality of instruction that Gary and his team is able to provide to us. By the way, Gavin today is a junior in college, holds a black belt, and recently won the Collegiate Nationals Nationals to boot!

Gavin with his Senseis Gary, O.J. and Brad

Gavin on his Promotion to 2nd Degree Black Belt

Gavin's final match at the NCJA

Gavin's match at the Sensei Classic - #1

Gavin's match at the Sensei Classic - #2

Gavin Interviewed by Black Belt Magazine

Gavin with Sensei Gary in Black Belt Magazine

Gavin's Long Beach Police Academy graduation 2013