Testimonials

“High caliber coaches, great learning environment, and classes from novice to black belt. If you want to learn Judo in a fun and safe way, this is the place.”

James
James Puopolo
IBJJF Black Belt World Champion
Head Instructor – Salem-Keizer BJJ Academy
Salem, OR
Visit Salem-Keizer BJJ Academy

 

If you are interested in learning Judo, you can’t go wrong with Portland Judo. The Senseis are very knowledgeable and always helpful. I think Portland Judo’s teachers foster a great environment where everyone helps each other to get better together. 

The thing that I almost always hear when discussing Judo is, I would love to try Judo but I don’t want to get hurt. Being 34 and my body already taken a decent amount of wear and tear from over a decade of practicing BJJ and MMA, I had the same fear. Those fear were put to rest pretty quick. The common theme in every class that I have attended at Portland Judo seems to be, safety first. The instruction is top notch and the Senseis are passionate about Judo. I highly recommend Portland Judo to anyone interested in trying out Judo.

Keisuke
Keisuke Andrew
Head Instructor – Enso Jiu Jitsu
Oregon City, OR
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“If you are interested in learning Judo, I highly recommend this Dojo. The instructors are extremely talented. Not only are they exceptional Judoka with great credentials, but they are also equally skilled at instructing and motivating their students. Make sure you put them on your short list of places to train when in the Portland area, you won’t be disappointed!

Cunningham
Ryan Cunningham
Head Instuctor – Perfomance Martial Arts Academy
Roseburg, OR
Visit Performance Martial Arts Academy

 

I’ve been training with Roy Kawaji Sensei and the Hung brother’s for some time now. Not only are they technically proficient, but they create an atmosphere of family and make it a place you want to be a part of. Whether you’re looking for a martial art, or for a workout that is new and challenging, this is the place. I’ve been training in the martial arts for nearly 2 decades and these guys have definitely helped me get my training to the next level. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable and inspiring. Thank you Portland Judo!

Glenwood
Glenwood McGeorge
Head Instructor – Trident Martial Arts
Portland, OR
Visit Trident Martial Arts

 

“For many years I had thought about wanting to try any of the forms of martial arts. I wanted to learn new skills that I could transfer over to my profession. But as each offseason came around I always found myself hesitant to step foot into an unknown world, not knowing what the welcoming I would receive would be like. I worried that instructors would not be willing to listen to what I was looking for and strictly do as they would with any new student. Finally this winter I decided Portland Judo was the dojo I would try first after a recommendation from a friend.

The welcoming I received was all I could have asked for and all the instructors quickly put my worries at ease. Letting me know that I would not be required to do anything I did not feel I could or should do. Each of the instructors listened to what I was looking to gain from Judo and we exchanged ideas about the techniques I could benefit from. Within the my first hour there I was no longer worried about anything besides learning as much as I could from the instructors and other students in the class.

From my time at Portland Judo I learned Judo techniques, but also took away some great words of wisdom from Roy. In the NFL sometimes people forget about the great lessons that can be learned from athletics, competition and the pursuit to better oneself and Judo reminded me of these cherished qualities. I really can’t thank the people of Portland Judo enough for the help they gave me and I look forward to training with them again.”

Jordan
Jordan Senn
NFL Linebacker
Carolina Panthers

 

I’ve been training at Portland Judo now for about a month and a half. The instruction is top notch and worth your time and money. They teach Judo the way it should be taught. They a solid background and are proven Judokas. If looking for Judo in the Portland area search no further.

KC
K.C. Thompson
Portland, Oregon

 

I can’t speak highly enough of Portland Judo. I’ve been with the club for about 2 years and had never really trained in a martial art before. I did wrestle for many years and when I decided I wanted to start training in some form of grappling again, I knew I wanted something more that just a “gym”. I wanted to learn not only an applicable and effect art but also something of the tradition of a martial art, something that would at least touch on the philosophical side. I checked out a few local Jiu Jitsu clubs and while I generally enjoyed my experience and have nothing negative to say, none of them had that feel I was looking for. I found that feel at Portland Judo. I also really appreciated that I was never asked to sign a long-term contract or felt like I was being pitched in someway. The monthly dues are really reasonable, especially considering the instruction level. It has always been a no pressure, come and go freely place since I joined. You pay when you want to train and that’s it. As a beginner safety was stress to me. Learning to fall safely was first priority. The traditions of the sport (when to bow, how to sit, how to address an instructor, ect…) were introduced to me but not in any sort of intimidating or belittling way. It felt like Sensei Roy, Andy, Louie and Matt were sharing these traditions with me and not like it was being demanded as a sign of submissiveness or something. They were welcoming, patient, encouraging and informative from day one. Since then I have found Portland Judo a well-balanced place to train and learn. If you want to compete and/or spar, there are talented competitors that will help you improve your game. The competition team does well at the local tournaments and I often see members from other local clubs drop in to train with us from time to time. If you just want to get in shape, learn to defend yourself and build confidence; the encouragement and opportunity is there with out any pressure. Again, safety is stressed. I’ve never seen anyone looked down upon for their level of fitness or skill. Basically if you show up with a good attitude and are willing to learn, you will be welcomed. The style and level of instruction is wonderful. Having had many coaches in the past (both good and bad) I feel I know good instruction when I see it. Things are broken down in a logical manner and presented in a way that not only shows the technique but leads you to understand the mechanics of it. Criticism is offered in a constructive way and I’ve always had the feeling that the Sensei’s have a genuine interest in seeing us students improve. Portland Judo has been a very positive influence in my life. My focus, health and confidence have grown since I’ve started training. I see its effects reflected in both my professional and personal life. I’d like to thank all the sensei’s and training partners. I really appreciate all the time and effort you’ve put in to make Portland Judo the positive and warm place that it is.

Ryan
Ryan Roberts
Portland, Oregon

 

I have been training at Portland Judo for two years and I have realized that Portland judo has become more than just a place to train it is community of people that are supportive, friendly and inclusive of everyone. Whether you are new to martial arts or you have experience in other sports the coaches at Portland Judo provide constructive feedback that will help you grow. The coaching style focuses on individual understanding that is personalized to each students needs. One of the greatest strengths that I noticed when I first came to the club is the Sensei’s know how to teach–they explain techniques so they are understandable. Portland Judo is made up of community of people that are friendly. This is a big strength for Portland Judo because I have always felt surrounded by people that I know want me to be successful and safe. The community is made up of people that have many different goals including wanting to become physically fit, training for the next tournament or just wanting to learn something new. Before and after classes you will find people laughing, and enjoying themselves—there is no elitist attitudes or ego to get in the way of having fun and learning the sport. Portland Judo has become more than just a club but a place that I feel deeply connected to.

Derek
Derek Mueller
Portland, Oregon

 

I have been in judo and other martial arts for 30 years and I can unequivocally state that Portland Judo is a top level club and training facility. Being originally from Europe, I have trained at a number of clubs abroad but Portland Judo clearly stands out in both quality of technical instruction, as well as family-friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

The instructors at Portland Judo have both passion for the art, as well as posses technical proficiency and an impressive competitive pedigree. All instructors are university educated in sports physiology and train the students intelligently and safely. This, as a medical professional, is of great importance to me and my family. If fitness and health are your goal, you will achieve it safely and effortlessly in a supportive environment. The instruction is motivating and the workouts are pressure-free. But even if you strive to be a proficient competition player, then your meets will be more than met with classes dedicated to competitive sparring both in stand-up fights as well as ground grappling in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tradition.

The head-instructor and founder, Kawaji Sensei, being second generation Japanese-American, is the perfect bridge between the martial and philosophical world of the Orient and modern-day American society. He lives and breathes judo and instructs from the philosophy of ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. Not only do adults and children learn gentle self-defense techniques for safety and fitness, everybody also learns about the judo principles of softness, flexibility and non-aggression. This is unique to the art and an integral part of the instruction at Portland Judo.

Versluys
Respectfully,
Arnaud Versluys, MD, PhD

 

I have spent the majority of my 40 years on earth involved in martial arts training and I have no reservations in saying that my greatest learning experience has been with Portland Judo. Not only is Roy an excellent instructor, he is a world-class person. There are no strangers in the dojo. Whether it’s your 1st or 100th class, Roy will ensure that you are greeted by and/or introduced to every member of the dojo present. Learning in a safe environment is a top priority of the gym. I’ve only been a member for 8 months, but during that time I’ve had the pleasure of training with Olympians, world champion Jiu-Jitsu competitors, and MMA competitors. All of previously mentioned individuals sought out Portland Judo because of the high level of instruction from Roy, Louie, and Andy. I’m grateful that I found such a great school of martial arts instruction and I look forward to each training session.

Chris
Christopher P. Moore
Portland, Oregon

 

When I started at Portland Judo, I had no background in wrestling or any Martial Art for that matter. I was greeted with open arms, a big smile, and found that you don’t need to be an All-State wrestler or Olympic hopeful to practice Judo! At my first practice I was given one on one instruction, which helped me become acquainted. I noticed the comradery between the other members, the more experienced were helping the beginners throughout the entire practice. There was teamwork and over all uplifting/positive attitudes that I didn’t experience at the other places that I looked. Almost a year ago, I walked through the doors of Portland Judo out of shape, lacking discipline, and unconfident in myself. Today, after practicing multiple times a week, I feel like I am in some of the best shape of my life. I am confident, yet have acquired a certain level of humility. My girlfriend tells me that she sees more patience in me. The list could go on and on. Joining and committing to Portland Judo was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you are reading this and considering joining a Martial Arts club, you would be doing yourself and injustice by not checking this place out. Portland Judo is a growing family that I am proud to call myself apart of!

Evan
Evan Pettit
Portland. OR

 

Portland Judo and Jiu-jitsu is run by some of the most proficient judo players in the area, but more importantly by the nicest guys. They make judo accessible to today’s student. Maybe in feudal Japan practices were rigid and inflexible but in today’s climate practice should be engaging. Roy, Andy, and Louie are all guys that you want to do judo and BJJ with but when you see them on the street you want to stop and have a conversation and a laugh also. I recommend this academy
Michael A.
Beaverton, OR

My last two and a half years with Portland Judo have been some of the best that I can remember. Not only because I had found what I always thought of as the quintessential place to train martial arts but because of the resounding positive influence the club and it’s instructors have had on my life. You’ll find hard, honest training being taught by those who possess not only high technical proficiency, but methods that have been backed by elite competitive experience. In my time with PJ I have had the wonderful opportunity to train with many world-class athletes. I am a very experienced martial artist as well as a professional fighter and these people put me to shame. Yet there is no ego, no attitudes or any idea that one has to “prove themselves” in our dojo. Everyone from multiple-time world champions to day one beginners are welcome and everyone is there to help make each other better. Whether you are looking to compete in Judo or BJJ, get in elite physical condition or just searching for a fun and practical way to improve health, you’ll reach your goals at Portland Judo. Not only that, but you’ll have a great time while doing it. The training is amazing but the atmosphere is what keeps everyone coming back. Come see why Portland Judo is the premier dojo in the Northwest.

Casey
Casey Campbell
Beaverton, Oregon

 

Wow! For me personally, Portland Judo has changed my life. I have been an athlete my entire life and have been training in all sorts of different Martial Arts for about 10 years now. Including Muay Thai, Kajukenbo, Judo, Submission Wrestling, MMA, and BJJ. I have trained at a multitude of gyms and I have trained with too many people to even recall. Since I starting training with Roy, Louie and Andy at Portland Judo, not only has my Jiu Jitsu game grown exponentially, but my outlook to life has changed. 

When I started back in July, I was lethargic, over weight and generally miserable. I had not worked out in about a year, weighed 186lbs and had 19% body fat. Within 3 months I had dropped 30lbs and cut my body fat in half and that was working out only two times a week! The Coaching is top notch, the people that I train with are amazing and I could not imagine my life without Portland Judo. Most Importantly, Portland Judo caters to everyone, every style and every pace. From Beginners to Black Belts. Kids, Women, private lessons, Portland Judo has it all. Whether you are looking to get physically fit or train to compete, this is the place! 
See ya on the Mats!!!!!!

Shawn
Shawn Allen
Beaverton, OR

 

I started training here a year ago and have been blown away by varied skill sets displayed by the Sensei’s and the visiting instructors which seem to always be dropping by. There is a comradery and fellowship that is shared between everyone regardless of experience or ability that can be hard to find elsewhere. Portland Judo is lead by a group of incredibly active teachers who are constantly expanding the curriculum and involved at the highest level of competition. If you are a beginner looking to figure out if this is the sport for you don’t be afraid to stop by, as there seems to be new students dropping in every week. If you are an experienced player looking to test yourself, you won’t be able to find a better place to train in Oregon!

David
David Standiford
Portland, OR

 

First rate facility. I have done judo at a few different spots in town and this is by far the best. All the instructors are friendly, safety conscious, and won’t push you to do something you are not ready for. They make sure you know how to fall before being thrown. The mats are top notch and make for a more comfortable landing compared to normal wrestling mats. There are no egos here, everyone is super nice and has a great attitude. Definitely check it out if you are interested in judo or brazillian juijitsu

Anton
Anton Emery
Portland, OR

 

I’ve trained at Portland Judo for a short time, maybe three months. Having trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for more than 5 years I can attest to the product of Portland Judo’s instruction, students and spirit. Portland, Oregon accidentally inherited another great treasure – and we look forward to a generation of great Judoka which will be very much to the credit of Roy, Louie and Andy. Thank you!

Tim
Timothy Dalbey
Portland, Oregon

 

After relocating from Europe to the US eighteen months ago, one of our priorities was to find a good judo club for our 10 yr old son Luca to continue training at. We didn’t find a good judo club, we found a GREAT one.
Luca was welcomed with open arms at the dojo. His skills have developed significantly this past year and as the eldest in the kids group, he not only trains hard, he is encouraged and given responsibility to help the younger kids just starting out.
The Portland Judo Senseis not only teach judo, but life skills – discipline, confidence, respect, perseverance, focus (what parent doesn’t want their child to learn these). Roy Kawaji Sensei tells stories of his youth and his judo experiences, motivating the children in the ‘gentle’ way of judo. Together the children have fun, build friendships and feel they are part of a really great club.
The number of children now enrolled in the judo classes has increased significantly this past year, and is a true testimonial to what a great club Portland Judo is. We hope to see you there.

Luca
Victoria Foord

 

My family joined Portland Judo as some of its earliest members over two and a half years ago, when often but 3-4 people graced the mat. My two boys, who are now 7 and 9 years old have been training ever since and I, as their proud parent, have been able to witness and enjoy all the positive benefits judo has had on their development and maturation. Through judo my children have grown to be confident yet polite, attentive yet relaxed and have gained invaluable improvement in their health and fitness levels. Whether judo is taught for improvement of attention span, motivation, weight control, or just for plain fun and to find an exciting hobby for on the weekends, Portland Judo is the most wholesome and welcoming dojo in town.

Arnaud
Respectfully,
Arnaud Versluys, MD, PhD

 

The best dojo that I have seen in over a decade of traveling the US. They truly capture the spirit and essence of what it is to do judo as it was intended. The children’s classes are no exception and my daughter talks about how great her class and instructor are everyday. It’s a God send for our family. If you’re even remotely interested in trying judo, by all means, please, try it here.
~ Jon Sorenson

 

This is a fantastic training facility, I was training at a less than legit spot in portland, that took me for some serious money. My wife called to see if I could come in and train until my finances recovered and Sensei Roy was completely willing and understanding. I am overweight and out of shape, but I know good judo when I see it, as I have had considerable instruction when I was much younger. This place is very welcoming even though I have social anxiety and ptsd from the military, I will hopefully train here for many years to come.
~ Adam M.

 

I’ve been to almost all of the Judo clubs in NY, and this is my first time actually visiting a club outside of the East Coast. I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed with many aspects of this dojo.

First of all, very welcoming. Karen at reception always had a smile on and was very welcoming of my visit. As a black belt in Judo, they charged me a very reasonable rate for my two week visit to the club. The Sensei always had a very warm and positive attitude. I could tell that this wasn’t just a job for him at all. He is really passionate about improving the Judo of all his students. No facade, no act. His technique was of a very high level as well.

The facility is fairly large, even housing a free weight area as well. It’s very clean as well, as it’s a new facility, but they upkeep it very well. The mats are cleaned every night, and I love the actual club’s layout from the open door entrance, all the way up to the second floor locker rooms.

If you’re in the Portland area, I highly recommend paying a visit to Portland Judo, whether you’re a black belt visiting, or just beginning your Judo journey. They also have BJJ here as well.
~ Danny G.

 

What an amazing place to do judo!  NO CONTRACT! ! Part of the Judo Association! Sensei Roy and staff is such a pleasure to work with. Excellent teachers for kids of all ages. Wonderful for adults, men and women.
~ Jolee W.

 

What a talented bunch of warm hearts. They all truly put their heart and soul into making all feel welcome and are dedicated to positive reinforcement. I cannot say enough good things about the commitment and generous outpour these stellar people bring to the community.
~ Dana Yokum

 

Portland Judo demonstrates the essence of inclusion and a welcoming vibe! The instructors are great and make themselves available for questions and concerns you have for your kids or your own training. I can say that training with this community definitely brings me closer to my oldest son and has fostered a common path on the mat. Plus it’s super fun! I encourage everyone to come check out the dojo as see for themselves, you will be stoked you did!
~ Evan Hassel

 

There is a strong community of respect built at this gym. Both the instructors and upper belts are understanding of where students are in their learning, and give students opportunities to experiment. I took a hiatus from training during grad school and two years later was fortunate to begin training again at Portland Judo. As far as schedule there are many classes for someone like me who teaches high school to find the time and train…different classes for many levels. I highly recommend that you give Portland Judo a try!
~ Brandon Morehouse

 

First, the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming, and professional. Second, the instructors are knowledgeable, motivating, patient and quickly recognize that students come from many different backgrounds and taylor instruction to accommodate for those backgrounds. Third, the classes are equal parts challenging, and incremental. All the while, still being fun, and varied. Fourth, the people are incredible. From first time white belt, to 5th degree black belt, everyone has a great attitude that really drives home the family atmosphere at Portland Judo.
~ Steven Higdon

 

Portland Judo is the premier academy in Portland.
~ Matthew Bottiglieri

 

My kids started to learn judo here when they were respectively 5, and bow they are 10 MD 12. We love here! It’s like a family. It teaches not only Judo,but also discipline, principles and tradition and old values. This is not a commercial place that kids get promotion easily so parents are happy to keep spending money. This is a real life school! And it’s fun too!
~ Jean Li

 

Love this dojo and the people there… amazing place to go train… a true gem in the PNW!!
~ Robert Borisch

 

Kids, adults, seniors, handicapped, Portland Judo is a dojo where all walks of life enter. You don’t have to be a super athlete or have done judo since the days of youth to do judo at this location. All of the instructors and senior students will welcome you on your first day and cater to your needs. Judo is seen as a rough sport to many but Portland Judo will allow you to be flexible in terms of how much you are able to do. The activities and drills that are done during practice is not forced up on you if you are uncomfortable or even out of shape. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there on our first day. I’ve have seen this place change many lives including my own in ways from losing weight, gaining self-confidence and meeting new people, even saying this place is their second home. The atmosphere is unlike any other where good vibes thrive on. There has never been a best time to start Judo now if you live in the Portland area.
~ George Powell

 

Fantastic group of people- everyone had such great energy and were always happy to help people on their journey- they were incredibly inspiring. Their discipline and positivity also undoubtedly made an impact. Don’t let that fool you, though- they’re incredibly talented on the mats too. No wonder people come from great distances to train there. No politics, just good training. Hope to be back soon!
~ Melissa Z.

 

I’ve done wrestling and Bjj but never got a chance to try Judo and I gotta say, I fell in love with the sport. Awesome instructors, awesome class and all and all awesome environment. You’ll defiantly learn something the first day just come in and see for yourself.
~ Dara Chan

 

PDX Judo has a beautiful dojo. You can feel the judoka spirit as they perpetuate the tradition. As a sports performance trainer who has worked with all types of athletes young and old, it is my opinion that there is no better discipline to compliment an athlete’s development, physically, spiritually and mentally.
~ Sheldon S.

 

Comfortable, convenient, family friendly dojo. Senseis are great with the kids — knowledgeable, patient, fun, funny, and yet firm and traditional. Portland Judo offers a very cool way for kids to put some of that excess energy to good use.
~ Randal Patriquin

 

Awesome instructors and a family friendly environment. I have always felt welcome while training at Portland Judo. They also have an excellent BJJ program.
~ Matthew Burns
 

If you are looking for a quality experience trying judo being a first time player, or having years of experience. Portland Judo is the place to be. Excellent instructors, and great environment.
~ Loren Loose