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
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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
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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
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“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

 
 
If you want to learn Judo in Portland this is the place to be. I come from a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu background, so lots of mat work, ground grappling, but not a ton of time spent on takedowns. Sure we would practice a hip toss or double leg occasionally, but not to the extent needed to become good at them. I knew judo had great takedowns but was always apprehensive. Flying through the air and being thrown regularly can be hard on the body. Plus some schools do not have a good mat so even if you know how to breakfall it’s painful. I did not have to worry about any of this at Portland Judo. Roy, Andy, and Louie are superb instructors. From day 1 they get you started learning to fall safely, before anything else. Students are encouraged to participate at their own pace, and they won’t have you sparring with another opponent until you are ready. So, no worrying about being thrown into the fire on your first day. Another thing about Portland Judo is the warm and friendly vibe. I have been to my fair share of martial arts schools and it can be tough being the new guy or visitor passing through town. Not so here. Everyone is welcoming and there are no egos. The facility is clean, neat, and well run from a business standpoint. They clean the mats after every practice and there is always someone available to answer questions. In addition to Judo they also have a good Brazilian Jiu-jitsu program, with Andy and Louie both being purple belts. Come by to check out a class, you won’t regret it.
 
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