Steve Sasaki Award

Steve SasakiJudo was founded in Japan in 1882 by Professor Jigoro Kano and from him, Mr. Sasaki learned the sport as a young boy. In 1924, two years after immigrating to Vancouver, Mr. Sasaki established the Vancouver Judo Club on Powell Street. Named the Kindokwan Dojo, or training place, this was the first official Canadian Judo club. Many of his students went on to become world-class athletes and coaches.

In the 1930’s, Steve became the first official judo instructor for the RCMP. In 1936, Professor Kano visited Sasaki and requested that he accompany him on a European tour to promote the idea and concept if judo in an effort to foster peace and understanding between nations.

The onset of the Second World War changes the lives of countless people, including the Sasakis. The internment of Japanese Canadians during the WWII forced Mr. Sasaki and his wife, Sumiye, to relocate to an internment camp where he continued to organise judo classes. After the war, the Sasakis settled in Ashcroft, where they opened a business and established a dojo.

In the early 1950’s, Mr. Sasaki set out to form a national judo organization. By 1955, he had established the Canadian Kodokan Black Belt Association, an alliance of Western Provinces which later becomes Judo Canada. In 1958, He travelled to Japan and arranger for Canada to join the International Judo Federation.

Steve Sasaki retired in 1968, yet continues his quiet dedication to judo. He founded (and taught at) judo clubs all over Vancouver. He achieved an 8th level black belt in 1986, the same year he was inducted in the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame, and received Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun.

Steve was inducted into the BC Hall of Fame in the “builder” category in 1995.

The Steve Sasaki award is presented annually to a long time member of Judo BC who exemplifies the principles of Kodokan Judo.

Steve Sasaki Award Recipients

  • 2017 – Aline Strasdin, Prince George Judo Club
  • 2016 – George Okazaki, Vernon Judo Club
  • 2015 – Al Hadvick, Victoria Judo Club, Judo BC & Judo Canada
  • 2014 – Seiko and Penny Ouchi, Kamloops Judo Club, Judo BC & Judo Canada
  • 2013 – Mickey Fitzgerald, Parkland Judo Academy & Victoria Judo Club
  • 2012 – Yoshitaki Mori and Yosh Yoshida
  • 2011 – Jim Kojima, Steveston Judo Club
  • 2010 – Henry Boas, Penticton Judo Club
  • 2009 – Dave Magnusson, Abbostford Judo Club
  • 2008 – Alan Sakai, Steveston Judo Club
  • 2007 – Dave Speight, Port Coquitlam Judo Club
  • 2006 – Henry Uyeda, Kamloops Judo Club
  • 2005 – Fred Tan, Steveston Judo Club
  • 2004 – Rudi Mahler, North Delta Judo Club
  • 2003 – Yoshitaka Mori, Vernon Judo CLub
  • 2002 – Tokue Suda, Abbotsford Judo Club
  • 2001 – Hermann Mauthner, Invermere Judo Club
  • 2000 – John & Geraldine Huntley, Aberdeen Judo Academy
  • 1999 – Tomoaki Doi & Yonekazu Sakai, Steveston Judo Club
  • 1998 – Tom Mukai, Burnaby Judo Club
  • 1997 – Yeiji Inouye, Victoria Judo Club
  • 1996 – Art Nishi, Steveston Judo Club
  • 1995 – Chris Schenk, Burnaby Judo Club