Ameri-Kan Judo History
Mark Hunter started learning Judo at age 5 from Sensei Oscar Adams and Sensei Gerald Conkle in Lima, Ohio. He was grateful to learn not only the techniques, but also the honor, respect and way of life that are embraced by Judo. Mark has been a Judo Instructor at the Lima YMCA, Ryobu-Kai Karate at the Findlay Mall, and the Findlay YMCA. His program has started small and grown in popularity.
In 1993 he started a program at the Findlay YMCA in the basement of the downtown facility and it quickly became a popular YMCA activity. The first Findlay YMCA Judo Invitational was held on September 24th, 1994. Jamie Livergood, the National Director of Bushido Kai America, with clubs in New York and Michigan, attended and was very impressed with the program. He began to work out with the Findlay club.
In November 1994 the Findlay Judo Club changed its name to Bushido Kai America under the direction of Jamie Livergood, Anthony Samuel and Mark. The following year, Anthony Samuel moved back to New York after he was promoted to Shodan under Jamie Livergood to help the Bushido Kai Club there. Dr. Steven Valasquez joined the coaching staff of the Findlay Club.
The following year, another Bushido Kai America Club open at the Fostoria YMCA under the direction of Jamie Livergood
In September 1996, another Bushido Kai America Club was opened at Tiffin University [Jujitsu and self-defense] under the direction of Dr. Valasquez. In November of 1996, Bushido Kai America [Findlay] changed its name back to Findlay Judo. The Bushido Kai America in Fostoria and Tiffin will remain extension clubs of Findlay Judo. The change was made to enable the Findlay Judo Club to grow stronger and benefits both clubs; we now have two strong clubs in Ohio instead of one.
June of 1998, we changed our name to the Ameri-Kan Judo Club.
In 2004, we become an Non-Profit Organization under the name of American Judo Union, Inc. We have let go of all ties with Bushido Kai America and we are expanding under the Ameri-Kan Judo name.
In 2005, we became the 7th largest Judo Club in the USJA.
In 2006, we become the 3rd largest Judo Club in the USJA with over 130 members.
In 2oo6, we started another club at the Lima YMCA.
Ameri-Kan Judo has done much through the years mostly due to its members who are dedicated to the art of Judo. All instructors at Ameri-Kan Judo are volunteers. We do not get paid for teaching�.. We do it because we love it so much. Maybe one day one of you will be a Judo instructor and have that great feeling of accomplishment like we do. The future looks bright for Ameri-Kan Judo.