Okuri Judo, more than just judo... family

We've been building our judo family since 1986!

Judo is a life long journey that through perseverance will benefit you both mind, body, and spirit.
According to the Founder of Judo, Dr. Jigaro Kano, "Judo is the way to the most effective use of both physical and spiritual strength."
Since Sensei Mesa began teaching judo in 1986, she has promoted students from white belt to Sandan (3rd degree black belt). Many of those students promoted to black belt are still active in judo today. It is very common at OJC to have families on the mat at the same time learning judo together. Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers all practicing together.

Come join us on the mat!

Club Profile written by USA Judo in 2014:

Club Profile: Okuri Judo
Hurst, Texas

There was a turning point for Okuri Judo, a strong club in a strong judo state and host of the wellknown Lone Star Classic. Founder and head Sensei Kim Mesa thinks that upshift at Okuri arrived “when I had the folks who wanted to take their judo to the next level.” By that, Mesa means that these judoka wanted to compete beyond the local and state tournaments.

And that’s not just about those would-be elites, she said. Most at Okuri don’t compete nationally, and some at the club don’t compete at all, which is just fine by Mesa. But the presence of a prospective champion has a broad effect. “You can't play judo without a partner and at OJC we all work together
to get them (ambitious competitors) where they need to be. It takes everyone working together to make a champion. A champion is a victory for the club because everyone had a hand in raising them.”

Mesa founded Okuri Judo Club in 1986. The Lone Star Classic is one of the biggest tournaments in a state well known for lots of top-notch judo. Next year will be the 21st year the club has hosted the Lone Star with an expected 350 players from eight states and Mexico competing. Mark your calendar:
Jan. 28.

Okuri has produced a number of national and international competitors. OJC’s Nathan Kearney is ranked on the senior and youth rosters of the International Judo Federation. He competed this year in the Senior Pan American Championships, the Junior World Championships and took bronze at the Junior Pan American Championships. Nathan’s younger brother, Matthew, took a silver at this year’s Junior Pan American Championships. Currently working-out at the club and helping other athletes
achieve their objectives is 2008 U.S. Olympic team member Daniel McCormick, who was also on the Senior Pan American Team this year.

“It was a lot of hard work to get where we are,” said Mesa, who says the club has gone through several “eras” in its existence: “One year, we took twelve-plus masters to the Senior Nationals and all of them placed, along with a
dominating kata team, but no seniors. Now, we have a group of juniors who are competing at bigger junior national and international point events. I have learned over the years as a sensei or coach, you have to adjust to your students' needs. I have gone from times when no one wanted to compete to
attending every senior and junior USA Judo national-level event.”

There have been times, too, when there were more people on the mats than now, “but we have a core group of folks who are there day in and day out … We have built a true judo family over the years with some students being with me for twenty-plus years.” 

Mesa concluded, “Having been in judo basically my whole life, almost 40 years, I have played all of the roles: student, junior to collegiate player, teacher, sensei, senior player, coach, master player, etc. I cannot separate judo from me. It's inside, part of me, I feel blessed to still be a part of it.”