As many of you know, I was at the Banana Conference in LA. I will post on it soon, but first I wanted to acknowledge Rusty Kanokogi for her contributions to judo.
The NY Times has her obituary here. Rusty Kanokogi was considered the mother of women’s judo. She fought for the right for women to compete by competing with and winning against men. To say she had an impact on women’s judo would be an understatement–without her involvement, we probably wouldn’t have women’s judo in the Olympics, we probably wouldn’t have Yawara-chan, and it’s likely that there would be far fewer female martial artists in the world today. See more here.
I met Rusty Kanokogi in passing during my judo career. She had a gym in Brooklyn and lived in the same state. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity.
Rest in Peace.