Judo discussion and investigation of selected topics by Ronald Desormeaux
Judo Ron 7Tribute to a Canadian Judo Pioneer: Bernard Gauthier
The Canadian judo history begins in the 1914 with the arrival of Japanese visitors andsettlers on the West Coast. Judo evolved quickly from the commitments and dedication of Japanese teachers the like of Steven Shigetaka Sasaki who settled in the Vancouver area.In 1932, Professor Jigoro Kano came to Vancouver to reinforce his Kodokan Judo’s principles amongst the established teachers association.The Second World War was catastrophic to the expansion of judo on the western coast asmany of the Japanese families were forced to relocate to interior transit camps. Judoactivities nevertheless survived the ordeal and its expansion across Canada took placeover the next few years. After the war, the influence of Europeen judo came about.Britain and France contributed to the judo expansion by sending judo and ju-jitsu expertsto teach the armed forces or the police units. Teachers trained by Sensei Koizumi andKawaishi made substantial contributions to the expansion of judo in the Eastern parts of Canada. The judo brotherhood expanded without a consolidated or formal organizationalframework and continued to establish its ramifications in recreational halls, private clubs,town halls and schools.In the early 1940, a young French Canadian judoka by the name of
born in Hull Québec in 1926 began a tremendous organizational building effortto promote a national judo organization that would unite all judokas under one federallyrecognized body. For a period of 20 years, he actively participated in the expansion of martial arts studies in Canada. He became the President of the first Canadian JudoFederation which obtained official recognition world wide.Mr Gauthier made a substantial contribution to the development of judo in Canada andwas a major pioneer in the creation of the Pan-American Judo Union. He served as thefirst president of the Canadian judo Federation from 1949 – 1960. He was one of the four pillars of the Pan-American Judo Union along with MM Carlos Chaves or Argentina,Carlos de Lejarza of Cuba and Donn.F. Draeger of the United States of America.Together, they drafted the first constitution of the Union and Mr Gauthier later served asthe Vice-President during the period 1952-3-54.In collaboration with other officials of the international judo community, he introducedthe formation of several judo leagues for the expansion of judo throughout the countryand abroad. He initiated the first cycle of International team competitions betweenCanada and other countries such as: Cuba, United States, England and France. Mr Gauthier maintained continuous liaison with the International Judo Federation and theaffiliated national delegations for the purpose of exchanging on technical andadministrative matters.