Yudansha: 1984 – 2007

What follows is a list of black belts who are or were members of the United States Taido Association between 1984 and 2007. While I have some knowledge of affairs outside this time frame, I feel it best not to comment on those I don’t know personally. This list is not up-to-date.

The names under each dan-level heading are alphabetized by first name. Where possible, I have included the years of starting Taido and each promotion from shodan in parentheses.

I’ve included it primarily as a reminder to current US Taido students that, whatever stories you may have heard, US Taido was built by a lot of very dedicated teachers who, for various reasons, are no longer around.

Some of them built the floor you train on, but you’ve probably never heard their names.

7dan

5dan

  • Andy Fossett [Japan] (84/92/96/00/02/09)
  • Mitsuaki Uchida, honbu dojo head instructor (80/94/96/98/00/05)
  • Tom DeVenny [Florida] Fort Lauderdale dojo head instructor (85/91/na/96/98/05)

[5dan total 2]

4dan

  • Brendan Dumont, honbu dojo instructor (?/98/00/02/05)
  • Buddy Fossett (84/91/94/96/00)
  • John Clerici (84/94/96/98/00)
  • John Okochi (?/85/?/?/94)
  • Masayuki Hiyoshi [Japan] (92/93/?/?/96)
  • Mike Cowan (86/94/96/99/00)
  • Robert Pope Jr. (85/91/94/96/00)
  • Tatsuyuki Negishi [Japan] Yokohama Taido president (87/?/?/90/94)
  • Tony Antinazi (?/?/?/?/94)
  • Yosuke Inoko
  • Yutaka Yamauchi

[4dan total 12]

3dan

  • Bryan Sparks, Georgia Tech Taido head instructor (85/93/99/04)
  • Clinton Hammond (94/00/02/07)
  • David Magnuson (?/98/02/05)
  • Gerardo Diaz-granados (?/94/96/00)
  • Jerry Johnson, Uchida Sensei’s first student (75/?/?/00)
  • John Roberts
  • Tom Lapenna (93/00/02/07)

[3dan total 7]

2dan

  • Amy Davis
  • Ben Isokawa (?/00/02)
  • Carlos Martinez (84/91/94)
  • Chad Gilmartin (90/00/02)
  • Corey Myers (?/02/05)
  • Daniel Morris (?/02/05)
  • Elizabeth Hammond (91/00/02)
  • Gary Averil (?/91/94)
  • Heather Gilmartin (90/00/02)
  • James Tonguet (95/00/02)
  • Jim Garrard
  • Katie Ingraham (92/00/02)
  • Lou Smith (?/94/96)
  • Mahendra Srivastava (?/05/07)
  • Mike Goodroe (?/02/05/07)
  • Minna Ekholm [Finland]
  • Mio Sano Garrard
  • Musashi Uchida (?/02/05)
  • Norman Bash
  • Rodney Mahaffey
  • Roger Grant (90/02/05)
  • Romik Srivastava (?/05/07)
  • Sara Burden (?/94/96)
  • Sue Gilmartin (91/00/02)
  • Ted Harris (85/91/94)
  • Tyler Hiedegger (?/02/05)

[2dan total 26]

shodan

  • Abhinav Bardwaj (?/07)
  • Alon Hod (?/05)
  • Amber Pesantes(00/05)
  • Amir Alighambari (85/99)
  • Andrea Gertz [Germany] (02/06)
  • Angela Stadnick (?/05)
  • Arnold Rubin (?/07)
  • Assaf Hod (?/06)
  • Bolot Kerimbaev (00/06)
  • Brad Averil (?/92)
  • Brandon Lueder (00/06)
  • Brenda Morales (?/06)
  • Brian Hinckley (99/05)
  • Camron Wiltshire
  • Carlos Martinez Jr. (84/92)
  • Carter Brunell (?/03)
  • Cheryl Ervin (?/07)
  • Chris Healy (90/00)
  • Danielle Tonguet (97/05)
  • Darrel Salton (?/05)
  • David Issa (?/97)
  • Douglas Lapoint (?/94)
  • Ed Galloway
  • Eddy Perez (84/92)
  • Gabriel Tonguet (95/05)
  • Guy Perry (?/94)
  • Irene Bietsch (?/02)
  • Jared Isenstein (?/06)
  • Jeff Lapenna (93/00)
  • Jim Ware Sr. (?/07)
  • Jim Montgomery (00/06)
  • John Hinckley (00/05)
  • John Edgar Boyes (00/06)
  • Jonathan Odom (?/83)
  • Jeff Hill (?/95)
  • Jordan Battel (?/06)
  • Keith Benator (90/00)
  • Keith Chung
  • Kenji Otakawa (?/04)
  • Larry Lyles
  • Laura Bardey Sparks (99/06)
  • Lex Williams (?/94)
  • Marty Cason
  • Mary Gezo (00/04)
  • Mary Lou Delucia
  • Masayuki Nanamori (?/02)
  • Michael Issa (?/97)
  • Michelle Razmov (?/02)
  • MichaelGoodroe (?/05)
  • Mike Uchida (?/00)
  • Nathan Goodroe (?/06)
  • Nick Miller (?/06)
  • Paul Marshall (?/07)
  • Russel Bietsch (?/02)
  • Rahul Ghosh (?/06)
  • Rohan Lall (?/06)
  • Ryan Benator (89/00)
  • Sam Hoover (?/05)
  • Sayuj Srivastava (?/06)
  • Seiji Uchida (?/00)
  • Shelley Matthews (99/06)
  • Steve Sykes
  • Taferra Muche (?/00)
  • Terry White
  • Travis Wiggins (?/95)
  • Tre Neese
  • Trini Beaty (?/05)
  • Turner Abels (?/06)
  • Vance Fite (?/02)
  • Vance Fite Jr. (?/02)
  • Varada Divigi (90/00)
  • Veenal Mulji (?/06)
  • Vic Armendiaz
  • Vic Gonzales
  • Vineet Diwadkar (90/00)
  • Yakov Korenfeld

[1dan total 76]

[all levels total 124]

Note: A whole mess of people have been promoted to black belt since 2007 who are not on this list.

Someone recently called my attention to this video of a short Taido demonstration in honor of Russell Bietsch.

In his introduction, Brendan makes two interesting statements:

  1. That in 35 years, US Taido has had up to 25,000 members.
  2. That only 60 of those reached black belt.

Both are inaccurate.

In the case of the first statement, the dojo would have to register at least two new students every single day of business for 35 years (assuming two weeks off a year and 6 business days each week) to get 25,000 students.

As for the second statement, the record above clearly shows that at least twice that number had been awarded black belts by 2007. The total is likely over 200 by now.

One thought on “Yudansha: 1984 – 2007”

  1. Hi I appreciate the attempt at listing the older black belts. It makes me sad that Sensei Uchida does not display his very first students to obtain their black belts. I believe this was 1980. There were seven of us who tested together I can name 6 :
    Jerry Johnson
    John Roberston
    Ricky Profitt (sp?)
    Lorraine (Sakura) Nino (1st female)
    Don ? ( eldest of the group)
    Tony Antinazi ( youngest)
    I cannot recall name of the last guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *