Archive for the ‘Dojo News’ Category

Passing of Sensei Jerry Wee

July 21, 2019

Jerry WeeOn Thursday, July 11, 2019, Gerald Wee, devoted husband, father, grandfather, son and brother passed away surrounded by his family.

Jerry was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 3, 1951. He graduated from Cass Tech High School and went on to Wayne State University.

Jerry started judo at the age of 14 in 1964. He was a member of the Detroit Judo Club and trained under the late John Osako. Jerry quickly became dedicated to the sport. First as a competitor, then a referee, instructor and coach. He was promoted to 7th dan in 2018. Jerry truly loved the sport of judo and this showed. It was not uncommon for him to let players sleep at his home, for him to drive them to events and sometimes even pay for their meals. He was the head instructor of Wee Dojo and developed countless students.

On April 5, 1975 Jerry married the love of his life, Reta Comer Wee. They met in the sport of judo when Reta was 15 and Jerry was 18. It was a true love story. They spent 44 wonderful years together.

Jerry was preceded in death by his father Harry, mother Evelyn, and brother Ron (Cyndi). Jerry is survived by his wife Reta, daughter Emily (Arron), grandchildren (Ava, Lincoln) and sister Gwen (Tony).

Jerry was a great man, a caring family man who was committed to his family and the ones he loved. He was a humble man with an infectious smile. He was known for being a great story teller, a joker and a family man.

He fought many health battles over the past few years that most people would not have made it through, but he did this with his warrior spirit and smile. Jerry will be deeply missed by all those who knew him.

The family will not be having a funeral service. A memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be sent to Reta Wee at 16151 Touraine Dr., Clinton Twp., MI 48038.

The memorial is scheduled for Saturday, August 10.  Details to follow.

Passing of Vigil Goodwine – sensei

April 29, 2018

As many of you know, Virgil Goodwine recently passed away.  Virgil obtained the rank of Rokudan.  He was student under George Funakoshi Ohio State University.  When George retired Virgil took over as head instructor at OSU.  He was a national competitor for many years in the plus 100 Kg.  He was also a Konan Ohio Vice President in the 1980s.  He will be missed by many he was always smiling and laughing and had a good time with anyone he was with.  His obituary is below.

Tom Sheehan

Virgil B. GOODWINE ObituaryGOODWINE, Virgil B. 60, of Springfield, Ohio passed away April 24, 2018. He was born February 19, 1958 the son of Marion N. and Marian (Anderson) Goodwine. Virgil is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He retired from the State of Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources. Virgil is survived by his devoted wife, Rita Cecil Goodwine; daughter, Chrisondra Goodwine; sons, Virgil Goodwine II and Julian (Brooke) Goodwine; siblings, Ava, Donna and Van and a host of other relatives and friends. Visitation is Monday, April 30, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. until the time of service at 1 p.m. In St. John Missionary Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Ferncliff Cemetery. Arrangements by the Robert C. Henry-Clark Funeral Home.

Passing of Derrick Yanetta, Ohio Judoka

March 2, 2017

Derrick M. YANETTA

DERRICK M. YANETTA. Age 24. Loving son of Angelo Yanetta and Debbie (Bates). Baby brother to Natasha (Anthony), Angelo (Tamera), Sabrina, David (Clara), Darrin (Danika), Antwon (Amber), Mona and brother from another mother Aaron (our Leslie family).

Cherished uncle to Tim, Tanaysia, Shayla, Aniyah, Isaiah, David, Drew, Allan, Bella, Eli, Phillip, Marrisa, Joe, Tyler, Shaunna and Angelo III. Cherished great uncle to Savayah, Kyriee, and Cambreigh. Loved by many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Soul mate to Kadijah, and loving father figure to his “lil dude” Kartier.

Visitation Thursday, March 2nd from 4-8 with a 7:30 service at Zabor Funeral Home 5680 Pearl Rd. Parma (between Ridge and Snow). Interment private. To offer condolences visit

Passing of Don Wilson, Judoka, Lansing MI

September 28, 2016

Here is a brief obituary for Don Wilson, long-time Lansing judoka:

Donald Wilson, 67, of Lansing died September 26, 2016. Arrangements by Palmer, Bush & Jensen Family Funeral Home, Lansing Chapel. Funeral Services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. visitation begins one hour prior at the Funeral Home.

Published in Lansing State Journal from Sept. 28 to Sept. 29, 2016

Jim Murray, on behlaf of Konan Judo Associations sends condolences to his family.

Pedro Training Camp Report – Harun Bogdanic

August 1, 2016

2016-07 Harun Olympic Camp 1

I would first like to thank my Sensei Mr. Noboru Saito, Mr. Jerry Wee, Mr. Neil Simon-President of Judo Affiliates of Michigan, Mr. Steve DeRaedt, Mr. Thomas Gomez and rest of JAM Trustees, Mr. Jim Murray-Konan Yudanshakai president, Mr. Pete Catlos-Konan Treasurer, and Michigan Judo Development Association for all the help I have received to go to Boston, MA to train with Team USA.

It was a two week training camp to help our Olympians prepare for the Rio Games. There were two a day practices for the duration of the camp. Alternating between tachi-waza and ne-waza throughout the day. There were lots of drills, grip fighting, and randori. The training was hard but even more excruciating for the athletes themselves as it was designed around them.

2016-07 Harun Olympic Camp 2We also had the pleasure of welcoming six judoka from Japan. Four men and two women all on the national team. With the Olympians, the Olympic training partners, and the Japanese national team it made the training camp even tougher.

It was an amazing experience to train with some of the best judoka. This encourages me to train harder and set my goals for my competitive career even higher. I would like to thank everyone once again for their kind-hearted support.

Harun Bogdanic
July 29, 2016

Konan Promotion Examinations – Ernest Otani & Vic Kasprowicz – Shodan

July 24, 2016
Vic & Ernie Promo

Ernest Otani (3rd from left) & Vic Kasprowicz (1st on right)

Congrats to both Ernie Otani and Vic Kasprowicz who passed their Shodan examinations at the promotion evaluation event yesterday at Saito Dojo.  Amazing over 200 hundred years of judo expertise is represented in the photo above to complement the smiles!

Thanks to Saito-senei for hosting and supervising the event,  for Jerry Wee-sensei  for leading the examination team which included Emily Wee and Pete Catlos.

In the spirit of cooperation for mutual benefit, Dakotah Kilbourne (for Ernest Otani) and Andrew Allen (for Vic Kasprowicz) generously served as nage-no-kata partners  and gokyu-no-waza ukes for the examinees.

Steven DeReadt

Don Kelley-sensei Inducted to Great Lakes Open Hall of Fame

November 5, 2014

Mr. Don Kelley,  Saito-sensei’s long-time student and assistant instructor at the Birmingham Y Satio-dojo, was recently honored with membership in the Great Lakes Open Hall of Fame.  Yesterday, he was presented with a certificate of recognition and appreciation.

Mr.  Kelley has tirelessly worked in the key role of competitor registration for many, many years.  He has been a model and inspiration to many in his generous giving of his time, efforts and money in support of Michigan Judo.

Mr. Kelley, we thank you.

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Introducing Kenshiki Judo, Ft Wayne IN

July 27, 2014

Kenshiki 2

Kenshiki 1



Head Sensei: Joe Higi, 4th dan. Click here to e-mail or call 602-5282

Location: Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy, 2310 Weisser, Ft. Wayne  IN

Click here for a full information brochure.

Kenshiki 3

Konan’s Nick Joseph Wins Gold at JO’s in Irving

July 9, 2014

From the Detroit Free Press, by Perry A. Farrell, Sports Writer

Photo from the Detroit Free Press

After suffering through a freshman year in which he sustained an Achilles tendon injury and contracted mononucleosis, a healthy Nicholas Joseph rebounded to win a national title in his favorite sport. A wrestling and judo performer, Joseph, a rising junior at Novi Detroit Catholic Central, captured gold at the USA Judo Junior Olympic National Championships in Irving, Texas, last weekend. Competing in the Juvenile B Division for 15- to 17-year-olds, Joseph won the 66-kilogram division, going 4-0.

Click here to read the full story on

Nick Joseph is a long-time student at Saito-dojo and Macomb Y Judo Club, and is a member of the Saito-Wee Judo Team. Nick has received financial support from Michigan Judo Development Association, Inc.  (MJDA). You can help MJDA support rising judo players like Nick by shopping at AmazonSmile. Click on the image below and choose Michigan Judo Development Association as your charitable cause – MJDA will receive a portion of your purchase as a contribution from the AmazonSmile Foundation.

Chu To Bu BRASA Club Tournament Report

May 24, 2014

Head Sensei Paul Jordan of Konan club  Chu To Bu/BRASA continues with his creative club leadership, hosting a “club tournament.”

Novice students had the chance to “answer the call of hajime” and experience shiai judo, but in the familiar low-pressure environment of their home club.  Sensei Paul provided medals and a podium medal ceremony so players and parents could experience the “thrill of victory.”

Forty-five students competed and eight advanced students acted as referees under Sensei Paul’s supervision.

Most importantly. look at the smiles on the faces of the kids… what a great introduction to competition!

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