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our locations

Main Line Judo Phoenixville
225 Bridge St
Phoenixville, PA 19460

Main Line Judo Bryn Mawr
1020 W Lancaster Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

our history

  1. Main Line Judo's History

    The history of Main Line Judo is on its best day a dimmed reflection of the legacy of Judo in Philadelphia and the Main Line left by an international hero and by numerous national and local champions

    There were judo passionate Judo stalwarts such as Helen Foos who home on the Main Line and whose fortune in coal were both offered to start a local club and later, the Ishikawa Judo School in Virginia Beach, Virginia to where she and subsequently Sensei Ishikawa had relocated Mrs. Foos left because of her belief in the prophecies of Edgar Cayce and the predicted ascendancy of Virginia Beach. Sensei Ishikawa left for the prospect of warmer weather, a first class dojo, and to be close to his two daughters who lived in Virginia Beach.

    Sensei Takahiko Ishikawa, the youngest 9th degree in the history of Judo, taught in Philadelphia for nearly twenty years. Prior to leaving Japan for the US he was the instructor at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, perhaps the most prestigious teaching position in Japan at that time. Such appointment reflected the legend that he had become after being named co-All Japan champion with Masahiko Kimura, the man generally acknowledged to be the greatest Judoka in Judo history. They fought to a twenty-minute tie. Winning the All Japan outright the following year and earning second and thirds in other All- Japans did much to enhance that image of Sensei Ishikawa as one of the greats of world Judo. There is a Sensei Ishikawa icon on this website. The information under it offers fuller details on this remarkable judoka It is hoped that this information and our annual Ishikawa Award help preserve the accomplishments of Sensei

    The founders of Main Line Judo and its predecessor, Greater Philadelphia Judo, Bob Karr and Tom Blair, were fortunate enough to have been inspired by Sensei Ishikawa and by numerous other dedicated judokas, such as Helen Foos and Phil Porter.

    For them and for Judo, Main Line Judo continues to seek ways to honor and advance their dedication, commitment and outstanding talents.

    mlj newsMain Line in the News

    Thomas Blair is a lawyer by day for Wyeth International Ltd. in Radnor and a judo instructor by night.

    Five-foot-six football palyers aren’t in great demand, so when Tom Blair was in high school he took up judo.

    Maria Gallagher competing for the Main Line Judo Club of Bryn Mawr, took fifth place at the Judo Nationals in Orlando, FL.

    They’re short and slight of build, but the two haverford Township young people who placed third in the Junior Olympic nationals.

    BRYN MAWR - The 8-year-old girl wit the blond ponytail hoists her tiny brunette counterpart over her knee.

    Tekakwitha Pernambuco, a native of Guyana, began training in judo when she was 11.

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