Founded in 1958, the Judo program has grown from a handful of local competitors to become the driving force in the sport of judo today. By the mid-1970s, New York Athletic Club members were annually competing for the title of national champion in a number of weight divisions, winning many titles. During the 1980s, NYAC athletes were also competing on the international stage and, from 1988 forward, NYAC judo athletes have been part of every US Olympic squad.

In 1992, Jason Morris won the first Olympic medal in judo for the NYAC (silver), followed by Jimmy Pedro in 1996 (bronze). Pedro won another bronze in 2004, followed by our first female Olympic medalist Ronda Rousey in 2008. In fact, from 1988 to 2012 the USA has won six medals in judo – five of those are by NYAC members, including the only gold in the sport won an American: Kayla Harrison in 2012. Harrison made history yet again at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by defending her title. Travis Stevens also secured the silver medal. Over eight Olympic Games, the NYAC has produced 28 competitors, a larger and more successful representation than any other club or organization over that period.

The New York Athletic Club wins multiple national and international titles every year and is clearly the most successful judo program in the country.

Judo Accordion

Judo Accordion


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Team Schedule

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  • Anthony Vennitti
  • Brad Bolen
  • Colton Brown
  • Alex Turner
  • Adonis Diaz
  • Travis Stevens
  • Jason Morris
  • Jimmy Pedro


  • Kayla Harrison
  • Isadora Friedlander
  • Hannah Martin
  • Marti Malloy
  • Angelica Delgado
  • Katelyn Jarrell
  • Kelita Zupancic
  • Ronda Rousey


Kevin Earls

Forty-plus years of participation in judo. Former NYAC competitor. Became Judo chairman in 1990. Former nine-year member of the NYAC Board of Governors, serving as Athletic Chairman and Captain. 5th degree black belt in judo.

Owen Tunney

Twenty-plus years of judo participation. Chairman/co-chairman of NYAC Judo since 2001. 2nd degree black belt in judo.


Yoichiro Matsumura

Venerated head instructor at the NYAC for five decades. 8th degree black belt

Jimmy Pedro

Four-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. Former world champion. Head coach of the 2012 US Olympic team. Member NYAC Hall of Fame. Sixth degree black belt

Jason Morris

Four-time Olympian and Olympic silver medalist. Head coach of the 2008 Olympic team. Member of the NYAC Hall of Fame. 7th degree black belt

Teimoc Johnston Ono

NYAC's first judo Olympian. Former head coach at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. 7th degree black belt in judo. Black belt in several other martial arts.

Program Highlights

In addition to having the country's most elite competitive program, judo at the NYAC includes:

  • Weekly workouts for Club members, from beginners to advanced students
  • Sponsorship and hosting of the New York Open Judo Championship, an international tournament that has been held at the Club for over 25 years and that attracts some of the best competitors in the world
  • Instruction for the Saturday Morning Program, a program that introduces a multitude of sports - including judo - to the children of NYAC members


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