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.