Vince Tamura Passes Away in Dallas, Texas

April 21, 2010, 7:09 p.m. (ET)

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The USA Judo family lost one of our nation’s first great athletes on Tuesday when Vince Tamura (Dallas, Texas / Chamberlain Studios of Self Defense) passed away on Tuesday in Dallas.


Tamura suffered a series of strokes on April 12 and did not regain consciousness.


“Tamura Sensei's contributions to American Judo will positively impact us for many, many years to come,” said USA Judo President Lance Nading (Denver, Colo.)  “Throughout my life, I have constantly met fellow judoka who reference having studied or been influenced by the great Tamura Sensei.”


A ninth-degree black belt, Tamura represented the United States at the first World Judo Championships in 1956 where the three-time National Champion advanced to the semifinals. 


When judo was introduced as an Olympic sport at the 1964 Games, Tamura returned to the tatami as a referee. 


Tamura began practicing judo in Seattle after seeing his older brother, Mas Tamura, be promoted to a fourth-degree black belt rank by Jigoro Kano, the founder of the sport.


After serving in World War II, Tamura joined his brother in Chicago where they founded their own club.  Tamura later married his wife Yuri and relocated to Dallas with their sons, David and Bob Tamura, who also competed in judo.