Coach Of The Month: February

March 24, 2016, 12:13 a.m. (ET)

Coach Of The Month

Celita Schutz is a 5th degree black belt with over 35 years of experience in judo including three Olympics. Currently Celita is Kokushikai, Inc’s President and Head Instructor as well as Camp Director of the Kokushikai Judo Camp.

Like many of her students Celita Schutz walked into a judo dojo at a very young age, the age of 6 to be exact, and never looked back. A fierce and talented practitioner at an early age Sensei Schutz soon found herself winning her first tournament at age 7 and her first national title at the age of 9. She became nationally ranked at age 14 and internationally ranked at age 16. While competing worldwide, much of Celita's extended international training occurred in Japan, Spain, Germany and Brazil. Schutz’s drive and dedication did not go unrewarded as she accumulated multiple national championships, held the #1 ranking in the United States for 7 consecutive years, and on three different occasions earned a place on the US Olympic Team ('96, '00, '04) under the watchful eye of Sensei Matsumura, who is currently the Technical Advisor at Kokushikai.

As humble as she is friendly Sensei Schutz embodies the core principles of Kokushikai Judo Academy located in Fair Lawn, New Jersey: SEI I – Sincerity, KIN RO – Exertion, KEN SHIKI – Knowledge, and lastly KI HAKU – Spirit. She spends her afternoons and evenings not only instructing her students of all ages to be better judokas but better physically and mentally as well. These qualities are at their most evident in her legion of young judokas currently training at Kokushikai.

Sensei Schutz’s classes are as energetic and fun as they are disciplined and rigorous. Her emphasis on the purity of the techniques of judo coupled with the team-building aspect she imparts on her competitive students is why her judokas are so successful both within the confines of Kokushikai and in competitions abroad.

In addition to her classes at Kokushikai Judo Academy, Sensei Schutz holds an annual sleep away Judo Camp in Preston Park, Pennsylvania. Now in its eighth season (August 14-20, 2016) the camp allows judoka from all over the United States and abroad to receive instruction from numerous exceptional international instructors. This camp coupled with the annual Celita Schutz East Coast Championship (June 12, 2016) attracting competitors from throughout the United States helps bring the judo community together in fun, competitive, educational, and unique ways.