Our Mission

Judo (meaning "Gentle Way") is a martial art that was created in Japan by Professor Jigoro Kano in 1882. The sport is practiced in most countries around the world and is also one of the few martial arts featured in the Olympics.

Judo principals "Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit" are taught throughout our training sessions.

At Hollywood Judo Dojo, we encourage students to develop mentally and physically through training hard as individuals and as a group. Judo also emphasizes the importance of ones internal growth - building good relationships between fellow members and to be a positive influence to society.


Join Us!

"Judo is a well rounded grappling style martial arts and Hollywood Judo Dojo is a great place to learn. We teach all aspects of Judo - standing techniques as well as ground techniques, chokes, armbars and more!." - J. Rodriguez

"Judo has been a journey of self-discovery. It has given me the discipline, physical and inner strength and wonderful friends I would have never known if it wasn't for Judo." - E. Mendez

"Hollywood Judo Dojo is a great place to train, get in shape and build confidence. Very qualified instructors, great students and a friendly atmosphere." - M. Pare

"Certain aspects of Judo might be considered reflections of life, in that sometimes you throw, and sometimes you get thrown. Participating in Judo is a reminder that there are forces beyond our control and we must learn that on occasion, neutralizing a force requires moving with it as opposed to against it." - L. Sandor

"The support and coaching from the instructors is second to none. Hollywood Judo Dojo is one of the best clubs I have trained at." - D. Clark

"Encouragement, support, and so much love has been given to me by the Hollywood Judo family. I can see my progress and attribute my continuous improvement thanks to the help of all the judokas at Hollywood Judo Dojo." - M. Hernandez

"I was able to drop my weight from 200 pounds to 172 pounds without limiting myself in food choices. Beside the obvious health benefits, I found that training judo helps to relief stress, which is very important for healthy well-being." - R. Esenov




Beginners Classes are for orange belt and below only. Intermediate class is for yellow belt and above. Advanced classes are for orange belt and above / requires instructor's permission

Saturday Open Randori is free and open to members and non-members green belt and above or with permission, proof of Judo National Governing Body membership is required.



6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Youth Beginners)
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Adult Advanced)


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm (Youth Intermediate)
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (Adult Intermediate)


5:45 pm - 7:15 pm (Adult Beginners)
7:15 pm - 9:00 pm (Adult Advanced)


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm (Youth Intermediate)
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (Adult Advanced)


10:00 am - 11:00 am (Youth Beginners)
11:00 am - 12:30 pm (Adult Beginners)
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm (Adult Intermediate)
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (Open Randori)

Private Lessons

Private Judo Lessons with Sensei Morotti
For more info email philippemorotti@gmail.com


Visit our Facebook page for all the latest class schedules and updates.

Hollywood dojo offer Private Judo Lessons with our Head Instructor Philippe Morotti. For advanced judokas and competitors, Ju-Jitsu and MMA practitioners. For more info email philippemorotti@gmail.com




Fee Breakdown

Hollywood Judo Dojo Fee
+ annual USJF or USJA or USAJ membership required (*1)
+ $20 annual HJCI membership fee per family (*2)

Adult Class

$50 per month with auto-pay setup (3 month advanced payment required upon enrollment, month to month after)
$60 per month without auto-pay setup / $10 per class

Youth Class

$50 per month (3 month advanced payment required upon enrollment, month to month after)
$60 per month without auto-pay setup


$10 per class. (Free tryouts not available.)
Must show valid USJF or USJA or USAJ membership identification.



(*1) You must belong to one of the following organizations. Annual membership is required. Please sign up online beforehand and bring a copy of your membership card or email receipt with you to save time signing up with us.
USJF (United States Judo Federation)
USJA (United States Judo Association)
If you are a current member of either of the above organizations, please present valid membership identification upon joining our dojo.

(*2) $20 annual Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute membership fee per family is required upon joining our dojo.


How to Join
We accept new members throughout the year. There is no wait list. Visit us on any practice night to watch a class or to sign up and become a member. Email us for further questions.




3929 Middlebury St., Los Angeles, CA 90004

Hollywood Judo Dojo is located within the Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute.
Exit Vermont on 101 Fwy. We are just seconds away from the freeway exit.

Click to view our location on GOOGLE MAP



Contact Us

Best way to contact us is through email.

Tel: 323-666-8146 (office)

Please leave a message if your call is not answered.
Best to call on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm.


Our Senseis, Instructors, Coaches, Competitors



Gary Freeman (Rokudan)

  • Started Judo in 1949 at Sawtelle Judo Dojo under Sensei Takashi Kikuchi, 7th degree black belt.
  • Participated in major tournaments from 1949 to 1957 including, the 1955 AAU National Championships in Los Angeles.
  • After being discharged from the U.S. Army, transferred to Hollywood Judo Dojo in 1960, which was also under Sensei Kikuchi, and resumed participating in tournaments.
  • Assistant Instructor under Sensei Frank Emi, 8th degree black belt.
  • Became Head Instructor of Hollywood Judo Dojo in 2010.


Philippe Morotti (Rokudan)
Head Instructor, Head Coach (Advanced/Competitors)

  • Began Judo in 1972
  • Instructiong at Hollywood Judo Dojo since 2010
  • Swedish and Scandinavian Champion
  • Member of Swedish National Team (1976-1986)
  • USA Judo Continental Coach
  • Master Coach Instructor for the United States Judo Association
  • ISSA International personal Trainer License

"We aspire to teach traditional Judo as well as modern competitive Judo. Hollywood Judo Dojo is made of people from all ethnicities, all nationalities and different social backgrounds. We all come together as one family at the dojo and I feel proud to a be part of Hollywood Judo Dojo's past, present and of its future."


Erick Mendez (Sandan)
Instructor (Kids/Adults)

  • 2017 Masters National Champion

Juan Rodriquez (Sandan)
Assistant Coach / Instructor

  • Began Judo in 2007
  • USJF certified referee
  • USJA certified coach
  • Two time Winter National Masters Champion
  • Silver USA National Masters

Brian Herskowitz (Godan)

  • Began competing in 1964
  • 10 time US National Masters Champion
  • 4 time World Masters medalist

Mostafa El Sekaly (Sandan)

  • Began judo in 1988
  • Former member of the Egyptian National Team
  • Multiple USA Masters National Champion

Anthony Lau (Shodan)



Brian Herskowitz


Mostafa El Sekaly


Erick Mendez


Juan Rodriguez



Charles Carpenter

Luis Sandor


Ramiro Pare


Mateus Pare


Shiai Results

= Gold
= Silver
= Bronze

3/5/23 - 2023 Taishi Tournament
David Han

12/3/22 - 2022 Winter Nationals
Juan R
Tim K
Brian H

11/6/22 - 2022 Mojica Tournament

9/11/22 - 2022 Nanka Fall Tournament

8/21/22 - 2022 Nikkei Games Team Tournament
Matthew, Alexi, Anthony
Adrian, Nelson, Emmanuel
Miguel, Hernan, Ramiro
Kaley, Sheila, Johanna

7/17/22 - 2022 California State Games
Erick R.

6/26/22 - 2022 Junior Olympics

3/13/22 - 2022 Taishi Judo Tournament

7/25/21 - 2021 USA Judo Open

1/19/20 - 2020 Maryland Open


Honorary Senseis

Hideo Kubota


Adrian Voulgaris


Bob Iwasaki


Robert Joo


Rikard Almlof

Brechtje Beuker


Bo Svenson


Masanori Hase



Hollywood Judo Dojo - Board Members

Gary Freeman - President
Aaron Brown - Treasurer
Philippe Morotti
Erick Mendez
Juan Rodriguez
Luis Sandor
Ruslan Esenov
Anthony Lau



Sawtelle Judo Dojo
Our sister dojo. Our members train for free at Sawtelle Judo Dojo, and vice versa.

Stockholm Police Judo Club
Our brother dojo on the other side of the pond. Our competitors traveled to Sweden to train with the Swedish National Team (August 2014).

The Ahmanson Foundation
The Ahmanson Foundation was instrumental in improving our training facility and providing a better training experience for our students.

Hollywood Judo Dojo is proud to support Hollygrove!

Hollywood Japanese Cultural Institute
We have been a part of the Hollywood Japanse Cultural Institute since 1947.

Nanka Judo Yudanshakai
Nanka calendar (Tournament schedules, clinics, etc.) - Click here!

United States Judo Federation (USJF)

United States Judo Association (USJA)



Brief history of Hollywood Judo Dojo (1932 - 2010)
(Originally written in 2002. Updated in 2011 by Gary Freeman.)

Hollywood Judo Dojo was founded in 1932 by the Issei (first generation) Japanese who lived in this area. Their aim in starting Judo was for the betterment of the young people in this community and the development of the physical, mental and moral character through this art. The property was bought by, and the Dojo was built by, Issei members of the Judo Dojo through funds donated by the Dojo members and the Japanese residents in this area.

The first sensei (instructor) was Mr. Yokoyama, Yodan (4th degree black belt) from Japan. He was succeeded by Mr. Tadasu Iida, also Yodan, who remained as head instructor until 1941. The Dojo was closed during the war years due to the expulsion and incarceration of all persons of Japanese ancestry living in the West Coast into concentration camps for the duration of World War II.

In 1945, after the war ended, the Japanese returned to California and Hollywood Dojo reopened with instructor Takashi Kikuchi, Hichidan (7th degree black belt) at the helm. Kikuchi Sensei was a student at Hollywood Dojo during the pre-war days. Kikuchi Sensei retired in the 1970's.

Assistant instructor, Frank Emi, became head instructor at this time. Emi sensei, Hachidan (8th degree black belt) and assistant instructor, Arthur Emi, Rokudan, were students at Hollywood Dojo since 1937. Another instructor who was a prominent member of Hollywood Dojo from the post-war period until his retirement in the late 1970's, was assistant instructor Frank Watanuki, Godan (5th degree black belt). Emi Sensei was head instructor until December 2010.

Hollywood Dojo has had its share of honors in both team competition and individual championships. After winning the California State team championship for three consecutive years, Hollywood retired the State team championship banner in 1956.

Individual national championships developed at Hollywood Dojo in the various weight divisions are as follows:

Ben Takahashi

130 lbs

Los Angeles 1955

Arthur Emi

150 lbs

Seattle 1956

Gene LaBell

Heavy Weight

San Francisco 1954


Heavy Weight

Los Angeles 1955

(Gene LaBell also won the Grand Championship both years)

Toshiyuki Seino

160 lbs

Tampa, Florida 1960


160 lbs

San Jose 1961


160 lbs

Fresno 1963


160 lbs

San Francisco 1965

Since our old Dojo building had deteriorated to the point where the structure was unsafe, the property was sold and the proceeds used as seed money for the construction of a new multi-purpose building.

We built a large new modern building which houses the Judo Dojo on the ground floor, complete with both men and women's dressing rooms and showers. The second story houses classrooms for a Japanese language school.

We welcome anyone who has an interest in learning the art and science of Judo to join our Judo Dojo. The benefits are great. Judo enhances one’s mind, body, self confidence and self defense capabilities.


Nage No Kata (投の形)
Video links to Nage No Kata tutorials and demonstrations.

Nage No Kata demonstration with commentary #1

Nage No Kata demonstration with commentary #2

2007 Kodokan Judo Kata International Tournament - 1st Place

IJF Kata World Cup - 1st Place

Detailed instructions of each Waza section.

Te Waza (Uki Otoshi - Seoi Nage - Kata Guruma)

Koshi Waza (Uki Goshi - Harai Goshi - Tsuri Komi Goshi)

Ashi Waza (Okuri Ashi Barai - Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi - Uchimata)

Ma Sutemi Waza (Tomoe Nage - Ura Nage - Sumi Gaeshi)

Yoko Sutemi Waza (Yoko Gake - Yoko Guruma - Uki Waza)


Video links to various techniques. Tutorials and demonstrations.

Hiza Guruma - Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi - Harai Tsurikomi Ashi - Deashi Harai - Okuri Ashi Harai
Similarities and differences explained.

Oh Goshi - Uki Goshi - Tsuri Goshi - Tsurikomi Goshi - Sode Tsurikomi Goshi - Koshi Guruma
Similarities and differences explained.

Osoto Otoshi - Osoto Guruma - Osoto Gaeshi - Oh Guruma - Ashi Guruma - Uchimata

Harai Goshi - Hane Goshi - Utsuri Goshi - Ushiro Goshi

Tomoe Nage - Ura Nage - Sumi Gaeshi - Hikkomi Gaeshi - Tawara Gaeshi

Morote Seoi Nage - Ippon Seoi Nage - Seoi Otoshi

Seoi Otoshi - Tai Otoshi - Kata Guruma - Uki Otoshi - Sumi Otoshi

Uki Waza - Yoko Otoshi - Tani Otoshi - Yoko Wakare - Yoko Gake - Daki Wakare
Similarities and differences explained.



Frank Emi Sensei (8 dan)
2007 Nanka Hall of Fame inductee

9/23/1916 - 12/1/2010


Frank S. Emi Sensei was a leading figure of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, an ad hoc group who protested the drafting of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.

Interview with Frank Emi by Gerald Lenoir from NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress)

Articles on Frank Emi sensei:
LA Times by Elaine Woo
Rafu Shimpo by Martha Nakagawa
NY Times by Dennis Hevesi

Frank Emi sensei on YouTube


「精力善用」"Maximum Efficiency, Minimum Effort"
「自他共栄」"Mutual Welfare and Benefit"

Site Updated: 04-12-23
© Hollywood Judo Dojo