Vince Tamura

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Yoshito Vince Tamura (July 25, 1929 – April 20, 2010) was a former international competitor in judo.[1]

Judo career[edit]

Tamura represented the United States in the first Judo World Championships in 1956 and served as a referee in the 1964 Olympics for judo.[2] Tamura won the 1954, 1956, and 1959 US National Judo Championships placing second and third in 1957 and 1958, respectively.[3] He continued to compete into the 1970s.[4]

Tamura's brother Mas Tamura was promoted by Jigaro Kano to Yondan inspiring Tamura into judo.[1] By the time he died in 2010, Vince Tamura was ranked 9th Dan.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Tamura was a descendant of the Taira Clan,[2] and served in the US Army Combat Engineers of the First Cavalry Division during the Korean War,[1] earning a Bronze Star. He co-authored a book Common Sense Self Defense[5] and was also an instructor of Heike-Ryu Jiu Jitsu.[6]

Tamura had a wife, Yuri, and two sons, Bob and David Tamura.[7] Tamura was the youngest of 7 sons and 4 daughters.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Passing of Yoshito Vince Tamura - USJF.COM".
  2. ^ a b James Webb. "American Judo Pioneer Vince Tamura & Heiki-Ryu Jujutsu" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 9, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Vincent Tamura, Judoka, JudoInside".
  4. ^ "Black Belt August 1973". August 1973.
  5. ^ "Black Belt January 1979". January 1979.
  6. ^ "Vince Tamura – USJA 9th Dan" (PDF). American Judo (Spring 2006).
  7. ^ "Vince Tamura Passes Away in Dallas- Texas". Team USA. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "Black Belt November 1972". November 1972.