24th Annual Albert Tagawa Memorial Shiai

Oct 19, 2019 - Oct 19, 2019


The 24th Annual Albert Tagawa Memorial Shiai occurred on Saturday, October 19th in Denver, Colorado and hosted 117 unique competitors with a total of 44 brackets. The age ranges for these competitors were: Senior Division 17-59 and the Youth Division 5-15.

The Denver Buddhist Temple Judo Dojo (DBT Judo Dojo) has hosted the Annual Albert Tagawa Memorial Shiai for the past twenty-four years to honor the memory of our former head instructor, Albert Tagawa sensei who passed away on November 27, 1995.

Tagawa sensei was born on May 16, 1940 to Frank and Hazel Tagawa in Gridley, California. As a teenager, he joined the Denver Judo Dojo, which was founded in 1953. He was one of three original charter members of the dojo. Tagawa sensei who promoted to Shodan, first degree black belt, in 1960.

Shortly after his promotion, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for eight years in many locations including Texas, California, Philippines and Okinawa, Japan; during which time he also practiced judo. While in Okinawa, he met his future wife Eiko Ota.

In 1968, he left the Air Force and moved from California to Colorado where his family worked their garden business in Brighton, Colorado. He rejoined the dojo, then called the Denver School of Judo.

Tagawa sensei assumed the role of head sensei at the dojo in the 1980’s. He attained the rank of Yodan, fourth degree black belt. He held the position of head sensei at the DBT Judo Dojo until his untimely passing after battling with colon cancer.

This year Denver Buddhist Temple Judo Dojo decided to forgo a charge for spectator admission, and instead asked that all spectators donate to a fund to support a very young student from another local community dojo who has been battling cancer. They raised $1,000 to support this family.