Our inspiration of the day is Keiko Fukuda, a Japanese American judo expert.
Her motto was “be strong, be gentle, be beautiful in mind body and spirit” She was the highest ranked woman in Judo (10th degree Black Belt) She also earned a degree in Japanese literature.
Fukuda, standing at only 4′ 11″ (150 cm) and weighing less than 100 lb. (45 kg), became a judo instructor in 1937 and continued to teach judo until her death at 99 years old. She was an early advocate for women and encouraged women to throw one another around on judo mats at a time when most women dared not bare their legs. In the 1960s, the glass ceiling for female judo was the 5th dan (degree). After a letter campaign by martial artists, she became the first female judo practitioner to be awarded a 6th dan.
Her life was the subject of a documentary ““Mrs. Judo – Be Strong Be Gentle Be Beautiful”.