Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

Greater Moncton Judo (official JudoNB affiliate)

History of the Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

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Sensei Earl O’Blenis is a longtime Judo teacher and longer-time Judoka (Judo competitor). As an instructor, he is certified with Judo Canada and also sits on the board of directors of the Province of New Brunswick’s official Judo affiliate and regulatory body, Judo NB as the Director, Moncton Zone.

He began training in Judo at the age of 19 and has spent the past 15 years teaching Judo in the Greater Moncton area.



As a competitor, his tournament history includes participation and wins in elite-level Judo tournaments on the Provincial (NB & NS cups), National and International scales. As a coach, he has also mentored students to wins in over 200 tournaments during his 15-year coaching history.



Initially, the club practiced out of Wynwood School (1998-2006) next to the old Kay Arena. When the school was torn down to make way for the current Crossman Community Center and Kay Arena complex, classes were relocated to the Moncton Lions’ Center (2006-2008). From 2009 to present, the home of the Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club has been the new Kay Arena building on Mondays and Thursday nights, as well as the NBCC/CCNB Dieppe campus, which has held classes on just about every Tuesday night since 2003 (except when special NBCC/CCNB school events such as the annual booksales or Tree-Of-Hope prohibit).


Sensei O’Blenis also teaches a class which has become a core part of the NBCC/CCNB Dieppe Criminology degree-programme, a course which he has structured to introduce the main concepts of Judo – namely, using an opponent’s force against them and application of techniques of restraint without causing injury – and how those can be used to safely protect oneself from and subdue an attacker or aggressive person. The use of minimal force to subdue an opponent without killing or injuring them excessively is one of Judo’s key characteristics. This is particularly useful and field tested for applications of Judo within:

  • Military
  • Police
  • RCMP
  • Corrections Services
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Self-Defense/Combatives
  • and for other Security-related fields or personnel

On top of that, over time Judo has also proven to be useful to people of all backgrounds and fitness levels for the following reasons:

  • excellent exercise
  • friendly way to learn discipline
  • fun and rewarding challenge (as you learn and progress through the nationally & provincially certified rankings)
  • tool for improving hand-eye coordination & motor skill
  • able to be practiced by and inclusive of those with disabilities
  • a great way to be part of a club/team and meet new people
  • an Olympic sport (yes gold medals and national fame are possible in this sport)
  • an opportunity to travel and take part in competitions (if desired by the student)

In 2013, the club offered charity seminars for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) via their Kicks for Cancer fundraiser, as well as began doing introductory Judo with youth organizations such as the Greater Moncton Boys’ & Girls’ Club (BGC).

In 2014, the club began offering special classes for those with disabilities, including classes in conjuction with Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) – Visually Imparied Unit, as well as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

In 2015, the club expanded to Sackville by associating with the long-running Mount Allison student run Judo club.

In 2016, the club will continue expanding by re-introducing its Elementary school programs and offering Judo instruction as part of select schools’ Physical Education (PE) classes and extra-curricular activities. Also, look for our participation in some of the city and region’s events with public demonstrations and seminars. We also act as host to several high-level Provincial training camps throughout the calendar year.


More photos of past students and school competitions will likely be added, so be sure to check back later!



Author: musabetsukyu

Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

One thought on “History of the Musa Betsu Kyu Judo club

  1. Kano considered judo training to be an aid to the student’s educational aspirations. His ultimate ambition was to produce students of fine character, so that they would in future become useful, educated citizens and thus benefit society. 

    ‘The purpose of judo is to perfect oneself physically, intellectually and morally for the benefit of society.’
    Professor Jigoro Kano (1860-1938)

    (The Father of Judo, Kodansha International, 2000)
    (IL Padre Del Judo, Edizioni Mediterranee, 2005)

    (Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, Trafford Publishing, 2008, 2014)
    (Memorias de Jigoro Kano, Editora Cultrix, 2011)

    1936 VISIT TO
    Brian N. Watson
    Before the great expansion in air travel that started in the 1950s, most passengers journeyed overseas on ocean liners. One of the ships that often sailed the Japan – U.S.A. routes was NYK Line’s workhorse the Hikawamaru. This cargo-passenger liner reportedly made the two-week trip between Yokohama and the then gateway to the US, Seattle, 254 times between 1930 and 1960 when she was finally decommissioned and became a floating restaurant and later refurbished (2006-2008) and reopened as an Important Cultural Property permanently moored at the port of Yokohama. Professor Jigoro Kano, who made some 13 extended overseas trips in his lifetime, on occasions voyaged on the Hikawamaru, as did many other celebrities of the day.

    The Seattle Judo Club, established in 1902, was reportedly the very first judo dojo to open on US soil. Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) seated in the centre of this photograph, called at this dojo twice, once in 1936 and again in 1938.
    After attending the International Olympic Committee meeting held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1937, he later visited several European cities, then New York, Seattle and finally Canada. On April 23, 1938 Kano headed home and left Vancouver Harbor on the Hikawamaru, which was scheduled to arrive at Yokohama on May 6. However, he did not live to see his homeland again. En route, at the age of 77; he succumbed to pneumonia and died on this vessel on May 4, 1938.

    Brian N. Watson
    30 October 2016

    References: (The Father of Judo, Kodansha International, 2000)
    (Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, Trafford Publishing, 2008)
    Seattle Judo Club photograph courtesy of Ken Morinaka


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