SHIHAN DONNA JUDGE
Suncoast Karate Dojo / Handi-Capable Karate
Watch Video About Handi-Capable Karate
Shihan Donna Judge began her karate career in 1973 at the age of 17 and is the school founder and senior Instructor of Suncoast Karate Dojo in Sarasota, Florida. She opened her first dojo in 1976. As a direct student of Hanshi John Pachivas, 10th Dan, Shuri Ryu, Ms. Judge offers Shuri Ryu knowledge with authenticity and experience. Her instruction is a classic example of traditional training in keeping with the highest traditions of Okinawan Shuri-Ryu Karate-do. She is one of the most respected instructors in Karate today and is a certified International instructor of the International Shuri-te Yudanshakai. Shihan Judge feels incredibly fortunate to have been instructed by Hanshi Pachivas whom she first met in 1974. This relationship enabled her to travel, meet and train with those she considers the top instructors in the country. These instructors included the late Grandmaster Trias, Hanshi Robert Bowles, Kyoshi Ridgely Abele and Shihan Dale Benson.
Throughout the years, Shihan Judge has achieved national and international recognition in karate tournament competitions. She has won the following 11 titles: Light Contact Women’s Fighting Champion 1982, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992; Team Semi-Contact Fighting Champion 1987, 1988; Individual Semi-Contact Fighting Champion 1988, 1989. In 1987, Ms. Judge was honored by grandmaster Robert Trias when asked to become Team Captain for the women's USKA team. This team fought in the Japan Goodwill Karate Championships, and under Shihan Judge's leadership, the team brought home the gold medal.
Ms. Judge has earned many other high honors over the years including:
- 1981 Florida Sportswoman of the Year
- 1981 Florida Top Female Fighter of the Year
- 1982 Florida Black Belt Woman of the Year
- 1982 Florida Sportswoman of the Year
- 1982 Florida Top Black Belt Female Fighter
- 1983 Florida Black Belt Association Outstanding Woman of the Year
- 1983 Florida Black Belt Association Outstanding Female Black Belt of the Year
- 1983 Florida Outstanding Martial Arts Contributor of the Year
- 1987 and 1989 Sarasota County Mayoral Citation
- 1992 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Female Fighter of the Year
- 1992 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Woman of the Year
- 1995 Sarasota County School Board Employee of the Year
- 1995 Inducted into the Florida Black Belt Hall of Fame
- 2001 Superior Martial Artists Leadership Award
- 2003 Living Legends Sport Karate Award
- 2005 Meijin Award
- 2006 Martial Arts Ambassador of the Year
Training and sharing her karate knowledge with the community has always been a prime concern of Shihan Judge. She maintains an active role in her community, works as a security aide at Sarasota High School, holds annual karate tournaments and mentors children and adults every day at her dojo. Along with the obvious benefits associated with any physical activity, Shihan believes her students will also gain self-confidence, self-control and self-discipline. She now has Shuri Ryu Karate being taught by her black belts at two of the high schools in Sarasota as a credited physical education class.
A modified version of Shuri-te Karate (a traditional Karate style), Handi-Capable Karate is custom-tailored for three different types of disabilities. Offered as video lessons on DVD, it allows the students to earn belt ranks all the way to Black Belt in the privacy of their own home.
More videos on FightCon.com