John Goldman

Black Belt 7th Dan

President of the
Universal Budo Association

John's interest in judo was sparked by its inclusion in the 1964 Olympic Games. Returning from a spell in the Merchant Navy, where boxing was a regular feature of daily life, he found judo a welcome alternative and challenge. In 1978 he opened the Exmouth Devon Judo Centre at his local YMCA. In 1980 with the support of the town council he erected a new purpose built dojo at the rear of his home. This was probably the first in the West Country and at the time one of few throughout the UK.

John was a personal friend of the late legendary judo master Kenshiro Abbe who gave approval to the formation of the Universal Budo Association. That was in 1982 when John stayed with Abbe at his home in Japan.

During that visit Abbe awarded John the 4th of his 7 Dans. Since Abbe's death in 1985 his family have kept in regular contact with John. In 2005, to celebrate fifty years of Abbe arriving in England, the family sent John a certificate of honour that had been presented to Abbe by Emperor Hirohito in 1945. Click here to view certificates.

This unique piece of judo history, along with other family treasures now in John's safe keeping, has attracted the attention of many in the world of judo including the Kodokan, the world headquarters for judo in Japan.

John is known nationally and internationally for his special expertise and approach to judo. He has taught in Europe and as far afield as Australia and Canada. He has written six books on his subject, all with worldwide sales. John is also an acknowledged expert on methods of personal protection receiving referrals from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. He is an NVQ assessor qualified with the Royal Society of Arts. In May 2006 he was awarded his 7th Dan. Tributes and congratulations have come from all over the world from individuals and organisations of the varying arts. The Abbe family sent John their own special tribute.

Still actively teaching at the Exmouth Judo Centre, at area and national courses, John meets with all UBA members at the association's regular grading days and visits all the Devon Judo Centres to present awards and prizes.

John can be contacted at Devon Judo Centre/UBA Head Office on: 01395 265532. Email:

© The character Dicky Dojo is Copyright of J Goldman