The Senseis

Yosh and Flo Senda are the two longest-serving Senseis in the Lethbridge Judo Club.

The late Sensei Yoshio Senda was the highest ranked Judoka in Canada, having earned the first ever Kudan (9th degree black belt) awarded by the Dan grading committee of Judo Canada in July of 2006. Sensei Senda founded the Lethbridge Judo Club in 1952 and was the Head Instructor and Coach of the club until his death at the age of 87 on September 9, 2009. He was on the mats coaching until August of 2009 and despite his ill health, he travelled from the hospital to the dojo to watch his judoka take training from a visiting Japanese sensei. He was also the Head Instructor and Coach of the University of Lethbridge Judo Club since the University was formed in 1967. He won the Canadian Junior Championship in 1937 and achieved his shodan (first degree black belt) in 1939 at which time he started instructing judo as an assistant to Sensei Eichi Hashizume in Mission City, B.C. Sensei Senda was coach of the Canadian Olympic Judo Teams in 1980 and 1984 and Joe Meli's personal coach in the 1988 Olympics. Among the many honours Sensei Senda has received are:

  • Membership in the Lethbridge, University of Lethbridge, and Judo Canada Halls of Fame
  • An honorary Doctor of Laws degree granted by the University of Lethbridge
  • Decorated with `The Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Rays' conferred by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan
  • Presented with a `Key to the City' of Lethbridge
  • and, most recently, appointment as a member of the Order of Canada

Dr. Yoshio Senda, C.M. and Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean

We will all miss Sensei Senda and will try our best to follow the path he laid down for us through his life in judo.

Sensei Florence Senda started into Judo relatively late, and didn't receive her shodan (first degree black belt) until 1974, after two of her sons (Ron in 1966 and Greg in 1972). Since then she has been actively involved in instructing the judoka in the Lethbridge Judo Club. She currently holds the rank of Godan (5th degree black belt) and can be found at the dojo whenever the beginners' class or the Kata class are meeting. She no longer has to sew the canvas covers for the tatami (judo mats) as she once did.

Head Sensei

Mrs. Florence Senda – 5th Dan

The Head Sensei has been involved with the club since the day she married Dr. Yoshio Senda on March 8th, 1947. She is active with kata and has been a certified kata judge recognized by Judo Canada. Mrs. Senda has been a Senior Instructor with the Beginner Classes for decades and has continued on with the development of all the judoka since then.

Head Coach

Russell Gallant – 4th Dan

RTC/HP Director

Ewan Beaton – 5th Dan

Senior High Performance Coach

Trevor McAlpine - 2nd Dan

Team Manager

Angie Gallant

The Sensei’s

The Strength of the Lethbridge Judo Club is the Level of Sensei’s of each class.

Pre Judo (Thurs)

Class Leader: Lynn Westlake - Ikkyu

Asst. Class Leader: Keira Trotter - 1st Dan

Beginner 1 (Wed and Sat)

Class Leader: Brett Forsberg - 1st Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Lynn Westlake- Ikkyu

Asst. Andrew Spearman - 1st Dan

Beginner 2 (Tues and Thurs)

Class Leader: Scott Allen - 2nd Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Ralph Vanwerkhoven - 4th Dan

Asst. Joanne Lavergne - Ikkyu

Asst. Zac Render

Junior Class (Tues and Thurs)

Class Leader: Brad Seeman - 1st Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Jesse Gregory - 1st Dan

Asst. Brady Dixon

Asst. Taylor Althouse

Intermediate Class (Mon, Wed, Sat)

Class Leader: Tim Takahashi - 2nd Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Brad Seeman - 1st Dan

Asst. Jesse Gregory - 1st Dan

Asst. Christian Hill - 1st Dan

Adult Recreation (Mon,Wed)

Class Leader: Dean Maruyama - 2nd Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Richard Boras - 1st Dan

Asst. Adam Ross, Tamas Virag, Mark Roesler

Senior Class (Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri)

Class Leader: Trevor McAlpine - 2nd Dan

Asst. Class Leader: Russ Gallant - 4th Dan

Asst. Tim Takahashi - 2nd Dan

RTC Coach: Ewan Beaton - 5th Dan

RTC Program (Mon-Sat)

Program Leader: Ewan Beaton - 5th Dan

Asst. Russ Gallant, Trevor McAlpine and Tim Takahashi