Judo in NYC?

I live in New York City and am considering taking up Judo. I am aware of a few places and would like feedback about these and other places that anyone can recommend (specifically in Manhattan and then maybe in Queens):

Shiro Oishi at Leonard St (downtown)

Matsumura teaching at McBurney YMCA (23 St) and NYAC. I've been told "NYAC is mostly for top level players and black belts and the YMCA program is better for beginners."

Shiina, I believe also teaches somewhere in Queens.

I read in another forum that there is a Judo program at Chelsea Piers. Any good? Who teaches there?

How do these compare? Specially interested in any feedback about Oishi sensei and Matsumura sensei. How are their classes? Level of emphasis on competition? (hope to compete someday, but a less competition-oriented environment is fine too) Are there any other good places people could recommend?

I would be grateful for any feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

"Shiina, I believe also teaches somewhere in Queens."

Correction, Shiina is in Bensonhurst Brooklyn. Great school.

In his younger days, Shiina was a bad ass from Nihon University (Nichidai). He might have been on the Championship team that Yonezuka captained from 58-60.

Lots of those guys ended up in New Jersey and New York.

Hey! I know all of them. The question is:

What do you want to do with Judo? Do want to compete? Or mainly use it for self-defense. Plus- how much you want to pay?

If you want to compete then I would suggest you talk with Parnell Legros who is in charge of the Starret City Judo Club. That is in Starret City. Oishi is good but they are not as good of a competitive club. Very strong ground fighting though. Plus the prices are outrageous. Shiina in BayParkway is very good- very good technique taught. Reasonable price at Shiina. Matsumura is very expensive and like u said mainly for top competitors.

Shiina 8th degree black belt- Very great technician. Won best technique in All Japan Championships. I train there 3 times a week.

Starret City by Parnell (4th Dan- 1992 Olympian for Haiti) THE BEST COMPETITOR'S CLUB in NYC. I train there 3 times a week.

Spartak in Rego Park is great because they have two former Olympians from UZB. One took 5th place in 2000 Olympics in 60kg. But they are bigger now. Mostly juniors are there though. I train there once a week.

Rusty Kanakogi (6th Dan) and Mr. Kanokogi (8th dan)- Kyushu Judo Club. Primaraly recreational Judo CLub. Good teachers there though.

Last one is my primary club- Polytechnic Univeristy Judo Club. Head by Maureen Braziel (5th degree- Inaugural Woman's Grand Champion). Mostly beginners there, but i help her out.

Thanks for the great feedback, guys! The Hudson Yudanshakai site had a club in Elmhurst, Queens listed as being taught by K. Shiina, besides his Brooklyn location, that's why I was asking.

NYC judoka, thank you for your detailed info. As a complete beginner and having just turned 30, I think realistically I'd be pretty much past my prime competitive days by the time I acquire any skill :-( but I'd still like to compete sometime in the future, and a school with top competitors is a real draw.

Yes, price is a factor, as is accessibility. I work in midtown, pretty long hours too, and in all honesty I doubt I'll be able to make it for training more than a couple times a week at the most, so a reasonably closeby place to train will make things that much easier. I'll have to visit these places and come to a decision, I guess.

Once again, thank you and any further input will be most highly appreciated :-)

NYC Judoka Do you know what they charge to train at Starret city. Do you know of any inexpensive clubs in queens/ nassau area? I appreciate it, thanks.


As for as I know, Shiina only teaches at BayParkway. Any other questions, please feel free to email me at nycjudoka60kg@aol.com.


I am a guest there. They charge me $5 for mat fee- that is very good considering what most clubs charge and the type of quality training that you will receive at Starret. Any detailed questions, please feel free to email me at nycjudoka60kg@aol.com.


Queens judo center forest hills Queens plenty of black belts and the teacher hold the rank of Ronkyu.

Morotegari, thanks for info about Queens Judo Center, anything else you could tell me about this place? Who's the teacher? Where in Forrest Hills is it? I live in Sunnyside so Forest Hills isn't too far away.

NYCJudoka, thanks for additional info. Starrett does sound like a great competitive club - I was going through several past nationals results and saw quite a few Starrett players in the rankings. I'll be emailing you with more questions. Now, it's off to visit some dojos ... I also plan on watching the NY Open.

Hank Kraft is the instructer he is a sixth dan .hisschoolis 106-15 Metroplitan ave he has been there for 35 years.Tuesday and Thursday 8.30 till 10.00Afew blackbelts very diverse Russians Spanish a Algierian who plays a wicked french influencedJudo.Igor zinoviev trained ther for years.

hey, i live in sunnyside too...

Morotegari, thanks for additional info. Sounds really interesting, I'll check up this place too.

SiouxNYC, where in Sunnyside do you live? I live on 44 Street, south of Queens Blvd.

43rd ave and 45 street, northside. we looked at an apartment on 44th, right across from the post office, but chose this one instead. my sis live on 40th and queens blvd, south side.

right by Marios.

Yo siouxNYC, I have friends at 44 street & Skillman Ave, just a block or two from you!!! I live a couple of blocks further south from that post office you mention. Do you train? If so, where?

NYCJudoka, do you happen to know about the NY Judo Open next sunday? Do they allow outsiders to watch? That gym isn't too big - I was there a few weeks ago to watch freestyle wrestling between Russia and USA. Can one just walk to the NYAC and get tickets at the door, or do you have to purchase them in advance?

my judo days are long gone. when i do train, it's at renzo's. but i've been to oishi's and hank kraft's school - very nice people there.


I will be at the NY Open this sunday. Guests are welcomed, but I dont know the spectator fee.

Check this:


Yo SiouxNYC, I train at Renzo's too!!! well ... I did for a few months last summer and fall, then injury took me out, just started going back this week, feeling like a total klutz, also being reeeeeeal careful about that dislocated elbow. Look for an Asian guy, short hair, 5'10" 170lbs or so, white belt, white HCK or Ouano gi.

NYCJudoka, thanks for link and info. I'll be there to watch for sure. This girl at my office is from Uzbekistan and knows Turaev (I think he was '99 World Silver medalist from Uzbekistan), she wants to watch the competition too so I gave her the info from the site you gave me. Hey, and I read your other post where you said you might be training in BJJ sometime in the future, any idea where you'll be training? Hopefully I can train in both Judo and BJJ too.


No problem bro!

I will be starting BJJ with Renzo Gracie. Does he have any kind of a student discount? Its mad expensive. I will see u there soon. I just need to redo my budget. LOL!

The guy from UZB- Muhkratov? He tool 5th place at the Olympics in 60kg. He fights 66kg now at the big tournaments.

I will be there- look for a short person 5'3 thats west indian of indian descent. I was born here in NYC anyway. I have the number 409 written on the back of my white Gi. And I am the only indian looking kid there. LOL! See you there.


Ricky, Best of luck for this weekend, man, I'll keep an eye out for you. It's cool that you'll be training at Renzo's too. Just read the posts you made asking about Renzo's on the BJJ forum. Don't know about student discounts, I hear ya about the budget, bro! I just let my membership to Crunch gym lapse - would rather spend that time and money in grappling! Yes, the prices are pretty steep, but like the other forum members said, there are a lot of good guys for you to train with. I think there are several people there with Judo background too. The guys are great and the atmosphere is awesome. Gi-classes are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but it isn't hard and fast and you'll see guys training gi or no-gi any day.

Hey, this UZB guy you're talking about, is he the one teaching in Queens? Turaev fought in 81kg.