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Mr. Mayerchak

I first studied the martial arts in a judo class in 1968 that was taught by Thomas Mayerchak "Mr. Judo" in the Nito Judo Club at the Central YMCA in Winston-Salem, NC. The club was affiliated with the United States Judo Federation (USJF), which later became the current United States Judo Association (USJA). This class got me started on what was to become a lifelong adventure in the martial arts.

While most of my experiences in the class were uneventful, there were a few memorable ones.

We had a professional wrestler in the classes for a while. He became frustrated with opponents being able to use the gi for pins and strangles. One day, he brought in some other professional wrestlers and gave us a taste of performing their techniques.

The class was the first time I got to grapple with women. I found it be a gratifying experience.

I remember a judo camp I attended where a Japanese judo master and Olympian was part of the staff. I got on the mat and played with him one time, and was thrown all over the mat. Finally, he threw me into the crowd that was sitting around the mat. Since I was not stupid, instead of reentering the mat, I joined in with the crowd, and the master just moved on to another victim.

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