Thursday, July 9, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 19

Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead

The following article was posted on November 16th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 36 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 11, Issue 36

Big excitement in little Nipomo

Local Judo practitioners lock horns and take notes during a visit from the American Judo president


All the president’s men
The students who showed up to the event flooded the floor of CEM Judo with white uniforms.
For the students at Common Era Ministries (CEM) Judo, one of the best things in life is free: judo. In fact, so many people have been attracted to the dojo that it’s been propelled into the top-20 most active clubs in America—out of about 1,000 total. And because of its great success, Gary Goltz, president of the United States Judo Association, paid a visit on Nov. 4.

“It’s kind of a big deal,” said Sensei Bob Rush, pastor and fearless leader of CEM Judo.

The president’s arrival was indeed a big deal. Rush’s dojo was packed with about 60 judo practitioners dressed in their judo wear (including a few black belts), hoping to see the president show off a few moves. Goltz also presented an award to Rush, which the pastor didn’t see coming.

Also present were members from two other prominent local dojos: Coastal Judo and Five Cities Judo.

Fighting the president
President Goltz and his assistant impressed the crowds with the art of Goshin, a self-defense style that teaches weapon disarming.
If we would have known this would have been so packed, we would have reserved a bigger place,” Rush said to the president.

Some attendees entertained the idea of taking the event outside to the parking lot, where it would have been immensely cooler and more open. President Goltz, however, decided it was a good idea to split the crowd; the 12-and-under attendees went first, followed by the older students.

After warm-ups, Goltz wanted to see their falls.

“I can tell a lot about a student by a fall, and I can tell if they are ranked right by a fall,” he said. “Every stuntman has to know how to fall right, and some dojos spend six months on falls.”

The students obliged, tumbling down. Afterward, Goltz grouped the more experienced students with the younger students for fall practice.

Back in the saddle
“It’s been a miraculous comeback,” Pastor Bob Rush said before jumping into the middle of a battle royale. Rush has been recovering from a serious back injury.
After 10 minutes, the president moved on to throwing, beginning with a demonstration featuring two of the dojo’s students. No one volunteered to be thrown, however—
except for a student who had a rash. Turned down, the young judo practitioner asked to throw the next student during the demonstration.

Later, the black belts took on a few of the students and helped them with their throws. One student watched as Gregg Rubio, who runs the Five Cities dojo in Nipomo, demonstrated the “Dudley Butt Strike.” Before tossing his student, Rubio made a farting noise, his rear end sticking out.

The main attraction of the night came during the president’s Goshin demonstration. Goltz’s assistant approached him with bats, mock knives, and a mock gun. But Goltz is a president who doesn’t need a Secret Service; he threw the “assailant,” who landed on the mat with a loud thud.

Chuck Norris would approve
Common Era Ministries (CEM) Judo is always looking for a few good students. The dojo is located 671 West Tefft, suite 15, in Nipomo. Classes take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, and cater to all levels of experience.
After grabbing his glasses, Goltz walked toward the middle of the dojo to present two awards to Pastor Rush. The first was a Life Membership award from the judo association; the second was something Rush had waited a while for: his third degree black belt.

“That took a long time,” he said, after getting his promotion. “It almost brought me to tears.”

After the ceremony, the students bombarded their teacher with group hugs, handshakes, and congratulations. The pastor was ecstatic.

“They’re all the sons I never had,” he said of his students.

Intern Henry Houston fought the law with judo, but the law won. Contact him at

Weekly Poll
What'd you make of the county's decision to close beaches for the Fourth of July weekend?

It was sensible since counties to the south closed their beaches.
I was OK with it. I set off fireworks at home instead.
It was ridiculous. The restrictions have to stop.
It didn't matter. I went to SLO County.

| Poll Results

My 805 Tix - Tickets to upcoming events