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The Shindo Kan School of Judo was founded in the late 1950’s on the southeast side of Chicago at 63rd and Stony Island in Chicago, Illinois by Blaise “Joe” Zorich.

Joe’s first exposure to martial arts occurred during an evening out with his future brother in law who had learned some martial arts from friends in the circus. A discussion began regarding how one could “take care of himself.” Joe, a Golden Gloves boxing champion, said a good boxer could defend himself against anyone. Without revealing “the secret” the future relative disagreed. The challenge was met, Joe ended up on the floor of the bar, and judo became his passion.

Blaise “Joe” Zorich began working out with Jim Beres, Art Broadbent and John Osako who were among the earliest Midwest judoka. Though the Chicago Judo Black Belt Association was formed in 1947, at that time many schools (dojos) were not really organized. It was more of a group of like-minded individuals working out together. The better the workouts, the better the reputation, the more like-minded people were attracted to the location. The group grew, attracting judo players (judoka) from all over the Midwest.

In 1961 Osako Sensei moved to Detroit and soon became the head instructor. This left the club to Joe and Mr. Beres. Mr. Beres retired and Joe continued running the school on his own until his retirement in 1980’s. Shindo Kan became one of the premier dojos in the Chicago Yudanshakai along with Chicago Judo Club, Jiu Jitsu Institute, Lawson, Oak Park and Hyde Park YMCA’s and the Uptown Judo Club.

To stimulate interest in judo Shindo Kan began doing judo demonstrations for various charitable organizations. They were the only school to appear on television, Channel 11, presenting demonstrations and offering classes for bidding, which was the way Channel 11 ran their pledge drives in those days.

In the 1960’s Shindo Kan moved south a few blocks to a larger facility on 85th and Stony Island. Karate was also added to the curriculum.

Many of Joe’s training methods were ahead of their time. For example in an era when coaches believed the best training for any sport was repetitions of the activity itself, when no one was running, when it was believed weight lifting made you stiff and inflexible Joe believed in cross-training. All judoka were required to run and weight lift to gain fitness for competition. The dojo continued through the 1980’s producing many local and national champions until Joe’s retirement.

Mr. David Zorich, Sensei  Judo Lineage

The Shindo Kan School of Judo was established in the late 1950’s by Blaise “Joe” Zorich, Sensei. In essence "Joe" was 4th generation judo.
            - judo began in Japan
            - many of the first judo martial artists who came to America settled and taught judo on the West Coast
            - some of those judo men, or  their students came to teach in the Midwest.
    - Zorich Sensei learned his judo from those men. And I learned from him.

One of the premier Kodokan Judo and Japanese karate dojos through the 60’s – 80’s


  • Qualified for Junior Nationals
  • Achieved Sho Dan [1st degree] at the age of 18, Yo Dan [4th degree] at 30.
  • Responsible for in dojo under black belt (kyu / mudansha rank) promotion curriculum
    • Ensure student teachers adhered to proper teaching techniques
  • Operated dojo with owner / Sensei until his retirement
  • Continued actively teaching private and group lessons
    • Conduct judo seminars at schools that primarily teach other martial arts.
  • Former Coach / Instructor at Barrington Judo
    • Coached Gold and Bronze Medalists winners of Illinois State Judo Championships, Gold in Indiana Championships.
Owner / Director Shindo Kan School of Judo
  • Judo program Schaumburg Park District/Meineke since 2011 At Illinois Martial Arts Academy- two years.
  • Hold Certificate of Liability Insurance
  • Certified Regional Level Judo Coach
  • Shindo Kan Judo is recognized member in good standing of USA judo.

Tae Kwon Do lineage:
My Sensei: Master’s Cris Nelson and Chuck Masny
Cris Nelson Sensei: Grand Master John Worley

  • Grand Master John Worley began his teaching career at Jhoon Rhee Institute. Instructor of the Year Jhoon Rhee Institute 1973.
  • In 1958 Grand Master Jhoon Rhee, introduced Korean Tae Kwon Do to America.
  • Began American karate/kickboxing career in 2000; achieved Sho Dan in 2002 and Ni Dan in 2004

  • Assistant Instructor at all brown belt levels.
  • 4th place in form age division 18th Annual Bluegrass nationals.
  • Judge at semi-annual Chicago National Karate tournaments; center judge since Sho Dan.
  • Center or side judge at annual Diamond National Tournaments for under black belt divisions.
  • Board member for under black belt tests and semi-annual black belt tests since achieving Sho Dan.
  • Initiated and Head Instructor for youth black belt test preparation classes since 2002.
  • Initiated katana(sword) class and developed curriculum based on the techniques of the Eishin –Ryu school of Iaido.
  • Instructor Appreciation Award 2003, 2004, 2005. Outstanding Instructor 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  • Since 2003 attended yearly to bi-annual two hour seminars given by 9th Degree Grand Master Lee Wedlake, one of the worlds foremost authorities in Ed Parker Kenpo. Mr. Wedlakes 3rd & 6th degree black belts were awarded by American Kenpo Founder and Grand Master Edmund Parker. For two years conducted monthly judo seminars for Barnhart Sensei (Kurt) class; a Schichidan of Master Wedlake who owns a dojo in the suburbs of Chicago.

Shindo Kan Belt Progression

This was the progression we used at Shindo Kan. I believe it was comparable to what the Kodokan was using. Though the IJF was charted in 1951 and many dojos use different systems now back in those days I seem to remember the Kodokan being considered the defining organization,

White – a student receives a white belt on starting
Yellow with white stripe

Purple – under 14 years of age

At the Sensei discretion youth judoka may receive “tape” stripes on their belts to designate progress

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