Philip S. Porter began
his Martial Arts career in boxing in 1943 at age 18. He was later a
member of the West Point Boxing Team; and in 1950, Light Heavyweight
Boxing Champion of the Western Area of the Air Training Command,
USAF. Porter graduated from the United States Military Academy at
West Point in 1948, and served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years,
retiring as a major in 1967. His leadership ability brought him many
high positions in the Martial Arts.
Judo, JuJitsu, and Karate training in 1951 at Travis Air Force Base,
California under Sensei Walter Todd, 9th Degree Black Belt, now
deceased. Because Porter was 27 years old at the time, he soon
started coaching as well as competing. Now, he is called O-Sensei
because he is in charge of teaching and watching over the rank
promotions of thousands of his Black Belt students throughout the
country in nearly 1,000 clubs of the United States Martial Arts
Arts Rank History.
Degree), 1998 by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Soke of the Togakure Ryu.
Judo: Shodan, 1954; Nidan, 1956, Budokwai, England; Yondan,
1963-Personally presented by Sumiyuki Kotani, 9th Dan, of the
Kodokan, after O-Sensei placed third in the U.S. Judo Nationals at
age 38. (Kotani Sensei was later the only living 10th Degree in Judo
in the world). Rokudan, 1973; Shichidan, 1981; Hachidan, 1989; Kudan,
1994, Judan, January 1, 2004. Note: There are now about 25 living
Kudan (9th Degrees) in Judo in Japan, and a few more outside Japan.
There are now two 10th Degrees in the world, Anton Geesink and
Philip S. Porter, and no living Japanese 10th Degrees. There have
been 15 Judoists of 10th in the history of Judo, 12 who were
Japanese. The last Japanese Judan was Sumiyuki Kotani Sensei, who
died on October 19, 1991, at age 89. He was O-Sensei Porter's
revered teacher. JuJitsu: All degrees, 1st through 9th
(1951-1994) by USJA. Judan (10th Degree) 1997 by USMA and Beikoku
Mizu Ryu JuJutsu. JunKinShin. Soke-10th Degree. Jun Kin Shin
is the JuJitsu ryu founded by O-Sensei from his many years
experience in teaching self defense to law enforcement and military
personnel. He has never given ranks in this system because he does
not consider the system complete. Karate: 8th Degree
(Honorary) 1996 by the American Shotokan Karate Alliance. Moo Hap
Sul Hapkido: 9th Degree (Honorary), 1997 by House of Discipline
Martial Arts Group. Taiho Jitsu: Judan (10th Degree) 1997 by
Mid-Atlantic Self Defense Association. Wushu: 9th Degree
started competing in Judo in 1951, and is still active in masters
competition, a competitive career spanning 50 years. He was US Air
Force USAFE champion in 1957, placed in the US Senior Nationals in
1963, won the US National Masters Championship four times
(1975,1977, 1980 and 1981), and won two gold and a silver medal in
the 1998 World Masterathlete Games in Ottawa, Canada.
O-Sensei Porter is
called "The Father of American Judo" because he helped found the
USJA in 1954, and personally built it into the largest Judo group in
America, as well as the largest non-profit Martial Arts organization
in the country over a period of 41 years. Below are listed a few of
O-Sensei Porter's leadership achievements in American Martial Arts.
Porter served three
years as National Chairman of the AAU Judo Committee (1961-1964),
Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Judo Committee (1964-1968), Secretary
General of the Pan American Judo Union (1964-1967), Technical
Director of the Pan American Judo Union (1967-1969), President, U.
S. Judo Association (1980-1995); Editor, "American Judo"
(1960-1995), President and Head Coach, National Judo Institute and
National Judo Team, (1980-1995), and President of the United States
Martial Arts Association since 1995.
While in the Air Force, O-Sensei trained in England at the famous
Budokwai in London for a period of four years (1954 to 1958). At
that time his teacher was Trevor P. Leggett, now the only 9th Degree
in Judo in Europe, and with O-Sensei Porter, one of only a few 9th
Degrees in Judo outside of Japan. Porter founded and became
President of the U.S. Martial Arts Association in late 1995. The
USMA is the only non-profit American organization devoted to
unifying the Martial Arts in our country, and recognizing all
Porter was active as
a national and international referee in Judo for many years. He
rewrote the IJF contest rules in 1967. He refereed the finals in the
1965 World Judo Championships in Brazil between Geesink and
Matsunaga. He served on the six member Consultative Committee of
Referees for the first Judo Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, and was the
referee for the team finals in the World CISM Games of 1971 in
Vienna, Austria. O-Sensei is now working on a special book which
will contain the contest rules for Judo, JuJitsu, Tae Kwon Do and
Karate, and will include explanatory commentary.
coaching accomplishments are legendary. He has produced over 1,000
national and international medalists in Judo over the past 45 years,
500 of them during the eight years he coached the National Judo Team
at the NJI (1984-1992). No other coach in America has even
approached this record. His team won six medals with six athletes in
the 1991 Pan American Games, including Kate Donahoo's Gold Medal.
Kate Donahoo also won 5th place in the World Judo Games of 1989 and
5th place in the 1992 Olympics.
Founding Of The National College Judo Movement.
In 1962 Porter hosted
the first National Collegiate Judo Championships at the US Air Force
Academy, wrote the constitution and bylaws of the first National
Collegiate Judo Association, and served as both its Secretary, and
later as its President.
Hall Of Fame Honors. World Martial Arts Hall of Fame.O-Sensei
has also been honored (April 1997) as a member of the World Martial
Arts Hall of Fame as the recipient of the coveted "Heritage Award of
Excellence" award. International Karate & Kickboxing Hall of
Fame. O-Sensei was inducted into the International Karate Hall
of Fame at a special ceremony conducted in Cleveland, Ohio in April,
1997. World Headfounders Council. O-Sensei was admitted as
the 18th member of the World Headfounders Council in July, 1997. He
is the 18th member inducted out of 3,219 applicants. In May, 1998,
O-Sensei was inducted into the Martial Arts Masters, Pioneers and
Legends Hall of Fame Council International in the highest
In 2000, O-Sensei created the USMA International Hall of Fame and
the USMA National Junior and Senior Training Camps. The fifth
consecutive yearly event, is scheduled to be held in St. Louis,
Missouri in July, 2004.
O-Sensei Porter has been granted several honorary Doctor's degrees,
and has written many books on Judo, JuJitsu, and other Martial Arts.
He is now working on the American Martial Arts Character Achievement
Program (AMCAP) and several other books. O-Sensei travels
extensively, over half of the year, conducting Martial Arts seminars
as Founder of the USMA. His primary emphasis is on two important
areas: (1) Character development for young people, and (2) Fostering
American excellence and international victories in JuJitsu, Judo,
and Karate through the eventual establishment of a USMA
international training institute for all Martial Artists.