In Loving memory-Sensei Porter

Sensei Porter


Born in 1925, Philip S. Porter began his martial arts career at age 18 (in 1943), and has expertise in a variety of martial arts, but his emphasis since I first came to have known him, has been Judo and Jujitsu.
Sensei Porter has served as National Chairman of the AAU Judo Committee (1961-1964), Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Judo Committee (1964-1968), and 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, (1984-1992).
In 1995, Sensei Porter founded the United States Marital Arts Association (USMA) and has remained president to this day.

One morning back in 1998 as Sensei was staying at my house for several days for a judo seminar, we were sitting at the dining room table and he said to my wife and I, as he said on many different occasions; “I have been blessed with the greatest teachers a man could ever have.” And he began to tell stories of his teachers. I love listening to his stories. On another occasion while I was having lunch with Sensei at a table in a restaurant in River Falls, Wisconsin, we were talking about his great teachers. The first teacher he talked about was, a teacher he had while he was in the Air Force. He was taught by the one and only Walter Todd. He talked very well of Walter and another of his Sensei's,  the great Sumiyuki Kotani, who was a technical expert from Japan for the Air Force and Kotani promoted Porter to both Yondan and Rokudan. Both Todd and Kotani taught and coached at the Travis Air Force Base. He spoke so well of Kotani and would reminiscence about times he spent with him at the Kodokan. One night in our living room I spent time video taping him talking about these great moments. I will treasure them forever.
During a period of four years he studied with Trevor P. Leggett in England (1954-1958), were he earned his rank of Sandan. Trevor Leggett was also very influential in Sensei's life. However of all of these great teachers, when speaking with Sensei Porter, he will say, of all his teachers he refers to Sumiyuki as his most revered teacher.

Sensei’s Qualifications:

  • 1951 Started competing in Judo
  • 1957 US Air Force USAFE champion
  • 1963 Placed in the US Senior Nationals
  • 1975,1977,1980,1981: Won the US National Masters (over 30) Championships
  • 1998 Two gold and a silver medal in the 1998 World Master Athlete Games in Ottawa, Canada
  • Shodan 1954
  • Nidan 1956
  • Promoted to Sandan by Leggett in 1959
  • Yondan 1963 Presented by Sumiyuki Kotani
  • Rokudan 973, After placing 3rd in the U.S. Judo Nationals. Presented to him by Sumiyuki Kotani
  • Shichidan 1981; President of USJA
  • Hachidan 1989; President of USJA
  • Kudan 1994; President of USJA
  • Judan 2005

The list is almost endless… congratulations to our Sensei, Philip S. Porter.


Sensei Phillip S. Porter 2007

Sensei Porter Interview in Winona 2007.