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Kokushi Midwest Judo

| 08/27/2020

Owners: Grace Talusan

Martial Art: Judo

How did you choose your school name?

I started training at Kokushi Dojo in New Jersey under N. Ogasawara. When it came to naming my dojo, I wanted to keep the name closest to the roots.... so I asked Sensei if I could name the dojo Kokushi Midwest... he said, "yes, of course!"

How long have you been teaching?

8 years.

Who or what inspires you?

Doug Tono of Tohkon Judo -- his humbleness and love for the sport is like nothing else out there.... he shares everything and there's always room at his house for someone to stay.

What is something special or unique about your school and/or students?

We are the only dojo within a 150mile range that has a fully sprung floor! We are the only dedicated Judo Academy in Champaign, IL.

What made you choose FUJI Mats for your facility?

The Sprung Floor System.

What is the most rewarding part about working in the martial arts field?

Just watching other people take your techniques and make them their own.... or find new techniques that they start to specialize in.

If you could give one piece of advice to other martial art school owners what would it be?

Go for the best!


I started the dojo because there was no place to practice judo in Champaign. It was never my dream to become a dojo owner.... I just wanted a good place to practice. And since there wasn't really a club or facility to train at (I'd have to travel to Chicago to get a workout in), I decided that there needed to be a judo dojo in Champaign. So after a few years of leading the UofI club, and starting a club out of a local Aikido dojo, I had enough students to at least form a small class. Since then, it's been growing.... we bring in clinicians all the time just to show the Champaign area that Olympians are down to earth people. We've had a good reception with it... so we're just moving forward and hoping to grow.

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