Sooner Judo Club

The Sooner Judo Club was established in 1954 by Dr. Percy Buchanan, who earned a first-degree black belt while studying in Japan. Originally a student group at the University of Oklahoma, the club moved off-campus during the 1970s and incorporated into a non-profit organization (SJC Inc).

Club members have included Ron Tripp, multiple national medalist and world team member; Katherine Ensler, multiple junior national champion, Pan Am silver medalist, and Olympic team runner-up; and Dr. William Graves, fifth-degree black belt and PJC-C regional referee.

In addition to our regular instructors, members also benefit from the experience of head sensei emeritus, Dr. Joel Holloway, who occasionally teaches master classes for advanced students. An eighth-degree black belt in judo, Dr. Holloway has been national kata champion 20 times during the course of his career. He and his partner, Ralph Sexton, also won the first World Kata Overall Grand Champion Award in Brisbaine, Australia in 1994.

SJC Inc. is currently operated by Steve Kenton and Lynne Keller, a husband-wife team who obtained ownership of the club building thanks to the generosity of the remaining founding members.

Steve Kenton holds a fourth-degree black belt in judo and has taught for over ten years at the Sooner Judo Club and at the University of Oklahoma. Kenton is also a certified national referee for USA Judo (the national governing body of US Olympic style judo), and has served as president of the Oklahoma Judo Association.