Established in 2016, Kokushi Midwest embraces the art of judo and works to help build confidence and physicality, all through judo. Started with the intent of introducing this dynamic sport to Champaign-Urbana, we hope to better people's lives through judo, the gentle art.  Our club is a member of both USA JUDO and USJF.

Head Instructor 

Grace Talusan, Nidan

Judo, which means "The Gentle Way", is a Japanese martial art based upon the ancient techniques of jujutsu. Dr. Jigoro Kano, President of the University of Education in Tokyo, developed judo in 1882. Dr. Kano, who had studied jujutsu in his youth, incorporated the best of these ancient techniques into the new art of Judo. The most recognizable element of judo are its throws and takedowns and then incoporating pins and submissions to subdue your opponent.

All classes are taught by Sensei Grace Talusan.   She has been involved in judo for more than 12 years.   She started studying at Kokushi Dojo in Westwood, NJ under Ogasawara Sensei.    Since relocating to Mahomet, IL in 2007, Grace has trained with Douglas Tono of Tohkon Judo Academy, George Weers of Hollis Park Judo and Maje Omagbaluwaje of Evolution Dojo.   

Grace is very active within the midwest judo community -- she was a co-instructor of the Illini Judo club for 7 years and tournament director of the NCJA Midwest Collegiate Championships from 2016-2018.  She was also the co-tournament director of the 2018 Chicago Open.  She is currently the registration chair of the Chicago Judo Black Belt Association and former midwest regional co-ordinator of the NCJA.  A certified USA Judo coach, Grace is one of the few instructors in the midwest who have obtained the IJF Academy's Level 1 certification of Instructor.     

Grace is still active as a competitor,  winning many state championships, and most recently, a gold medal at the 2017 & 2016 Senior National Championship (F2 Masters U70kg), silver medalist at the  2016-2018 IBJJF World Masters (Masters 2 - Medium Heavy division), and a bronze medal at the 2016 IJF World Veterans.   She is ranked #1 National Veterans Athlete in the F2 70kg division.