Our Black Belts

Yusaku Takeda

3rd Degree Black Belt

Yusaku began his training at the Shizunai Judo Junior-Sports Club in 2002. He earned his black belt (Shodan) from Kodokan Judo Institute in 2006 at the age of 14, and later, his Nidan (second-degree blackbelt) in 2009 as a junior in high school, and his third-degree blackbelt (Sandan) in 2019. 

Prior to joining Kokushi Midwest, Yusaku was an instructor at the Tohoku Judo Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He founded Wesleyan Judo club at Wesleyan University and was a captain of his high-school and middle-school Judo teams, where he led a  team of over thirty black belts competitors. He was also a specially-appointed alumni coach of his high-school Judo team (Hokurei Judo Team) in 2010. 

Alongside his teaching, he competes at regional, national, and international levels. Before coming to the US for college in 2010, he has competed in All Japan Inter-High School Championships and other top-tier high school competitions in Japan. Some recent competitive results in the US include but not limited to:
2011 - Gold Medal - Nutmeg State Games (Senior Elite 73 kg division)
2018 - Gold Medal - Chaves Memorial Judo Tournament (Senior Elite 81 kg division)
2019 - Silver Medal - Chaves Memorial Judo Tournament (Senior Elite 81 kg division)
2020 - Silver Medal - Pedro's Judo Challenge (Senior IJF Elite 100 kg division)

He is also a professor at Gies College of Business of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches and researches macro-organizational behavior.


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