About Us 2018-01-02T07:03:10+00:00



Oakland Judo provides high quality instruction in judo and wrestling for the city of Oakland and the surrounding bay area. We are located in the Dimond District of Oakland, just off the 580, inside Oakland Strength Factory. We offer classes for both kids and adults. Judo is great for keeping in shape, self-defense and body awareness. It’s also incredibly fun. Come join us!

  • Have fun

  • Learn a skill

  • Get in shape

martial arts


Alex Feng
Alex FengSensei Emeritus
Dr. Alex Feng received his black belt at age nineteen in judo and jujitsu. He holds a second-degree black belt in Kodenkan jujitsu and a fourth-degree black belt in judo. Dr. Feng has trained with such legends as Wally Jay and Keiko Fukuda. In 1967, he was the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation national heavyweight champion in Judo.
Jonah Ewell
Jonah EwellSensei & Head Instructor
Jonah Ewell started training at eight years old with Dr. Feng, learning judo and kung fu. He received his black belt shortly after high school and currently holds the rank of nidan (second degree black belt). He was captain of the wrestling team in high school and also has experience with kickboxing, boxing, and tae kwon do. He also has a purple belt in Brazilian jiujitsu under Omar Kasdi, affiliated with Rio Combat Team and Team Carlson Gracie.

-National Level Coach
-Local Referee
-Heads Up concussion safety

Leon Kenin
Leon KeninSensei
Leon Kenin grew up in Berkeley where he began learning judo at age eight with Dr. Feng. He has competed in California at the youth level, at the national collegiate level as a member of the Princeton Judo Team, and internationally at the adult level. Sensei Leon founded and ran a Judo school in Jerusalem, Israel. He also founded the youth Judo program at the Downtown Berkeley YMCA, as well as running Kenin Kan Judo Club. Leon practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Oakland and is the father of four children, who all practice Judo.
Alan Aki
Alan AkiSensei
Alan Aki also grew up in Berkeley and started taking judo at age 12 with Tone Shimizu and Mike Grunwald at To Bay Dojo. He continued training and competing throughout high school and college. He and his wife perform with the Mahea Uchiyama Center for International Dance in Berkeley. Alan primarily plays the toere (Tahitian log drum) and ‘ukuleles (both Hawaiian and Tahitian) and has appeared on a few of Kumu Mahea’s cds, while his wife dances. They also have two young children who they hope will take up both hobbies.
Mark Harmon
Mark HarmonSensei
Mark grew up on the peninsula south of San Francisco and received his brown belt from judo legend Willy Cahill. After a long period away from judo, he joined Oakland Judo in 2013 and received his first degree black belt shortly thereafter. He is also a blue belt in Brazilian jiujitsu under Omar Kasdi, affiliated with Rio Combat team. Mark is interested in old-school judo techniques such as leg locks.


Judo is a martial art and Olympic sport that uses throws, holds and submissions. It is excellent for self defense, a great workout, and a lot of fun!

Yes! Although accidents can happen in any physical endeavor, at Oakland Judo we create a culture of respect and safety. You have to look out for your training partners and treat them well, or soon you’ll find yourself without anyone to practice with.

One of the very first things a new student learns is how to fall properly – there is a technique to it! Once you learn the technique of falling and get comfortable with it, you will lose your fear of falling and start to progress very quickly.

Judo and wrestling are closely related. They both fall under the umbrella of “grappling” meaning a way of fighting without striking – no punching or kicking is allowed. They are both Olympic sports with millions and perhaps billions of participants worldwide in all age groups. The main differences fall into three categories: uniform, application of sport rules, and philosophy.

A judo uniform consists of a thick cotton jacket and pants, and a colored belt indicating your rank. No shoes are worn. This uniform is worn in practice and in competition, and the only colors allowed are white and blue. In wrestling competition one usually wears a wrestling singlet, a one piece item that allows maximum maneuverability, as well as special wrestling shoes, and sometimes headgear is worn to protect the ears. In wrestling practice people usually wear sweatpants and a t-shirt with their wrestling shoes, and sometimes a sweatshirt if the weather is cold.

In judo, you must attempt to throw your opponent flat on their back – if you can do this with force and control, you will be awarded ippon by the referee, an instant win. The jacket and belt are used to throw your opponent, so the game of fighting for grips is of crucial importance. You can also win by pin or a submission such as a choke or armbar. Since 2010, you are not allowed to grab the pants or anywhere below the belt for the purpose of throwing your opponent.

In American folkstyle wrestling, the objective is to take down and control your opponent and pin them by putting both shoulder blades on the mat for two seconds. Grabbing the uniform is not allowed, so wrestlers learn to control their opponents by holding and throwing them by the wrist, head, shoulder, legs, waist, ankle – anywhere you can get a grip. You are not required to throw them on their back – as long as they fall down and you retain control, that’s all that matters.

Judo’s two mottoes are seiryoku zenyo and jita kyoei, meaning “maximum efficiency, minimum effort” and “mutual welfare and benefit” respectively. The first refers to the efficient use of body mechanics and the preservation of energy, while the second refers to the idea that judo can be used to benefit everyone – participants and society at large. Dr. Jigoro Kano, the inventor of judo, was an educator and dedicated to the idea that judo could be used to produce good people and good citizens.

Wrestling rewards hard work and intensity more than any other sport. As a sport with weight divisions, athletes of any size can participate and rise to the top. As a wrestler, your child will learn that they can accomplish anything with the right attitude.

You can buy one from us, or you can just search “judo uniform” on the internet. They even sell them on Amazon these days.

Just let us know by email or in person. Kids and teens memberships are all month-to-month, no long term contracts. If you want to drop your child’s membership, please let us know before the month renews. We cannot refund a membership that has already started.

If you’re an adult and not sure whether you can commit to a long term of training, we recommend you try the month to month membership. It’s slightly more expensive but has more flexibility. You can cancel anytime, but again, there are no refunds for memberships that have already started. In other words, if your membership renews on the 1st of the month and you want to drop on the 15th, we cannot refund you for the second half of the month.

Going on vacation? Have a busy period coming up at work? Please let us know in writing and we can put your membership on hold for up to two months.