Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman promoted to judo’s highest level last week.The 98-year-old has an amazing story.
She is the last remaining student of Kano Jiguro, who founded the martial art in 1882.
In 1935, she gave up on marriage and left Japan to devote her live to judo.
She was the first women to achieve the rank of sixth dan when women were first allowed to earn the rank in 1972.
From 1967-1978, she taught judo at Mills College in Oakland. To this day, she teaches the martial art three times a week in San Francisco.
Now, she is one of just four people (the other three are men living in Japan) in the world to hold the distinction of tenth dan — the highest rank in the sport.
“All my life this has been my dream,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle last week.