Judo in Malaysia was born on 25th October 1951. It was on this day that Malaysia's first Judo Club - Selangor Judo Club (SJC) - was founded to usher in Judo and to pave the way for its future in Malaysia. Starting from scratch, the Club had, for its instructors, Mr. Khor Ghoon Hoe and Mr. Chew Choo Soot, both well known weight lifters at that time, who, during the Japanese occupation took to wrestling. To improve their wrestling they received Judo instructions from a Japanese officer of the Nishihara Butai who was a 3rd Dan from Kyoto. As the Club was financially sound, it was able to bring in Mr. H. Ichjima from Tokyo, to be chief Instructor. Mr. Ichjima did a magnificent job and by the time he completed his mission, the Club was bestowed with 4 - 1st Dan. Within a short time, Judo Clubs in other states had sprung up, and meanwhile, the International Judo Federation (IJF), was formed to keep pace with the growing popularity of this sport, which was taking on an international character. The IJF was agitating for Judo to be recognised as an event in the Olympics and its efforts paid off, when the International Olympic Council finally welcomed its inclusion.

News that Judo was to make its debut in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, sent shockwaves throughout the Judo world, with vibrations reaching the odd corner that was Malaysia. Judo Clubs whose main object originally was merely to provide Judo instructions to their close knit communities, had not envisaged that they had to play a bigger part to keep up with the times. It was imperative for them to close ranks, and for Malaysia to send a team to the Tokyo Olympics, a national controlling body had to be formed. On 13th August 1961, the Selangor Judo Club and the 22nd Commonwealth Brigade Judo Club got together, to form the Malaysia Judo Federation (MJF), with Dr. N.S. Chin as President, Mr. Khor Ghoon Hoe as Secretary and Mr. Wong Sik Poi as Treasurer. The three founders, for many years, worked perfectly as a team to spearhead the Judo movement.

The MJF was soon admitted as a member of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, but was not sufficiently qualified to send a Judo Team to the Olympics, until it could become a member of the International Judo Federation (IJF). To undergo the protocol, the Selangor Judo Club undertook to bring an official from the Judo Union of Asia (JUA), to satisfy himself as to the bona fide status of the MJF. Since Malaysia was within the Asian bloc, it was necessary that the MJF had first to become a member of the JUA. Sponsored by the Selangor Judo Club, Mr. M. Shirooka (now 8th Dan), was despatched to Malaysia as JUA's plenipotentiary to examine the credentials of MJF. He stayed on for 4 months, during which time he was well acquainted with the MJF and unhesitatingly and without reservations, forwarded his recommendation to JUA for MJF to be admitted to both the JUA and the IJF, and which, the recommendation was accepted in good faith, and in the spirit in which it was made.

With the establishment of MJF, national Judo championships were held annually since 1963. From 1965 the national team had taken part in all the Seap games (fore-runner of the present SEA Games), the MJF having involved itself in organising the 1957, 1971 and 1977 Games in Kuala Lumpur. To add more feathers to its cap, the MJF was able to send a team abroad to take part in the Tokyo Olympics 1964, the World Judo Championships in Rio De Janiero 1965 and in Ludwigshaven, West Germany 1971. Also to the 1st and 2nd Asian Judo Championships in Manila 1966 and in Kaohsiang, Taiwan 1970, the 1st ASEAN Judo Championship in Penang 1976 organised byM'sia, is a fitting tribute to Mr.M. Nishimura (8th Dan), who as Technical Adviser of MJF from the time of its inception, plays the main role of God Father to the receipients, with of course the full blessing of Mr. I Abe (8th Dan), chief of the International Division, Kodokan. As for Judo players, it is estimated that the present strength is around 3,000 from the estimated 12,000 covering the period 1951 to 1987. Judo in Malaysia will soon be entering its 48th year and it is time to do some stock taking. The modest achievements reflect the good work put in by all those who espouse the cause of Judo and echo the words of the late Sir Winston Churchill that 'never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'. The MJF came to grief when it was de-registered by the governement on 23 July 1980 (G.N. No 4279 dated 28 August 1980). It ceased to function under decree, and totally collapsed. On 4th October 1980, a new national body was formed under the name of Persatuan Judo M'sia (PJM). The founders were Selangor Judo Club, Federal Territory Judo Association, The Royal Customs & Excise & Government servants' Judo club, Perak Judo Association and Chung Ling Union. Protem principal office bearers were Tuanku Adnan (President), Khoo Siew Boo (Hon.Secretary), Sri Jaya (Asst. Hon.Secretary)and Stephen Lee (Hon Treasurer). Judo activities resumed and Malaysian Judokas were able to take part in Pesta Sukan of Singapore 1984, as well as the SEA Games of 1983, and 1985 with modest success.With the incentive scheme offered by the Ministry of Sports, the PJM is striving hard to fit into that scheme. To this end it is hoped that every PJM state affliates, will actively promote Judo and endeavor to increase Judoka membership. There should be goodwill and cooperation among all those who love the sports of Judo, in order that it can compete against so many present day activities that young people can choose today.

Finally, it is with great sadness to announce that Mr. Capt. (rtd) Khor Ghoon Hoe, one of the true founders and motivator of Judo, has recently passed away on October 21st 1999. A true son of Judo, if anyone can be known as the Father of Judo in Malaysia, Capt. (rtd) Khor certainly wears that mantle, having promoted Judo throughout his lifetime, and achieved Malaysia's highest seniority of being 8th Dan at the time of his passing.

Left to hold the flag is Mahaguru - Grandmaster of Judo, Mr. Goh Thong Mong 7th Dan whose exploits can only be summed up in his own words, "Judo is me & I 'm Judo". Currently the President of J.A.F.T. and founder of the YMCA Judo Club, Mr. Goh needs no introduction, having dedicated himself to Judo as Capt. (rtd) Khor has done. PJM wishes Mr. Goh, the best of health and may he be with the Judo movement for many more years to come.

These excerpts are by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive history of Judo in Malaysia, and it is sincerely hoped that more facts may be uncovered, and put forth into these writings. Apology is tendered, if some important figures and facts have been left out nor mentioned and which, certainly will be included. PJM looks forward to any contributions from anyone who may be able to provide further information on the histroy of Judo in Malaysia. Thank you.








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