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Judo Mats PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 13 January 2014 08:19

In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s David Huffman, although becoming totally blind in Vietnam 9/29/68, and receiving injuries to both shoulders and his spine in a car accident 2/26/70; Huffman participated in karate, judo, aikido and yoga.  He has a black belt in judo, a brown belt in aikido and is working on his brown belt towards a black belt in karate in the present 2014 at 66 years old.  2/26/70 was his sister Mary’s birthday.  It’s hard to forget the date of the car accident.  Huffman stopped doing karate and concentrated on judo during most of his lifetime.  He fought sighted people right handed although he was left handed, because of his injuries.  The stress relief of judo helped put him through his Bachelor’s Degrees and Law Degree.  Huffman’s lifetime sensei for judo was Richard Hugh at the Wilmington DE Judo Club.  Huffman competed in judo all over the Mid-Atlantic area and did very well. 

In 1983 Huffman worked for the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program (VVLP).  While he was working for VVLP, there was a Vietnam veteran recognition night at a Philadelphia 76’ers game.  Wilmington Vietnam veterans played Philadelphia Vietnam veterans before the game.  Huffman participated in a judo demonstration at half-time with 3 other judo players at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.  17,000 fans did not know he was blind because he helped carry out the mats and the participants planned what they were going to do. 

Huffman’s West Virginia sensei is Bill Kincaid.  The mats used for the judo demonstrations are approximately 12’ by 20’ and they fold up in order to manage carrying them.  Since Huffman has additional injuries from his fall off a 3rd floor balcony in Daytona Beach, FL in July, 2001; his yoga days are over; he’s not as flexible.  He continued to participate in judo until the last few years when it became obvious that falling and being thrown wasn’t good to do anymore especially with dealing with other health issues such as diabetes and his back.  The mats that were used at the judo demonstration during the Philadelphia 76er’s game were his own mats that he used for extra judo practice in his basement in the 70’s and 80’s.

Although the mats have sentimental value, it’s time to give them up.  Bill Kincaid is starting a new judo club under Paul Snider’s, WV Fighting Arts Association at the Parkersburg, WV YMCA on Market St.  Huffman says, “I may help out with teaching judo from time to time if my body can handle it.  I wish Bill Kincaid good luck.  I know that the mats will be going to good use with a fine judo sensei and a wonderful person.  Meanwhile, I’ll continue to pursue my karate with my sensei, tenth degree black belt Paul Snider between 7:30-8:30 before work to help control my diabetes and feel better on a daily basis.  I’m so thankful for what martial arts have done for me in my life.  I’m 66 and still here and get sick less than most people my age despite 25 years fighting diabetes.”

Last Updated on Monday, 13 January 2014 08:23