About Us


To be the preferred Martial Art and Combat Sport of choice for the perfection of character. To impact and imprint the values, attitudes and skills of individuals to the benefit of the society.



As the primary body for Judo we will continually develop the practice of the art of Judo in both the traditional and modern form as an Olympic Sport. To provide inclusive opportunities for all to participate in the many aspects of Judo and also international exposure at the highest levels of the sport. To engage participants to uphold the moral and ethical values of Judo so that it becomes a ‘Way of Life for All’ to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.


Judo In Trinidad and Tobago


Judo had its genesis in Trinidad and Tobago with the establishment of the American Base at Chaguaramas in 1941 after the commencement of World War 11. The base lasted for twenty-six (26) years and was disbanded in 1967.

The American soldiers at the missile site practiced Judo as an integral part of their training. Consequently they inquired of the local community whether there was a Judo organisation in Trinidad and Tobago.

They were informed that the Trinidad & Tobago Prison Service taught Judo and Self Defence to their Recruits and other members of the Protective Services (Police, Coast Guard). The instructor at the Prison Service was Sensei Clyde Thomas.

In 1963 Sensei Magleo from the Chaguaramas Base contacted the Commissioner of Prisons and as a consequence, Sensei Clyde Thomas was instructed to go to the Base and interact with Sensei Magleo.

As a result of this conference, American Army Personnel and Members of Prison Self Defence Staff established a regular training schedule at the base.

It was in 1963, a few weeks after this training commenced that the first Judo Club was formed in Trinidad & Tobago. It was called the Trinidad Judo Club and it was located at the Carenage Catholic School in North Trinidad. It was with the kind permission of the Parish Priest that the event became possible. The Chief Instructor was Sensei Clyde Thomas and some of the other members were Ben Raphael and two Woo Ling brothers.

The Judo Club had to be removed from the School because renovation work had to be done on the building. A venue was found in a back yard in Maraval. It is here that Professor Don Jacobs as a young boy joined the Club and trained under the tutelage of Sensei Thomas.

In 1965, again the Club had to move and a more convenient location was found in Woodbrook opposite the Queen’s Park Oval.

It should be pointed out that other Judo was practiced and other Clubs were also formed in different parts of Trinidad, notably in the Southern region.

In 1966 the various Judo Clubs came together and formally recognised the Trinidad Judo Club as a the governing body for Judo with Sensei Clyde Thomas being elected as the first President.

The Judo organisation then negotiated with the Olympic Committee for inclusion, as Judo became an Olympic Sport in 1964.

Affiliation was also sought and obtained with the Judo Black Belt Federation Athletic Union, which was responsible for Judo in the region. It was also around this time that Sensei George Hislop 2nd Dan (former Magistrate) returned from England and joined the Club. During the period the Club as well, Sensei Frank Hatashita 5th degree Black Belt visited Trinidad. He was at the time President of both the American Judo Union and the Canadian Black Belt Club. During the visit he graded three (3) members of the Trinidad Judo Club. They were Clyde Thomas, Ben Raphael and Charles Woo Ling.

In 1970 the Trinidad Judo Club was renamed the Trinidad and Tobago Judo Association and it was situated at Y.M.C.A. Benbow Road Wrightson Road Port of Spain.

It was also in 1970 that the Association received formal recognition from the Ministry of Sport, which status and support we benefit from continuously.

In 2014 TTJA was renamed Judo Trinidad and Tobago (JudoTT) and at present continues to be firmly entrenched as it strives to achieve its strategic goals and objectives.


Further Reading