Below is the letter Marc Cohen sent out to USJA Members.
Dear Fellow Judoka,
Some say that Judo is one of the world’s best kept secrets…
When the television series “Kung Fu” came on television in 1972, and when the first “Karate Kid” movie came out in 1984, I thought they would for sure soon make a mass appeal movie about Judo – and why wouldn’t they?!
With fifty million active judoka in the world, Judo is the most dynamic martial art and sport on the planet – and the world’s second most popular sport!
We judoka know and admire the moment when a technique works and a body flies through the air and lands unharmed on the mat – but how do we explain that technique to someone who isn’t a judoka? How do we describe the high after a Randori session, or the feeling of what it is like to be in a dojo?
As judoka we know that and more – and soon so will the rest of the world because a movie that features judo is in the making.
In order for a movie to reach a wide audience it must have a universal relevance, be about something important, and this movie, “Don’t Call Me Sir!”, is that. The screenplay has won a bunch of awards, including the top New York and Los Angeles screenplay contests.
The story tells about Rena “Rusty” Glickman who, in 1947, when she was 12, Jewish and safe in Brooklyn except for occasional anti-Semitic incidents, learned about the millions who disappeared in the Holocaust.
Although she was too young to verbalize it, she decided that she was not going to let ‘that’ happen to her, that ‘they’ were not going to win, that she would be better and stronger than them, that she was going to excel at something, at what she didn’t know – until she found judo.
In 1959, when she was a single mother and women weren’t allowed in judo – much less allowed to compete – Rusty disguised herself as a man so she could compete in the New York State Judo Championships.
She beat the reigning state champion but was stripped of the medal when she admitted she was a woman.
She vowed to change how women were treated in sports and fought successfully to get women’s judo accepted as a competitive sport and in 1984 as an Olympic event. A mother of three, she died in 2009. Her ashes are interred in Israel as well as in the tomb of the great Samurai Kanokogi in Kumamoto, Japan.
The movie truly expresses the authentic feel of Judo and is highly likely to bring our sport to millions who are otherwise unlikely to understand and appreciate the physical and mental toughness that it takes to be a judoka. Because Judo has a great deal much to gain from “Don’t Call Me Sir!”, we judoka, the USJA, can and should help produce the movie and be named as a producer.
Your donations will help finance the movie, bring what we do to the world, get you a tax deduction, and will provide the USJA with revenue from the movie with which we can provide our membership with unprecedented services and support.Please read the attached screenplay, feel what it is about and its impact, then go to our website and make a donation that works for you.
In short, let’s get our wonderful sport out there for the world to see.
We will be better off for it.
Please click on this link for up to date information and how we Judoka can produce an epic movie about one of our greatest passions: