Starting Judo at such a young age has been the best decision my parents could have made for me. Being exposed to the philosophy of Judo has made me a much better individual in Judo and in life. I have gained confidence, leadership skills, character, and it has kept me in optimal physical shape. I began the study of Judo at the Palo Alto Judo Club. The Palo Alto Judo Club has deep traditional Japanese roots and is a well respected Judo club in the Bay Area. It was established in 1952 and has produced many champions and outstanding judokas. This long lineage of Judo has shaped me into an effective coach and Judo technician. As a junior I have won many local and state championships. In addition I have won the Fukuda Kata International Championship. I have dedicated more than twenty years studying Judo within the Central Coast Yudanshakai (CENCO). Palo Alto, Cupertino, and San Jose State are a few clubs that have shaped, developed, and improved the Judo, coaching and teaching skills I have today. These clubs have exposed me to Judo from around the world ranging from the respectable teachings of Mike Swain, Keith Nakasone, Koga, Yamashita, Neil Adams, Fukuda, Ogasawara, and Jim Pennington. Furthermore, these clubs have held cross training partnerships with various Japanese schools which I have had the opportunity to participate in and acquire knowledge from these exchanges. I was able to adapt and improve my Judo style due to these influential experiences which I presently use in my teachings of Judo.
Prior to doing judo, I used to do some Chinese boxing when I was younger. In 1962, I started to do judo in Bandung, Indonesia in a club called Institute Judo Bandung and was on the Indonesian national team. From 1970-1974 I postponed my judo life and did a variety of sports, such as swimming, basketball, soccer, and badminton. I did judo again in 1975 and in 1976 I received my Shodan black belt. In 1981 I moved to southern California and started doing judo at several different judo clubs such as the Gardena Judo Club PAL, Tenri Judo in East Los Angeles, LACC Judo with head instructor Steve S., Guerrero Judo with Frank Sanchez, and lastly joined the Mojica Judo with Tony Mojica. In 1995, I moved up to northern California and joined the Tobay Judo with Tony Simitsu and Dan S. and later I joined the Kyodo Judo Club with Mickey Davenport in Vallejo. From 2012-2014 I was part of Dragon MMA. I am a current member of USJF and USA Judo. I am also a certified continental judo coach and part of the Safe Sport Program. For the local support program I am in the USJF bronze level for coaching in the yudanshakai called Hokka.
James Peters was drawn to judo at the age of 5 as a means for developing better coordination and athleticism. He started judo at the Redwood PAL in Rohnert Park, Ca but quickly moved over to the EBJI with Sensei David Matsumoto for more competitive instruction. During his competitive career, he was a 14-time Junior National Champion, 2-time High School National Champion, 1993 Senior National Champion, 1993 Olympic Festival Champion, and member of multiple USA Judo National and International Teams. As a member of the 1990 High School National Team, he traveled to Japan and trained at the Kodokan before competing against other national teams. James also spent time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. before retiring from competition in 1994 at age 21. The following year in 1995, James received his promotion to Sandan (3rd Degree Black Belt). In 1998, James graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Psychology followed by an MBA from Chapman University in 2015. He currently works for Kaiser Permanente as a Finance Manager. James currently gives back to the dojo by teaching, alongside Sensei Joaquin, the Intermediate and Advanced Classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings.