About The Cultural School

Serving the tri-counties since 1964.
Since 1964, we have taught Judo and Aikido at the Cultural School, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the Montecito YMCA, and San Marcos High School!  We started Aikido in 1964 under the instruction of Sensei Isao Takahashi; we traveled to Culver City for class once a month. As our classes grew, we invited Sensei Takahasi to come to Goleta once a month to teach us and our students. Eventually we were fortunate enough to have Master Koichi Tohei come teach at our dojo during his visits to Southern California in 1970, 1972, and 1974.

Sensei Ken Ota (front), Sensei Koichi Tohei (middle), Sensei Steve Ota (back)

Sensei Ken Ota (front), Sensei Koichi Tohei (middle), Sensei Steve Ota (back)

Training the leaders of the future.
Some of our students have gone on to become Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Architects, Chiropractors, and successful business people. One former student is now a law professor, another has his own law firm.

UCSB Judo & Aikido Club.
Through the UCSB Judo & Aikido Club, we hosted the first ever all women’s Joshi Judo Camp from 1974 – 1978.

UCSB-1975-Joshi-Judo-Camp-cropped

UCSB 1975 Joshi Judo Camp

The list of instructors from 1977 is: Keiko Fukuda Joshi 6th Dan, Kuniko Takeuchi Joshi 4th Dan, Setsuko Wakamatsu Joshi 3rd Dan, Elizabeth Lee Joshi 3rd Dan, Takako Saito Joshi 3rd Dan, Kazuko Swauger Joshi 2nd dan, Tamo Kitaura 5th Dan, Hideaki Goto 5th Dan, Kazumasa Tamura 4th Dan, Kenji Ota 3rd Dan, & Steve Ota 2nd Dan.

1975 Joshi Judo Camp Instructors (left to right): Kitaoka, Elizabeth Lee, Keiko Fukuda, Swauger, Takeuchi

1975 Joshi Judo Camp Instructors (left to right): Kitaoka, Elizabeth Lee, Keiko Fukuda, Swauger, Takeuchi

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