Judd Reid was raised in Victoria, Asutralia and left his home in 1990 for Japan to chase his dreams. At the age of 19, he was accepted to study under legendary Kyokushin Karate master Sosai Oyama and Judd was the first (of only two) non-Japanese students to ever complete Sosai Oyama’s gruelling 3-year training programme.
Sosai Oyama would challenge his students by asserting that there are two things every great karate fighter should aspire to achieve in their lifetime:
- to become a world champion; and
- to complete the 100 Man Kumite
Whilst the first achievement is reserved for the fre, the 100 Man Kumite is rarely attempted, let alone completed. It requires a person to fight 100 black belts consecutively for 1,5 minute rounds, taking almost 3,5 hours to complete. It is considered to be the toughest mental and physical challenge in the world and has been compared to doing the Hawaii Iron Man with competitors punching and kicking you throughout the entire event. Judd feels honored to be amongst the very few that have competed the 100 Man Kumite.
Shihan Judd had competed in contless karate tournaments throughout the world over the last 20 years and has long been acknowledged as an elite martial artist. A world championship continued to elude Judd (chalking up multiple seconds and thirds) until well into his twilight years. He became world champion (open weight division) at age 39 and amazingly followed up to attempt the 100 Man Kumite at age 40.
While Shihan Judd’s journey centres on martial arts, the universal message for all of us is to never give up on our aspirations – whether it be at our personal, family or work related level.