98-year-old woman – first women ever to achieve Judo’s tenth dan black belt

A 98-year-old woman in San Francisco has become the first woman ever to earn Judo’s highest-degree black belt, 10th Dan black belt.

Sensei Keiko Fukuda has become the sixteenth person and the only woman ever to achieve such an honor. Fukuda is one of the only four living 10th dan Judo players. The other three are the men living in Japan.

Fukuda is the last living student of the founder of judo, Kano Jiguro. Jiguro opened his first dojo in 1882.


Fukuda wasn’t allowed to be promoted above 5th dan because of being a woman. After remaining 5th dan for 30-years, she became the first woman to be promoted to 6th dan after the rule was changed in 1972 to allow women to be promoted to higher dan. She also became the first woman to receive 9th dan in 2006.

Congratulation Fukuda!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *