Matsutaru Otani

MASUTARO OTANI took up Judo in 1917 and studied for two years under Seizo Usui. 2nd Dan. (Kodokan).

He came to England in 1919. and two years later joined the Budokwai and studied under Hikoichi Aida. For eight years he was absent from Judo and then became trainee assistant to Yukio Tani. Chief instructor to the Budokwai.

Masutaro Otani had been fortunate to study under many of the greatest Judo Masters; including Sensei Kabumoto, Sensei Ishiguro, Sensei Kotani 9th Dan and was personally examined and graded by Shuichi Nagaoka 10th Dan, (The highest rank in Judo).

Sensei Otani was Judo Instructor to Oxford University for six years, and Cambridge University for five years.

During the Second World War, as Sensei Otani was Japanese, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp in the UK, despite protests from many sources, including the Oxbridge Universities.

Promotion to 4th Dan was from Yukio Tani, 5th Dan by Ichiro Hata.

When Kenshiro Abbe came to England in 1955, Masutaro Otani followed him and was promoted 6th Dan.

In 1959 he became 7th Dan and became National Coach of the British Judo Council, taking over from Abbe Sensei. After a distinguished teaching career Sensei Otani died in 1977.