About Budokai Judo Club in Toronto
Budokai Judo Club in Toronto is a newly opened dojo and judo school with over 65 years of combined judo teaching, training and competitive judo experience. Sensei’s Koglin and Litvak have re-opened the doors on the club in honor of the memory of their original judo teacher – Sensei Chris Toule, Budokai’s founder, dojoshu and the instructor of countless Canadian Champions and Olympians from the early 1970’s to 1986.
We provide judo lessons for kids and adults in the Budokai tradition and teach participants of all levels and ages, from beginner to medium to advanced, from ages 4 to 74…all are welcome.
There is training and instruction available for all levels of experience. Child-friendly instructors ensure that kids learn the safe way to do judo by teaching proper judo techniques through demonstration and participation. Children are closely supervised to ensure they are learning correct technique and safe moves for both themselves and their partners.
Meet the Judo Instructors
Rick Koglin and Ray Litvak have been passionate judo enthusiasts for many years and now they want to share their expertise and experience with you. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced judoka, Budokai welcomes you.
Rick (Yukio) Koglin [Koglin Sensei]
Yondan – Certified 4th Degree Judo Black Belt
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Koglin Sensei is a fourth degree black belt registered with Judo Canada, Judo Ontario, the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan and, by association, the International Judo Federation (IJF). He has been practicing judo since 1976, and in his youth competed at the Canadian National level for seven years with several National (Canadian) and Ontario Provincial championships to his credit.
He was very fortunate to begin his practice of judo under the guidance of Sensei Chris Toule of the original Budokai Judo Club. Sensei Toule’s judo lessons focused on excellent technique. A gifted judo instructor and teacher, Rick – still a teenager – was assisting him in his club and many community judo programs. A love of teaching judo was fostered and flourished into many years of teaching.
Besides Budokai Judo Club, Koglin Sensei also trained under Frank Hatashita (Hatashita Judo Club in Toronto), the father of Canadian Judo and has trained in Japan at the Kodokan. Rick regularly attends judo seminars to keep abreast of the latest judo techniques and rule changes in judo competition.
Today, Rick is Budokai Judo Club’s head judo instructor. He is considered by many to be an expert kids judo instructor and coach and has introduced thousands of kids across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to the sport and martial art of judo, keeping the spirit alive. Senior instructor of Budokai Judo Club, Ray Litvak said, “Rick is passionate about what he does. It’s apparent in his teaching. His passion paired with his knowledge makes him an expert and he is hands down the best kids judo instructor in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).”
As well as Budokai Judo Club, Koglin Sensei also teaches judo lessons and classes at North Hill Private Schools, Associated Hebrew Schools, and for Native Child and Family Services Toronto. He has previously instructed for North York Parks and Recreation, the North York YMCA Judo Club, Yamanaka Budo Life Centre, The University of Toronto Judo Club, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, the Crescent Boys Academy and the Centre for Martial Arts – Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Off the mat, Koglin Sensei enjoys writing reviews of judo books and dvds, and has used these skills previously to edit and produce the Toraki Judo Times, the Judo Ontario Newsletter, a Standardized Judo Curriculum for Public and Private Schools in Ontario, and a promotional video for Judo Ontario. He has also served on the Junior Development and Aboriginal Development Committees for Judo Ontario.
Recently, he has become a certified yoga teacher, and enjoys bringing the knowledge of proper body alignment and meditation to complement his judo lessons.
He sees learning judo as both a path for physical development and an opportunity to develop a well grounded, enlightened character.
*Koglin Sensei is available to teach private judo lessons to both children and adults.
Ray Litvak (Litvak Sensei)
Sandan – Certified 3rd Degree Judo Black Belt
Born and raised in North York, Ontario, Litvak Sensei has held the rank of 3rd degree black belt since 1997. Registered with Judo Canada, Judo Ontario and the world-famous Kodokan Judo Institute of Japan and, by association, the International Judo Federation (IJF). He is first and foremost a student, teacher and a seasoned judo competitor who has trained at the Kodokan and regularly attends judo seminars to keep abreast of the latest techniques and rule changes in judo competition.
Competitively, Ray won his division at the AM-CAN International Judo Challenge in 1989, represented Canada in the 1989 Maccabiah Games in Israel and has competed and medaled in many other tournaments throughout North America.
Ray began practicing judo in 1972 and after a brief hiatus, started again in 1979 and since then has participated in many competitions as a judo competitor and coach at the regional, provincial and international level. Like Rick, Ray has also had the privilege of training and mentoring with Sensei Chris Toule, 5th degree black belt, in addition to training under Sensei Frank Hatashita, 8th degree black belt (Hatashita Judo Club in Toronto). After competing for many years, Ray turned to teaching so he could share his knowledge and passion with others interested in learning Japanese Judo.
Ray’s philosophy is strongly steeped in judo. It was because of his judo training that he has overcome many challenges in his day-to-day life, including being bullied as a child. Ray feels strongly committed to giving back to the sport that has given him so much. While he enjoys the physical benefits of judo, he also believes it is a potent form of self-defense and a great aid in building character, confidence, courage and a never-say-die attitude. His experience and compassion have made him a friendly and patient instructor to his pupils.
Ray acquired most of his early experience as a a judo teacher at the original Budokai Judo Club as well as at North York Parks & Recreation, where he also acted as program director for two years running at their Martial Arts Camp. Ray has also held esteemed positions in the judo community, including head judo instructor at North York YMCA, judo instructor at Grant Brothers Mixed Martial Arts, Thornhill Ultimate Martial Arts, Toronto Judo Kai, Toronto Judo Academy and teaching judo lessons at many private and public schools and community centers throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Ray’s students have gone on to reach their black belt level and have achieved great success in provincial, national and international judo competitions.
When Ray isn’t teaching, training or coaching his students at judo tournaments, you can likely find him at the Martial Arts Club Directory, which he owns and manages. He is also the proud owner and head writer of Writing Web Words Inc., a web writing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as well as a teacup poodle named Pitou.
Interested in taking judo lessons? Let’s talk. Better yet, we offer a free 1 week trial of judo lessons. Call 416-712-6751 today or e-mail us to learn more.
Budokai Judo Club – 1110-5 Finch Ave. West, North York, M3J 2T2
(Located in North York Aikido Club/Aikido Hokuryukai)
*Private judo lessons available.
Judo Lessons & Classes taught for residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) including North York, North Etobicoke, South Etobicoke, East York, Toronto, Vaughan, Downsview, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Woodbridge and Markham, Ontario.