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Hall of Famers

Hall of Famer

Hiroshi Nakamura

Inducted in 2023

Member Details

Date of Birth: June 22, 1942
Place of Birth: Tokyo, Japan
Sport: Judo
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

Tokyo Olympic Games – judoka/student, Hall of Famer Doug Rogers – Silver Medal
Coached Canadian judokas at 13 International Judo Federation World Championships
Opened Shidokan Judo Club in Montreal, QC
Served as coach of the Canadian judo team at five Olympic Games
Barcelona Olympic Games – judoka/student, Hall of Famer Nicolas Gill – Bronze Medal
Inducted into Judo Canada Hall of Fame
Sydney Olympic Games – judoka/student, Hall of Famer Nicolas Gill – Silver Medal
Received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
Received the Geoff Gowan Award
Invested as a Member of the Order of Canada
Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays for his contribution to the promotion of judo in Canada by the Consulate General of Japan in Montreal
Inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
Hall of Famer Hiroshi Nakamura


Hiroshi Nakamura has devoted much of his life to developing judo in Canada as an esteemed mentor, trainer, and high performance coach. Born in Tokyo in 1942, Hiroshi began practicing judo at the age of twelve, working with off-duty police officers at the Yanaka Police Dojo before attending the prestigious Kodokan Institute. One of only five Canadians to achieve the rank of Kudan (9th dan), Hiroshi ranked (by Black Belt Magazine) in the top 10 Japanese judokas (all categories) before injury cut his competitive career short. Becoming a dedicated trainer and coach, he began working with international athletes to prepare for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the first year judo was included as a full Olympic sport. One of the judokas who trained with Hiroshi before reaching the podium that year was Canadian Doug Rogers, who claimed a Silver medal in the Olympic heavyweight division. Recognizing Hiroshi’s exceptional devotion, Rogers seized the moment and asked him to travel across the Pacific to establish a national training program that would give Canadian judokas unprecedented access to competitive training in their own country.
When Hiroshi moved to Canada in 1968, he committed to a bold vision of making judo as popular as ice hockey across the Great White North. Settling in Québec, where the sport had few practitioners, Hiroshi began offering lessons at Vanier College in Montréal while giving free demonstrations in the cafeteria at lunchtime to spark student interest. In 1973 he opened his own dojo, the Shidokan Judo Club, in Montréal. Under Hiroshi’s guidance the Shidokan became the most successful competitive judo program in Canada and remained home to the National Training Centre until 2014.
Securing his legacy as the most important individual contributor to Canada’s presence in international judo, Hiroshi coached Canadian judokas at 13 International Judo Federation World Championships between 1969 and 2007 and served as coach of the Canadian judo team at five Olympic Games between 1976 and 2004. Many of his protégés have also become vital leaders in the sport, including CEO and High Performance Director of Judo Canada, Nicolas Gill.
An insightful, compassionate mentor, Sensei Nakamura has helped generations of athletes at all skill levels cultivate values that transcend sport, building a foundation for success on and off the judo mats. Emphasizing self-discipline, humility, and perseverance, he patiently encouraged each judoka to fulfil their own unique potential, empowering them to aim high and focus on kaizen, or continuous improvement. Deeply committed to students in his care, before funding was available for the national training program, Hiroshi regularly opened his home to young athletes who would move across Canada to work with him. Continuing to train future Olympians at the Shidokan today, Hiroshi has also used his expertise to help others by teaching women’s self-defence classes, offering judo programs for at-risk youth, and supporting young judokas in need of financial assistance through the Nakamura Gill Foundation.