Judo master makes 10th degree black belt
After 98 years, the phone call finally came.
Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt.
Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark.
The martial arts promotion by USA Judo brought 98-year-old Fukuda to tears at the women's dojo where she still teaches in Noe Valley. (Fukuda was the subject of a Chronicle Datebook profile on July 25.)
She gave up marriage and left her homeland to dedicate her life to judo, fighting gender discrimination that kept her at lower belt levels decades longer than men less skilled than she...