Gary Anderson and Kyle Tadei received their first degree black belts from Sensei Henry Uyeda, the head instructor, at the Kamloops Judo Club on Monday night.
Anderson started with the KJC in 1978 at eight years of age. Later, he took a few years away, returning in 2005. He has been a director of the KJC society since 2006, and toured Japan in 2007, practising judo for 14 days.
He has been refereeing since 2010 — he has his Provincial C certificate — and also coaches.
Tadei has been a member of the KJC since 2007 and has been coaching lower belts in the senior class since 2009. He has completed his dojo assistant coaching course on and off the mats, but a recurring shoulder injury has prevented him from completing his certification.
He has competed extensively throughout B.C., although the shoulder injury has forced him to step back. He now concentrates on athlete development within the club.
Tadei, like Anderson, has started to get into refereeing and his been certified as a Provincial D official.
Earlier, when the club held its year-end promotions, the late Sensei Yoshio Yoshida was honoured with the Steve Sasaki Award for dedication to judo. He shared the award with Sensei Yoshitake Mori of Vernon.
Yoshida, a seventh-degree black belt who died July 12, 2011, had been with the club since it began in 1956. He is a member of the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.