Campus Life

University community mourns passing of Senda

The University of Lethbridge community lost a respected leader and legendary supporter of judo Wednesday with the passing of Dr. Yosh Senda (LLD '89).

Dr. Senda passed away at age 87. He is predeceased by daughter Mae, and is survived by his wife, Florence, daughter Dawna, sons Ronald and Greg, and their immediate and extended families.

A date and time of a memorial service has not yet been confirmed.

Dr. Senda is credited for the strong tradition of judo in Lethbridge and the University of Lethbridge. He was instrumental in developing the Lethbridge Judo Club and the U of L Judo exchange program with Japan. He remained an active coach for the Lethbridge Judo Club and served as coach and manager of the U of L Judo Club.

He represented the sport of judo in many provincial, national and international capacities (including the Olympics), brought national and international recognition to Lethbridge and the University, and gained international recognition for his successful teaching methods.

With a ninth degree black belt, Dr. Senda was the highest-ranking judo black belt in Canada. He instilled in his students that judo is more than just a physical exercise for the body – judo is a way of life.

His philosophy: "You can better yourself by always showing respect for others, and to always give it your best in whatever you do."

In 2007 -- and in addition to a long list of awards and achievements -- Dr. Senda was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in recognition for his contributions to the development and expansion of judo in Canada as a coach, mentor and role model for more than five decades.

None of this was possible without the support and efforts of Florence, a fourth degree black belt, and who provides support through managing the Senda house, coaching and encouraging the athletes, paying special attention to the younger participants.