Manson, William (Bill)

Player Name
Manson, William (Bill)
Martial Arts
1900 – 1970
Inducted at the 18th Annual Sports Wall of Fame Ceremony January 21, 2007
William (Bill) Manson brought traditional Kodokan Judo to Niagara Falls, built a solid foundation of excellence in the sport, and left a proud legacy of success within our city, our region, and beyond our border. For generations of Judoka (students of this Martial Art), he will forever and fondly be remembered as “Sensei”(teacher). Bill found this life calling at age 24 in 1951. A student of Judo icon Frank Hatashita and member of his renowned Toronto 5-Man Team, Bill took greatest pride in the hundreds of students he taught to defend themselves and compete – with skill, discipline and honour – from 1956 to1973. Working alongside Judoka volunteers, Bill built the first facility in Canada designed to house a Dojo (House of Learning) on Banker Street in 1961 – the year he started Manson Judo Club in Buffalo, NY. Students of his opened a club in Welland; and later continued his legacy in Niagara Falls and Buffalo. Manson students won countless competitions in Ontario, Quebec, New York, Michigan – including many provincial titles and two Eastern Canadian 5-Man Team Championships. His four Niagara Falls Invitational Tournaments at NFCVI drew capacity crowds to witness Canadian legends in action and home team take the first trophy. His quarterly Niagara District Judo Club Tournaments groomed youngsters for success. His coaching inspired personal best effort. In 1966, Bill was awarded Third Degree Black Belt by the Kodokan Judo Institute, Japan. In honour of his knowledge, experience and fairness on the mat, he was selected, trained, and served as a Canadian Kodokan Judo Official and Coach at a National level. Like ripples in a pond, Manson’s impact was far-reaching. His public demonstrations fostered growth and understanding of Judo. His Black Belts taught students who won titles and earned Black Belts. Some took skills gained through Judo to other sports as teachers and coaches. All were given solid foundations of physical fitness and character, as life-long benefits of Judo – “the gentle way.”
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